Ron Hextall should try something bold

Nothing about Ron Hextall’s profession as a common supervisor in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh signifies that he’s prepared to do something like this, however a person can dream, proper?

It is fairly clear that the Pittsburgh Penguins want a spark proper now.

While I nonetheless preserve that a whole lot of their present issues will be mounted by merely getting Kris Letang, Jeff Petry, and Tristan Jarry again within the lineup, they nonetheless want extra assist past that. Particularly on the subject of their scoring depth and talent to get something from the underside half of their lineup.

Earlier this week Hooks checked out some glorious potential choices to assist spherical out that depth.

That is the most definitely path the Penguins will take for a variety of causes, starting from the wage cap, to commerce belongings, to the sluggish, methodical, and “affected person” method of the overall supervisor.

But let’s simply fake for a second that Ron Hextall ripped a web page out of the Jim Rutherford playbook and stated “LET’S GET WEIRD!” and did something recklessly aggressive.

With that in thoughts, let’s discuss Timo Meier.

On the floor, this is senseless.

Meier is a top-line participant and the Penguins are fairly set with top-line gamers proper now. He is also a pending restricted free agent that may require a $10 million qualifying provide this offseason (or a considerable contract extension) whereas he additionally carries a $6 million wage cap hit for this season.

He can be actually good and the Sharks is not going to wish to simply give him away.

All of these information seem to be potential obstacles.

But the one method to overcome an impediment is to truly try and climb over it.

Here is what stood out to me concerning the Meier choice this week: The reported commerce worth for him might not be that outrageously excessive.

NHL insider Frank Seravalli reported this week that the Sharks could not get as a lot for him because the Chicago Blackhawks have been in a position to get out of the Ottawa Senators for Alex DeBrincat. And when you recall, the Blackhawks didn’t get a ton in return for DeBrincat, netting solely three draft picks, solely one in every of which was within the first spherical.

Seravalli speculates that Meier may come at a less expensive worth provided that DeBrincat nonetheless had a full yr remaining on his deal earlier than a qualifying provide can be wanted and can be three full years youthful than Meier.

Assuming that’s true, and the argument round it’s definitely sound, the place else are you going to get an opportunity to amass a participant this good and this productive for that low of a worth when it comes to belongings and draft capital?

Answer: Probably nowhere.

So why not go for it? You are already all in on this season and future seasons due to the best way the Penguins stored their core round, so I’m not terribly involved about dropping the draft decide belongings. I’ve made this argument earlier than, however there’s not a participant picked within the 17-32 vary that’s going to dramatically impression the Penguins’ future and pace up their inevitable rebuild when Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang are not enjoying . If that decide can assist you compete now whereas these three are nonetheless enjoying at a excessive stage, you must do it.

So how would this assist the Penguins within the short-term when their largest want is depth assist?

Well, there’s a couple of method to enhance that depth.

You might purchase a depth participant, or you can purchase a top-line participant that helps push someone else down the lineup.

The Penguins would not be higher with someone like Meier skating of their top-six and dropping someone like a Bryan Rust or Jason Zucker right down to the third line? Of course they’d be higher. It remains to be including one other impression participant to the lineup and serving to to steadiness issues out. Y

The query then turns into what do you do concerning the wage cap each this yr and subsequent yr.

As the Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, and even the Penguins themselves have proven us over time, there are at all times — ALWAYS — methods round that to get the participant you need. Retained wage, different trades to shed contracts, getting a third-team concerned to eat much more retained wage.

If you actually desire a participant, you will get them.

That does require a stage of creativity and aggressiveness that Hextall has by no means proven, however the choices are completely there.

There can be the truth that the Penguins have a LOT of cash coming off the books after this season.

Zucker (which might once more create a gap within the top-six) and Brian Dumoulin being the 2 largest.

Is it seemingly? No. But the Penguins want some juice. A spark. Something bold to shift issues in a unique course proper now. There is a chance so as to add a bonafide star winger at what could possibly be a ridiculously low-cost worth when it comes to commerce belongings and people do not come alongside fairly often. Try to reap the benefits of it when the chance presents itself.

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