Rossi: Shero no stranger to in-season moves
Ray Shero seemed to know what was up Thursday when discussing the acquisition of left winger Zach Boychuk.
“I mean, you're always looking to add to your group, if possible,” Shero said outside the visitors' dressing room at Madison Square Garden.
There are 40 games remaining for the Penguins.
The Stanley Cup co-favorites — at least according to the noted hockey experts in Las Vegas — have the look of a club that lacks consistency.
This is no strange spot for the Penguins.
The Penguins looked nothing like a Cup favorite, and very much like a bet to miss the playoffs, in early February 2009.
The narrative from that silver season is shaped around Shero's decision to sack coach Michel Therrien in favor of Dan Bylsma in mid-February and over the next few weeks trade for wingers Chris Kunitz and Bill Guerin.
Certainly the Penguins would not have won the Cup without those moves.
There were a lot of other moves Shero made to solidify a roster that was heavy on star power (Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury), but light on, well, depth and energy.
Nov. 16, 2008: He swapped an unhappy veteran defenseman (Darryl Sydor) for one happy to play any role (Philippe Boucher).
Jan. 17, 2009: Veteran goalie Mathieu Garon was landed in exchange for goalie Dany Sabourin, forward Ryan Stone and a fourth-round pick in 2011.
Neither Boucher nor Garon played a lot for the Penguins after their arrivals, but they stabilized the Penguins on defense and in goal.
Coincidence or not, then-emerging defenseman Kris Letang and starting goalie Fleury were better players after Boucher and Garon entered the equation.
Another move Shero made to set up the Cup run remains perhaps his most underrated.
March 4, 2009: Forward Craig Adams was claimed off waivers.
That transaction was not fully appreciated until the final two playoff rounds, during which Adams played a pivotal role in a Penguins' penalty kill that frustrated the imposing power plays of Carolina and Detroit.
Rare is the Cup champion that looks the same with 40 games remaining as it does in June.
Rarer is the general manager who changed his club's fortunes with just one or two high-profile moves.
Already this season Shero has looked to the waiver wire for Boychuk, a no-risk speedy winger who could fit Bylsma's system.
These Penguins have the look of a club that will need moves both big and small. Depth and energy again look troublesome.
This is not an unfamiliar sight for Shero, who appears well aware there is work to be done before the April 3 trade deadline.
That work is in progress.
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.