Penguins' Shero a master of NHL trade deadline deals
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ray Shero wins the NHL trade deadline.
That is the consensus within the hockey community, anyway.
Shero, the Penguins' general manager, has made 15 trades in the month advancing or at the deadline over the past seven seasons. His next deadline is 3 p.m. Wednesday, and the Penguins are looking to strike again.
Multiple sources have told the Tribune-Review that Shero is aggressively seeking to acquire Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler. He would arrive in Pittsburgh with two years remaining on a cap-friendly ($5 million annual) contract and fill the shutdown/scoring role of former third-line center Jordan Staal.
The Penguins have offered center Brandon Sutter, a pick of defensive prospects Simon Despres or Brian Dumoulin, and their 2014 first- and third-round picks — and Shero is willing to up that ante, the sources said.
Shero often lands his target at this time of the NHL season. Most often, he has done it without giving up a whole lot, too.
A look at the players Shero has sent away before or at previous trade deadlines:
Shero, looking for the Penguins' first playoff appearance since 2001, sought to bolster the bottom six forwards by adding hard-nosed veterans with postseason experience. The Penguins finished as the East's No. 5 seed and lost a first-round series to eventual conference champion Ottawa.
» Noah Welch, D
Traded to Florida for winger Gary Roberts on Feb. 27, 2007
NHL stats since trade: 46 games, 2 goals, 3 points
Current: Vaxjo HC (Sweden)
» Daniel Carcillo, LW
Traded to Phoenix, along with a 2003 third-round pick, for winger Georges Laraque on Feb. 27, 2007
NHL stats since trade: 377 games, 43 goals, 91 points
Current: N.Y. Rangers
Shero, seeing the Penguins ascend in the standings despite midseason ankle injuries to top center Sidney Crosby and No. 1 goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, sought to make a big move for a potential long playoff run in what appeared to be a relatively weak East. The Penguins earned a No. 2 seed and raced to the Stanley Cup Final by going 12-2 in the conference playoffs.
» Colby Armstrong, RW; Erik Christensen, C; and Angelo Esposito, C
Traded to Atlanta, along with a 2008 first-round pick, for wingers Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis on Feb. 26, 2008
NHL stats since trade: Armstrong: 295 games, 52 goals, 111 points; Christensen: 244 games, 35 goals, 97 points; Esposito: Never played in NHL
Current: Armstrong: Vaxjo HC (Sweden); Christensen: HV71 Jonkoping (Sweden); Esposito: Bolzano HC (Austria)
Notable: Defenseman Hal Gill was acquired from Toronto for a 2008 second-round pick and '09 fifth-round pick Feb. 26, 2008.
Shero, seeing the conference-favorite Penguins fall fast from the East's playoff field, sought to add some grit and skill. He struck about two weeks before the deadline, then again at it, and the rebuilt Penguins overcame their midseason slump to emerge with the Stanley Cup.
» Ryan Whitney, D
Traded to Anaheim for wingers Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi on Feb. 26, 2009
NHL stats since trade: 227 games, 16 goals, 109 points
Current: San Antonio (AHL)
Notables: Dan Bylsma replaced Michel Therrien as coach Feb. 15, 2009. Winger Craig Adams was claimed off waivers from Chicago. Winger Bill Guerin was acquired from the New York Islanders for a conditional 2009 third-round pick March 4, 2009.
Shero, looking to strengthen the Penguins' chances to retain the Cup, sought to upgrade a battered defense and provide center Evgeni Malkin with a skilled winger. The Penguins finished as the East's No. 4 seed for a second consecutive season but blew a 3-2 series lead in Round 2, where their title defense ended with a home Game 7 loss to Montreal.
» Luca Caputi, LW, and Martin Skoula, D
Traded to Toronto for winger Alexei Ponikarovsky and a 2010 sixth-round pick March 2, 2010
NHL stats since trade: Caputi: 24 games, 1 goal, 6 points; Skoula: 19 games, 0 goals, 3 points
Current: Caputi: Vasteras IC (Sweden); Skoula: Bratislava Slovan (KHL)
Notable: Defenseman Jordan Leopold was acquired from Florida for a 2010 second-round pick March 1, 2010.
Shero, knowing Crosby and Malkin were out with season-ending injuries, jumped at a sudden opportunity to make a “hockey trade” and also took a shot on an aging veteran to try boosting scoring. The Penguins parlayed defense and goaltending into the East's No. 4 seed but lost a 3-1 series lead in Round 1 to Tampa Bay.
» Alex Goligoski, D
Traded to Dallas for winger James Neal and defenseman Matt Niskanen on Feb. 21, 2011
NHL stats since trade: 200 games, 19 goals, 97 points
Current: Dallas Stars
Notable: Winger Alex Kovalev was acquired from Ottawa for a 2011 sixth-round pick Feb. 24, 2011.
Shero, armed with rare plentiful salary-cap space, sought to infuse the East-leading Penguins with Cup-hungry veterans who could help with scoring, grit and leadership. The Penguins earned the No. 1 seed and advanced to the conference final, but they were swept by Boston.
» Joe Morrow, D
Traded to Dallas, along with a 2013 fifth-round pick, for winger Brenden Morrow and a 2013 third-round pick March 24, 2013
NHL stats since trade: Has not played in NHL
Current: Providence Bruins (AHL)
» Kenneth Agostino, C, and Ben Hanowski, RW
Traded to Calgary, along with a 2013 first-round pick, for winger Jarome Iginla on March 28, 2013
NHL stats since trade: Agostino: Has not played in NHL; Hanowski: 5 games, 1 goal, 1 point
Current: Agostino: Yale (NCAA); Hanowski: Abbotsford Head (AHL)
Notables: Defenseman Douglas Murray was acquired from San Jose for second-round picks in 2013 and '14 on March 28, 2013. Winger Jussi Jokinen was acquired from Carolina for a 2013 conditional sixth- or seventh-round pick April 3, 2013.