Penguins GM Shero's deadline deals: Addition by subtraction
Penguins general manager Ray Shero didn't pull off any blockbusters at the trade deadline, deeming the bounty required for Canucks center Ryan Kesler too steep. Shero, however, infused the lineup with needed depth at forward by acquiring Calgary's Lee Stempniak and Florida's Marcel Goc for draft picks. Those pickups will cut ice time for the Pens' unproductive bottom-line forwards, helping the club fend off Boston for top seeding in the Eastern Conference and last longer come playoff time.
The Pens feature four of the NHL's top 30 forwards as measured by Point Shares, an estimate of how many standings points a player contributes. But once you get past Sidney Crosby (10.6 Point Shares), Chris Kunitz (8.6), Evgeni Malkin (8.1) and James Neal (7.2), they're waif-thin.
With Pascal Dupuis suffering a torn ACL and Beau Bennett's wrist preventing a breakout season, coach Dan Bylsma has been forced to play a handful of forwards posting negative Point Share totals while appearing in at least 10 games. Compared to them, Stempniak (0.9) and Goc (1.9) are upgrades.
Not sharing the load
Player Point shares
Chuck Kobasew -0.1
Dustin Jeffrey -0.2
Taylor Pyatt -0.4
Zach Sill -0.5
Craig Adams -0.5
No team in the playoff picture has suited up more unproductive forwards than the Pens, who are tied with Toronto and Detroit for the most wingers and centers with negative Point Share figures while playing in double-digit games. Western Conference heavyweights Anaheim, St. Louis and Chicago, by contrast, haven't given that much ice time to unproductive forwards.
Team Unproductive forwards
Maple Leafs 5
Red Wings 5
David Golebiewski is a freelance writer.
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