Gary Roberts has been invaluable to the young Penguins squad.
Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. And with that tired cliché out of the way, let’s take a look back at some of the deals from last year’s trade deadline…
To St. Louis: Brad Boyes, RW
To Boston: Dennis Wideman, D
And the winner is… the Blues. It was surprising the Bruins were willing to give up on Boyes so quickly after a solid rookie campaign. Although Wideman has been solid in Beantown, Boyes has been on fire this year, racking up 12 goals in 19 games.
To Islanders: Ryan Smyth, LW
To Edmonton: Robert Nilsson, C; Ryan O'Marra, C; 2007 first round pick
And the winner is… the Oilers. Despite the fact Edmonton never should have dealt Smyth in the first place, New York gave up a lot of future potential for a guy who played only 23 games before bolting to Colorado as a UFA.
To Dallas: Mattias Norstrom, D; Konstantin Pushkarev, RW
To Los Angeles: Jaroslav Modry, D; Johan Fransson, D; 2007 second and third round picks; 2008 first round pick.
And the winner is… the Kings. Norstrom is one of the league’s more underrated stay-at-home blueliners, but Modry has better numbers in L.A. this season and the Kings received a nice bounty of picks for the former West Coast captain. Add to that the fact the Stars were trying to build a Cup-worthy blueline and ended up fizzling out in the first round, and you have a clear victor.
To San Jose: Bill Guerin, RW
To St. Louis: Ville Nieminen, LW; Jay Barriball, LW; 2007 first round pick
And the winner is… the Blues again. In rent-a-player fashion, Guerin headed to the Islanders shortly after the July 1 bell rang. The Sharks believed they had a legitimate chance at the Stanley Cup, but that obviously didn’t pan out. They gave up a good prospect in Barriball (43 points in 44 games with the University of Minnesota) and a first rounder.
To Pittsburgh: Gary Roberts, LW
To Florida: Noah Welch, D
And the winner is… the Penguins, but it’s close. This would have gone the other way had Roberts not re-signed with Pittsburgh, but he did and the value of his leadership with the growing Pens squad is invaluable. With that said, Welch is a top prospect – ranked 48th overall in THN’s 2007 Future Watch – who could one day make a formidable blueline duo with Jay Bouwmeester. A year or two from now, the nod in this trade could easily go the Panthers’ way.