First off, I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t trade prospects like Alex Newhook or Bo Byram. I especially wouldn’t trade either one along with two or three first-round picks and maybe another roster player or two for Sidney Crosby. Why am I bringing up even the possibility of a trade involving Sidney Crosby and the Avalanche?
Well, because there is some talk in the hockey world – just some talk, mind you – that maybe, just maybe, the Pittsburgh Penguins might try to trade Sidney Crosby after this season. Do I think the Penguins would dare trade No. 87, who surely will have a statue of himself in front of Pittsburgh Paints Arena someday, alongside his owner and former teammate, Mario Lemieux? I doubt it, but as the saying goes in hockey:
“Wayne Gretzky was traded, too.”
And that’s true. Who would have ever thought the Edmonton Oilers would ever trade the Great One, while still in the prime of his career? It happened.
Yesterday while doing a radio hit, TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger actually mentioned Sidney Crosby and the Avalanche in the same sentence, as “making sense” as a destination if the Penguins were to try and trade him.
Here is the clip, thanks to reader and subscriber Nick from Quebec:
— NiCoLaS (@NickQuebec) February 11, 2021
Dreger said he would “not be at ALL surprised” if Crosby went to new Penguins management after this season – and this is IF the Penguins don’t make the playoffs or IF Crosby doesn’t think the Penguins are a Stanley Cup contender anymore – and essentially asked for a trade to a Cup contender and/or a younger team on the rise. Partly why Crosby would do it, Dreger speculates, is as something of a parting gift to the Penguins, to better restock their own cupboard with the bounty he might bring in a deal.
Crosby is 33 now and, while still a great player, I don’t think it can be said he’s still in his prime. Yet, would I like him as a No. 2 center for two or three years or more, right behind his friend and Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, neighbor, Nathan MacKinnon? Well, duh. That looks really good on paper, despite the fact that Nazem Kadri is doing a nice job at No. 2 center now and still has one year left on his contract at $4.5 million.
But I just wouldn’t do a deal where I give up a blue-chip center prospect like Newhook, along with some other first-rounders. I certainly wouldn’t give up Byram, who figures to be a reliable D-man for the next 10-15 years.
I mean, Newhook hasn’t played a game yet in the league and almost certainly will never match the NHL career of a Sidney Crosby, who is a first-ballot Hall of Famer and NHL icon.
I guess I’d want to really hear what Pittsburgh wanted, obviously, before really souring on a potential Crosby deal, who by the way has three years left on his deal at a huge cap hit of $8.7 million. That would be problematic with the way the Avs’ cap situation currently looks, especially with new deals needed for Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon in the next couple of years.
But, I don’t know, just spitballing here, maybe that’s doable if, say, new Pens GM Ron Hextall and team president Brian Burke took Kadri and his $4.5 million in return, and maybe an Erik Johnson and/or a Ryan Graves? Maybe J.T. Compher to the Pens, along with EJ and/or Graves and a first? I might do that.
Anyway, let’s hear your thoughts on this. Should the Avs have more of a “let’s win now and get a Crosby!” approach, or just keep building from within?