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The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

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FLPensFan
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The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by FLPensFan »

While gearing up to watch another Penguin-less playoffs, I wanted to take a moment to look at a few moves this team made that really caused our demise.

1. Mikael Granlund instead of Nino Niederreiter. Both players were traded from Nashville for a 2nd round pick. WPG gave up a 2026 2nd to get Nino, while we gave up a 2023 2nd to get Granlund. I see no reason why we couldn't have landed Nino instead...accept some crappy AGM fell in love with an average, overpaid Granlund and the rest is history. Nino isn't a beast on skates, but he plays more like Bunting, and hits a little more.

2. Failing to trade for Jakob Chychrun. A 1st (conditional) and two 2nds (one of which was a long-shot condition to become a 1st). We already spent a 1st and one 2nd for Karlsson. Karlsson is more than twice as expensive as Chychrun. Trading for Chychrun would have stabilized the LD, and would have prevented the acquisition of Ryan Graves.

3. Expansion draft disaster. Jared McCann was almost certainly never going to become the player he is in Seattle while in Pittsburgh, but he was virtually given away. He still was a useful player and was trending towards his best season in 20-21 before injuries hit. The 4th line hasn't been the same since Tanev's energetic play was traded away.

4. Moving on from Matheson and Marino - I never understood why Matheson was traded. He had a career year with Pittsburgh, but was shown the door in favor of Jeff Petry. Matheson only continued to get better in Montreal, while Petry lasted a year. As for Marino, there were some rumblings about his family being too involved in contract negotiations, and he had plateaued a bit...but the trade ended up being an awful return that offered no help to the team.

5. The wrong centers. Similar to Granlund over Niederreiter, the Penguins should have targeted Sam Bennett over Jeff Carter. Bennett never lived up to his top 5 overall drafting, but showed flashes. He needed out of Calgary, and has shown with Florida what his blend of scoring skill and physical play can bring. Dylan Strome was a UFA center the Penguins could have easily signed...if they didn't give Kasperi Kapanen an absurd RFA raise. E-Rod pissed off Sullivan with his playoff penalty, and there were some rumors he rubbed teammates the wrong way. But, he's had success in both Colorado and Florida. His production hasn't dropped off, he plays all forward positions, PP, PK, anywhere in the lineup. Not someone they should have let go.

Some may want to call this revisionist history, but many here were clamoring for these moves to be made, and in the case of what ultimately did happen...not to be made. I think the Chychrun trade failing to come to fruition probably had the biggest impact.

If you look through the history of my posts on this board, I had been begging this team to take a chance on guys like Bennett, Duclair, Nichuskin, Montour, Gudas, Strome, Reinhart...All of those guys were younger guys than what we went with. They were all guys that carried a little bit a risk, but a very large potential reward. Imagine a defense like this:

MP-Letang
Chychrun-Montour
POJ-St. Ivany

That top 4 would have been insanely strong.
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by BlackNGold4Life »

Agreed on all of this. Nino hurt for me personally and I felt he would have brought more of what we now see with bunting.

One issue with the Karlsson trade, as a positive, is the contracts we sent back. Maybe couldn’t do that for Chychrun.

Everything else you mentioned was spot on, and 90% of it was under Hextalls watch. What a disaster he was.
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by Badger Bob »

Hextall was a Flyer mole sent here to destroy the team.
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by FLPensFan »

BlackNGold4Life wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2024 1:26 am Agreed on all of this. Nino hurt for me personally and I felt he would have brought more of what we now see with bunting.

One issue with the Karlsson trade, as a positive, is the contracts we sent back. Maybe couldn’t do that for Chychrun.

Everything else you mentioned was spot on, and 90% of it was under Hextalls watch. What a disaster he was.
The thing is, if we traded for Nino instead of Granlund, we wouldn't have had that bad contract to dump...and if we didn't take on Petry in a Matheson deal, we wouldn't have had his contract to dump.
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by DelPen »

Not moving Murray for a ransom plus a goalie that could be exposed while being able to protect Fleury was the start of this teams downfall. Then we traded our 3rd line center and a 1st for Reaves leaving a gaping hole down the middle. And we dug in deeper by trying to help center with a 2nd line wing in Brassard.
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by Antonio »

I would argue the following 5 moves.

Not firing the coach in 2023
Not firing the coach in 2022
Not firing the coach in 2021
Not firing the coach in 2020
Not firing the coach in 2019

Those might be the worst mistakes that have hamstrung the team. Maybe... :D
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by BigMcK »

Antonio wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2024 1:39 am I would argue the following 5 moves.

Not firing the coach in 2023
Not firing the coach in 2022
Not firing the coach in 2021
Not firing the coach in 2020
Not firing the coach in 2019

Those might be the worst mistakes that have hamstrung the team. Maybe... :D
Amazingly that he fooled Rutherford, Hextal ( not surprised), and still has Dubas lauding him. I agree 💯, but what do I know, other than he doesn't pass the eye or scratch test.
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by Pens4Life »

I agree on those moves 100%

6. The New Coach since 2021/22
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by pronovost19 »

Blues traded Ryan Reaves and 51st overall pick to Penguins for 31st overall pick and Oscar Sundqvist. This one was a head scratcher too. Then….I believe it was Cole and Reaves and a pick for Brassard. This made it legit lunacy. Ke’Andre Miller was drafted with the pick.
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by Pitts »

pronovost19 wrote: Thu May 02, 2024 10:33 am Blues traded Ryan Reaves and 51st overall pick to Penguins for 31st overall pick and Oscar Sundqvist. This one was a head scratcher too. Then….I believe it was Cole and Reaves and a pick for Brassard. This made it legit lunacy. Ke’Andre Miller was drafted with the pick.
Hindsight - when Brassard was brought here we all thought he was the ultimate 3C to fall behind Sid and Geno. He had offense, was defensively responsible and has snarl to his game that no Penguin ever had. We were all over the moon.

Then he came in and promptly turned into a pouty little child over his role instead of digging in and helping the team get him a Cup.
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by Cow_Master66 »

DelPen wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2024 8:47 pm Not moving Murray for a ransom plus a goalie that could be exposed while being able to protect Fleury was the start of this teams downfall. Then we traded our 3rd line center and a 1st for Reaves leaving a gaping hole down the middle. And we dug in deeper by trying to help center with a 2nd line wing in Brassard.
That's some severe revisionist history. If you foresaw the downfall of Murray, you should definitely be working for the team.
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by Antonio »

Cow_Master66 wrote: Thu May 02, 2024 12:18 pm
DelPen wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2024 8:47 pm Not moving Murray for a ransom plus a goalie that could be exposed while being able to protect Fleury was the start of this teams downfall. Then we traded our 3rd line center and a 1st for Reaves leaving a gaping hole down the middle. And we dug in deeper by trying to help center with a 2nd line wing in Brassard.
That's some severe revisionist history. If you foresaw the downfall of Murray, you should definitely be working for the team.
Antonio wrote: Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:39 pm Hmm...the numbers do paint an interesting story. My thoughts are that I feel like he is bad in the worst ways and when he does allow goals, they are often terrible things he should be stopping, which counters when he does make great saves (which he does often make). I also think his numbers might be inflated by his great run he went on upon his return. Overall, I still do not care for him and I think and have always thought that he is a substandard goaltender overall. He does play great when he goes on a run, but so do a lot of mediocre goalies. I suppose at 3.75m his numbers are good value, but I just do not want him. Maybe I am being a bit irrational when given the numbers.
Antonio wrote: Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:46 am I picked 5. Partially because some of me actually expects it and most of me hopes it. (5 being gets traded without coming back)
Antonio wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:10 am Matt Murray is not a long term solution at goal. He is the most brittle goaltender I've ever seen.
Antonio wrote: Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:22 pm Should have traded him when he was very valuable. Whatever. Move on with our next goalie.
I am waiting for my call Dubas!
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by Cow_Master66 »

Antonio wrote: Thu May 02, 2024 12:36 pm
Cow_Master66 wrote: Thu May 02, 2024 12:18 pm
DelPen wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2024 8:47 pm Not moving Murray for a ransom plus a goalie that could be exposed while being able to protect Fleury was the start of this teams downfall. Then we traded our 3rd line center and a 1st for Reaves leaving a gaping hole down the middle. And we dug in deeper by trying to help center with a 2nd line wing in Brassard.
That's some severe revisionist history. If you foresaw the downfall of Murray, you should definitely be working for the team.
Antonio wrote: Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:39 pm Hmm...the numbers do paint an interesting story. My thoughts are that I feel like he is bad in the worst ways and when he does allow goals, they are often terrible things he should be stopping, which counters when he does make great saves (which he does often make). I also think his numbers might be inflated by his great run he went on upon his return. Overall, I still do not care for him and I think and have always thought that he is a substandard goaltender overall. He does play great when he goes on a run, but so do a lot of mediocre goalies. I suppose at 3.75m his numbers are good value, but I just do not want him. Maybe I am being a bit irrational when given the numbers.
Antonio wrote: Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:46 am I picked 5. Partially because some of me actually expects it and most of me hopes it. (5 being gets traded without coming back)
Antonio wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:10 am Matt Murray is not a long term solution at goal. He is the most brittle goaltender I've ever seen.
Antonio wrote: Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:22 pm Should have traded him when he was very valuable. Whatever. Move on with our next goalie.
I am waiting for my call Dubas!
Fair enough :thumb:
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by ahawk9 »

"Blues traded Ryan Reaves and 51st overall pick to Penguins for 31st overall pick and Oscar Sundqvist. This one was a head scratcher too. Then….I believe it was Cole and Reaves and a pick for Brassard. This made it legit lunacy. Ke’Andre Miller was drafted with the pick."


That trade certainly WAS a head scratcher for me. Not acquiring Reaves, per se, but how did the Pens give up a first-round pick for him? Even with #51 coming back, it was not the type of deal that - IMO - warrants a No. 1 pick.
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by ahawk9 »

That trade for Reaves, and his subsequent non-use, was the beginning of the end of the era, IMO. Then Rutherford threw out the "I can find a 3rd-line center any time I want..."

Speaking to that quote, I was really excited by the Brassard deal at the time, and was kind of shocked that Brassard expected to be in the top-6 when it was clear that he slotted in perfectly as a third-line center for a very competetive team. He made it a bad fit. Then, I was happy with what Rutherford got for Brassard in the trade to Florida. I thought he got two nice young players in the deal. Injuries hurt Bjugstad, and McCann was inconsistent but I really liked him. I do wish they'd have kept him just to see if he could lock in a little more. I doubt he'd have had Seattle-like numbers, but I thought he had a nice game when it was working.

The Reaves deal began a weird sequence of chasing players to make a fit. Matt Hunwick coming to Pittsburgh and quickly being jettisoned is one that comes to mind. Throwing another No. 1 pick at the Leafs for Kapanen made me shake my head. At the time, I thought Fleury had to go in order to help with the cap. In hindsight, well, I missed on that but it was the right thing at the time. It just didn't work out well for the Pens.
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by pcmforless »

Brassard was definiltey where it all began to go wrong, it sure didn't look that way when it happened, but his attitude and play was a dynasty crusher.
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by Dynasty1970 »

Antonio wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2024 1:39 am I would argue the following 5 moves.

Not firing the coach in 2023
Not firing the coach in 2022
Not firing the coach in 2021
Not firing the coach in 2020
Not firing the coach in 2019

Those might be the worst mistakes that have hamstrung the team. Maybe... :D
I THINK YOU ALL KNOW MY POSITION ON THIS POST!!!
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by BlackNGold4Life »

Antonio wrote: Thu May 02, 2024 12:36 pm
Cow_Master66 wrote: Thu May 02, 2024 12:18 pm
DelPen wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2024 8:47 pm Not moving Murray for a ransom plus a goalie that could be exposed while being able to protect Fleury was the start of this teams downfall. Then we traded our 3rd line center and a 1st for Reaves leaving a gaping hole down the middle. And we dug in deeper by trying to help center with a 2nd line wing in Brassard.
That's some severe revisionist history. If you foresaw the downfall of Murray, you should definitely be working for the team.
Antonio wrote: Thu Mar 07, 2019 6:39 pm Hmm...the numbers do paint an interesting story. My thoughts are that I feel like he is bad in the worst ways and when he does allow goals, they are often terrible things he should be stopping, which counters when he does make great saves (which he does often make). I also think his numbers might be inflated by his great run he went on upon his return. Overall, I still do not care for him and I think and have always thought that he is a substandard goaltender overall. He does play great when he goes on a run, but so do a lot of mediocre goalies. I suppose at 3.75m his numbers are good value, but I just do not want him. Maybe I am being a bit irrational when given the numbers.
Antonio wrote: Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:46 am I picked 5. Partially because some of me actually expects it and most of me hopes it. (5 being gets traded without coming back)
Antonio wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:10 am Matt Murray is not a long term solution at goal. He is the most brittle goaltender I've ever seen.
Antonio wrote: Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:22 pm Should have traded him when he was very valuable. Whatever. Move on with our next goalie.
I am waiting for my call Dubas!
Well done
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by Pitts »

pcmforless wrote: Wed May 15, 2024 4:32 pm Brassard was definiltey where it all began to go wrong, it sure didn't look that way when it happened, but his attitude and play was a dynasty crusher.
Maybe that was his own personal intent. He hated Crosby (and the Pens) when he played against him.

I hate seeing that MFrs face on game broadcasts. I have to admit tough, he's pretty good at it.
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Re: The 5 (or more) roster moves that destroyed this team

Post by Crash66 »

I blame league expansion. That's when things went cattywampus. There was no need for it. Relocation of the Yotes to Seattle would have sufficed. The Pens really screwed things up at this point and have never recovered.
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