PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 21: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates with teammate Marc-Andre Fleury #29 after his first goal of the season in the first period against Anders Nilsson #45 of the New York Islanders during the game on November 21, 2011 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Crosby has not played a game since January 5th after sustaining a concussion. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Via NHL.com, profiling the one player on every team that's on the proverbial "hot seat":
Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins -- Few people will dispute that when he's healthy, Crosby is the best player in hockey. The challenge for No. 87 as he enters his age-25 season is twofold: He has to show that he's capable of playing a full season at his usual high level after missing all but 22 games since Jan. 5, 2011 -- and he and the Penguins will have to prove they can mesh again after last spring's playoff debacle. A healthy Crosby integrated into the lineup could be the difference between a playoff team and a Cup winner.
I would sell. While it's hard to disagree with any of the analysis presented, when I think "hot seat", I think "dude who better shape up or he's in trouble". Sidney Crosby, he of the new 13 year contract, has never been more secure as a Penguin. Even if Crosby doesn't play in a full season, he's still going to be regarded the same way he is now.
Marc-Andre Fleury might be a better candidate for the hot seat. Fleury still has three years left on his contract, and no one wants to acquire a goalie on the down-swing, so it's not so much that he's a trade risk, as to establishing himself as a franchise goalie. And after a legitimately great regular season (42 wins, .913 save %, 2.36 GAA) it all crumbled in the playoffs.
And what's making the seat hot is how the Pens have played this off-season, acquiring and signing veteran goalie Tomas Vokoun to a two-year contract. Vokoun is a netminder who's played in at least 44 games every year since the lockout and has six out of seven seasons with a .919+ save percentage. Fleury's seat is hot, because if he's not sharp, for really the first time in his NHL career, he's not going to be playing.