"Our goal was to try and increase our depth up front and try to help our forward group," Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero said after the trade deadline ended today. "It was important for us to try and do that I think we accomplished that."
The Pens were able to nab veteran forward Marcel Goc from the Florida Panthers for a 3rd round pick in 2015 and a 5th round pick this year, as well as have a pending trade call with the league to acquire Calgary forward Lee Stempniak for a 3rd round pick.
Shero and the Pens missed out on the day's biggest names at forward to replace Pascal Dupuis, as Thomas Vanek went to Montreal, Matt Moulson went to Minnesota and the prize they chased in Ryan Kesler wasn't traded at all.
For a Pittsburgh team very active at and around the trading deadline, 2014 will go down as more measured moves compared to flashy years past. Last year the team acquired Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray- all considered rental players, who didn't have contracts for the following season, and all of whom moved on in free agency. To acquire those pieces, the Pens gave up a first round pick, two second round picks and a prospect drafted in the first round. Not looking to pay such a steep price this season, Shero and the Pens mainly stood their ground and resorted to the depth adds of Goc and Stempniak.
Goc has been a solid player with Florida, posting excellent advanced stats on a weak team and scoring 11 goals and 12 assists this season. Stempniak has 8 goals and 15 assists this year with Calgary. Neither player have contracts for next season and are set to become free agents this summer.
Some other tidbits and notes from Shero's media scrum:
- "I don't think there was a deal there to be made" - on Ryan Kesler
- According to Shero the Pens are in good shape against the salary cap to remove players like Paul Martin, Beau Bennett and Kris Letang from LTIR or IR when they are healthy
- He doesn't know where Tomas Vokoun will be in a week or a month and inferred his return to game action is still in the air and unknown
- Shero believes Martin will be back either at the end of the regular season or in time for Game 1 of the playoffs
- "Lots of calls and activity" went into the deadline day, as you would expect
- Cited options and flexibility like using Evgeni Malkin on Sidney Crosby's line and then using Brandon Sutter and Marcel Goc as centers at times
- The Lee Stempniak trade was a very late addition, occurring just minutes before the 3 PM deadline. Due to other options that they couldn't work out, Stempniak was a fall-back deal for the Pens.
- On Goc as a winger, Shero said: "He's versatile. He's been a very good center ice-man...He's really found his way in the league. He's a guy we've had our eye on for a while. We have some time to move some guys around the lineup and see how they'll do."