Unless something changes between now and the NHL trade deadline in March, the Pittsburgh Penguins are probably a safe bet to have made their big trade for this season after their acquisition of winger David Perron from the Edmonton Oilers for winger Rob Klinkhammer and rights to the team's 2015 first round pick.
In fact, history says, Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford should stop at this trade.
Since the return of the NHL in 2005-2006, 9 teams have won the Stanley Cup and of those cup winning teams, they've made 6.6 trades per team (56 total).
The most in-season trades was by Brian Burke with Anaheim ('05-06) with 12 and the least was two, done twice with Detroit ('07-8) under Ken Holland and Dean Lombardi with Los Angles ('11-12).
Of the 56 trades made, last year's playoff perofrmance by Marian Gaborik was the most points (22) by any individual.
The biggest impact for teams was Boston ('10-11) with 36 points, Pittsburgh ('08-09) with 33 points, and Carolina ('05-06) with 32 points. The least amount playoff production was Chicago ('09-10) with 0 points, Anaheim with 3 points, and Detroit with 7 points.
The Penguins have made two in-season trades so far this year trading Phil Samuelsson to Arizona for Rob Klinkhammer, then Friday's deal for Perron.
What is left for the Penguins to acquire, a big left-handed power forward? Those are not exactly cheap players (hello, salary cap) or easy to acquire (no number one pick to deal now).
Prior to the acquisition of David Perron, there was a lot of criticism written and said about those like myself who said the team needed to get another winger.
"Don't panic" was the simple reply.
It wasn't desired because the team was on their apocalyptic run of injuries and illnesses, rather it was because prior to the start of the season, this team needed another scorer. Rutherford made it known to anyone willing to ask him about his desire to get a top six winger. Every writer covering the team locally and nationally said it was on Rutherford's agenda to get one.
The run of the mumps or injuries had nothing to do with the desire to get a winger.
When the calendar hit January, Rutherford was more willing to deal because he knew this team has a chance to do something special and just like he did in 2005-2006 with Carolina trading Jesse Boulerice, Mike Zigomanis, '06 1st Rd pick, '06 4th Rd pick, '07 4th Rd pick, and rights to Magnus Kahnberg to St. Louis Blues for Doug Weight and rights to Erkki Rajamaki on January 30, 2006.
Rutherford saw a need to add a center with Ron Francis and Eric Staal, then on deadline day traded a bag of pucks (Krystofer Kolanos, Niklas Nordgren, and '07 2nd pick) to the Penguins for Mark Recchi.
When Comeau and Hornqvist return, they will have a strong group of forwards...
David Perron - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist
Chris Kunitz - Evgeni Malkin - Blake Comeau
Steve Downie - Brandon Sutter - Beau Bennett
Nick Spaling - Marcel Goc - Craig Adams
Extra: Bryan Rust
If there's a miracle of all miracles for Pascal Dupuis to return in time for the playoffs, this team could have something real special at forward come playoff time.
Perron - Crosby - Hornqvist
Kunitz - Malkin - Comeau
Dupuis - Sutter - Bennett
Spaling - Goc - Downie
Extra: Adams - Rust
Of course, Perron's addition isn't going to stop the trade conversation because everyone expects Rutherford to sign Christian Ehrhoff to a multi-year extension, which would leave Paul Martin as a pending unrestricted free agent on a team loaded with capable young defensemen.
It wouldn't make much sense to deal Martin for more forward help unless something bad happens between now and the trade deadline and ask yourself, if you want to win a Cup now, why would you trade a veteran defensemen that can help you win it?
Yes, it is understandable the team has lost players to free agency over the last few years during the Ray Shero regime but after five years of playoff disappointments, ownership wants another Stanley Cup. Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle could be viewed as almost desperate in seeking that second Cup as owners since they jettisoned Shero and former head coach Dan Bylsma.
But if the team determines they want to make a move with Martin and go with youth on defense, as I had written previously, the Los Angeles Kings could be a destination because of Slava Voynov's domestic violence suspension.
Another team that could sneak in and go after Martin could be St. Louis, they've got the forward depth to make an offer but just like the Penguins, are they subtracting from their club when it should be adding to it? If things would heat up with the Blues and Penguins, a player that I think could interest Rutherford is center/winger Patrik Berglund or maybe prospects such as forwards Robby Fabbri and Ivan Barbashev or defensemen Petteri Lindbohm.
The In-Season Trade Research
The key players acquired over the last 9 season
1. Carolina acquiring Craig Adams (25 gp, 0g, 0a), Weight (23 gp, 3g, 13a) and Mark Recchi (25 gp, 7g, 9a) = 32 pts
2. Anaheim acquiring Richard Jackman (7gp, 1g, 1a), Brad May (18 gp, 0g, 1a) & George Parros (5 gp, 0g, 0a) = 3 pts
3. Detroit acquiring Brad Stuart (21 gp, 1g, 6a) = 7 pts
4. Pittsburgh acquiring Bill Guerin (24 gp, 7g, 8a), Chris Kunitz (24 gp, 1g, 13a), and Philippe Boucher (9 gp, 1g, 3a) = 33 pts
5. Chicago acquiring Nick Boynton (3 gp, 0g, 0a) = 0 pts
6. Boston acquiring Chris Kelly (25 gp, 5g, 8a), Rich Peverley (25 gp, 4g, 8a), and Tomas Kaberle (25 gp, 0g, 11a) = 36 pts
7. Los Angeles acquiring Jeff Carter (20 gp, 8g, 5a) = 13 pts
8. Chicago acquiring Michal Handzus (23 gp, 3g, 8a) = 11 pts
9. Los Angeles acquiring Marian Gaborik (26 gp, 14g, 8a) = 22 pts
2005-2006: Carolina - Jim Rutherford
1. Bruno St. Jacques to ANH for Craig Adams (10/3/05)
2. Colin Forbes to WSH for Stephen Peat (12/28/05)
3. Pavel Brendl to PHX for Krystofer Kolanos (12/28/05)
4. Radim Vrbata to CHI for '06 4th Rd pick (12/30/05)
5. Danny Richmond and '06 4th Rd pick to CHI for Anton Babchuk and '07 4th Rd pick (1/20/06)
6. Boulerice, Zigomanis, '06 1st & 4th, '07 4th, and rights to Kahnberg to STL for Weight and rights to Rajamaki (1/30/06)
7. Krystofer Kolanos, Niklas Nordgren, and '07 2nd pick to PIT for Mark Recchi (3/9/06)
2006-2007: Anaheim - Brian Burke
1. Todd Fedoruk to PHI for '07 4th rd pick and future considerations (11/13/06)
2. '07 2nd and 3rd picks to COL for George Parros and '07 3rd rd pick (11/13/06)
3. Stanislav Chistov and Ducks option to swap '08 4th rd picks to BOS for '07 or '08 3rd pick (11/13/06)
4. P-A Parenteau and Bruno St. Jacques to CHI for Sebastien Caron, Chris Durno, and Matt Keith (12/28/06)
5. '07 conditional pick to FLA for Richard Jackman (1/3/06)
6. Colby Genoway to VAN for Joe Rullier (1/24/06)
7. Chris Durno to NSH for Shane Endicott (1/26/06)
8. Curtis Glencross, Zenon Konopka, and '07 or '08 7th round pick to CBJ for Mark Hartigan, Joe Motzko, and '07 4th rd pick (1/26/06)
9. Shane Endicott to DAL for future considerations (2/23/07)
10. Shane O'Brien and '07 3rd rd pick to TBL for Gerald Coleman and '07 1st rd pick (2/24/07)
11. Joe Rullier to TBL for Doug O'Brien (2/27/07)
12. Michael Wall to COL for Brad May (2/27/07)
2007-2008: Detroit - Ken Holland
1. Brett Engelhardt to MTL for Francis Lemieux (2/8/08)
2. '08 2nd rd pick and '09 4th rd pick to LAK for Brad Stuart (2/26/08)
2008-2009: Pittsburgh - Ray Shero
1. Michal Sersen to TBL for '09 5th rd pick (10/1/08)
2. Future Considerations to PHX for Mike Zigomanis (10/9/08)
3. Darryl Sydor to DAL for Philippe Boucher (11/16/08)
4. Jonathan Filewich to STL for '10 conditional pick (12/19/08)
5. T.J. Kemp to MTL for '10 conditional pick (1/5/09)
6. Dany Sabourin, Ryan Stone, and '11 4th rd pick to EDM for Mathieu Garon (1/17/09)
7. Ryan Whitney to ANH for Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi (2/26/09)
8. Danny Richmond to STL for Andy Wozniewski (3/4/09)
9. '09 conditional pick (3rd rd pick) to NYI for Bill Guerin (3/4/09)
2009-2010: Chicago - Stan Bowman
1. Aaron Johnson to CGY for Kyle Greentree (10/7/09)
2. Cam Barker to MIN for Nick Leddy and Kim Johnsson (2/12/10)
3. Daryl Boyle and Joe Fallon to STL for Danny Richmond and Hannu Toivonen (3/1/10)
4. Future considerations to ANH for Nick Boynton (3/2/10)
2010-2011: Boston - Peter Chiarelli
1. Matt Hunwick to COL for Colby Cohen (11/29/10)
2. Jordan Knackstedt and Jeff LoVecchio to FLA for Sean Zimmerman and '11 conditional pick (12/9/10)
3. Levi Nelson to TBL for Juraj Simek (12/9/10)
4. Marco Sturm to LAK for Future Considerations (12/11/10)
5. '11 2nd rd pick to OTT for Chris Kelly (2/15/11)
6. Mark Stuart and Blake Wheeler to ATL for Rich Peverley and Boris Valabik (2/18/11)
7. Joe Colborne, '11 1st rd pick, '12 conditional pick to TOR for Tomas Kaberle (2/18/11)
8. Brian McGrattan and Sean Zimmerman to ANH for Stephane Chaput and David Laliberte (2/27/11)
9. Jeff Penner and rights to Mikko Lehtonen to MIN for Anton Khudobin (2/28/11)
2011-2012: Los Angeles - Dean Lombardi
1. Future Considerations to PHI for Stefan Legein and '12 6th rd pick (10/12/11)
2. Jack Johnson and '12 or '13 conditional 1st rd pick to CBJ for Jeff Carter (2/23/12)
2012-2013: Chicago - Stan Bowman
1. '13 7th rd pick to CGY for Henrik Karlsson (1/21/13)
2. Peter LeBlanc to WSH for Future Considerations (1/31/13)
3. '13 4th rd pick to SJS for Michal Handzus (4/1/13)
4. Philippe Paradis to TBL for Kirill Gotovets (4/2/13)
5. Rob Flick to BOS for Maxime Sauve (4/3/13)
2013-2014: Los Angeles - Dean Lombardi
1. Dan Carillo to NYR for '14 7th rd pick (1/4/14)
2. Ben Scrivens to EDM for '14 3rd rd pick (1/15/14)
3. Brandon Kozun to TOR for Andrew Crescenzi (1/22/14)
4. Robert Czarnik to MTL for Steve Quailer (2/6/14)
5. Matt Frattin and '14 2nd rd pick to CBJ for Marian Gaborik (3/5/14)
6. Hudson Fasching and Nicolas Deslauriers to BUF for '14 2nd rd pick, Brayden McNabb, and Jordan Parker