When analyzing trades (or potential trades), often people will want to know one thing. Who won the trade? It’s not uncommon for people to try and award a winner just five minutes after the ink is dry on the paperwork.
In the terms of the potential Phil Kessel/Jack Johnson trade on the table with the Minnesota Wild, it’s not unreasonable to see it as a wash of sorts.
The Penguins would get younger in the deal, by shedding Johnson and Kessel for two younger players, and get a little bit faster too. Jason Zucker and Victor Rask are both younger players.
Like it or not (by trading a popular player, I feel the consensus will be more of the latter), this kind of trade is the type that can easily be summed up as a “hockey trade.” Two teams each looking to fill a need or fix a problem, and in this case, it can be a little bit of both.
Bigger than anything else, if the Penguins feel the need to make a trade, even if you don’t want to see Kessel go, we all should be in agreement that it’s a better alternative than Malkin or Letang.