Given the way his career has gone with the Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as his current usage, it seems inevitable that defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph is going to be used as a trade chip at some point.
He does not seem to fully have the trust of the coaching staff, the current front office had nothing to do with acquiring him and has no real loyalty to him, and it just seems like a situation where a fresh start somewhere else is going to be where this goes.
As we saw elsewhere in the NHL on Wednesday, the expectation in a trade should be quite low.
The comparable here is former Penguins prospect — and defenseman — Calen Addison being traded from the Minnesota Wild to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for forward Adam Raska and a fifth-round pick.
Raska was a seventh-round pick by the Sharks in 2020 and has spent his pro career producing at a fourth-line rate .... in the American Hockey League.
The fifth-round pick is a scratch off lottery ticket that probably has about a 25 percent chance of even playing in a single NHL game.
In other words — it is not much of a return. At all. Especially for a player that was at one time considered a pretty good prospect and, like Joseph, had shown some flashes of potential at the NHL level.
It is such a good comparable for what Joseph’s value would be because nearly everything about their performance in the NHL to this point has been identical, and nearly everything about them as players is identical.
Pierre-Olivier Joseph vs. Calen Addison
|RFA 2024||Contract Expiry Status||RFA 2024|
|53.4||O-Zone Start %||58.2|
They are the same player.
Nearly identical age. Identical contract. Similarly sheltered roles without big minutes. Nearly identical production, with a slight edge toward Addison on a per-game basis, who has specialized more as a power play weapon. But overall they are the same player. Remove the names and you can not really differentiate one from the other.
Whenever Joseph was floated out there as a potential trade chip I always envisioned a deal that would bring in the forward version of him. A former high draft pick that has not panned out but that another team can try to build up into something. Kind of what happened a few years ago with the Daniel Sprong for Marcus Pettersson trade.
There still might be an option for that sort of deal if you find the right team, but it is still a little eye-opening to see the Minnesota version of Joseph get traded for what is essentially and most likely to be nothing.
All of this leads me to two primary pointshere.
The first is that Addison is another example as to why you should be willing to deal the prospect for immediate help if you are contender. He was a good prospect in the Penguins system — arguably their top prospect at the time — and seemed to have a chance to be something for the Wild. But here we are a couple of years later and he is getting traded again for nothing. The success rate on the non-elite players is alarmingly low and if you are a contender with a chance to get something meaningful, there are not many prospects that should stand in the way of that.
The second is that it really does not make much sense for the Penguins to even consider shopping Joseph or trading Joseph, unless he is part of a larger deal as an add-in. As flawed as he might be, as little as the Penguins might trust him, he is still an NHL caliber defenseman, still young, still talented and somebody that can be useful to you. If the only value for a player like that is an lesser prospect and a late-round scratch off lottery ticket there is almost no point.
Keep him around. Use him as an extra defender. See if you can pick and choose spots to put him in where you can either get something out of him, or potentially pump his value up a little. If it does not work out, you are not really out anything, and the upside is far more than whatever you get in an Addison-type of trade.