Jim Rutherford once said he’d get a top six winger. He proceeded to trade for David Perron.
Jim Rutherford once more said he’d get a top six winger to bolster the offense. He proceeded to trade for Phil Kessel.
Now, as reported by Josh Yohe of DK on Pittsburgh Sports: “At some point,” Rutherford said, referring to this season, “I think we’re going to have to add a top-three or top-four defenseman. It’s something that we’d like to do. Do we have the right top-six guys right now? We might have to make a change there.”
Well, let’s take a look.
I stress this particular player more than any of the others. According to multiple reports, the Colorado Avalanche are shopping around RFA defenseman Tyson Barrie.A puck moving defenseman with a very big offensive element to his game, Barrie is the kind of player Pittsburgh might be very interested in acquiring on the blue line. Barrie is one of the smaller defensemen in the NHL at only 5’10” and weighing only 190 lbs, but he still executes his job very well, and has done so for a rather long period of time.
Barrie boasts top pairing quality possession numbers,and does this with a mixture of 2nd and 3rd pairing minutes. A player like this on Pittsburgh’s top six would be great. Barrie is also a stud on the powerplay, which may help take some pressure off of Kris Letang until Derrick Pouliot is ready to dominate the PP.
If it were up to me, Pittsburgh should go after Barrie. It is also important to know that, like Vancouver, Colorado management values most if not all the wrong things in a player. The fact they are shopping Tyson Barrie supports this, and this may work in favor of Pittsburgh management. The best kind of general manager repeatedly calls the worst kinds of general managers.
This one is tricky. Dustin Byfuglien is scheduled to become a UFA after the 2015-16 campaign, and may be one of the most interesting NHL UFAs in the past decade. Winnipeg is reportedly attempting to get Byfuglien signed to an extension, but they also need help with their top six. Pittsburgh can spare a right-winger to go toward a trade, should they attempt to get Byfuglien. As everyone knows, the man is a walking murder tank. He hits anything that moves or stands in his way.
This sometimes works against him, however. Like James Neal, he is prone to taking silly penalties in extremely ill timed situations. Well, quite honestly, very rarely is there a good time to take a penalty. If the Penguins want size and a blistering slap shot in their lineup, however, Byfuglien would be the way to go. But considering cap management and how to keep him past the current year should be a top priority before even considering pulling the trigger on a trade for Byfuglien.
Thanks for reading!
(For more information on the utilization of "HERO" charts, visit this article by The Hockey Writers: http://thehockeywriters.com/what-are-hero-charts-used-for-in-hockey-analytics/ )