There is a rumor going around that the Pittsburgh Penguins might be making a big trade soon. This trade would involve sending defenseman, Simon Despres to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for defenseman, Jack Johnson.
When numerous members of the Blue Jackets front office staff were spotted at Monday night’s Penguins game, against the Tampa Bay Lightning, by Penguins play-by-play announcer, Paul Steigerwald it left me puzzled.
This included Craig Patrick, Blue Jackets senior advisor of hockey operations.
I didn’t think of a trade until I heard about the rumors of Jack Johnson and Simon Despres possibly being traded for each other.
Even though I’m a born-and-raised Penguins fan, and love Simon Despres, I was jumping up and down when I heard Jack Johnson might be a Penguin soon. Jack Johnson has been my all-time favorite hockey player since he was drafted third overall in 2005, the same year Sidney Crosby was drafted first overall.
Even though I would love to see Johnson in a Penguins uniform, I have to look at this objectively and think about who the Penguins would have a better chance of winning the cup with.
If the Penguins want to win a cup as soon as possible, rather than thinking long-term, then Jack Johnson is an excellent choice. He’s only 26, is good friends with Sidney Crosby, and is a good defenseman who is excellent on the power play. Johnson was traded last season by the Los Angeles Kings to the Blue Jackets in exchange for Jeff Carter. This decision was one of the reasons the Kings won the cup in 2012. This isn’t saying Johnson was a bad defenseman. Who wouldn’t trade for a leading scorer like Jeff Carter?
If the Penguins want to focus on long-term goals and success, I think they should stick to Simon Despres. He’s only 21, younger than Johnson, and has been playing very well in the Penguins last couple of games. I say give him a chance. He’s talented and has a lot of years to only improve.
However, you cannot always go on stats alone. You also have to go by how they play. Johnson got stuck with one of the worst teams in the league, who lost Rick Nash to the New York Rangers. Simon Despres got drafted by a team who has been a Stanley Cup contender since 2007, and won the cup in 2009. Just look at James Neal. He was decent while with the Dallas Stars, but now, with the Penguins, he’s one of the top point scorers in the league.
Since Jack Johnson is my all-time favorite hockey player, I would love to see him play with my favorite team. As a Penguins fan, I think they should keep Despres. As a hockey fan, I think Despres is of better value to the Penguins than Johnson. So my end opinion is that the Penguins should stick with Despres, since he would probably be of better value in the long-run.
These are my opinions and they are based on a rumor that has not been confirmed by anyone affiliated with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Columbus Blue Jackets, or NHL.
Your opinions and comments are always welcome! It’s always a great day for hockey my friends!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @CarrieWhitmore.