So Twitter has been all abuzz because Ray Shero was in attendance for tonight’s Minnesota Wild versus Colorado Avalanche game. Everyone seems to be stressing that he was at the WILD game and ignoring the fact that the Wild were playing the Avalanche.
Don’t get me wrong, there is one guy out there on the Wild who is actually attainable (unlike Parise, Heatley, Suter, or Koivu) and actually desirable in a Pens jersey. Devin Setoguchi is pretty good. It’s not hard to see him as a Chris Kunitz type of player, someone who was a #6 forward, just barely getting the opportunity that other guys got, but when given the opportunity to play with a superstar like Sid or Geno becomes incredibly consistent. He had one excellent year and has typically always hovered around the 40 point range, which is good enough. He’s got one year after this on his current contract and at $3 million per season he makes sense for years to come.
But for my money there are no fewer than three guys from the Avalanche that make sense in a Penguins jersey. Just earlier today we talked about Ryan O’Reilly. The Avs have established that they don’t plan to bring him back and he’s the right age to become a huge part of the Penguins going forward. He’s yet to play this year because he’s currently without a contract. He’s a natural center but he impresses me as someone who can make the shift.
Milan Hejduk would be a classic rental player. He’s on the last year of his contract, he’s 37 years old, and he’s a pure sniper. He could be a perfect fit with Sid, which could free up Kunitz to return to work with Geno and Neal. If I were Hejduk I would want out of Colorado. He was stripped of the captaincy in favor of 19 year old Gabby Landeskog. Last year marked the first time since his rookie season that Hejduk didn’t score at least 20 goals, but as we always say, he wasn’t playing with a player like Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin.
Perhaps the biggest dark horse, and also the best fit, would be David Jones. He’s posted 20 goals the last two years and he’s a classic power forward. If you’re really looking for a permanent solution for the Geno-Neal combo, look at this guy, he’s signed for another 4 years, he’ll do the same things that Kunitz did with those guys last year, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s 28 and in the prime of his career.
So there you have it, yes Shero was in Minnesota, and for all we know he just wanted to watch a hockey game, but to say that he was scouting MINNESOTA is to ignore the fact that the Avs, who are likely to be sellers at the trade deadline this year, were also there.