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Duck Tales: Why Gibson to Pittsburgh doesn’t make sense

Sie Morley  23 hrs ago
 

The Pittsburgh Penguins are on the hunt for a goaltender.

 

We know that last week the team inquired with the Vegas Golden Knights about re-acquiring former fan favorite netminder Marc-Andre Fleury, but the top team in the West Division isn’t exactly looking to get rid of a reliable goaltender in a season where teams are utilizing three, or even four goaltenders.

 

But it seems likely that new Penguins general manager Ron Hextall is going to switch things up to attempt to squeeze another Stanley Cup out of this particular core.

 

Per Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy, Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson may be on their radar.

Hockey insiders are already pontificating about the first big Hextall and Burke move on the NHL trade market. Some, including a source close to the Penguins, are already speculating about John Gibson, a native Pittsburgh son, who is in a sinking situation in Burke’s old stomping grounds, Anaheim.

This is as much as I have access to, as the article sits behind a paywall, but the suggestion feels laughable on its face (I mean, if every player got to play in his hometown, the Maple Leafs would host half the league). I’m also not impressed with Murphy’s track record of being an ‘insider’ — but let’s address specifics on why this wouldn’t play out.

 

First, there’s the fact that both teams are tight to the cap, relying on Long-Term Injured Reserve for cap relief (more than $7 million for the Ducks and just under $6 million for the Penguins).

 

Gibson, who is in the second year of an eight-year contract, carries a cap hit of $6.4 million. The money alone is difficult to make work.

 

Then there’s his role on the team. At 27 years old, Gibson as much a centerpiece for the rebuild as any of the young players coming up, if we’re to believe the rebuild is near-over.

 

It’s not, but the front office isn’t exactly convinced of that. The team started this season being told they’re in compete-now mode. Why would it make sense then, to trade the person responsible for the majority of their wins?

 

If the front office wants that elusive fourth-overall spot that earns them a playoff berth, it’ll happen on the shoulders of John Gibson.

 

And if, like Bob Murray believes, this team is able to compete, a package for their starting goaltender isn’t as appealing as it would be to a team who knows playoffs are out of the picture.

 

Perhaps Murray’s delusions of a re-tool are going to keep this team from making a stupid trade. Suddenly I support the “re-tool.”

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Not sure about all the talk about Pittsburgh looking for a goalie. The Pens main problem to start the year was the decimation of the defensive core due to injuries.  I think this is what lead to most of their early year struggles. But as they are getting healthy, especially with Mathiason, the team defense is looking much better, and therefore so are the goalies. Jarry in particular has played great lately, being probably their best player in the past two games against the Isles. 

That being said, if a trade does happen, I don't think it will be for someone with a long contract ahead of him. Just to penal in the cap era, and where they are now with cap space.

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3 hours ago, nossagog said:

Not sure about all the talk about Pittsburgh looking for a goalie. The Pens main problem to start the year was the decimation of the defensive core due to injuries.  I think this is what lead to most of their early year struggles. But as they are getting healthy, especially with Mathiason, the team defense is looking much better, and therefore so are the goalies. Jarry in particular has played great lately, being probably their best player in the past two games against the Isles. 

That being said, if a trade does happen, I don't think it will be for someone with a long contract ahead of him. Just to penal in the cap era, and where they are now with cap space.

 

You'd know the dynamics of your team much better than I, but my thinking, reading this thread is, why WOULDN'T the Penguins be interested in a guy like John Gibson?
Let's say you are right, and the defense has let the current goalies down and with them playing better, it means the goalies play better.........well, stands to reason that if 'good' goalies like Jarry or DeSmith would play well under favorable conditions, that an elite goalie like John Gibson, who has been propping a TERRIBLE defensive team like the Ducks for years, should be lights out!

And with both new front office bosses Burke and Hextall thinking they can still win now (why wouldn't they...they still have three of the best players in the world at what they do in Crosby, Malkin, and Letang), I would think they'd absolutely like a stud goalie that can play well under any conditions.

To that end, and playing a bit of amateur GM, I'd do something like this:

To Ducks:
G- Tristan Jarry (25 yrs, 3.5M hit, 2 more seasons after this before UFA)
F- Teddy Blueger (26 yrs, 750K hit, RFA after this season)
2nd rounder

To Penguin:
G- John Gibson (27 yrs, 6.4M hit, under contract for 6 more seasons after this one)
3rd rounder

Pens would be taking on just over 2M in cap hit after something like this, and while they do trade away their 2nd rounder, that pick is likely to be a mid to late 2nd round pick based on how the team is likely to finish, while the Ducks' 3rd rounder, based on their likely finish, probably will be a very early 3rd round pick....so it bumps Pitts back just a bit, while moving the Ducks upward in the draft just a bit more, giving them two 2nd rounders overall.

Ducks get a good, though not elite netminder in Jarry for 2 and a half seasons while they figure out what the heck they are doing over there, and a serviceable, versatile top 9 player (probably more bottom six) in Blueger, who is still young enough to help fill some of their gaps and maybe turns into a late bloomer for them.
And of course, Anaheim gets the bit of cap relief.

Pens, meanwhile, get that stud goalie, with Casey DeSmith being a decent backup on nights the Pens want to rest Gibson.
And Gibson's contract length should coincide pretty well with the rest of Crosby's....and Letang's and Malkin's too, if Pitts can get them extended at a somewhat team friendly number to further facilitate being a contender season after season.

All this could be moot if Pittsburgh decides to just focus on their forward ranks (do they still like Jason Zucker? His 5.5M cap hit doesn't seem to justify his production from what I see), or possibly improve their defense again, while staying along with Jarry and DeSmith.

But if I am a Pitts fan, I would really like to have John Gibson in the fold......he is a classic example of a guy that has done pretty well with less around him, that figures to do much better with more around him.

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On 2/21/2021 at 1:05 PM, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

 

You'd know the dynamics of your team much better than I, but my thinking, reading this thread is, why WOULDN'T the Penguins be interested in a guy like John Gibson?
Let's say you are right, and the defense has let the current goalies down and with them playing better, it means the goalies play better.........well, stands to reason that if 'good' goalies like Jarry or DeSmith would play well under favorable conditions, that an elite goalie like John Gibson, who has been propping a TERRIBLE defensive team like the Ducks for years, should be lights out!

And with both new front office bosses Burke and Hextall thinking they can still win now (why wouldn't they...they still have three of the best players in the world at what they do in Crosby, Malkin, and Letang), I would think they'd absolutely like a stud goalie that can play well under any conditions.

To that end, and playing a bit of amateur GM, I'd do something like this:

To Ducks:
G- Tristan Jarry (25 yrs, 3.5M hit, 2 more seasons after this before UFA)
F- Teddy Blueger (26 yrs, 750K hit, RFA after this season)
2nd rounder

To Penguin:
G- John Gibson (27 yrs, 6.4M hit, under contract for 6 more seasons after this one)
3rd rounder

Pens would be taking on just over 2M in cap hit after something like this, and while they do trade away their 2nd rounder, that pick is likely to be a mid to late 2nd round pick based on how the team is likely to finish, while the Ducks' 3rd rounder, based on their likely finish, probably will be a very early 3rd round pick....so it bumps Pitts back just a bit, while moving the Ducks upward in the draft just a bit more, giving them two 2nd rounders overall.

Ducks get a good, though not elite netminder in Jarry for 2 and a half seasons while they figure out what the heck they are doing over there, and a serviceable, versatile top 9 player (probably more bottom six) in Blueger, who is still young enough to help fill some of their gaps and maybe turns into a late bloomer for them.
And of course, Anaheim gets the bit of cap relief.

Pens, meanwhile, get that stud goalie, with Casey DeSmith being a decent backup on nights the Pens want to rest Gibson.
And Gibson's contract length should coincide pretty well with the rest of Crosby's....and Letang's and Malkin's too, if Pitts can get them extended at a somewhat team friendly number to further facilitate being a contender season after season.

All this could be moot if Pittsburgh decides to just focus on their forward ranks (do they still like Jason Zucker? His 5.5M cap hit doesn't seem to justify his production from what I see), or possibly improve their defense again, while staying along with Jarry and DeSmith.

But if I am a Pitts fan, I would really like to have John Gibson in the fold......he is a classic example of a guy that has done pretty well with less around him, that figures to do much better with more around him.

Well this may all change now if Zucker is down for a while.   Looked like he did something to his knee on a play where it look like his skate struck another players skate causing a weird twist to his knee.  To bad because he has been playing very well.   As a matter of fact, you mention both Blueger and Zucker as possible trade bait. Both have been key elements of the Pens PK this year. If Zuck blew out his knee, the LTIR relief would add some space for the Pens. 

 

It may be interesting to see Hextal's input in the goalie situation.  If you bring in Gibson, you're basically saying that he's your goalie for the near future. The previous Pen's front office saw enough in Jarry that the resigned him for three years in October.

 

More interesting for the Pens is the abundance on defense at the moment. With all the injuries early in the year, the Pens were forced to add a few defensemen to fill in, and also bring up P.O. Joseph.   I really don't want to see him go back down. But Petterson and Matheson are back,  and Rikolla is back in practice in a full contact jersey. So right now they have the choice of Letang, Matheson, Petterson, Marino, Ruhwedel, Ceci, Joeseph, Weber and Rikolla.   Doumolin is still out and Troutman in down in Wilkesbarre.   If anything, I think they make moves here. 

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