Two weeks ago or so, we found similarities between the acquisitions of Gary Roberts and Bill Guerin. Ray Shero had scouted both in 2007 near the trade deadline, which led to Roberts joining the team that year and Guerin making his way to Pittsburgh in ’09.
Yesterday, the Penguins had a great 6-4 win over the East big dog Bruins, which pushed the point streak to 10 straight games. Chris Kunitz, the more controversial pickup in ’09, had a huge (almost) hat trick in the game, and the production of the top line of Kunitz, Crosby and Guerin has been awesome so far in addition to the win over Boston. All we had to give up for Guerin was a conditional draft pick. For Kunitz, we lost supposed long-term defensive answer Ryan Whitney. And I guess now is the time to relate this to the Roberts acquisition.
In ’07, more than a few people scratched their heads when we got Roberts, which is a far cry from how fans worshipped him after they saw him play. We were concerned not only for what Roberts would contribute, but also because we had to part with prized defensive prospect Noah Welch. Was it really worth it to get rid of young talent for Cup-winning experience?
We know how the Roberts story ended up…not with a Cup in Pittsburgh, but with a legendary status and the innumerable amount of knowledge passed down to the youngins on the team. And now Kunitz is making his mark in his own way. He’s proven that he can play with a supreme talent like Sid (as he did with Getzlaf in Anaheim), and he’s finding the back of the goal. It seems like so long ago that we were complaining that Whitney looked uncomfortable after coming back from injury while the top line struggled to produce. So in hindsight, the move that was made was really the only answer.
We had to drop Whits, which will forever be debated in Pittsburgh, but for now, it seems like Shero just made another amazing decision.