The Pittsburgh Penguins have struck early and often in the trade market, acquiring two players in two consecutive days, and thus it's officially trading season in the NHL.
Pens GM Ray Shero traded for longtime Dallas Star and current captain Brenden Morrow on Sunday, sending his 2011 first round pick, AHL defenseman Joe Morrow, to Dallas in addition to some low level picks being exchanged. On Monday, Shero acquired longtime San Jose Shark Douglas Murray for a pair of second round picks.
With these two deals, not only has Pittsburgh set themselves up for a beefy playoff run, they've established the market value for this year's trade class.
The Buffalo Sabres will almost certainly be active traders this year, and GM Darcy Regier must be licking his chops after seeing what the Sharks got for Murray - an aging, big bodied defensive defenseman who blocks shots and hits people. Two second round picks for Robyn Regehr would please most fans, and Jordan Leopold could likely fetch something close to Regehr's value should the Sabres decide to deal him as well.
As for the Morrow deal, the Stars gave up a 20-30 goal winger who's struggled this year offensively, and recieved a former "untouchable" prospect in the process. The Sabres have plenty of struggling scorers, and a top defensive (or offensive) prospect for Drew Stafford wouldn't be a bad haul at all. Now, imagine how that pot grows if you're talking about Jason Pominville or Thomas Vanek. Add another prospect or a few first rounders, please and thank you. Regier proved last year he'll get the most value for his trades, and with the market being set so early, he's got plenty of time to mull over what his potential trading partners have to offer.
While this morning's post showed me that you guys are in favor of the Sabres making a playoff run, there are some potentially big bounties to be had out there if Darcy Regier willing to make a deal. Just ask Ray Shero.