At about 9:43 this morning, news first broke about the Pens trading for Jordan Leopold.
At about 10:05, the thought started to creep into the minds of thousands of Penguin fans.
"Pens get, Leopold? Oh man, that is setting up a move. Go-Go or Letang is gone."
We're not exempt from this thought, either.
But then you start to think about it.
In the last 48 hours, Ray Shero was in Vancouver watching a team he was asked to help architect almost win a gold medal.
He got back to Pittsburgh, checked his e-mail after beating SNOOD for the 40th time, and then pried Jordan Leopold from the Florida Panthers. Then he probably drove his kids to school, made pancakes, and cleaned his Stanley Cup ring.
This all happened when you were asleep. So, chances are not one single person has any fucking idea what Ray Shero is doing, expect Ray Fucking Shero.
But we can say this. Amidst all the speculation about trades, people have already looked past what Jordan Leopold brings to the table.
We asked Donny Rivette, the managing editor of Litter Box Cats, a Florida Panthers blog, about Leopold:
The guy's invisible. Not ineffective, just invisible. You don't notice him until he makes a rush into the offensive zone or a sweet pass out of his own end. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but there's simply no flash or flair. Goes about his work, is well liked in the room, and consistently described as a consummate pro. He'll make a terrific addition to the Pens.
To us, that is such a great description. Why? Because we used to say the same things about a guy named Rob Scuderi...and we still say that about Mark Eaton.
But it is not over there.
The more you dig about this move, the more telling it becomes.
Two quotes caught our eye from a solid article on PENS.COM
From Dan Bylsma:
“Jordan Leopold played against Alex Ovechkin every shift last time Florida played Washington,” head coach Dan Bylsma noted. “When his coaches decided who plays against the other team's top line, it was Jordan. That may not be the case for us. ... I think we're getting a guy that will help us defend against the other teams' good players. He's proven that and has been counted on to be that for his team this year."
And from Shero:
"This is a guy that's played against good players, whether it's Ovechkin or other guys,” Shero said. “That's what he's done. When you're playing 22 minutes a game, as he was in Florida, you're going to get those assignments. They've got a few other guys that did that. Leopold was one of the guys
That is all you need about this trade right there. The lasting image of the Penguins season before the Olympic break was A.O. nailing home that hat trick. Especially the one goal where he turned Jay Mckee into a flagpole. They did some homework and then went out and got someone who has the ability to maybe contain A.O.
See, we're not like Caps fans. To beat your enemy, you have to respect what they can do. A.O. has reached the point where he can beat the Pens. And we are lucky that the organization we root for isn't as moronic as the Capitals management. They would never think about shutting Crosby down, because they think Joel Erskine can handle that.
Some jerkoffs have been asking why we talk about A-hole so much, and we'll lay it out right now.
The Caps are the only team that we are worried about in the East.
As Mark Madden pointed out in his column yesterday, and as Ray Shero has been quoted, the Penguin forwards are almost exactly the same as last spring. What can you even say to that? Sorry, as much as Tenk has done dick this season, how many Stanley Cup Finals goals does Alexi Ponivjokesky have?
Defense was the number one priority going into this trading deadline, and pretty sure Shero has taken care of that.
A winger would be great, but don't count on Shero just making the trade because he thinks he has to.
Oh and real quick, top five reasons why the Pens aren't trading Gonch:
2. Yeah you know where this going, so whatev.
1. We'd rather risk losing Gonch in free agency than not having him in the playoffs.
We'll put our blog on the line saying Gonchar isn't going anywhere.
If he is traded, you'll never hear from us again ,we promise.
Also, fuck Rick Nash.