Pens get: Bryan Allen
Canes get: Brian Strait and a Conditional 2nd/3rd/4th rounder.
Canes have some ridiculous amount of cap space.....14 million or so, so I won't provide the actual there.
After trade, Pens Projected Cap Space = -$264,214 and LTIR Cap Space is at $622,273. Maybe you move some salary around in another trade.
Bryan Allen gives the Pens a good shutdown defenseman and shot blocking presence. At 6'5" 225, he can also provide some physicality. His contract is up at the end of the year, but at 31 years of age and a current cap hit of $2.9 Million, resigning him isn't necessarily a bad option. Canes get a defensive d-man prospect who is very nearly NHL ready, and could have probably made the team on some (granted weaker) NHL clubs this year. They also get a conditional pick dependent on how far the Pens progress in the playoffs (similar to the Guerin Trade).
The popular pick is probably Hal Gill as he provides some nostalgia and familiarity, but Allen is more fleet of foot and will provide everything else that Gill would. They are both hulking shutdown d-men, and both help you even strength and PK fighting off the dickhead power forwards in front of the net (Holmstrom, Knuble, Brouwer, Lucic, Dubinsky, etc). Either guy would help out, but I think Allen is the right move.
Proposed D Pairing
Now in regards to Paul Martin and the defensive corps in general. He isn't the offensive power house that Gonchar was, but he also isn't as bad as many fans have made him out to be. However, his inconsistency, his large cap number, the defensive prospects in the system, and the fact that eventually Letang will need a significant raise probably lead to the reality that Paul Martin doesn't finish out his contract in Pittsburgh. He does carry a Limited No Trade Clause, but I would assume he'd waive it if asked to do so during the offseason. If Martin and his Salary are moved, and Bryan Allen is resigned to a short term deal at, or slightly below his current cap hit, several options present themselves. You can resign Niskanen to provide you with a second puck mover on D. Along with Niskanen, Despres looks ready to step into a role on the big club full time next season. You've got Engo, and who knows how Morrow, Harrington, Sneep etc develop. While saving a few million in salary, you also possibly solidify your shutdown pairing while also bringing Despres into the fray.
Proposed 2012-2013 Pairings
I feel like it's a win for both parties.
Thanks guys! Putting that together was better than concentrating on work this afternoon.