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Pitts trade deadline review Written by Reggie Dunlop - March 21st, 2010
The Pittsburgh Penguins are in the midst of their best season in their tenure in the CMHL, and for the first time under Spicy McHaggis the Pens are looking for a playoff berth. How does a GM like Spicy celebrate? By opening the coffers and adding pieces to make his team stronger. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Spicy and break down his deadline deals.

RD: Thanks for the time Spicy, did you expect to make as many moves as you made? SM: I didnít know what to expect, the CMHL can be a difficult league to trade in. I donít think I was as prepared as I would have liked to be but at the end of the day I think the Pens are a lot stronger. RD: Plus Mat Moulson is still around SM: (with a smile) no one even asked about him RD: your first deal you traded Ryan Jones to the Islanders for Rob Niedermayer. What did you see in Rob to bring him a board? SM: Rob is a winner, heís got a cup and he brings a lot of experience with. But the most important thing is heís a great locker room guy. He is the type of guy you need in the playoffs because he has one specific role to shut down the other team and heís one of the best at that. RD: In your second deal you sent Fabian Brunstrom to Nashville in exchange for Thomas Holmstrom, and then flipped Holmstrom for Andrew Ladd. Pens fans are wondering why you gave up on Brunstrom? SM: Fabian is a great young talent and can still become a special player in this league. But when you look at our team we needed more production from the 2nd line. When Nashville offered me Holmstrom for him I had the opportunity to bolster that line. Unfortunately Thomas didnít fit into our system, and you see that in some deals, and we got the opportunity to pick up a great young talent for him. And I think in the long run we were lucky to land Ladd heís young and feisty and an overall better fit for us. RD: Following the Ladd deal you acquired Drew Stafford and heís currently playing 4th line minutes, you sent a first and Chris Butler to Montreal for him. What was your idea for that? SM: Drew is a great young player that has a lot of upside. Plus he has a very nice contract with problems were going to face this summer cap wise heís going to be a good cheap player to put in our top 6. Plus I really like this kid a lot, he has some injury issues but if we can get that under control we got our selves a special player. RD: Alexei Kovalev comes over from Atlanta in what I thought was your best deadline deal, how did that deal come about? SM: You know itís funny how some of these deals come about. You knock on so many doors and they never lead to anything, itís frustrating, then all of a sudden a door swings wide open and standing there is a deal that fits. I had a lot of that this deadline Devon from Detroit came to me on night and said ďI love HolmstromĒ and offered me Ladd for him. I think the word had been out for a little bit that I was looking for a top 6 guy and I inquired about a few players and nothing materialized. Then boom Simon in Atlanta gets a hold of me we talk for 10 minutes and Alexei Kovalevis in Pitt. RD: What do you expect from Alexei? SM: Alexei is a real special player and is going to open things up for our top line. The reason we brought him into the fold was to relieve the pressure on Zach Parise. Plus he gives us a lot of experience heís done it all except he hasnít won a cup and were hoping to change that this year. RD: your last move you acquired Steve Staios, once again from Atlanta, what are you looking for him? SM: Experience and leadership. I want all of that I can get. Plus he gives us depth so important right now I wanted to get an extra defenseman for the run. RD: So are you happy with how things turned out? SM: satisfied, I wonít be happy until Pitt wins the cup.
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