With the arrival of new general manager Ron Hextall in Pittsburgh, many fans believe significant changes are coming to the Penguins’ roster. To make sure these changes are fitting with the captain’s vision, Hextall reached out to Sidney Crosby to talk about what could be coming next. The Penguins co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle made it clear that they want another championship and many pundits have started to wonder if that will be done with the core players of Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.
Recent chatter got louder that the Penguins might ask Crosby, Malkin and Letang to join the conversation in the front office to see if they are interested in taking part in the pending major changes. Crosby could be asked if he wants to take part in a team rebuild or if he would prefer to chase a Stanley Cup elsewhere. This would be a tough blow for the Penguins, who basically won the lottery back in 2005 when they come out on top of the draft order and were given Crosby as the strongest rebuilding tool. Now that he’s been the face of the franchise for 16 seasons, it would be so weird to see him wear the colours of a different NHL club. However, if he looks to win another Stanley Cup before hanging up the skates he might not get a choice.
This prompted Michael Traikos of the Toronto Sun to reveal what the Montreal Canadiens would need to put on the table to land Crosby, who would love to play for the Habs, his childhood team growing up. And his father was a 12th-round pick of the Canadiens, while Crosby spent his junior days playing for Quebec’s Rimouski Oceanic.
He would be a great fit, especially with goalie Carey Price’s window closing on a potential championship.
Traikos is certain a huge package deal would be needed - as expected - and is adamant it would need to start with forward Nick Suzuki. There is no doubt they'd need to add first-round picks and another NHL-ready player.
“The question is whether GM Marc Bergevin would give up a piece of the future (any deal would have to include Nick Suzuki) for a chance to win now?”
The Canadiens are not the only team linked to these Crosby rumours… TSN’s Darren Dreger also speculated about where Crosby could end up, and he recently explained how a move to the Colorado Avalanche makes the most sense. Dreger mentioned that he would not be at all surprised if Crosby asked the Penguins’ management to trade him if a rebuild were to take place in Pittsburgh, he who would otherwise be forced to end his career with a club that no longer has a chance of winning the Stanley Cup.
It would be a costly return in Colorado as well as GM Joe Sakic would probably have to give up at least one of their best prospects up front in Alex Newhook or a talented young defenseman like Bowen Byram, on top of first-round picks and maybe even an additional player.
We are not talking about a simple and cheap transaction here.
And to be honest, Crosby often said he would love to retire in Pittsburgh so, who knows if a trade is really in the cards.