Pouliot: He Didn’t Waive Good Bye by @disgruntledbill - PensInitiative | Pittsburgh Penguins Blog | Rumors | News

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Pouliot: He Didn’t Waive Good Bye by @disgruntledbill

All of the pressure was on Derrick Pouliot. He was taken in the first round, chosen 8th overall. He was picked by the Pittsburgh Penguins at a draft in Pittsburgh. Oli Maatta (taken 22nd) and Matt Murray (taken 83rd) were both drafted after Pouliot in his draft year.  Given his higher draft spot, Pouliot was expected to be better than those two players. He was expected to have carved out a roster spot in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, these lofty expectations for Pouliot left many fans very disappointed.
It's weird not to see Mike Johnston in this photo. 

Pouliot was traded to the Vancouver Canucks for 4th round pick in the 2018 draft and 24 year old, 6'5" 213 lbs defender Andrey Pedan. This news was largely greeted with much rejoicing across Penguins fandom. 

It seems that everyone equated Derrick Pouliot to a box of their ex’s things that had been left at their apartment. It seems that the fanbase felt as a whole that since the breakup with Mike Johnston was years ago he really shouldn’t have left his defenseman here all that long.   The fanbase as a whole is very anti-Pouliot. Simply put there is no reason for it.

TK and DP at the AHL All-Star Game 
Pouliot was not moved because he sucks, he was moved because Jim Rutherford is a shrewd General Manager who is really good, as it turns out, at making smart decisions.  His hypothetical decision tree probably went somewhat like this.

1.      Was there a roster spot for Pouliot to start the 2017-2018 season in Pittsburgh? No.
2.        Is Derrick Pouliot good enough to play in the NHL right now? Maybe. The Canucks will 
           certainly find out.
3.        Will Derrick Pouliot find success in the NHL someday? Probably.
4.        Can the Penguins keep Pouliot another year in the minors? Possibly. 

The Penguins have 24 players on their roster. The limit is 23 and that’s not including the injured Hornqvist who will hopefully be joining the team, before someone else moves over to injured reserve. The Penguins essentially had to decide who to give the final roster spot on the team to Pouliot or Archibald. 

Remember when Archibald scored two goals in one game against the Coyotes? 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qggVH0KZGMQArchibald did a thing.

They chose Archibald, which meant Pouliot had to be moved.

The worst case scenario would have been sending Pouliot down to WBS and having him be claimed on waivers. Pouliot is a former first round pick who is developing, albeit slowly. Everyone knew he is a valuable piece. He likely would have been claimed on waivers. 
Pouliot is 23 years old. The fact that he has played more than 60 games (he played 67) means that he would have to clear waivers to get sent down to WBS. 

Pedan will find WBS to be a delight compared to Utica.

The Penguins traded for Andrey Pedan because he will be except from waivers and be sent immediately to WBS. The Penguins are free to move him up if injuries strike like clockwork sometime around Janurayr and let him play in WBS in the meantime. The pick they got from the Canucks is gravy. 

Pouliot is not a bad player. He might even be a good NHL defenseman sometime. It won’t be with the Penguins though. Pouliot was the victim of the NHL’s roster limit and waiver wire rules. It was nothing personal, just business. This is simply a shrewd management decision and very effective control of player assets. 

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