Penguins Grab Boucher from Dallas

Whenever a healthy player gets scratched from the lineup unexpectedly, talk can start almost immediately about an impending trade. On Saturday night, the player who was scratched from a lineup was defenseman Philippe Boucher of the Dallas Stars. According to a report from RDS, Boucher has been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for another defenseman, veteran Daryl Sydor (English translation).

From a financial standpoint, the deal is a wash, as both players are in the final years of contracts that pay them both $2.5 million per year. From Pittsburgh's standpoint, the deal makes a lot of sense, considering defensemen Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney are still out of the lineup due to injuury and aren't expected to return anytime soon.

While it may be easy to forget, the fact is that Boucher is only two years removed from his finest season in the league where he potted 19 goals and 52 points -- though this season he only has 3 assists in 16 games and is a -4. And considering he'll probably see some power play time with one of the league's most potent offenses, it's easy to see why he might have a smile on his face as he prepares to join the fourth different team in his NHL career.

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From the Dallas perspective, the deal is a little more puzzling. Sure, Sydor has played in Dallas before, and co-GMs Brett Hull and Les Jackson certainly know what they're getting in the veteran rearguard. Still, it wasn't hard to see that Sydor really wasn't in Pittsburgh's long-term plan as he essentially disappeared from the lineup come playoff time last Spring, and only managed to dress for eight games for Pittsburgh thus far this season. When you look at it that way, perhaps this deal is meant to send a message to the rest of the team that the organization isn't afraid to make a change -- even if it means moving a player who was an All-Star in the recent past.

(HT: HF Boards)

Penguins Grab Boucher from Dallas originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Sun, 16 Nov 2008 02:42:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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