NOTE: In the eight days leading up to the 2011 NHL Trade Deadline, NHL.com will look back at the top eight deals that helped teams to win the Stanley Cup in the past 30 years.
No. 8: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS TRADE A CONDITIONAL DRAFT PICK TO THE NEW YORK ISLANDERS FOR BILL GUERIN ON MARCH 4, 2009
Pittsburgh General Manager Ray Shero
made a bold move at the trade deadline in 2008, sending a big package of players and prospects for the best player available to play with captain Sidney Crosby
-- star forward Marian Hossa
-- with the hopes of returning the Stanley Cup to the city for the first time in 16 years.
It almost worked, but the Penguins fell two wins short and Hossa joined the team that beat Pittsburgh, the Detroit Red Wings
, as a free agent. One year later Shero was looking for another partner for Crosby, and this time the deal proved to be a vital part of the franchise capturing the Cup for a third time.
Guerin provided not only some depth on the wing and timely scoring, but he quickly became one of the team's leaders in the dressing room.
"He's just one of those guys, as soon as he got in the room it seemed like he had been there for years already," Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik
told NHL.com. "Everyone seems to gravitate toward him. He just garners that respect right away."
While the move turned out great for the Penguins, adding Guerin wasn't seen as quite the same type of impact move on deadline day as nabbing Hossa the year before. Like Hossa, Guerin was in the final year of his contract.
Unlike Hossa, who was in the prime of his career and poised to command a big contract in the summer, Guerin was 38 years old and there were questions about his ability to play at the level necessary to play with Crosby or Evgeni Malkin
"He certainly was not at the top of his game," Shero told NHL.com. "He was in a situation where they were more or less going with youth and he's a veteran guy. But we just felt that given the cost to acquire him and with the hole that we had, could he rekindle the magic and enthusiasm for the game, because we thought he could still skate. "
Guerin had 5 goals and 12 points in 17 regular-season games after the trade. It was in the Stanley Cup Playoffs where Guerin really found his form. He had 7 goals and 15 points in 24 playoff games as the Penguins captured the Cup with a Game 7 win in the Final at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena.
He ended up as the team's third-leading scorer behind Malkin and Crosby. Given how perilously close the first six games of Pittsburgh's epic second-round clash with Washington, it is not outrageous to say the addition of Guerin, along the Capitals' decision to stand pat at the deadline, proved to be the difference in the series.
Pittsburgh would go on to sweep Carolina and best Detroit in seven games to win the Cup. It was the second time for Guerin, who won as a young player with New Jersey in 1995.
"I was so young and I thought I would get a million more cracks and you don't, you just don't," Guerin told NHL.com. "All I wanted the rest of my career was one more crack at it -- thank god for Max Talbot."
Talbot scored the game-winning goal in Game 7 against Pittsburgh.