Joel Embiid Should be Considered an MVP Candidate
It is only January and a lot of people are talking about either James Harden or Giannis Antetokounmpo to win the MVP, but what about Joel Embiid?
Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford has been criticized often after the Pittsburgh Penguins won the title in 2017. He has made many questionable trades and signings since.
A lot of the Penguins fan base had another argument today when Pittsburgh decided to trade forward Daniel Sprong to the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Marcus Pettersson.
Sprong is just 21 years old and he still has a ton of offensive potential. Mike Sullivan did not use him often even though he played in 16 games. Daniel Sprong was often found on the bench. He hasn't scored a goal this season, but Sprong has recorded four assists. His plus/minus was -7.
In 42 career games, Daniel Sprong has only scored four goals and recorded five assists. His plus/minus was -6. I thought Sprong was going to go back into the lineup for Dominik Simon at some point, but I guess that is not going to happen now.
It wouldn't not surprise me to see Daniel Sprong take off in Anaheim. It would be an indictment in how poorly Pittsburgh managed him. He was a second-round draft pick in 2015 by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
As for the player the Anaheim Ducks traded away, Marcus Pettersson is just 22 years old. The Ducks have a ton of good defense in their system, so they can have the authority to some of them away. He has played in 27 games for Anaheim and Pettersson has recorded four assists. His plus/minus is 4. In 49 career games, he has only scored one goal and recorded nine assists. His plus/minus was 9.
Marcus Pettersson could be another version of Brian Dumoulin and if that's the case, the Pittsburgh Penguins will be in tremendous shape. Another shutdown defense in this lineup would not hurt.
At the moment, the current defenseman on the roster are Kris Letang, Brian Dumoulin, Justin Schultz (injured reserve, expected to be back this season), Olli Maatta, Jamie Oleksiak, Juuso Riikola, Chad Ruhwedel, Jack Johnson, and Marcus Pettersson.
Mike Sullivan will not use seven defenseman in any game. I wonder if this will set up a trade later in the year for Olli Maatta. Maatta is 24 years old and he still has another three years left on his contract. He will be owed $4 million each season for the next three years.
This season, Olli Maatta has played in 24 games. For a player that is getting paid $4 million, he is underachieving. Maatta is supposed to be an offensive defenseman and he is very slow on the back end. Olli Maatta hasn't scored a goal this season and he has recorded seven assists. His plus/minus is 6.
Jack Johnson is 31 years old and he also hasn't been good this season. Johnson has played in 25 games this season and he has scored one goal and recorded five assists. His plus/minus was -13. Jack Johnson was given a five-year deal worth $31 million this past offseason. Jim Rutherford won't admit his mistake. I don't think he would even think about moving him until another two years from now.
Jim Rutherford was given a three-year contract extension recently. His contract was supposed to expire at the end of the season. Rutherford is 69 years old. Losing Jason Botterill in the offseason of 2017 to the Buffalo Sabres is actually hurting in the front office right now. I don't have a problem with trades, I just think Jim Rutherford is making trades just to make them. Will see what happens before the end of February from him.