3 trades that must happen in the NHL offseason but won’t

There are a few players who should be traded in the 2024 NHL offseason, but there is little, if any, likelihood that they will leave their current teams.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins
Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins / Justin Berl/GettyImages
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The Penguins need to trade Sidney Crosby to kickstart a rebuild

Sidney Crosby is still one of the league’s best players, and you only need to take one look at his stat line to see that. Through 71 games with the ailing Pittsburgh Penguins, Crosby has 76 points and 35 goals, good for 16.7 percent of the 209 times Pittsburgh’s skaters have found the back of the net this season. 

Since he will be eligible for an extension this July, expect general manager Kyle Dubas to sign him to a reasonable contract so he can finish his storied career with one team. But we also need to ask ourselves, “How many more good years does Crosby have left, and how much of a window does he really give the Penguins?”

Wouldn’t it be great for Pittsburgh, long-term, to trade Crosby elsewhere and to collect what would be top-notch value for the future Hall of Famer? Crosby would definitely be worth two first-round picks, at least one NHL-ready A-prospect, plus a couple of high-potential B-prospects at minimum, and it would kickstart a rebuild under one of the NHL’s best general managers. 

It won’t happen, as Crosby has been too valuable for the Penguins over the nearly two decades he’s been with the team, and he’s been a fixture in the city of Pittsburgh since his rookie year in 2005-06. But Dubas will be passing up on a golden opportunity to bring in a new, successful era of Penguins hockey that will, in time, perennially make them one of the league’s most relevant teams well into the 2030s.