The answers to the Pens problems are easy to diagnose but unfortunetly are going to be difficult to remedy. First and for most, Martin needs to go. I do like the idea of a trade for Volchenkov, however, having said that, I think in the long run it would benefit the team more to trade Martin for a draft pick instead of another player. The 5 million that would be cleared up by Martin's departure could be used in other ways. Such as, extending Crosby, Staal, Malkin, Letang etc... Or it could be used to add a much needed pure winger. Not a center playing a winger but an honest to goodness winger. I think every Pens fan would agree with me on that. But the fact still remains with Martin on the roster eating up alot of salary cap space none of the above mentioned is going to happen. So, priority number one for Shero should be atoning for his mistake and sending Paul Martin packing.
Second problem the Pens face is there lack of a gritty attitude. With the loss of both Talbot and Rupp the team in my opinion became somewhat soft. I think instead of spending mounds of cash on high priced D-men, like alot of you are in favor of, the Pens should look into acquiring one or two rough and tough but yet responsible forwards. Such as, Dominic Moore, Travis Moen, P.A. Parenteau etc... There should be a surplus of those kind of players this year available in free agency. I think the Pens would benefit greatly by taking that route instead of gutting there defense. Lets not forget that when it comes to defense, the Pens have drafted very well and have put themselves in a good position defensively moving forward. For those of you who are not aware, the Pens have some stud defensemen in the minors. So whatever short comings they have on defense now, will soon be fixed via internal options.
Last but most certainly not least, locking up Staal. I'm not concerned about Crosby's contract. There is no doubt in my mind that Sid will remian a Penguin after the 2012/13 season. But Staal on the other hand makes me nervious. A few of you have mentioned trading him and I can't for the life in me figure out why any Pens fan would even consider that. Staal has been the most responsible 2-way player on the roster. His offensive ability showed huge strides this past season. His defensive ability is better than most actual defensemen. And his play on special teams is the best in the league and getting better each season. So to me the idea of trading Staal is border line insanity. Hopefully Shero is as good of a general manager as what I think he is and he will find some way to keep Staalsy around for a long time.