Can newly acquired Ryan Miller be the final piece of the Stanley Cup puzzle in the Show-Me State of Missouri?
History shows that big-name trade deadline pickups such as Miller donít necessarily guarantee youíll be hoisting hockeyís Holy Grail in June. Indeed, with the Kingsí addition of Jeff Carter in 2012 and Carolinaís pickups of Mark Recchi and Doug Weight in 2006 being the exceptions, a breakdown of each Stanley Cup winner since the 2004-05 lockout shows you donít need to make a big splash at the deadline to end up winning the NHL crown.
With Miller between the pipes and a prized trio of Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester and Kevin Shattenkirk patrolling the blueline, the St. Louis Blues are poised to make a deep run. But can this team squeeze out enough offence to win it all when its three leading scorers among the forwards are Alex Steen, T.J. Oshie and David Backes?
Itís a legitimate concern.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, meanwhile, donít appear to be gun-shy after 2013 deadline pickups Jarome Iginla, Brendan Morrow and Douglas Murray couldnít help them get by the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference final. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Penguins are pursuing Vancouverís Ryan Kesler, with centre Brandon Sutter, two draft picks in 2014 and one of Simon Despres or Brian Dumoulin reportedly going the other way.