MONTREAL - Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Ray Shero must have his Christmas shopping done by, like, August.
Shero is again one of the GMs first off the mark when it comes to loading up at the trade deadline, adding defenceman Douglas Murray from the San Jose Sharks Monday after grabbing Dallas Stars captain Brenden Morrow Sunday.
The trade deadline is a week from Wednesday and Shero has already addressed the two needs most pressing for the Penguins: a big body on the blueline and some gritty forward depth.
Actually, goaltending is also a concern given you never know what you are going to get with the hot-and-cold tandem of Marc-Andre Fleury and Tomas Vokoun. But the Pens have thrown their lot in with Fleury and, besides, trying to address a blue paint situation at this point is like trying to change a flat tire in the middle of the track at the Daytona 500.
When Fleury is on, he is capable of delivering Stanley Cup-calibre goaltending, but it's been a while since he played up to that level in the post-season. His performance in last spring's first-round loss to the Philadelphia Flyers must still give Penguins fans shudders.
Not that his teammates gave him much help defensively, hence Shero's move Monday to pick up the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Murray for a couple of draft picks.