So I have been watching some of the Stanley Cup videos on youtube lately and the documentary on the 50 yrs of the Pens and it got me thinking. So I am going to throw this out to those of you who are Pens fans like me or generally hockey fans. Do you think the 08 Pens was the best example of unfulfilled talent since they came into the league? Even more so than the 93 squad that was looking to 3peat and lost to a scrappy Islanders team that played pissed because they weren't given mush of a shot. The 2008 team was the first official time where the "core" was together. Jordan Staal who many expected to just play preseason and then be sent down to WBS had shown that he deserved to stay in the pros. On defense they had Ryan Whitney and Kris Letang as well as Sarge to carry the offensive defense. Malkin and Crosby anchored the top lines, they had fan favorites Colby Armstrong, Ryan Malone and Eric Christensen rounding out the youth movement and Flower was coming into his own. The had George Laroque and the legendary Gary Roberts for grit as well as Max Talbot and TK to round things out for 3rd and fourth line scoring. After being bounced the year before in the opening round by Ottawa they were looking to have a deep run this year with all the young talented core. If anything the major drawback was that Michel Therrien's coaching style of defense first was stifling to talented offensive guys like Crosby and Geno. This was the year that I think that Shero was beginning to believe the hype that he was some sort of super GM. Early on he decided to shake things up and break up the core by trading Whitney to the ducks for Chris Kunitz, Eric Tangradi and a pick I believe that became Simeon Despres. He was really high on getting Tangradi as an almost pro ready prospect(coincidentally that never materilized) Near the trade deadline Mario and Ron Burkle told him to not worry about money and if Hossa was the top target in the league to go get him and the legend(or lack thereof) of Ray Shero was born. He traded favorites Armstrong, Christensen and prospect Espositio for Hossa and Pascal Dupuis who was the better part of that deal. I hated the deal because Hossa while helping in the run to the SCF was not the dominating player that was advertised and as I said it inflated Shero's ego to being this genius GM that could pull off any deal. It broke up the core and raided future players in order for a single run at the Cup. They lost game six to the Red Wings and watched the Cup being celebrated in their own house meanwhile more changes were to come. Shero was convinced he could get Hossa to argree to a long term deal and was singularly focused on that. IT DID NOT HAPPEN. Ryan Malone who was a home grown fan favorite playing for his hometown team that his father had played for just wanted to know he was in the plans for the following year but wasn't given the time of day with Shero so focused on Hossa and so he took an offer from Tampa Bay. Thus the team lost an in front of the net guy that they weren't able to replace until Patric Hornquvist. Shero tried smoke and mirrors by signing Fedetenko and Satan as replacements to Hossa( not so much) Roberts retired, Laraque left and Therrien was let go midway through the 09 season on an improbable SCF rematch that saw the Pens winning their third cup. But looking back at the team that started the season in 08 I have to believe that they could have done something special if the core had remained. Thoughts?