When evaluating the deal, you gotta remember who got the best player in the deal. Hossa's a flat out stud, a winger that can score 50 goals/season playing along Sid, which is undoubtedly where he'll be plugged in. He was far and away the best player available at the deadline.
That being said, I'm sad to see Colby leave. Armstrong was a great chemistry guy, and Crosby's best friend. But as Mark Madden just coined:
"Chemistry doesn't score goals. Marian Hossa scores goals."
So I'm sure that sadness will wane after Hossa starts fillin the net and the Pens advance through the playoffs. Colby was known for how well he played alongside Crosby, but otherwise was a 3rd line type of player. And besides...who wouldn't play well alongside Crosby.
Erik Christensen was a good face-off guy, and automatic on shootouts. But with Sid, Malkin, Staal, and Talbot, he was the 5th best center on the team. And being good in shootouts is relatively...correct that...absolutely meaningless in the playoffs.
Angelo Esposito was a disappointment, and slipped in the draft because other teams knew he'd be a disappointment. That said, he may have had value where Shero drafted him at (#17, I believe). And with the youthful studs on this team that you still have to pay, like Malkin and Staal, giving up a #1 is not a huge deal, provided it brings success now.
The key: resign Hossa long term. If he's only used as a rent-a-player, and unless the Pens win the Cup, it's not a good move.
Re: winning a Cup. The Penguins immediately became the best team in the conference today. So they have a shot. With the Western Conference being stacked, getting there may be easier than winning it. But you also have to look at the moves the Pens made in context with the rest of the East. And the way I look at it...everyone else got weaker.
Brian Campbell left Buffalo for San Jose. Brad Richards is gone from Tampa. And Montreal, who'd looked to be one the top contenders in the East, gave up their #1 goaltender to Washington. I like the Caps moves, adding Huet and Sergei Federov, but they're not even in the playoffs as of now. Philadelphia got Prospal, but the fork was put in Philly after their 10th straight loss earlier this week. Also, you kept Hossa from going to any of your contenders, like Ottawa or Montreal.
With Ottawa sliding (they got embarrassed at home 5-Nil by Toronto last night), the Pens may just be the team to beat in the East.
So long, Colby. Hopefully, you'll be back sometime in the future. You never know. Mark Recchi came through Pittsburgh on 3 separate occasions, and he was a dick. I'd like to think there's a better chance for Armstrong to return.
Oh...and welcome aboard Hal Gill, as well. He's tall.