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NHL HomeGrown

By Brian Stubits and Adam Gretz
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Sidney Crosby (AP)  
Sidney Crosby (AP)  
Imagine an NHL without free agency or trades, that once a player is drafted with a team he stays with that team for his entire career. What would the rosters look like? We at Eye on Hockey will take a look at the Home-Grown Teams of all 30 franchises -- three lines, two defensive pairs and two goaltenders. Three lines and two D pairs because this doesn't include undrafted free agents, only drafted players. We want to see who has drafted the best.

Line 1: Ryan Malone-Sidney Crosby-Matt Moulson

You could certainly do worse for a top line. Sidney Crosby speaks for himself, but Matt Moulson is the guy that somehow got away not only from the Penguins, but also the Los Angeles Kings before finding a home with the New York Islanders. Originally a ninth-round pick by the Penguins back in 2003, Moulson seemed to get lost in the shuffle, was cut loose, and has since scored 30 goals in three straight seasons. The Penguins and Kings would both probably like mulligans on that one.

Line 2: Tyler Kennedy-Evgeni Malkin-Jaromir Jagr

While the Penguins have focussed on building their team through the draft down the middle (Evgeni Malkin is a No. 1 on any other team) they haven't produced a ton of great wingers in recent years. and you can see that start to stand out here. Tyler Kennedy and Colby Armstrong would fit better on a third line for a contending team, but they'll have to serve as second-liners here. Jagr may have burned some bridges in Pittsburgh last summer, by turning down the Penguins and signing with the Flyers, but he would still be a top-six winger on this team

Line 3: Colby Armstrong-Jordan Staal-Max Talbot

Another No. 1 center for Pittsburgh with Jordan Staal, and I shifted Max Talbot to a wing (he's also a natural center) for two reasons: First of all he's good enough to play a top-nine role, and also because there weren't many other options on the wing to fill that spot.

Forward scratch: Dustin Jeffrey

Defensive pairing 1: Brooks Orpik-Kris Letang

This duo actually spent some time together a couple of years ago and you could do a lot worse for a No. 1 pairing. Letang looks like he's on his way to being in the Norris Trophy discussion for the foreseeable future and Brooks Orpik has been a rock solid stay-at-home defenseman for the better part of a decade.

Defensive pairing 2: Alex Goligoski-Rob Scuderi

Another pairing that includes both an offensive-minded threat (Goligoski) and a steady defensive player (Scuderi). Both players were a part of Pittsburgh's Stanley Cup team in 2009, while Scuderi left as a free agent following that playoff run (only to win another cup with the Kings this past year). Goligoski was later shipped to Dallas for James Neal and Matt Niskanen. While that trade often gets looked at as a lopsided win in Pittsburgh's favor, don't overlook the fact that Goligoski is an outstanding defenseman.

Defense scratch: Ryan Whitney

Goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury -- Sebastian Caron

Want to start a heated argument among Penguins fans? Just bring up Marc-Andre Fleury's name and sit back and watch the comedy unfold. Depending on who you ask he's either a top-five goalie or an overrated mediocrity that's simply along for the ride on a loaded team. These seem to be the only two options as nobody ever falls in the middle.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @AGretz on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

 
 
 
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