On February 26, 2008, the Pittsburgh Penguins made a trade with the Atlanta Thrashers that seemed to set up the team for its’ first Stanley Cup win in the Sidney Crosby era.
Adding a 100-point scorer will do that.
Over seven years later, Marian Hossa and the loss in the 2007-08 Stanley Cup Finals, isn’t what Penguins fans will remember from that trade. It’s the “throw-in” of Pascal Dupuis that helped shape up a Stanley Cup win the next season and success down the road.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Penguins announced Dupuis will no longer play hockey because of medical reasons due to blood clots that have held the player back for the past three years.
Dupuis finished his career with 247 of his 409 career total scored with the yellow and black.
At the time of the trade, Dupuis was a third-liner that had 15 points in 62 games with the Thrashers.
As the Pens gave up two bottom-six players of their own in Colby Armstrong and Erik Christensen, they got back Dupuis to help offset that loss, in what most fans saw as a throw-in to the grand prize of Hossa.
Dupuis changed that thinking almost immediately, finding chemistry with Crosby, where Hossa didn’t, and scoring 12 points in 16 games to end the regular season.
The next season, Dupuis didn’t do as hot, but managed 30 points in 71 games. He didn’t record a point in the postseason, but helped the organization to its third Stanley Cup win.
Oddly enough, Dupuis started to gain notoriety around the league two years after that at age 32.
While Crosby and Evgeni Malkin dealt with injuries all season, Dupuis put up 59 points and helped the team earn an Atlantic Division first-place finish despite the two star centers only playing about half the season.
The left-winger continued to be a crucial secondary scorer in Steel City until the 2013-14 season when blood clots caused him to miss the final 43 games of the season.
Dupuis never fully recovered from the blood clots and only managed 34 games over the next two seasons until he decided to step away from the game on Tuesday afternoon for his health.
But seven years after a monumental trade for a big-named player, the “throw-in” Pascal Dupuis will be the one remembered in Pittsburgh.