I wouldn't say Mesz is either better defenseively or more physical. In a similar amout of games since the lockout, Stuart has around 200 more hits. Both are solid 2nd pair guys who can fill in on a top pair when required. Mesz is no more a shutdown defender than Stuart. He is younger, but I'm not building the defense around either so I don't care.
You realize Meszaros is better defensively and more physical than Stuart, while being six years younger? Furthermore, Stuart is signed through next season, while Meszaros has two seasons more on top of that.
I didn't say it had to be a Tatar or Pulkkinen; but Philly won't just give up Mesz for Stuart.
Trading for a quality mid-20s shutdown defenseman isn't free.
Regardless, even if I did think Mesz was better, he is certainly no where near enough of an improvement to include a 2nd rounder and a prospect. You even point out that our defense isn't physical enough and then propose trading our most physical defender for someone who hits less, and you throw in a pick that could easily garner a big, physical defender 6 years younger than Meszaros if we decided to go that way. Or, if we decided to trade the pick and maybe a low pick or prospect, we could get another defenseman of similar quality. (As proven by the trades involving the very players we're talking about.) Your proposal was a gross overpayment.
I don't think you know what 'good' looks like. Stuart isn't an all-star, but neither is Meszaros. You trade Stu AND a 2nd AND a prospect with even a hint of NHL potential you better get an all-star in return or you're getting robbed.
... but Stuart needs to shape up because he has not looked good. ...
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