Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford of the Pittsburgh Penguins said last week that a trade or trades were coming during if the Penguins couldn’t shake their current slump.
After the second loss to the New Jersey Devils in a couple of weeks — the sixth loss in seven games — the hammer dropped.
More Rutherford: "We’re not tracking toward winning a Stanley Cup right now, and changes are necessary."
— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) November 14, 2018
The newly signed general manager pulled the trigger on a trade with the Los Angeles Kings, exchanging Carl Hagelin for left-winger Tanner Pearson. Pearson has struggled thus far this season with one assist in 17 games and a -9 rating.
Pearson is 26-years-old, which is four years younger than Hagelin. He was drafted in 2012 in the first round (30th overall) by the LA Kings. In 2016-17, Pearson would put up 24 goals for a current career high. Meanwhile, last season, the Ontario-born winger would register 15 goals and 25 assists.
He remained a valuable contributor to the Kings’ lineup.
Pearson fits on either the second or third line well and has shown his most promise when he was centered by Jeff Carter. His speed is not close to Hagelin’s but, to be fair, not many player’s are.
With the Kings struggling at the bottom of the NHL standings at 5-11-1, they, much like the Penguins, were looking for a shakeup. After firing their coach recently, a trade was the next logical step.
Pearson makes 3.75 million a year which saves the Penguins money towards the cap with this move. He is signed through the 2020-21 season. Pittsburgh did pickup the $250,000 on this season’s bill for Hagelin. Because of this, the numbers even out financially.
Hagelin will be an unrestricted free agent at the close of this year and was making $4 million. The savings on the Penguins end is minimal.
Where the trade appears to be a win for the Penguins is that Pearson produces more at 5-on-5.
With season of 44 points and 40 points the last two years, this could be a win for Rutherford. Hagelin became known for not getting to his scoring game until around February every year.
The Swede who came to fame as part of the ‘HBK’ line a couple of post seasons ago, simply could not produce enough to demand his price tag.
Coming to the Penguins from Anaheim during the 2015-16 year, Hagelin showed his speed and tenacious fore-check on the penalty kill. He finishes his stint with Pittsburgh having scored 27 goals and 56 assists in 195 games played. In three post-seasons with the Penguins, Hagelin scored 10 goals and 11 assists in 48 games.
It will be interesting to see if Rutherford stops with this move or he continues to re-tool a struggling team. Daniel Sprong is well-known to be available. Meanwhile, his trade appears to be a good one for Pittsburgh, if just for the 5-v-5 stats alone.
Pittsburgh returns home tomorrow evening to face the Tampa Bay Lightning at PPG Paints Arena. Earlier today, Mike Sullivan announced that Sidney Crosby is being evaluated for an upper-body injury after not practicing on Wednesday.
Stay tuned for more news as it becomes available at the Pittsburgh Sports Castle Twitter page.
I will have a complete recap of the Penguins and Bolts on Friday morning.
Thanks for reading — and thanks to YOU, Hags.
— Colin Dunlap (@colin_dunlap) November 14, 2018
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