The NHL trade deadline is a mind-boggling time of year. NHL fans and “insiders” licked their chops on any bit of information about some sort of trade.
As a Pens fan, it seems we have become spoiled to the trade deadline and trading in general. Little rumors came out about Matt Duchene and even Justin Faulk, and the social media world, specifically the Penguins fans, were in uproar.
None of these players were ever dealt, and it was time to bring some Penguins fans back down to Earth. Jim Rutherford has developed into a mastermind when it comes to making roster moves, and when Ray Shero was general manager; he also made some very intriguing trades. I’m pretty sure Jim Rutherford could somehow trade a pen without ink and end up with a pencil, all before his bedtime.
All jokes aside the Penguins have a rich history when it comes to trades.
Before Wednesday’s trade dead line, the Penguins had made 59 transactions since 1968 (which leads all NHL teams). Names like Ron Francis, Marian Hossa, Bill Guerin, Jarome Iginla, oh and the legend himself Marcel Goc were all trade deadline acquisitions.
All that aside, player’s lives change and the outlook for teams are put on full focus.
The Washington Capitals acquired Kevin Shattenkirk before Wednesday and have set the tone for the whole league that its cup or bust in D.C. Meanwhile, Jim Rutherford had other deals on his plate that not only help for this season, but can make the Pens rest a little easier for free agency.
The Penguins dealt Eric Fehr, Steve Oleksy, and a fourth round pick in 2017 to Toronto for Frank Corrado. This move was more impressive to me rather than the Mark Streit deal. While its laughable that Jim Rutherford ended up getting the Flyers to retain some salary on Streit, the Corrado deal gives the Penguins much needed help in the future. Corrado could turn out into something here in the Steel City, and there should be reassurance that the development team down in Wilkes-Barre will help him along the way.
Eric Fehr took a hefty $2 million cap hit for only being a fourth liner. I knew Eric Fehr was on his way out of the sooner or later, and I feel others will be in the offseason as well. Chris Kunitz takes $3.85 million in cap space, and is not the same Chris Kunitz we all knew, but he is a free agent at the end of this season.
Fleury, sadly, is more than likely on his way out the door thanks to the expansion draft. However, clearing his $5.75 million cap hit will help the Penguins a lot (that’s if they don’t buy him out).
Nick Bonino is a UFA, and I would love the Pens to resign him. He’s just the right guy to fill the third line center role.
I’d be interested to see what they do with Trevor Daley, he’s also a UFA but I think the Pens have to pay other players rather than Daley, in this case he’d have to take a pay cut.
Pens will have some interesting moves when it comes to their RFA’s. Just to headline them, Justin Schultz, Derrick Pouliot, Connor Sheary, and Brian Dumoulin are all RFA’s. Schultz will look to cash in one would think, where as a guy like Pouliot is just looking for any chance to be in the line up.
I, for one, have not given up on Pouliot. He is still the best defensive prospect in our system, and he clearly wasn’t developed the correct way.
So, is it “Fehr” to say that trading Eric Fehr’s cap hit was something that needed to happen urgently? Do the Penguins have the right pieces in place for a long and rough playoff stretch? Will the Penguins have a difficult time in free agency? For some, its hard to focus on the here and now, but right now its time to focus on the Penguins repeating for Lord Stanley.