Jim Rutherford wasted no time after a 4-2 loss to the lowly New Jersey Devils last night, the Penguins GM went to work and shook up the roster a bit. GMJR has hinted for a few days now a move would be coming if the team did not improve and after losing 5 straight for the first time under Head Coach Mike Sullivan and going 4-5-1 in their last 10 Rutherford pulled the trigger sending Carl Hagelin to the LA Kings in exchange for Tanner Pearson.
“Has this team been together too long? It’s something I always have to watch for,” Rutherford recently went on record as saying. “When do you have to make those changes? The players are doing everything they can to tell me now’s the time.”
GMJR also received a contract extension himself today that will keep the 69 (nice) year old in charge until the 2022 season.
Hagelin really benefitted from the change of scenery in coming to Pittsburgh when the team went all in embracing the speed game en route to back to back Cups. He was a perfect addition at the time, but somewhere along the past few years his hands turned to stone and his scoring touch dried up. He looked like a lost puppy at times just sent out there to skate around and look pretty.
Pearson is about as low as he can get right now in terms of value and production. You might be able to prop up the corpse of Rocket Richard and bang one or two in off of his shin and that would be one or two more than Pearson has this year. In 17 games played he has… 1 assist and a -9 rating. Buttttt a change of scenery and the chance to play with Sid, Geno, and Phil! can always change that. When Hagelin was traded from Anaheim to Pittsburgh he only had 4 goals in 43 games, he finished that season potting 10 in the final 37 games.
Pearson is similar in terms of speed and has shown he can put up 20+ goals in the right situation. He’s younger, signed til ’21, and a filthy release and nose for the slot. Here’s a taste of what he’ll bring to Pittsburgh:
I don’t think anyone is surprised to see Hagelin go, off to a slow start with only 1 goal on the year. Hags will be remembered fondly though for his time forming one of the greatest trios the NHL has ever been graced with, the HBK line. His speed and forecheck are one of the catalysts of the turnaround from a team looking like they would miss the playoffs to capturing back to back championships. Carl can now go where he belongs, with the beautiful and handsome LA stars. He can enjoy some beach time and that golden California sun kissing that sweet, Swedish flow. This man should not be hidden in the streets of Pittsburgh, he deserves to roam the boardwalk. So long Carl!