By S. Samek
The Pittsburgh Penguins continued a recent trend of being aggressive at the NHL trade deadline. The Pens made two moves last night and one last week. The goal of the movies was to add defensive depth after Trevor Daley and Olli Maatta are out with injuries that limit them for a about another month. Kris Letang is also facing an injury, but is listed as day to day.
To address the need Mark Streit was picked up for a 4th round pick in 2018. Frank Corrado came over from Toronto for Eric Fehr, Steve Olesky and a 2017 4th round pick. The previous week Ron Hainsey came over from Carolina.
I would say that the Hainsey deal is the headliner followed by the Streit deal. Both give you established veteran presence on defense. Hainsey has played in 894 NHL games.
Streit is a veteran of 11 NHL seasons and 765 games. All for the price of a 2nd round and 4th round picks and a minor-league player. These deals should benefit the Penguins greatly for the playoff run.
The Corrado deal seems like a bit much. Two solid role players in Fehr and Olesky plus picks for a 23-year-old defensemen that played mostly in the minors this season. Corrado was assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to start. This was said to be a salary cap movie to acquire Streit. He may develop into a usable defenseman, but for now I’m saying salary dump. Though the consensus from my sources is Corrado just needs playing time to develop.
Though the most interesting move is one that didn’t occur. Marc-Andre Fleury did not go anywhere. Fleury has been a mainstay in Pittsburgh sense being drafted 1st overall and has only r given up the starting job to Matt Murray this year. Fleury is still a solid backup and has cup winning experience should Murray go down with an injury. Fleury is also a prime target in free agency and the upcoming expansion draft.
Overall I would give the Penguins a B or B plus grade on these deals. The met their biggest need without over paying for it. While the deals may not be flashy and top of the line they are still upgrades. Jim Rutherford has had a lot of success in his recent deadline deals and even if this isn’t as big as a Phil Kessel trade the moves should still work out.