Turns out Jim Rutherford and Bob Murray are night owls.
In the wee hours of Friday night — Saturday morning on the East Coast — the Penguins and Ducks GMs combined for a pretty interesting transaction: Anaheim sent speedy winger Carl Hagelin to Pittsburgh in exchange for forward David Perron and d-man Adam Clendening.
In a nutshell, the trade was about moving guys that never really fit in their latest locales.
Hagelin, acquired from the Rangers at the ’15 draft, struggled to find his niche in Anaheim despite inking a four-year, $16 million extension with the Ducks in August….before he played a single game for the team.
He then proceeded to score just four goals in 43 contests, and was benched in mid-November for his lackluster play.
Perron, acquired from Edmonton midway through the ’14-15 campaign, appeared in 85 total games for the Penguins over the span of two seasons, scoring 16 goals and 38 points. He never really found the offensive touch that saw him score a career-best 28 times with the Oilers during the ’13-14 season.
Clendening, who came over from Vancouver in the Brandon Sutter–Nick Bonino deal, is now moving onto his fourth organization in the last two years. He broke in with Chicago, had a brief spell as a Canuck, appeared in just nine games as a Penguin and will now try to bring some depth and offensive prowess to an Anaheim defense that’s really struggled to produce points this season.
At first glance, the trade appears to be a win for Hagelin. A two-time 17-goal scorer, he’ll (presumably) get a chance to play with Pittsburgh centers Sidney Crosby and/or Evgeni Malkin. It’s also possible a return to the Eastern Conference, where he spent the first four years of his career, will do him some good.
For Anaheim, the club gets to move on from what looked like a botched acquisition in Hagelin (and the aforementioned contract extension). It’s also the first notable shakeup from a club that’s underachieved all season long — Murray pulled the trigger on this deal before turfing head coach Bruce Boudreau, a move many figured would’ve happened by now.
As for Perron, he gets to return to the Western Conference, where he enjoyed his finest moments in the NHL. It’s also worth noting his four-year, $15.25 million deal expires at the end of the season.
Clendening will be an RFA at year’s end.