Penguins’ GM Rutherford makes early splash with Perron trade

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The National Hockey League’s trade deadline is two months away. Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford didn’t want to wait until then to make a splash.

On Friday, the Penguins, sitting second in the Eastern Conference and gearing up for what looks like another playoff run, acquired David Perron from the Edmonton Oilers, while sending Rob Klinkhammer and a first-round pick in the 2015 Draft back to Edmonton.

It was a price Rutherford was willing to pay in order to bolster his group of forwards.

Based on his comments this evening, he also views Perron, in the third year of a four-year deal worth a cap hit of $3,812,500, according to Capgeek.com, as a player who could potentially be a long-term fit in Pittsburgh.

“I’ve been looking for a top six forward, especially a winger, since the beginning of the season,” Rutherford said Friday, prior to puck drop between the Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning, as per the club’s Twitter account.

“I view it as a very good asset, but we also got a young player. He could be a here for (six to seven) years,” he added.

Rutherford also appears wary of trade deadline deals, which comes about six weeks before the end of the regular season and start of the playoffs. Bringing in a top-six forward or top-four defenseman might seem like a good move on paper at the time, but doesn’t guarantee that player will mesh that quickly into a new lineup and system.