The Pittsburgh Penguins added a little muscle to their lineup this offseason, as they acquired Ryan Reaves from the St. Louis Blues.
Despite winning back-to-back Stanley Cups, Pens GM Jim Rutherford obviously felt like he could protect his superstars a little better than they have been over the last couple of years.
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby seems to agree with Rutherford’s way of thinking.
“Early on, I was used to having a guy on your team like that,” Crosby said told USA Today. “Every team had a tough guy. I grew up used to that. But for a period of time, it hasn’t been the case.
“When you get a player like that who is that tough it creates some room for guys.”
As Crosby mentioned, the Penguins surrounded him with some tough customers early on in his career. During his rookie season, the Pens had players like Andre Roy and Eric Cairns on the roster. They also employed Georges Laraque for two seasons between 2006 and 2008.
Since entering the league in 2010-11, Reaves has averaged over a penalty minute per game. Last season, he had 104 penalty minutes in 80 games with St. Louis. So there’s no doubt that he’ll add a little bit of sandpaper to the roster.
It’s an old school way of thinking, but the Penguins hope it will help keep their guys protected.
Training camp isn’t off to a roaring start for Reaves: