Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford wanted to add another forward ahead of Monday’s NHL trade deadline, and he accomplished that by acquiring Patrick Marleau from the San Jose Sharks.
The Penguins will send a conditional third-round pick to San Jose for the veteran forward who will get another crack at winning his first Stanley Cup.
That draft pick will become a second-round pick if the Penguins win the Stanley Cup this season.
Marleau, 40, signed with the Sharks earlier this season after a two-year stop with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Toronto traded him over the summer to Carolina, where he was promptly bought out to make him an unrestricted free agent. It was at that point that he made his return to San Jose, the city he called home for the first 19 years of his career.
In 58 games this season he has scored 10 goals to go with 10 assists for a Sharks team that has been — by far — the biggest disappointment in the NHL this season.
Where Marleau fits in Pittsburgh will be interesting to see.
While not possessing the top-end speed he did in his prime, Marleau can still skate well enough to fit in the Penguins’ system but his days as a top producer are well behind him. But the Penguins don’t really need him to be a top-line producer. They need depth. Given the current status of their fourth-line, as well as the recent injury to Zach Aston-Reese, they had an immediate need for help in their bottom-six. They are counting on Marleau still being able to provide that. If nothing else he should be an upgrade over their current fourth-line set-up. It is just a matter of how much of an upgrade that is.
The Penguins previously acquired speedy winger Jason Zucker from the Minnesota Wild a couple of weeks ago.
Marleau and his new team will play the Sharks in San Jose later this week.