In case you missed it, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Los Angeles Kings hooked up on a good old fashioned, one for one hockey trade earlier today.
Heading to the Pens is snakebitten scorer Tanner Pearson, while the Kings get veteran speedster Carl Hagelin in return.
The Penguins absorbed $250,000 of Hagelin’s salary in the deal, making it an even swap of salary. In effect, it’s a “change of scenery” deal for two struggling players on two struggling teams. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has expressed some impatience with his team’s performance so far this season and even warned his players that a deal could be coming if they didn’t right the ship. Well… after another loss just last night, Rutherford held true to his word and shipped out Hagelin. The question now is… if the Pens can’t turn things around, who’ll be out the door next?
According to a report from NHL insider Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the player whom other NHL GM’s covet the most is a player who’s not even on the Penguins’ roster. Check out this tidbit from Friedman’s latest 31 Thoughts column:
With Rutherford mildly annoyed at his team, one of the players who most intrigues opposing teams isn’t even on his current roster. That would be Calen Addison, a right-shooting defenceman at WHL Lethbridge. Addison, taken 53rd in last June’s draft, has 20 points in his first 18 games. Two of the three defenders ahead of him in scoring were 2018 first-rounders: Spokane’s Ty Smith (17th, New Jersey) and Red Deer’s Alexander Alexeyev (31st, Washington).
Interesting. The 18 year old Calen Addison certainly is an intriguing prospect, but there’s no question that he’ll be a gamble from whichever team ponies up to acquire him. The high octane offensive defenseman has four goals and 20 point in 18 games with the WHL’s Lethbridge Hurricanes this season and finished last season with an incredible 11 goals and 65 points in 68 games. Addison’s defensive game prevented him from being a first round selection in this past June’s 2018 NHL Entry Draft, but if the kid can round out his game over the next 2-3 years, he could be a real solid offensive defenseman in the NHL. The problem is, of course, nothing’s guaranteed in life. Even less so when it comes to projecting the NHL merits of teenaged defensemen. Even so, Rutherford is bound to get some offers on Addison and given his team’s struggles so far this season, he’ll have no choice but to listen in and make some thoughtful decisions.