If you’re a longtime supporter of the Wheeling Nailers, Monday had to have been fun.
The second day of NHL free agency saw former Nailers and one-time Penguins depth forwards Carter Rowney and Tom Kühnhackl sign deals with the Ducks and the Islanders, respectively. Rowney’s was the more jarring of the two, as the got three years and a total of $3.4 million from Anaheim. Kühnhackl’s contract was more reasonable for a fringe NHLer: One year and $650,000 from New York.
Both men were part of the Penguins’ fourth line to start the 2017-18 season, with Rowney centering Kühnhackl on the left side and Ryan Reaves on the right. I wrote for a different website at the time that the thought of a ‘change of pace’ line was intriguing, but didn’t appear to be working outside of one great night in Sunrise, Florida, back in October.