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PENGUINS TRADE: Hextall Gets Rakell from Anaheim, Aston-Reese & Simon Dealt

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NHL trade, Penguins trade, rickard rakell

It was late-breaking and the details were not yet known 40 minutes after the NHL trade deadline, but the Pittsburgh Penguins and GM Ron Hextall beat the NHL trade deadline and snagged Anaheim Ducks forward Rickard Rakell from the Anaheim Ducks for a pick and a prospect.

The final price was a 2022 second-round pick, a prospect, and a roster player. That player was Zach Aston-Reese.

And–as we await the NHL trade call, Bob McKenzie says Dominik Simon was also included.

UPDATE: Near 5:30 p.m. we learned the prospect was 2020 third-round pick, goalie Calle Clang. The 20-year-old Swedish goalie was named to Team Sweden for the 2022 World Junior Championships. He played in four games.

The trade appears to have been completed just before the 3 p.m. deadline. Pierre LeBrun was the first to tweet the pick is a second-round pick. The prospect has not yet been named.

Rakell, 28, is a pending UFA with a cap hit of $3.789 million. He has 28 points this season, including 16 goals in 51 games. His best seasons were 2016-17 and 2017-18 when Rakell snared 33 and 34 goals, respectively.

However, as Anaheim has declined, so too have Rakell’s numbers. In subsequent seasons, he has 18, 15, nine, and 16 goals. The 6-foot, 196-pound forward has played in the middle though gives Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan flexibility. He’s listed as a right-shooting LW.

Sullivan will have options if, or when, his team is healthy.

Penguins wingers Brock McGinn and Jason Zucker skated before practice on Monday morning. However, neither appeared close to rejoining the game-night lineup. McGinn skated only with one hand on his stick for most of the workout.

As soon as the prospect is named, PHN will update the story.

Rickard Rakell, Penguins Trade:

Rakell doesn’t pass up shots. He’s not a “hard” player. He just shoots. The Swede has 136 shots in 51 games, and one must assume with an elite center in the middle, that total will go up, not down.

He knows how to find the net, though he’s sagged in recent seasons as the Anaheim Ducks have slunk to the depths of the NHL standings. He’s versatile and can play multiple positions.

Folks in Anaheim tell us that his defensive game may have wavered in recent seasons, and the stats bear that out. He’s a minus-7 pm this season and minus-23 in his career. However, reports from Anaheim also say his game rebounded this season.

Rakell most likely slots beside Evgeni Malkin with Bryan Rust. When Jason Zucker is healthy, Sullivan will have a decision to place Rakell with Jeff Carter on the third line or keep him with Malkin.

It was a stout acquisition when it looked like nothing was happening. The first whispers of the Penguins interest were Tweeted by ESPN’s Emily Kaplan just 10 minutes before 3 p.m. PHN believes the first concrete report was from Elliotte Friedman, though Frank Seravalli reported the deal was in process.

This was Hextall’s second NHL trade deadline as Penguins GM. Last season, he snared Jeff Carter from the LA Kings for a pair of mid-round picks. Carter signed a three-year extension earlier this season.

Zach Aston-Reese

A farewell to the most enjoyable and affable guy in the Penguins room. He had just two goals this season, but his defensive stats have few peers. He was second in the NHL with the fewest 5v5 goals allowed.

However, his offense lagged. Aston-Reese has 11 points (2-9-11) in 52 games. He set a career-high with nine goals in last year’s COVID shortened season.

The Penguins now have three players on LTIR: Jason Zucker, Brock McGinn, and newly acquired Nathan Beaulieu. According to Puckpedia, the Penguins were projected to be $1.7 million over the cap but had over $5.3 million in LTIR pool money.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Jason.C
Jason.C
2 months ago

Aren’t they over the cap? They need to dump salary for this to work right?

Fredrick
Fredrick
2 months ago
Reply to  Jason.C

Yohe is rumoring a player, 2nd round pick and prospect to Anaheim

RYAN
RYAN
2 months ago
Reply to  Fredrick

Please let it be zar/simon/pettersson 🤞🏻🙏🏻

Jason.C
Jason.C
2 months ago
Reply to  RYAN

2 out of 3 is not bad lol

Jason.C
Jason.C
2 months ago
Reply to  Fredrick

It’s a roster player and prospect or the salary would not work

AnthonyB
AnthonyB
2 months ago
Reply to  Fredrick

ZAR mb going also

Rich Filardi
Rich Filardi
2 months ago

Like it-i was critical of hextall, so he showed signs of life.

RYAN
RYAN
2 months ago
Reply to  Rich Filardi

Yeah…hardly anything going back…he played it right

Lars Nelson
Lars Nelson
2 months ago

This is a great trade. I hope Rakell clicks with Malkin. He could be a big boost to our second line and scoring. This is the kind of move that can really help us. I heard he is a good 2-way player.

I hope Zucker gets healthy soon. I would like to see that line get on a roll before the playoffs. I know people are down on Zucker but he does make this team better.

Curt Lindner
Curt Lindner
2 months ago
Reply to  Lars Nelson

So what are you smoking? Zucker is paid a boatload of cash and is always hurt. How can you actually say that he makes the team better? He consumes a big chunk of cap space with NO PRODUCTIVITY PERIOD! Teams cannot afford expensive cheerleaders, THEY NEED LEADERS, AND THIS GUY IS NOT ONE!

Wasnt
2 months ago
Reply to  Curt Lindner

He’s talking about Rakell not Zucker. Calm down

Jay95
Jay95
2 months ago
Reply to  Curt Lindner

Take out the money aspect and Zucker, on the ice, makes the team better. His numbers are low, but that’s more indicative of bad luck than anything else. Also, he was playing with a core muscle injury. A healthy Zucker is better than every winger outside of Guentzel and Rust.

RYAN
RYAN
2 months ago

Good get at a good price…they needed something…not gonna complain about this. JT Miller is available in the summer…if that’s their angle and I think it is.

Justin
Justin
2 months ago
Reply to  RYAN

I wouldn’t mind one bit to replace Malkin with JT Miller

RYAN
RYAN
2 months ago
Reply to  Justin

They win nothing without Malkin…runt city. Enjoy that if you want it

Robert Shoemaker
Robert Shoemaker
2 months ago
Reply to  RYAN

Miller is not a free agent until after the 22-23 season

RYAN
RYAN
2 months ago

He’s gonna be traded “high” this summer because Vancouver won’t resign him…that why he was rumored to be available now

Robert Shoemaker
Robert Shoemaker
2 months ago
Reply to  RYAN

Hextall will never give up all the pieces it would take to trade for a player of Miller’s caliber.

RYAN
RYAN
2 months ago

Maybe not…but you don’t know who’s staying and the cap will go up about $8 mil (new tv deals) next year

Hatrick Pornqvist
Hatrick Pornqvist
2 months ago

I gotta think Pettersson makes the most sense as the guy going the other way.

Hatrick Pornqvist
Hatrick Pornqvist
2 months ago

But I immediately find out its ZAR, lol.

RYAN
RYAN
2 months ago

So they trade a guy that can’t hit an empty soccer net for a guy who shoots off wing, scored almost all goals at even strength, and scored 30 twice??

Did burke drug somebody to pull this off?

Last edited 2 months ago by RYAN
Jman712
Jman712
2 months ago
Reply to  RYAN

Shades of Craig Patrick! lol

Lars Nelson
Lars Nelson
2 months ago

Losing ZAR is no that big of a deal compared to anyone else on the roster. It’s actually fantastic that it is not Pettersson. We have a good defense and better scoring. This really is a great trade.

D1VE is Dumb
D1VE is Dumb
2 months ago
Reply to  Lars Nelson

How is it fantastic that the Penguins still have a $4+million dollar bottom pairing Dman on the roster???

D1VE
D1VE
2 months ago
Reply to  D1VE is Dumb

Chill. They’ll likely move Pettersson in the off-season. They’ve gotta open up space for POJ somehow!

ThePenguin71
ThePenguin71
2 months ago

TSN is reporting ZAR, Simon, 2nd rounder and a prospect, which is a lot of odds and ends for a good player.

ThePenguin71
ThePenguin71
2 months ago
Reply to  ThePenguin71

This creates a really interesting who sits dilemma when the playoffs open. I would like to see Boyle in the lineup, but he might be the odd man out when everyone is healthy.

Robert Shoemaker
Robert Shoemaker
2 months ago
Reply to  ThePenguin71

Boyle needs to be in the lineup, period. The Penguins have so few big players and he is an integral part of the PK, especially now with Aston Reese gone. This is my lineup:

Guentzel-Crosby-Rodrigues
Rakell-Malkin-Rust
Heinen-Carter-Kapanen
Boyle-Blueger-McGinn

Zucker can play on the 3rd line and they can scratch either Kappy or Heinen depending on whoever is slumping.

RYAN
RYAN
2 months ago

I agree with your lineup 100%

Shocked a little dump/petterson/Marino all stayed…bet that changes in the summer

Mike
Mike
2 months ago

I’m really loathe to keep EROD on L1. But, when the playoffs come, the only way the Pens go far is by have 4 lines coming at the other team in waves, playing great 200 foot possession hockey, which is why I think you keep Rust with Malkin (in 2016, for example, Kunitz-Malkin-Rust was the best possession line in the playoffs). BUT, I’m not sure EROD on L1 is fair to Sid. Maybe . . . Guenztel-Crosby-Rakell Heinen-Malkin-Rust Zucker-Carter-EROD Boyle-Blueger-McGinn IF it is the lines you mention, then I wonder who of Heinen and Kapanen sits when Zucker returns .… Read more »

Jason.C
Jason.C
2 months ago

I would put zohorna in for heinen

Robert Shoemaker
Robert Shoemaker
2 months ago
Reply to  Jason.C

Zohorna is good for filling in, but hasn’t scored enough to warrant staying on a line full time

Katz
Katz
2 months ago

I’m all in. I’ve been campaigning for an intervention to get rid of Simon for Sullivan’s own sake. Great . Him going alone is a great deal .

D1VE is Dumb
D1VE is Dumb
2 months ago
Reply to  Katz

So no more doom and gloom?

Robert Shoemaker
Robert Shoemaker
2 months ago
Reply to  D1VE is Dumb

Not until they re sign Simon in the offseason because Hextall doesn’t want to pay anyone else. Lol

Jason.C
Jason.C
2 months ago

Please no

Robert Shoemaker
Robert Shoemaker
2 months ago
Reply to  Jason.C

Its a joke because Katz has repeatedly said that Simon was their #1 FA target last offseason just because they signed him on the 1st day. Not true, but doesn’t mean that I can’t poke the bear a bit.

Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  D1VE is Dumb

Let’s just be thankful Katz is happy about something.

Katz
Katz
2 months ago
Reply to  Mark Fisher

I am thrilled !

Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher
2 months ago
Reply to  Katz

I believe you, Katz!

Paul
Paul
2 months ago

HexBurke got ‘er done just as I predicted here earlier today. To acquire Rakell and not part with a first-rounder was shrewd business. And to dump ZAR and Simon makes it sooooo much better. I’m not worried that Rakell has regressed the last few seasons. I’m convinced that was because 1) the Ducks were non-contenders, and 2) the Ducks were woefully challenged on offense. Now that Rakell will be surrounded by skilled veterans, I predict a return to his 30-goal status. The guy isn’t a bruiser, but he’s has size and is strong on his skates and plays a two-way… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Paul
66688871
66688871
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul

How about BurXtall?

DiegoPittFan
DiegoPittFan
2 months ago

Good get

Mike
Mike
2 months ago

Hey Dan, I see a lot of people assuming the deal means reuniting Guentzel-Crosby-Rust. Personally, I’d be loathe to break up the Malkin-Rust combo because the Pens have been coming at teams in a 4 line wave the last few games, and I’m not sure you get that from a Malkin line without Rust. Only way, IMHO, a Malkin-Rakell combo works in a playoff push is IF Rakell plays RW and the LW is McGinn or Zucker (but McGinn isn’t a 2nd liner and Zucker historically has been oil and water with Malkin) On a fully healthy roster . .… Read more »

Robert Shoemaker
Robert Shoemaker
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Rakell can play lw with Malkin and Rust. Erod will have to do on the 1st line. The real solution would be for Kappy to actually score goals

Jason.C
Jason.C
2 months ago

No farewell to Simon? Did you forget he was the other player to go?

Jman712
Jman712
2 months ago

Smart deal by the Pens. Every one of the players involved will be a UFA after this season. We weren’t going to re-sign ZAR or Simon anyway, but could conceivably sign Rackell if he produces the rest of the way. Worst case, we gave up a 2nd rounder for a rental player. Low risk, high reward.

Mike Donnelly
Mike Donnelly
2 months ago

Great job today, Dan. Now go have a cold one!

Ed Andrews
Ed Andrews
1 month ago

as much as i am going to miss ZAR and Simons checks, great guys, they did not score good move to get Rack, now lets move Petterson and Zucker and if Kap cant get situated him too over the summer JT miller would look good in Pens unis as well as bertuzzi. But we will see how it all shapes up (resign Tang, Malkin and Rust as well)

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