First, it was Patrick Marleau, and then it was Conor Sheary and Evan Rodrigues. The Pittsburgh Penguins 2020 trade deadline was not short on drama, nor will it be forgotten as Penguins GM Jim Rutherford will be judged not solely on the strength of the deals but on the final team results.
The Penguins managed to retain their 2020 third-round pick, which will be their first pick in the 2020 NHL Draft by dealing a 2021 third-round choice for Marleau (the pick will upgrade to a second-rounder if the Penguins get to through a parade this season).
The Penguins also zeroed in on Sheary, who won two Stanley Cups with the team in 2016 and 2017, and Rodrigues for Dominik Kahun.
“We’re really happy with (Monday), not just today, take it back a few weeks ago when we go Zucker,” General Manager Jim Rutherford said. “So, now the Penguins in a short period of time have Zucker, Marleau, Rodrigues, and Sheary. And we took Kahun and Galchenyuk out of our lineup.”
In total, the Penguins removed 10 goals from their lineup and added two players who have also scored 10 goals. They added speed with Marleau. They added system familiarity and lineup flexibility with Sheary.
That’s the easy analysis.
“So, we feel good about our team. We have felt good about it all year. We feel better about it today,” Rutherford said.
The Pittsburgh Penguins should feel better about their team, but their competition also improved. The more in-depth look into the Penguins trade deadline is a mixed bag of opportunity and necessity.