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Penguins Trade: Get Mikael Granlund from Nashville in Roster Shakeup



Pittsburgh Penguins trade, Mikael Granlund

The busy night continued Wednesday when GM Ron Hextall executed the second Pittsburgh Penguins trade in less than one hour. First, Hextall traded center Teddy Blueger to the Vegas Golden Knights, then followed that move with accompanying salary cap space to acquire Nashville Predators left wing/center Mikael Granlund.

The reported return, per Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, who broke the trade, is a second-rounder. PHN can confirm the deal.

The Penguins acquired a third-rounder in the Blueger deal and upped their available salary cap space to $6.3 million.

Granlund, 31, is not a large forward. The Finnish native is 5-foot-10 and 185 pounds. He’s also well paid with a $5 million AAV for two more seasons. His great strengths are hockey IQ and playmaking. Granlund has been playing on the top-line left wing but has ample experience in the middle.

However, Granlund is not strong on the faceoff dot. In the last five seasons with Nashville, his faceoff winning percentage is 47.7%. This season, he has 36 points, including nine goals. Last season, Granlund notched 64 points in 80 games but only 11 goals.

After spending most of the last two seasons at center, Predators coach Jon Hynes largely moved Granlund to the left wing this season.

The forward is a setup man at either position.

After the acquisition, the Pittsburgh Penguins still have a little salary cap space. As of publishing Wednesday evening, the Penguins have $1.1 million. By Friday, that will grow to $1.15 million.

The Penguins saved an additional $1.125 million when they assigned winger Brock McGinn to the WBS Penguins shortly before the Granlund deal. To recall McGinn, the Penguins would need to clear at least $10,000.

Per the Penguins press release, Hextall said, “Mikael is a versatile forward, able to play either wing or center and contribute offensively. He has experience on both the power play and penalty kill and can add options to our lineup.”

Mikael Granlund has played 729 career NHL games, split between the Minnesota Wild (2012-19) and Nashville (’19-23), and has recorded 144 goals, 335 assists, and 479 points.

The forward also hit the 20-goal plateau twice in his career (26 in 2016-17;  21 in ’17-18) and has surpassed the 60-point level three times (69 in 2016-17; 67 in ’17-18; 64 in ’21-22).

The Penguins visit the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday evening at Amalie Arena. The team is scheduled to have a morning skate at 11:30 a.m., though the Penguins’ release does not say when Granlund will report.