The Pittsburgh Penguins made good on their desire to acquire forward depth on Monday morning ahead of the NHL trade deadline at 3 p.m. The Penguins acquired San Jose Sharks stalwart, Patrick Marleau for a conditional 2021 third-round pick. The trade is pending the official NHL trade call.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now was the first to report the trade. The pick will become a second-round pick if the Penguins win the Stanley Cup.
Building on previous PHN+ stories and scoops, the Penguins not only wanted forward depth, but they also wanted leadership for a team that has struggled in 2020 to maintain their style of play.
The Penguins are currently without their first, second
and now third-round picks in the 2020 draft.
Marleau comes with bonafide locker room presence. He was signed by Toronto three years ago to be the locker room leader for the young Toronto Maple Leafs, and his work was lauded. Toronto bought out Marleau last summer in a salary-cap move.
Now, Marleau is 40-years-old and perhaps in the last go-round of his career. He’s played in 1715 games, scored 561 goals, and scored 1186 points. Marleau, like the San Jose Sharks, has struggled this season. He has 20 points (10g, 10a) in 58 games.
Marleau has never won a Stanley Cup, and his San Jose Sharks club lost to the Penguins in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.
What Marleau brings to the Penguins table are speed, versatility, and leadership. His hands may have expired, but his feet have not. The Penguins are currently without third line LW Zach Aston-Reese, who is still listed as week to week. The Penguins could also use an upgrade at the fourth-line center.
Patrick Marleau can fill either of those roles.
He also makes only $700,000, which leaves the Penguins additional room until 3 p.m.
Early Monday morning, it appeared Penguins GM Jim Rutheford was fishing in deeper waters, specifically for Florida Panthers forward and Pittsburgh native Vincent Trocheck. However, Carolina offered a huge haul for Trocheck and the Penguins zeroed in on Marleau.
PHN+ did confirm the Penguins engaged in talks for Trocheck and scouted Florida over the past couple of weeks.
PHN has confirmed Rutherford “blew a gasket” this weekend after the Penguins sloppy loss to the Buffalo Sabres at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday and the Penguins prized leadership among their trade targets.
Editors Note: The story was updated to include the condition of the pick and the year.