There can be little question the Pittsburgh Penguins gambled this offseason. GM Jim Rutherford wanted to get younger, hungrier, and maybe a little bit faster. While he achieved speed and youth, he also bet big on players who had subpar 2019-20 seasons in hopes the Penguins franchise and culture could right their performances.
Kasperi Kapanen, Mike Matheson, Evan Rodrigues, and Mark Jankowski all had better 2018-19 seasons, in some cases much better, than they did last season. (Update: newest free-agent signee Cody Ceci also falls into that category).
“Kasperi is a good, young player that brings speed to our lineup and plays the way we want to play,” Rutherford said after the trade. “Having previously drafted him, we know him as a player and feel he can improve our top-six.”
The Penguins also said goodbye to heart and soul player Patric Hornqvist, who had a rebound year (pun intended) with 16 goals.
Are the Pittsburgh Penguins better off today than they were seven months ago?