Call it a hunch, or too few grades of distinction in the game-by-game report cards. The Pittsburgh Penguins trade list this season included spending a lot of hockey capital to acquire Jason Zucker to be a top-six left-wing. As a result, they won’t have a first-round choice in 2021, and Penguins fans will watch prospect defenseman Calen Addison grow up in Minnesota.
The Penguins lineup is heavy on left wings, but it is heavier still with players who did not rage against the dying of the light in a second consecutive early postseason exit. GM Jim Rutherford noticed, and he promised changes.
The Penguins are stale. They need life. They need a 1,000-watt jolt.
The first big fish in the NHL trade rumor pond is Calgary Flames LW Johnny Gaudreau. A.k.a, Johnny Hockey, the 5-foot-9 winger with a big offensive game, iffy defensive play, and lamentable lack of playoff success.