The Pittsburgh Penguins have traded Carl Hagelin to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Tanner Pearson.
Hagelin is set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and has had a slow start to the season with the Pens. The Kings are hoping he shows some promise and either produces enough to help them in the standings or maybe flip him for a draft pick at the deadline.
Hagelin has played in 504 games and has tallied 89 goals and 136 assists. Last season he finished the year with a solid 31 points. Hagelin is a versatile player and can perform on the penalty kill and power play, he’s more of a bottom six forward at this point in his career.
Pearson has three years left on his deal and has also gotten off to a slow start. Pearson is a little bit more of a scorer than Hagelin, while Hagelin is a more balanced player. Pearson has competed in 325 games and has scored 69 goals and notched 75 assists. Pearson finished last season with 40 points.
Pearson could benefit from being on a top line in Pittsburgh, he’s got a great shot and with Malkin or Crosby feeding him the puck he would be able to get back to scoring 20 goals a season.
This trade sure seems like a big win for the Penguins, they traded away a 30 year old UFA for a 26 year old winger under contract through the 2020-21 season. It’s hard to make sense of this deal for LA but logically it could mean they are trying to get younger, because I doubt Hagelin will finish the season there.
The Kings are in last place of the entire NHL and have lost goaltender Jonathan Quick for a large portion of the season, it might be time for them to start rebuilding so they will trade off aging players or players that don’t fit their long term plan in return for assets such as picks and prospects.
The Penguins just made their team stronger without giving up too much and now they look poised for another strong season in the Metropolitan Conference.
Either way with both players off to terrible starts maybe they will benefit from a change of scenery.
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-Tyler Smith (@TylerSmith4386)