THE PENGUINS TRADED WHO FOR WHAT?!?!
Sorry, this is the internet. Sometimes you have to yell to get your voice heard above the fray.
Here's the full trade that Jim Rutherford made today. Courtesy of our friend Rob Rossi.
Kapanen is a nice player who can maybe stick on Sidney Crosby's right wing and add some speed and skill. He's scored 33 goals the last two seasons, including four on the PK. He's a good player who has never really lived up to his first round hype.
In his season wrap up press conference, Jim Rutherford said that he wanted his team to get younger and faster. Kapanen is 24 and he's got speed to burn. Check and check.
Does he fit the Penguins biggest need? He's not a third line center, and he doesn't replace Jack Johnson in the lineup, so the answer is no. It doesn't mean that the Penguins aren't better today than they were yesterday.
I think they are.
Evan Rodrigues didn't play over Patrick Marleau and/or Jared McCann in the Habs series. Those aforementioned players were basically Covid-19 in human form for the Penguins in the playoffs. If Rodrigues couldn't get in over those two, the writing was on the wall.
Rutherford basically traded a first round pick and a prospect for what they hope to be a top-six player. I'm cool with that...for now.
I'm still waiting for another shoe to drop.
Those who don't like the trade say that the Pens gave up two of their best assets (the 15th pick, and Hallender) for someone they didn't really need. A fair critique.
I'll wait and see.
What if Kapanen puts up 50-60 points this year on Crosby's right wing?
If the Penguins find a way to get Jack Johnson off the roster and can fill the roll of 3rd line center, then nobody should complain about the Kasperi Kapanen deal. If they can't do those things, and they wasted a first round pick on getting a luxury player, then I'll bitch too.
There's still much to be done this offseason. Matt Murray will be traded. Is Jared McCann that elusive third line center? I doubt it, but the jury is still out. Will GMJR acquire one?
The season will start in December, or in January, or maybe not until 2022. Who the hell knows? What I do know is that Rutherford isn't done. I'll wait until he is before I start typing in all caps.