According to reports, Patrick Hornqvist could be on the move. Kevin Weekes of the NHL Network reports that the Stanley Cup hero could be on the move to Florida, and the Panthers would be sending back defenseman Mike Matheson.
On the surface, it makes a lot of sense. Patrick Hornqvist is nearing 34 year of age and hasn't been healthy since 2015.
He's a warrior and a hell of a locker room presence, but his $5.3 million cap hit is too much for a player who is quite clearly breaking down.
Matheson can move the puck, plays on the left side, and would be a big upgrade over Jack Johnson on the Penguins third defense pair.
What do the Penguins do with Jack Johnson? Stay tuned. Matheson will cost $4.875 million against the cap for the next six seasons. So, it was a bad contract out to bring in another not-so-great contract.
He's 26 years old, though, and again, would be an upgrade for the Penguins third defense pair.
It hurts to lose Hornqvist's personality, but that's really all you'd be losing. He's not the same player that he was when the Penguins won back-to-back Stanley Cup Championships.
Penguins fans, if you're upset, it's likely because of how you remember Hornqvist. Not because he's an effective player today.
Any trade that gets Jack Johnson out of the starting lineup is good by me. Especially when you get younger and are able to get a little bit of cap relief.