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Ray Shero: "Our first priority was to try to add a defenseman"

From the official website:

"I'm not really that interested in trading players off our team because I'm trying to strengthen it, not weaken it…..This was to strengthen our defense, which I think we needed to strengthen a bit. Right now we have eight NHL defensemen. Last year we went to the Final and won the Stanley Cup with eight NHL defensemen, and all of them played in the playoffs. It's important to have. We'll see what happens by Wednesday. Right now there are no cap implications.


From our meetings and talking to our coaches, our first priority was to try to add a defenseman. Since Saturday I've been active trying to do that. I was more of a caller trying to see the value for players, who was going to be available and what the cost was. Once we established that, we've got Jordan Leopold now, we'll see what's out there. Maybe it's a minor league deal, maybe it's no deal at all, but we want to be in the mix of things and see what's out there."

He's one of their top penalty killers. He wasn't playing as much on the power play but he still has seven goals. He's a guy that can skate, move the puck, he's got good NHL experience. I think for our group transitionally and not spending as much time in our end, I think that will be an important addition."

Always take a general manager's words with a grain of salt when it comes to his future plans, but it seems that Shero and company identified Leopold and went to get him.

Also Leopold modified his no-trade clause and was approving of the trade to send him to Pittsburgh.  As one reporter said on twitter, Pittsburgh was where Leopold wanted to go.  Now that he's here, let's see how he plays.

(Coming up later tonight: Is Jordan Leopold an upgrade for the Pens defense?)