Penguins trade Sergei Plotnikov to Arizona for a conditional and minor league player. @CraigCustance broke this one.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 29, 2016
No word yet on the pick or player, we'll update when we get it.
I mean, getting anything for Plotnikov at this point is sheer bonus.— Jesse Marshall (@jmarshfof) February 29, 2016
We'd agree with Jesse here. Plotnikov hasn't played since January 6th, he's been a healthy scratch since then and just didn't seem like a fit for coach Mike Sullivan. Plotnikov played 10 games under Sullivan in an exclusively 4th line role, where he scored 0 goals and 0 assists. Plotnikov's style as a lumbering skater didn't fit under Sullivan's strategies, where speedy wingers like Conor Sheary and Scott Wilson had surpassed Plotnikov on the depth chart.
Plotnikov leaves Pittsburgh with 32 games played, no goals and 2 assists. He found some success in possession when playing with Matt Cullen and Eric Fehr in an offensive-minded 4th line, but the trio (and especially Plotnikov) never converted that possession into production.
It's a shame that Plotnikov ended up more Vladimir Vujtek or Janne Pesonen than, say Artemi Panarin (a player the Pens also pursued this summer but were unable to sign), but so it goes. It was a low-risk move to bring Plotnikov in, but he's clearly not going to be a part of the team's plans going forward, so at least move him now and get something.
Ironically enough, the team Plots was traded to, the Coyotes, are in town and will play the Penguins tonight. That would make for a storybook if Plotnikov scores his 1st career NHL goal against the team he signed with and wouldn't play him and traded him that day. Let's hope that doesn't come true.
In Plotnikov deal, Pens receiving German winger Matthias Plachta— Jonathan Bombulie (@BombulieTrib) February 29, 2016
Plachta is an undrafted free agent, 24 years old and spending his 1st season in North America this year. In 46 games he has just 2 goals and 5 assists in the AHL, so he very much appears to be nothing more than a spare part who will never make an impact in the NHL. So hopefully the conditional pick has some sort of value.
UPDATE 2: It's a 7th round pick next year. Meh. Can't expect much more, but the team clearly just wanted to get Plotnikov out. And at this point that's probably best for everyone.
Penguins' return for Plotnikov is a seventh-round draft choice in 2017 and minor-leaguer Matthias Piachta.— Dave Molinari (@MolinariPG) February 29, 2016