It hasn’t even been 48 hours since the last time the Penguins played a game and it feels like the whole thing has been flipped on its head. Between the Penguins extending Jim Rutherford’s contract then him celebrating by flipping Carl Hagelin to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Tanner Pearson, Wednesday was quite the day for the hometown team.
Tonight, the Pens get back to actual business on the ice for their first game of the post-Hagelin era with the Tampa Bay Lightning in town for the first meeting of the season between to the two sides.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM and will be broadcast on AT&T Sports Network.
Catch up on a busy, busy Wednesday with today’s Pens Points...
In a day full of news, the biggest came around noon when the Penguins announced a trade many expected to be coming. Forward Carl Hagelin was shipped west to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for fellow forward Tanner Pearson. [Pensburgh]
Just prior to the Hagelin/Pearson deal, the Penguins announced a three year contract extension for general manager Jim Rutherford that will keep him with the team through the 2021-22 NHL season. It was at his contract extension press conference that Rutherford announced a trade was imminent. [Pensburgh]
When Rutherford spoke to the media a week ago in Washington, he made it very clear he was unhappy with the team’s play and was looking to make a trade to shake things up. Fast forward seven days and Rutherford did just that, acquiring Pearson from Los Angeles in hopes of jumpstarting his bottom six. [Penguins]
It has been a rough start to the 2018-19 season for Pearson, posting just a single assist in 17 games played to this point. While his box score numbers may not be impressive, a quick look at the underlying stats tells a much different story for the 26-year old former Stanley Cup champion. [Pensburgh]
Now for some bad news, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is being treated for an upper-body injury according to head coach Mike Sullivan. Crosby presumably suffered the injury during Tuesday’s game and his status for tonight’s contest with the Lightning remains uncertain. [Trib Live]
During his press conference discussing yesterday’s trade, Rutherford again criticized his team questioning their chemistry. Rutherford made it clear that this move was used to shake things up in the locker room to get them back on track before the season gets away from them. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Carl Hagelin was a major part of the Penguins two Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017, all the while becoming an integral part of the locker room in the process. His trade to the Kings sent shockwaves through his teammates in Pittsburgh and served as a clear wake up call that they must start playing better hockey. [Penguins]
Just because the Hagelin for Pearson swap is complete does not mean Jim Rutherford is done doing business. If the team continues to struggle the way it has, there could be more personnel changes on the way. [NHL]
Down on the farm, things seem to be going much better for the Baby Pens at the moment. During a rare weekday game on Wednesday, goaltender Tristan Jarry made a little AHL history by scoring on an empty net during the team’s 5-1 victory over the Springfield Thunderbirds. Jarry becomes the 14th goalie in league history to score a goal at the AHL level. [Pensburgh]
Prior to tonight’s game against the Lightning, the Penguins will honor the Mario Lemieux Foundation for it’s 25th anniversary. The foundation was created by team owner Mario Lemieux and his wife Natalie in 1993 following Mario’s bout with Hodgkin’s disease. [Pensburgh]
News and notes from around the NHL...
On Monday night, Willie O’Ree was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, 60 years after he broke the NHL’s color barrier playing for the Boston Bruins. Over the last six decades, the game has made many strides in opening the game up for minorities, but there is still much work left to be done. [The Undefeated]
The NHL concussion lawsuit may be settled, but that doesn’t mean the fight is over for some former players. One of those former players is Daniel Carcillo, who is determined to get his day in court. [New York Times]