The Penguins made a trade today to send Mark Friedman to the Vancouver Canucks organization. Pittsburgh also pitches in ECHL player Ty Glover in order to get back Karel Plaek and Jack Rathbone from the Canucks.
The Penguins have acquired defenseman Jack Rathbone and forward Karel Plasek from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Mark Friedman and Ty Glover. pic.twitter.com/NBGC0KOlH5— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 17, 2023
Rathbone, 24, is to this point perhaps most well-known in Pittsburgh for being a college teammate of John Marino at Harvard. Rathbone was a fourth round pick in 2017 for Vancouver and has 27 NHL games under his belt. He started out this season with AHL Abbotsford. Rathbone cleared waivers (like Friedman) after training camp and will be sent to Wilkes-Barre, the Pens announced.
Plasek, 23, was a seventh round pick of the Canucks in 2019. He’s developed in his native Czechia outside of eight games with Abbotsford in 2021-22. He’s yet to play at the NHL level and has been announced as being sent to ECHL Wheeling by the Pens.
Glover, 23, was signed by the Pens as a free agent out of college. He had a fairly successful rookie AHL season, but was pushed to the ECHL by the glut of signings Pittsburgh made over the summer.
This is Kyle Dubas’ fourth trade as the GM of the Penguins, and other than a minor move at the draft to swap picks, the least impactful one. Pittsburgh gets a little younger moving the 27-year old Friedman for the 24-year old Rathbone as the key pieces of the move. Wilkes-Barre is swamped with the number of “veteran” players they can dress in a given game. Having only played 112 professional games entering this season, Rathbone gives the AHL lineup more flexibility for the Pens than keeping Friedman would offer, with the trade off being that Friedman is probably a better depth NHL call-up option in the near future, though arguably not that different of an impact for either Friedman or Rathbone.
The forwards being swapped looks more like giving new players a chance in new places. Glover was a victim of circumstance and numbers to get bumped out of the plans in Wilkes-Barre. The Pens moving him along should be beneficial for his career, and in exchange Pittsburgh gets a fresh and green player in Plasek who will start from the bottom levels to see what may develop from there.
Friedman closes the book on the Penguin chapter of his career having played 54 NHL game split across three seasons from 2021-23 as a depth/injury fill-in. Famously a waiver claim and first transaction that former GM Ron Hextall made in Pittsburgh, Friedman gets the opportunity to move along to a new organization and get a fresh start somewhere else.