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Penguins Update: Rating Rutherford’s Trades – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Penguins Update: Rating Rutherford’s Trades

With the NHL trade deadline fast approaching, I thought it’d be fun to glance in the rearview mirror and do a quick summary of general manager Jim Rutherford’s trades since he arrived in Pittsburgh.

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Of course, the ratings are completely subjective, based on the observations of yours truly. Feel free to chime in if you disagree.

Minor-league trades and waiver transactions are not listed.

2014-15
June 27: James Neal to Nashville for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling

Skinny: Neal’s scored more goals than Hornqvist since the trade (71-64). However, No. 72’s emerged as a net-front tour de force and heart-and-soul leader.

Rating: A-

December 5: Philip Samuelsson to Arizona for Rob Klinkhammer and a 2016 Conditional Pick

Skinny: Pens received a bottom-six winger with size for a former prospect.

Rating: C+

January 2: Rob Klinkhammer and a 2015 1st Round Pick to Edmonton for David Perron

Skinny: Trade looked great until Perron cooled following a torrid start.

Rating: C

January 27: Marcel Goc to St. Louis for Maxim Lapierre

Skinny: Swap of unproductive fourth-line centers.

Rating: C

February 25: Zach Sill, a 2015 4th Round Pick and a 2016 2nd Round Pick to Toronto for Daniel Winnik

Skinny: Solid upon his arrival, Winnik faltered in the postseason (minus-6).

Rating: C+

March 2: Robert Bortuzzo and a 2016 7th Round Pick to St. Louis for Ian Cole

Skinny: Pens miss Bortuzzo’s toughness, but the shot-blocking Cole emerged as a first-rate penalty killer and top-pairing stalwart.

Rating: A

March 2: Simon Despres to Anaheim for Ben Lovejoy

Skinny: Immensely unpopular trade reaped dividends. Lovejoy was outstanding during the ’16 Cup run. Concussion woes derailed Despres’ once promising career.

Rating: B+

2015-16
July 1: Scott Harrington, Kasperi Kapanen, Nick Spaling, a 2016 1st Round Pick and a 2016 3rd Round Pick to Toronto for Phil Kessel, Tyler Biggs, Tim Erixon and a 2016 2nd Round Pick

Skinny: Summa cum laude of JR deals. At his best on a big stage, Kessel was a driving force behind the Pens’ Cup triumph.

Rating: A

July 28: Brandon Sutter and a 2016 3rd Round Pick to Vancouver for Nick Bonino, Adam Clendening and a 2016 2nd Round Pick

Skinny: Trade was a wash until Bonino wove some HBK magic last spring.

Rating: B+

December 14: Rob Scuderi to Chicago for Trevor Daley

Skinny: Masterpiece involving “The Piece.” Pens’ fortunes began to turn with the mobile Daley’s arrival.

Rating: A

January 15: Adam Clendening and David Perron to Anaheim for Carl Hagelin

Skinny: The speedy Swede completed the Pens’ Stanley Cup puzzle.

Rating: A-

February 27: A 2016 3rd Round Pick to Edmonton for Justin Schultz

Skinny: Supremely skilled, Schultz transformed from bust to boffo for the black and gold.

Rating: A+

February 29: Sergei Plotnikov to Arizona for Matthias Plachta and a 2017 7th Round Pick

Skinny: Housecleaning swap of disappointing Euros.

Rating: B-

2016-17
November 2: Mike Condon to Ottawa for a 2017 5th Round Pick

Skinny: JR peddled a potential backup for Matt Murray.

Rating: C-

 

*Be sure to check out Rick Buker’s books,
 
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2 Comments

  1. the Other Rick's Gravatar the Other Rick
    February 16, 2017 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Hey Rick,

    This was a really great idea, grading JRs trades. It is really a timely article. I would agree with most of your assessments. As you know the Despres-Lovejoy trade still sits bad with me, but that is neither here nor there, I can’t argue that it hurt the Pens that much since Lovejoy, I must admit did his share during the Cup run.

    However, my real thoughts after reading your article is this, how would you rate the following non trades;

    Failing to deal MAF in the off-season (or do you think it is too early to tell)?

    JR not making a big splash last year and trading for a big named player rather than under the radar trades?

    To me, sometimes the best trade is no trade. I personally give JR an A for not trading away any more draft picks last year for a rent-a-player that the Pens clearly didn’t need.

    However, even though I was just as indignant as most over Calgary’s 2nd round offer for a starting goalie, I am now a fan of making that move. At the time I would have given JR an A or B over that non-trade, but in hindsight I am of the opinion that non-trade will end up costing the Pens. Hindsight makes me now give that trade D+ or C- at best.

    Last year I was a fan of exactly what JR did no rent-a-players. This year, I am thinking that the Pens may want to at least listen to a rent-a-player offer that gets them out from under MAF’s contract and gives MAF a fresh start as a starter again. Many people are worried that the Pens will need MAF in the Play-offs and that may prove true, but I tend to think that if the Pens need more than 1 Goalie in the play-offs Jarry just may be able to fill in a couple of games until Murray gets back.

  2. February 16, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    The one thing I really like about Rutherford’s trades is that he doesn’t give up something for a player who is just here for a layover. He builds a foundation rather than temporarily plugging holes.


            

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