Just a night after having fallen to the Toronto Maple Leafs by a final score of 5-1, the Los Angeles Kings jumped on the phone lines following the conclusion of the game with hopes that changes could be made to the roster going forward.
With that in mind, TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported on Wednesday afternoon that the Pittsburgh Penguins were set to acquire 26-year-old Tanner Pearson from California while the return piece of the deal was yet to be known by both sides.
TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie was next to step in, ultimately confirming the transaction while also noting that it was pending the confirmation of a trade call from the league.
Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette then jumped in with a piece of his own, noting the fact of which Daniel Sprong was not expected to be the return piece in the deal which McKenzie then followed up with in confirmation of a moment later.
Bob McKenzie then put the final details of the trade together about twenty minutes later, making mention of the fact that the Penguins would be sending Carl Hagelin to the Kings in exchange for the Canadian native.
According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic Toronto, Pittsburgh is set to retain $250K of Hagelin’s salary which will even out the money that will now be allocated new their newest acquisition of the left-winger coming over from Los Angeles as a result of the one-for-one deal.
A club announcement has been made since to officially confirm the transaction, meanwhile noting that Pearson’s contract will keep him locked in with the Penguins through the conclusion of the 2020-2021 season.
It also makes mention of the fact of which Pearson’s contract currently carries an annual average value of $3.75 million.
What’s interesting about this deal on the Penguins side of things is the fact of which this is not their first transaction to have made and announced thus far today. Just two hours earlier, the club announced the signing of general manager Jim Rutherford to a three-year contract extension while noting in a statement that he is one of the most successful general managers of his generation and one of the game’s very best today as well.
Turning the attention back to the trade now, Eric Engels of Sportsnet.ca notes the fact of which with the acquisition of Carl Hagelin in Los Angeles, he will bring more speed and more versatility to the Los Angeles Kings organization, however, it’s hard to argue if he will bring more scoring chances to the team’s active roster as well.
This of course is a worthy point to raise because in taking a look at Pearson’s performance for the 2018-19 season thus far, the forward has yet to record a single goal through seventeen games played, though, he does own a single point and assist to go alongside 18 registered penalty minutes.
Furthermore, in prior seasons, Pearson has shown in the past that he can score with a pairing of solid line-mates and therefore has potential to pick that up again if properly placed where he can both succeed and benefit as a key acquisition for the team.
Taking a look now at Pearson’s NHL career as a whole, the left-winger has scored 69 goals to go alongside 75 assists, making for 144 points registered in a total of 325 games played. He also adds 88 penalty minutes to his resume.
Pearson was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the first round (30th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and later went on to make his NHL debut at the beginning of the 2013-2014 regular season.
In a statement from Kings general manager Rob Blake with regards to the transaction, he said, “Our team is obviously not in a position that we are comfortable with in terms of how we are playing. This is a change to our line-up that gives us an additional amount of speed. With Carl Hagelin, his number one asset is speed and getting to holes, and we think he will play a big role on the penalty kill for us going forward.”
Taking a brief look now at what Tanner Pearson is capable of, he scored a career-high 24 goals in 2016-17 while he finished the 2017-18 season with 15 goals and 40 points. Pearson has also won a Stanley Cup during his six-year tenure with the Kings.
Speaking of which, taking a quick look at his performance for the playoffs, Pearson adds on five goals and ten assists, making for 15 points registered in a total of 34 career Stanley Cup Playoff games played.
If lined up alongside Sidney Crosby or Evegeni Malkin, Pearson would be given the ultimate chance from head coach Mike Sullivan to succeed, which would also allow for him to rejuvenate his skills, ultimately allowing for his fantasy value to both elevate and skyrocket as well.
Taking a look now at the Carl Hagelin side of the deal, the Swedish forward is struggling as well with only one goal and three points registered in a total of 16 games played while he also ons a plus-8 rating.
As noted by TSN, Hagelin’s contract carries a $4 million cap hit for the season as he approaches the final year of his deal before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Hagelin joined the Penguins back in 2016 after he was traded by the Anaheim Ducks which has since resulted in winning back-to-back Stanley Cups with the team in 2016 and 2017. Taking a look at his numbers for the 2017-18 season, Hagelin recorded 10 goals and 31 points in a total of 81 games played.
Taking a look now at the entirety of his NHL career as a whole, the 30-year-old has scored 89 goals to go alongside 136 assists, making for 225 points registered in a total of 504 games played. He also adds 220 penalty minutes to his resume.
He also adds 22 goals and 47 points to his resume in a total go 121 career Stanley Cup Playoff games played. Hagelin was originally drafted by the New York Rangers in the sixth round (168th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and later went on to make his NHL debut at the beginning of the 2011-2012 regular season.
As noted by Fox Sports, Hagelin played a pivotal role in Pittsburgh’s run to consecutive Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017 while his empty-net goal in Game 6 of the 2017 Cup Finals against Nashville assured the Penguins of a second straight title.
At this time, the Kings sit last in the NHL standings this season with 11 points recorded through 17 games played while the Penguins on the other hand are placed seventh in the Metropolitan Division with 17 points registered through 16 games played.
With this deal now officially said and done, it ultimately moves a struggling player with two additional years left on his contract for Hagelin who will be an unrestricted free agent at the conclusion of the season. The hope is that it will also help to rejuvenate Hagelin before possibly moving him again at the deadline.
As far as things go on the Pearson end of things, the hope will likely be that he gets playing time in their top-nine, and possibly even the top-six which could help Pearson to both spark and re-kindle his game. The Penguins currently sit ranked 24th overall in the NHL and as they are currently seeking the addition of some secondary scoring to their roster, Pearson could very well be a start of good things to come if all goes to plan.
The Penguins have won only one of their last seven games and will look to pick up the pace with Pearson when they are back in action on Thursday night on home ice against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. As for the Los Angeles Kings, they have lost three of their last four since firing head coach John Stevens and replacing him with interim bench boss Willie Desjardins and will look to get things going again on their end as well when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night at the United Center.
The games can be seen on NHL Network and Fox Sports West as well as AT&T SportsNet and TVA Sports. Thursday’s game gets underway at 7:00pmET while Friday’s game gets underway with puck drop scheduled for 5:30pmPT.