Well, the Pittsburgh Penguins certainly wasted no time in making a splash on the first day of free agency. But it wasn’t a Semin signing or a Comeau contract that garnered the attention. Instead, the Pens made a trade for Phil Kessel – the extremely talented yet somewhat enigmatic former Toronto Maple Leaf.
And while the addition of Kessel to a lineup already featuring the likes of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Marc-Andre Fleury et al looks to make Pittsburgh a preseason favorite for the Eastern Conference Finals, several other moves could help to mold the AHL Penguins into serious players this season as well.
So with no further adieu, here’s today’s Penguins News Roundup:
Acquiring Kessel from Toronto took some major maneuvering from Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford.
The Kessel trade could be the biggest move of the Rutherford era with Pittsburgh.
A breakdown of who’s in and who’s out with the Pens.
Rutherford brought in Kessel without having to give up one of his top defensive prospects in the deal.
Knowing when to pull the trigger made all the difference for the Penguins.
Playing on a line with Sidney Crosby could help Kessel’s already impressive goal totals.
Now for some more Wilkes-Barre centric articles:
First, take a look at our thumbnails of the players who might be suiting up in NEPA this season.
The Times-Leader’s Tom Venesky breaks down some of the new additions, and tells us who won’t be back in the WB next year.
Former first round draftee Tyler Biggs was one of the pieces of the Kessel trade, and is looking for a fresh start with the Pens.
Official Pittsburgh Releases on all of the moves from yesterday:
Pens acquire Kessel, Biggs and Erixon from Toronto
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton leading scorer Conor Sheary signs a two-year deal with Pittsburgh
Russian winger Sergei Plotnikov was signed after playing six seasons in the KHL
And don’t forget to check out our Pens Free Agent Tracker for all of the moves affecting the NHL and AHL clubs