The Penguins get: A speedy depth scorer who never meshed with the Ducks after signing a big free agent contract with Anaheim.
The Ducks get: A shifty winger with top-six potential who was unable to fit in with the Penguins’ star centermen and a depth defenseman who can never seem to get into the actual games but continues to be an interesting sweetener in multiple trades.
Fantasy Players Impacted: This probably helps Perron most of all. He goes from a crowded wing situation in Pittsburgh with Phil Kessel, Patric Hornqvist, Chris Kunitz and Beau Bennett. But the Penguins’ wing wasn’t that crowded after Pascal Dupuis retired, especially considering how often Bennett is injured. Perron should have been able to grab a top-six spot in Pittsburgh but he was incapable. There are reasons to be skeptical of his move to Anaheim.
Perron owners will hope that he lands on the left side with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry but Rickard Rakell has had that spot on lockdown since mid-November. Not even notorious line juggler Bruce Boudreau has been able to break up that line. Rakell has been a really good fit there even as the stars have struggled.
Instead, look for Perron to directly replace Hagelin by skating on the second line with Jakob Silfverberg and Ryan Kesler. That fit could be tough as all three are at their best when shooting the puck but Perron has enough puck possession/distribution skills that you can envision him as a better fit there. Silfverberg and Kesler have been heating up recently so the hope has to be that Perron can add fuel to the fire and get that line scoring at a 50-point rate in the second half. That’s the upside for all three of them.
Perron should likely improve simply through the law of averages. Thus far his on-ice shooting percentage at 5-on-5 is a dismal 4.8% and his own shooting percentage is even lower at 4.2%. He joins a team just as down on its luck but that doesn’t mean he won’t turn it around.
Adding another defenseman, even one as inconsequent as Clendening, on top of getting Simon Despres off IR is an interesting situation for the Ducks. They can probably simply waive Korbinian Holzer but perhaps they have their sights set on moving a defenseman in the near future. Either way, Clendening is unlikely to see much action.
The Ducks probably win this trade long term simply by virtue of getting Hagelin’s deal off their cap for next season, and the following two for that matter. The Penguins are certainly betting big that Hagelin will be a fit because you can add him to the pile of money they have committed next season. That tally is now up to 13 players at the cost of approximately $60 million on the cap.
Shaking things up and moving on from Perron is not a terrible idea but you do wonder if acquiring Hagelin specifically was precipitated by the significant injury to Nick Bonino. Hagelin is a solid penalty killer so he adds a dimension the Penguins were missing. Hopefully this helps the Penguins’ penalty kill and keeps Marc-Andre Fleury afloat while Bonino is out.
Hagelin is unlikely to slot into the top six for the Penguins, instead settling in on the third line. This helps solidify Kunitz and Hornqvist as they have bounced around the lineup all season though it does block intriguing rookie Conor Sheary.
The upside for Hagelin is 40 points and he almost certainly won’t get there as he has yet to do so in his career. That said, Hagelin’s chances of finding better footing after this deal are high simply because, like Perron, his underlying numbers portend to a turnaround. His on-ice shooting percentage at 5-on-5 is dreadfully low at 4.9%, which mirrors his own personal shooting percentage of 4.9%. Both should climb in the second half giving Hagelin a shot at 15 goals and 35 points.
Players this helps, in order:
Players this hurts, in order:
Who do you think won the deal?
Thanks for reading. You can follow me on Twitter @SteveLaidlaw. For more help in your fantasy league, pick up the Dobberhockey Mid-Season guide full with over 600 player projections for the second half of the season.
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