With both teams struggling mightily offensively, the Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins have swapped forwards in hopes of fixing their scoring woes.
Per the Penguins' official Twitter account, the team has acquired winger Tanner Pearson from the Kings in exchange for Carl Hagelin. The details of the trade are below.
The Penguins have acquired forward Tanner Pearson (@tannerjpearson) from the LA Kings in exchange for Carl Hagelin.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 14, 2018
Pearson's contract carries an average annual value of $3.75 million and he is signed through the 2020.21 season. Details: https://t.co/hRFEwMpUb5 pic.twitter.com/59sci5oAso
Pearson was among the many LA forwards that simply couldn't find the back of the net, and it's a reason why they're the worst team in the NHL right now. He has zero goals and one assist on the season.
Hagelin has equally struggled, with just one goal and two assists in 16 games so far. But with good puck possession numbers (a 52.0 Corsi For percentage), yet a woeful 3.6 shooting percentage (his career is 9.8 percent), it suggests that Hagelin has simply been a product of bad luck.
Hagelin could be paired alongside captain Anze Kopitar - one of the best playmakers in the NHL - so maybe that will help him regain his scoring form. Hagelin is in the final year of his contract, so a strong finish in Los Angeles would do him some good as free agency looms.
What This Means
Pittsburgh has lost six of its last seven games - and they currently sit third-last in the Eastern Conference. Los Angeles has a horrible 5-11-1 record, and they're dead-last in the NHL right now.
Pearson and Hagelin simply weren't scoring with their respective teams, but the former figures to be paired with either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. Both players, of course, have long histories of turning almost every linemate into a 20-30 goal guy. Pearson is two years removed from a 23-goal season, so he has shown the ability to flourish as a reliable scorer.
For the Kings, unloading the remainder of Pearson's contract also helps them save valuable cap space going forward. Acquiring Hagelin is low-risk. They can re-sign him if he does well, or simply let the Swede walk in free agency if it doesn't pan out. A fine move here by GM Rob Blake.