PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Today is the trade deadline in the NHL and the Pittsburgh Penguins did not make the big splash that had been rumored for a few days.
However, they did add a couple of pieces that will help shore up an injury-depleted group of forwards.
According to multiple reports, the Penguins acquired center Marcel Goc from the Florida Panthers for a fifth-round pick this year and a third-round pick in 2015.
In 62 games this season, Goc has tallied 11 goals and 12 assists. In 550 career games, Goc has 72 goals and 105 assists.
Goc, a first round pick of the San Jose Sharks in 2001, figures to help fill out the bottom two lines.
While the bottom six forwards have been an issue all year, the Penguins still needed a winger to play alongside Chris Kunitz and Sidney Crosby.
In addition to Goc, the Penguins acquired right winger Lee Stempniak from the Calgary Flames for a third-round draft pick.
Stempniak has eight goals and 15 assists in 52 games for the Flames this season.
It would seem likely that Stempniak will at least be given a shot to play with Crosby and Kunitz.
Calgary Flames beat writer Steve MacFarlane joined Starkey and Mueller to talk about the addition of Stempniak and the role he could see him stepping into.
“I actually would compare him in a way to Pascal Dupuis, just something about him sort of reminds me of him,” MacFarlane said.
MacFarlane went on to describe what it is Stempniak will bring to the table and how he could fit on the top line alongside Crosby and Kunitz.
“Maybe not the biggest guy, but plays bigger than he is,” said MacFarlane. “I could see him comfortably, especially for the next 20 games or so, adapting very well to that role and being extremely excited about it. When his mind is right and his wheels are going, he’s the kind of guy that can play those big minutes.”
Doug Dirks, of CBC Canada in Calgary, joined Colin Dunlap Wednesday night on 93-7 The Fan also to discuss Stempniak.
Colin asked Dirks about Stempniak and what the Pens could expect from the former Flames player.
“By all accounts, you are getting a great guy in Pittsburgh, one who is versatile and who should fit in nicely,” said Dirks.
The guys discussed what role Stempniak could play for the Penguins going forward.
“I think he’ll do whatever the Penguins ask of him, and he’s made that abundantly clear,” Dirks said.
While the Penguins were not able to land Ryan Kesler or other high-priced guys such as Matt Moulson or Thomas Vanek, I think these two moves helped to better solidify the forwards. It’s also worth noting that Beau Bennett will hopefully be returning to the lineup in a couple of weeks.
At that point, Bennett may get a shot on the top line and Stempniak would move to the third line with Brandon Sutter and Goc.
Do these moves make the Penguins outright Stanley Cup contenders? Perhaps not, but they did not sacrifice the future to land a rental player.
I would look ahead to the summer with money coming off the books and a rising salary cap for where the Penguins make their big move.
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