PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired forward Daniel Winnik in a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Penguins announced they traded Zach Sill, a 2015 fourth-round draft pick and a 2016 second-round draft pick in exchange for Winnik.
Winnik, 29, has seven goals and 25 points in 58 games with Toronto this year. He led the team with a plus-15, which will also place first among Pittsburgh forwards and second overall on the club.
Winnik has played in 548 career NHL games with Arizona, Colorado, San Jose, Anaheim and Toronto, totaling 175 points (56G-119A). He has also suited up for 28 career NHL playoff contests.
He will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Toronto Sun hockey writer Mike Zeisberger joined the Starkey and Mueller Show to provide a scouting report on Winnik and what he’ll bring to the Pens.
“He’s not a 30 goal scorer but I think the Penguins probably addressed that when they got David Perron earlier in the year,” Zeisberger said. “What he is is a very complete player. I think that he’s an upper end third line guy.”
Zeisberger added that “I’m not saying this guys going to drop the gloves all the time because he’s not. He’s an in your face guy. He’s a north-south player who is very good defensively. He brings a little bit of offensive to the table…he’s a prototypical upper end third line player.”
Click the link below to hear more from Zeisberger on the type of player the Pens just acquired in Winnik.
Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford met with the media prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Capitals to talk about the deal for Winnik and said he’s “a guy who will fit in our top 9. He will give us more balance and more depth up front, something we were looking for. He’s had a very good year, best in his career and he’s a top penalty killer in this league.”
Rutherford went on to add that they view Winnik as “more of a two-way forward, especially on the defensive side. You look at his numbers this year, he’s playing on a team where most of the players are minus and he is double-digit plus. He’s had a really good year.”
On how the deal came together Rutherford said ““The fact that Toronto took back half the salary and the fact we had to put a player in it. I like Zach Sill and think he’s come along and proven that he’s an NHL player, but he is a UFA (unrestricted free agent).”
Many wonder, given how tough it was to make this deal given the Pens cap restraints, if this is the Pens final deal as the trade deadline draws near on Monday, March 2nd at 3pm.
Rutherford was asked if he anticipated any more deals being made and he said “nothing that we are looking at right now, but I don’t think we should close the door. We have until Monday and we’ll keep our ear to the ground. This was an important one for us. Glad to get it out of the way.”
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