Follow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford has been tinkering with his roster quite a bit this season.
He has already made four trades, and more may be coming.
It’s a logjam in the Metropolitan Division with 30 games left in the regular season.
The Penguins are currently tied with the Washington Capitals for second place, four points behind the first-placed New York Islanders. All three teams are in action on Tuesday.
So could there be more moves?
“Well, you always keep the door open, you don’t know what somebody may throw at you someday,” Rutherford told KDKA. “I hope I’m done.”
He felt that way after last year’s trade for Derick Brassard at the trade deadline. Many people felt that deal would produce a three-peat of titles for the Penguins. It obviously did not.
“There are times that trades don’t work and players don’t get into the chemistry of a team,” Rutherford said. “We brought him in and he was always a first or second-line center. He knew when he was coming here he was going to be the third-line center. He accepted that role when he got here mentally. But he really never fit into that role.
Rutherford made a correction and got two younger players from Florida for Brassard and bottom-six center Riley Sheehan.
Rutherford always has an eye on the future, but what drives him more is the present. He wants to win now.
“I’m certainly willing to make trades maybe more so than some other general managers,” Rutherford said. “I do that not being afraid to make a mistake.”
Rutherford’s two newest acquisitions finally got practice in after being rushed into the lineup for back-to-back games over the weekend.
Forwards Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann both played in games on Friday and Saturday, beating Ottawa on Friday before losing to Toronto on Saturday.
McCann has a small problem since he had to leave Florida so quickly, however.
“I might have to go to the mall to pick up some more pants,” he said. “I brought a lot of shorts for some reason.”
Lucky for him, the weather in Pittsburgh is heating up this week, just like Rutherford’s phone line is expected to before the deadline.