Pittsburgh Penguins Acquire David Perron: Reaction and Analysis


The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired winger David Perron from the Edmonton Oilers, trading a 1st round pick in 2015 and forward Rob Klinkhammer to snag the forward.

Perron, who posted 28 goals and 57 points for Edmonton last season, adds an immediate boost to a slumping and injury-ravaged Pittsburgh forward group.

While last year’s total served as Perron’s career high, he posted 20 or more goals twice previously during his time with the St. Louis Blues.

Now 26 years old and entering his prime, Perron figures to become a member of the Pens’ already elite top-six, making Pittsburgh’s lethal offensive power all the more dangerous.

Pens Labyrinth speculated on the Pens’ chances of acquiring Perron back in November, though at the time it seemed Pittsburgh would be unable to give the Oil what they wanted in terms of a fair return.

It seems Edmonton’s asking price lowered considerably from their original request for a high-end centre, as Pittsburgh gives up only a 1st-round pick and a forward who has been struggling to stay in the team’s lineup.

Pittsburgh acquired Klinkhammer, along with a conditional 5th-round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, for young defenseman Philip Samuelsson earlier this season.

The Penguins’ lineup has been decimated by injury thus far this season, with seemingly everyone but Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin missing extended time with injury – and Crosby had his own health issue with the mumps.

With the addition of Perron and the team regaining their health, the Penguins’ offense is sure to return to its place as the most dangerous in the league.

The most significant aspect of the Perron trade, though?

The Pittsburgh Penguins just became a very deep team.

With Perron joining the top-six, head coach Mike Johnston could very well elect to put him on the first line with Crosby, which could lead to a line of Chris KunitzSidney CrosbyDavid Perron.

If that is the case, the second line would most likely include Patric Hornqvist, Evgeni Malkin, and Blake Comeau (once all have returned to full health).

This leaves third-line centre Brandon Sutter with Beau Bennett, Steve Downie, and Nick Spaling to choose from as linemates – all three have been excellent so far this season (though Bennett’s showing has been limited due to numerous injuries).

Thus the fourth line would have some combination of Marcel Goc, Andrew Ebbett, Bryan Rust, Craig Adams, and Bobby Farnham – who, similarly, have all been solid for Pittsburgh this season.

Adding another pure scorer like Perron will certainly revitalize Pittsburgh’s offense, and should allow coach Johnston to balance the team’s forwards as he intended to.

Until Hornqvist and Comeau return from their injuries, however, the Pens could elect to put Perron on the first line with Crosby and Malkin, so as to keep together the Kunitz-Sutter-Bennett line (which played excellently in the team’s last game), giving Pittsburgh an already lethal group of top-six forwards.

While Perron has struggled this season while playing alongside unproven Oilers centers Mark Arcobello and Leon Draisaitl (amassing 5 goals and 19 points in 35 games thus far), his production should ramp up significantly once he dons the Pens’ colours, just as was the case with Hornqvist and Comeau.