David Perron Disappointing Since His Penguins Debut


Upon his arrival in Pittsburgh after his January 2 trade out of Edmonton, forward David Perron immediately made a splash for his new team.

Having been seen as a strong player dragged down by the play of those around him during his time with the Oilers, he proved his worth by netting a goal in his first contest for the Penguins, a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens. Ten days later, Perron tallied two goals and an assist in a 7-2 wallop of the Minnesota Wild. He then scored an additional two goals and an assist in his next two games. Many began to herald the chemistry he was generating with center Sidney Crosby.

Now, more than three months into the Perron experiment, the end results have proved disappointing. After his hot start, Perron has cooled off significantly. He has only earned seven points since the beginning of March, two of which came against his abysmal former team. He has been held pointless in nine of his last ten contests, despite averaging almost 16.5 minutes a game during that span.

Perron has been one of many players who has participated in a team-wide drought on scoring. Throughout the Penguins steady decline in play throughout March and April, a major factor has been the team’s inability to put pucks in the net.

But the move for Perron has garnered a great deal of attention due to the price the Penguins paid for his services: a first-round draft pick. As the team inches closer to possibly missing the playoffs or a likely early-round exit if they do make the postseason, it is becoming increasingly evident that a first-round pick could have held huge benefits for this struggling team.

Furthermore, Perron is contracted through the 2015-2016 season at a cost of $4.5 million. For the cash-strapped Penguins, this level of financial commitment will prove to be challenging when the team attempts to regroup in the offseason.

Perron’s level of talent is undeniable. He has a knack for possessing the puck and he’s frequently proven that he has a nose for the net. His shot is smooth and, during the early stretch of his time alongside Crosby, he showed genuine flashes of offensive brilliance.

Photo courtesy of Own The Puck.

His HERO chart, courtesy of Own The Puck, is indicative of his ability to not only possess the puck like a top-six forward, but tally points like one, too.

And yet, with the Penguins proving once again that they are desperately top-heavy, it is appearing that the trade for David Perron has only exasperated that flaw. His inability to perform up to the level of a top-six forward and the burden of his contract have made his trade a major disappointment and potential hindrance to the organization.

Due to his strong potential and short contract, Perron could become trade bait for next season. However, given the state of the Penguins current roster and their play at the end of the 2014-15 season, it would appear that the trade for the forward from Edmonton will be one of many factors that initiate a major reimagining of the Pittsburgh Penguins for next season.

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