Pittsburgh Penguins Offseason Grades: David Perron’s 2014-15 Season Review


When the Pittsburgh Penguins and GM Jim Rutherford finalized their 2014-15 roster last fall, Rutherford was clear in saying that the team we see in October is not the team we’ll see in the playoffs. He was sure that adjustments would be made and player movements were almost guaranteed. And, having made seven trades this past season, he couldn’t have been more accurate.

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Rutherford set out to address a major need that the Pittsburgh Penguins have struggled with for what seems like the entire Sidney Crosby era. He wanted to acquire a top-six wing to play with Sid, and did so in trading for David Perron from the Edmonton Oilers for a 2015 first-round draft pick and Rob Klinkhammer.

As I do in my offseason grade articles, I’ll avoid discussing the trade at length. My assessment of all seven transactions from last season is linked above, so we’ll just leave it at the fact that I still like this deal, despite giving up a first-round pick.

Perron started extremely hot in Pittsburgh after posting dismal numbers on a terrible Edmonton Oilers team. As expected, his offensive production was ignited almost immediately after joining Sidney Crosby and Patric Hornqvist. Perron’s numbers in 43 games-played with the Pens were as follows.

GP – 43
Goals – 12
Assists – 10
Points – 22
PPG – .51

Essentially, if you take those numbers out across a full season his production would be around 42 points in 82 games. Given his role with the team and the reason he was acquired by the Pittsburgh Penguins, that simply isn’t good enough. The biggest issue that has plagued him throughout his career is inconsistency. The talent and skill to be dominant are definitely there.

The biggest disappointment with Perron is the fact that he seemed to be the right-handed shot we’ve been missing on the power play, but found himself taken off that unit due to ineffectiveness. He tallied five PP points in his 43 games played, and mainly early-on as he tapered off in a big way down the stretch.

From a possession standpoint, Perron was very good. He boasted a 55% 5v5 corsi-for which tied him with Malkin for third-highest on the Pittsburgh Penguins roster. Of course, he played the most minutes with Crosby, Chris Kunitz, Kris Letang, and Paul Martin so it’s almost a given that he would succeed in that area. Despite the struggles we saw from Kunitz this season, he never wavered in his underlying numbers.

Overall, I’ll give Perron a C for his 43 games in Pittsburgh. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do when this team hopefully has consistency in it’s lineup, as he was moved around a lot down the stretch. One thing is for sure, the wing situation in Pittsburgh isn’t nearly as bad as some may think, especially considering Kasperi Kapanen could play a large role and Pascal Dupuis was recently cleared for contact and will likely return next season. Recent rumors suggest that Jim Rutherford may try to trade Perron if he can move back into the first round in this summer’s draft. But, if Perron is back with the Pens next season it’ll be exciting to see what he can do in a contract year.

Next: Offseason Grades: Ian Cole

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