Pittsburgh Penguins: A case for trading for Anthony Duclair

ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 31: Anthony Duclair
ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 31: Anthony Duclair /

Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford has never been one to shy away from making a move. As the Pen’s topsy turvy season continues, could they benefit from acquiring Arizona’s Anthony Duclair?

Rumors have swirling for months now regarding the Pittsburgh Penguins and possible trade scenarios. Ian Cole and Kris Letang have been the usual suspects, but alas, they are both still in Pittsburgh.

There are many difficulties the Penguins face when trying to make a big transaction. Most importantly, there a cap issue. CapFriendly.com shows the Pittsburgh Penguins have  a projected cap space of $180,000. With a lack of wiggle room under the cap, the Pens can’t realistically make a deal without sacrificing one of their higher paid players.

But what if there was a deal to be made to free up some of that coveted cap?

Craig Custance of The Athletic reported that Arizona Coyotes forward Anthony Duclair has asked the team to trade him. Hmmmm.

Darren Dreger of TSN would go on to say:

"I’m told that Arizona is looking for a like player, so in that age category, and maybe a player who has underachieved with his organization and like Anthony Duclair, wants and needs a fresh start. So it might be a player like that, or I also heard Arizona would happily take a draft pick, hoping for as high as a second-round pick"

A forward like Duclair is someone the Pens wouldn’t mind having around to plug into their bottom six every now and again. If he plays  well, he could definitely prove to be an everyday player. He’s skilled, but doesn’t fit in with Arizona. He’s 22 years old with a 1.2 million dollar contract, and has recorded 14 points in 32 games this season.

So what do the Pens offer? What about something like this:

For Arizona

Now it’s not exactly what Arizona was looking for. The Penguins can’t and won’t offer a player with the kind of upside Duclair has. They do however offer an experienced NHL player in Hagelin, who is struggling in his own right, as well as a decent draft pick. This deal would ultimately provide Arizona with a way to dismiss Duclair, who could become a distraction (if he isn’t already).

It seems like Arizona has been rebuilding for a decade. The last thing a struggling team needs is a guy that flat out doesn’t want to be there. Hopefully this would lead Arizona to settle for Hags and a third, rather than a younger guy and a second.

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For Pittsburgh

On the  Pens side, we noted that they receive Duclair, who’s struggling but has potential. They lose Hagelin, who has been apart of both cup winning teams, but they also shed his 4 million dollar contract.

The main goal of this deal was to free up some space in case GMJR wanted to pull the trigger on a big deal. By offering Hagelin for Duclair, you get about 2.8 mill to play with. As for the draft pick, it stings to run the arsenal of picks semi dry, but that’s the price to pay if you want to win now. It’s not a first or second, so it shouldn’t hurt too bad.

So, what do you think? Comment below if you like the deal, what you would change, or if you flat out hate it.