The Anaheim Ducks and Pittsburgh Penguins decided to wait well into the night to strike a deal, but at 3:00 A.M. Eastern Time, Bob Mackenzie reported that Carl Hagelin was being swapped for David Perron and Adam Clendening. Both Clendening (RFA) and Perron (UFA) are free agents this summer while Hagelin was signed to a four-year, $16 million deal by the Ducks prior to the beginning of the season, so this deal offers the Ducks some long-term salary relief while giving Pittsburgh an intriguing player to help with their offensive woes.
THE PLAYERS INVOLVED
David Perron (2016 UFA)
This deal ends what was a pretty disappointing stint in Pittsburgh for Perron. Mid-way through the 2014-15 season, the Pens sent their first round pick and Rob Klinkhammer to the Edmonton Oilers for Perron, who was just coming off the most productive season of his career. In 116 career games with the Oilers, Perron scored 33 goals and 43 assists and appeared to have established himself as a solid offensive weapon despite playing on a pretty poor team.
Then, after a hot start in Pittsburgh, he went dry. Over 85 career games with the Penguins, Perron averaged 0.19 goals-per-game and 0.38 points-per-game, both of which are well below what he produced during his time in Edmonton and St. Louis.
Like I said, Perron is a free agent at the end of the season, and judging by Anaheim’s internal budget, I doubt he’ll be a Duck beyond this season. That said, he could provide a lift for a team that’s having a hell of a time scoring goals, as the Ducks are dead last in the league in offence, scoring just 1.5 goals for per hour at even strength. And, of course, that’s what we all figured the last time he was traded and that didn’t work out as planned.
Adam Clendening (2016 RFA)
Adam Clendening has now been traded three times in the past calendar year.
Back in January 2015, the Vancouver Canucks grabbed him from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Gustav Forsling, and then over the offseason, he was part of the package sent to Pittsburgh for Brandon Sutter. Since then, he’s only appeared in nine games for the Penguins and six for their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barrie/Scranton.
Obviously not much can be derived from his numbers as he hasn’t played much this year, but Clendening is regarded as a prospect for his offensive game and ability to make strong transition passes. Earlier on in his AHL career, he posted 46 and 59 points with Chicago’s affiliate in Rockford, which certainly suggests there’s something there to get excited about.
Carl Hagelin (2019 UFA)
Well, that just didn’t work out at all.
The Ducks acquired Hagelin in a deal with the New York Rangers for Emerson Etem. Recently, the Rangers sent Etem to the Canucks, and now, the Hagelin era in Anaheim is over, so I guess all that’s left from that whole situation are the draft picks that became Julius Nattinen, Garrett Metcalf (ANA), and Ryan Gropp (NYR).
Anyways, Hagelin, after establishing himself as a consistent offensive weapon in New York, was a complete dud with the Ducks. In four career seasons with the Rangers, Hagelin averaged 0.49 points-per-game, and scored 17 goals in back-to-back seasons in 2013-14 and 2014-15. So far this season, Hagelin has scored just four goals thanks largely to a terrible 4.9 shooting percentage, which is well below his career average of 9.8 he posted while in New York. Of course, pretty much everybody on the Ducks is having a rough time scoring, so I would expect his production to jump back up to around his career average once he joins the Penguins.
There’s certainly something to like here for both teams, but I think it’s safe to say that Anaheim got the better end of this deal.
They managed to acquire a player in Perron who will more than likely (well, hopefully for his sake) match Hagelin’s production for the rest of the year, along with an interesting prospect in Clendening all while shedding $12.829 million in Hagelin’s salary over the rest of this year and the next three seasons combined. This is important because the Ducks, who as mentioned before impose an internal budget on their spending, have a handful of key players hitting RFA status this summer. All of Jiri Sekac, Rickard Rakell, Sami Vatanen, Hampus Lindholm, and Freddy Andersen will need new deals this summer, so the Ducks can’t afford to be paying Hagelin $4 million per year if he isn’t performing.
Stats courtesy of Hockey Reference