Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has never been afraid to make a splash on the NHL trade market. The veteran GM was busy building a championship roster at last year’s trade deadline, picking up a trio of blue liners in Ron Hainsey, Mark Streit and Frank Corrado. This time around, it’s speculated that Rutherford is looking to add a forward in the mix, specifically a 3rd line center and a goal scoring winger. Well one such player just happened to find himself on the trade market… but was shipped out yesterday in a four player deal.
Of course we’re talking about newly minted Chicago Blackhawk Anthony Duclair. The 22-year-old left-winger was shipped to Chicago from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Richard Panik, essentially.
Duclair has nine goals and 15 points in just 33 games this season and has been the target of trade speculation for weeks. He reportedly requested a trade back in November and Coyotes GM John Chayka had been working overtime to get a deal done. The talented young Duclair has all the makings of a bounce back player. There’s a chance that he could be the next Justin Schultz, in terms of his ability to breathe new life into his career on a new team. Which begs the question, “Did the Penguins miss out?”
Samual Campbell of the Penguins blog PensLabyrinth broke down trade options for Duclair and concluded that the mercurial forward was definitely worth trading for. The package in question was Carl Hagelin and a 3rd round pick in exchange for Duclair. Whether or not this was ever offered up by Rutherford though… who knows?
What we do know is that Rutherford has been busy working the phones in an attempt to improve his team’s roster. You have to assume that this included at least kicking tires on Duclair. That being said, did the Penguins miss out by not pursuing Duclair more aggressively? Ultimately what would it have taken to get him into the fold in Pittsburgh?
Report: Jagr’s NHL career is over
In other NHL news, former Penguins legend and future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr has reportedly played in his final NHL game.
In his latest 31 Thoughts article for Sportsnet, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reports that Jaromir Jagr’s “NHL time in coming to an end.” Friedman reported earlier this week that Jagr and and Calgary Flames had been looking for a way out of his one-year, $1 million contract, either be trade or mutual termination of the deal, as things have not worked out for the veteran winger in Calgary.
The 45-year-old Jagr has played just 22 games, scoring one goal and seven points, for the Flames this season and has looked every bit his age. At this point, it’s clear to almost everyone that Jagr’s body just cannot hold up to he everyday rigours of the NHL anymore.
Friedman reports that while jar’s agent, Petr Svoboda, has been given permission to seek a trade with another NHL team, there has been no interest across the league. Jagr’s knee issues, combined with the complexity of his salary and bonus structure make him too volatile an asset for most teams.
So, what’s next? Friedman’s Sportsnet colleague Chris Johnston reports that the Czech national team and the 2018 Winter Olympics aren’t an option for Jagr, seeing as how he retired from the international stage in 2015. He has reportedly had interest from the German DEL league, but Friedman reports that it’s very likely Jagr sits out the rest of the season to focus on getting ready for 2018-19.
This very well could be the last we see of Jaromir Jagr in the NHL. If so, what a legendary and historic career it has been. All the best, Jags and thanks for all the memories!