Sportsnet columnist Sean McIndoe (Down Goes Brown) made his annual trade grades for every NHL team, and he gave an overall mark of B+ to Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford. Pittsburgh made eight deals in the 2017 calendar year.
According to McIndoe, the best deal made by Rutherford was to acquire veteran defenseman Ron Hainsey from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for forward Danny Kristo and a second round pick in the 2017 draft, later traded to the Vegas Golden Knights by the Hurricanes for defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk. Hainsey only played 16 regular season games with the Penguins, but he helped them to win their second Stanley Cup in a row. Usually, whatever deal you do that results in winning a Stanley Cup is a good one, even if Hainsey signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the summer.
The worst deal made by Pittsburgh has to be the first round pick in last draft they gave to the St.Louis Blues for tough guy Ryan Reaves. Yes, Reaves does his job so far this season, but giving up a first rounder for that kind of player is kind of hard to understand. At least, Rutherford found a way to have a second round pick returning his way in that deal, which they used to draft young defenseman Zachary Lauzon.
One deal that still needs time to be evaluated is the one that sent former first round pick defenseman Derrick Pouliot to the Vancouver Canucks for defenseman Andrey Petan and a fourth round pick in 2018. Pouliot could still emerge as a really good NHL defenseman.
What do you think, Penguins fans? How would you evaluate the work done by Jim Rutherford in 2017?