The typical Penguins move, always ahead of the curve always a deadline move and always a move that improves their roster at the perfect time. The Panthers in this case do not necessarily improve their roster right now but they do receive three draft picks.
The full trade breakdown is right here…
Panthers receive: Derick Brassard, Riley Sheahan, 2019 2nd round pick, and two 2019 4th round picks
Penguins receive: Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann.
Also to note neither team ends up retaining any salary in this deal. Which means the Panthers take Brassard and Sheahan’s contract and Penguins take on Bjugstad and McCann’s contract.
Who wins the deal?
Right now we have to say the Penguins they add some better and younger forward depth, while Brassard and Sheahan are considered forward depth the Penguins definitely upgrade adding Bjugstad and McCann. Bjugstad is a potential 40 point player, despite struggling this year with just 12 points in 32 games he has put up four 35+ point seasons in his career. McCann is a solid bottom six forward who can bring you the same as Sheahan but potentially more down the road as McCann is just 22-years-old and is a former first round (24th overall) pick. McCann has played 46 games this year collecting 18 points, and on pace for his best year yet.
The Panthers do walk away with getting rid of Bjugstad at a 4.1 million annual value (AAV) and McCann’s 1.25 million hit, while Brassard is a 3 million AAV and Sheahan is a 2.5 million AAV the difference is small. BUT the Panthers have already said to be in rumors of moving Brassard before the deadline which means they can free up his 3 million AAV and anywhere from 4.5-6.5 million in cap space for the off-season.
Penguins (potential) forward lines now:
Jake Guentzel- Sidney Crosby- Dominik Simon (or Nick Bjugstad)
Bryan Rust- Evgeni Malkin- Phil Kessel
Tanner Pearson– Nick Bjugstad (Or Jared McCann)- Patrick Hornqvist
Chad Ruhwedel- Jared McCann(Matt Cullen)- Garrett Wilson (or Dominik Simon)
My guess is the Penguins slot Bjugstad with Crosby and Guentzel, keep the second line together slot McCann on the third line with Pearson and Hornqvist and then have Cullen Ruhwedel and Simon on the fourth line.