The Pittsburgh Penguins announced they acquired defenseman Justin Schultz for a third-round draft pick in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.
Edmonton will retain 50 percent of Schultz's salary, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.
The acquisition was news to Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan, per Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Dave Molinari @MolinariPG
Mike Sullivan, just now: "I'm not aware we're getting a defenseman." Seriously.2/27/2016, 11:05:19 PM
Whether he knew or not, Schultz will be joining a Penguins blue line that is already jammed with a number of defensemen.
He's experiencing a down season in 2015-16. A two-way blueliner, Schultz is on pace for a career low in points after 45 games. He missed 18 games earlier this season after suffering a back injury.
Here's how Schultz stacks up with the current Pittsburgh defensemen:
The Penguins also have Ben Lovejoy, who has a plus-nine rating in 31 games. But he suffered a lower-body injury Feb. 20.
With a surplus of defensemen on the team, the move didn't make much sense to the The Hockey News' Matt Larkin:
Matt Larkin @THNMattLarkin
Justin Schultz to Pittsburgh. Fun in a video game way, but...not exactly a practical acquisition.2/27/2016, 11:03:35 PM
However, Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford told DKonPittsburghSports.com's Josh Yohe that another trade is likely.
The Penguins are clinging on to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference as they sit one point ahead of the ninth-place New Jersey Devils.
The team's collection of defensemen could be useful before the Feb. 29 trade deadline. One of them could help acquire another important piece as the Penguins attempt to secure a postseason spot.
Stats courtesy of Hockey-Reference.com.
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