Tanner Pearson Traded to Penguins from Kings for Carl Hagelin

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2018

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 18: Carl Hagelin #62 of the Pittsburgh Penguins waits for a faceoff against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on October 18, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Penguins defeated the Maple Leafs 3-0.(Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Kings traded Tanner Pearson to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Carl Hagelin, the team announced Wednesday.

In discussing the move, Kings general manager Rob Blake alluded to the team's 5-11-1 record, which has Los Angeles sitting last in the Western Conference.

"Our team is obviously not in a position that we are comfortable with in terms of how we are playing," Blake said. "This is a change to our lineup that gives us an additional amount of speed. With Carl Hagelin, his No. 1 asset is speed and getting to holes, and we think he will play a big role on the penalty kill for us going forward."

Hagelin has one goal and two assists through 16 games this season. The 30-year-old has generally been on the ice when the Penguins found themselves down a man or two, and Pittsburgh ranks sixth in penalty kill percentage (84.0).

Los Angeles, meanwhile, is down at 21st (78.4 percent), so Hagelin could help in that regard.

Some wondered whether Hagelin might also provide value to the Kings in the form of a trade asset later in the year.

Sean Shapiro @seanshapiro

From afar it feels like the Kings made this trade with the idea that they could later flip Hagelin before the deadline.

Stephen Whyno @SWhyno

Hagelin can be a free agent this summer. Wouldn’t be at all surprised if Kings flipped him to a contender closer to trade deadline.

The Kings could walk away as the winners of this trade, especially if Los Angeles flips Hagelin for a solid return down the road. Early on, though, the Penguins appear to be at the better end of the deal.

Sean Tierney @ChartingHockey

So, Hagelin and Pearson have been equally brutal so far this year. But Pearson's 26 y.o., locked-in, and cheaper, while Hagelin's a 30 y.o. UFA. Unless I'm missing something, this is an easy win for PIT. https://t.co/bErfzVQZH5

Jesse Marshall @jmarshfof

The Penguins: 1. Save Money 2. Get Younger 3. Get a player that produces more points than Hagelin at 5v5. Great trade, IMO.

Pearson has just one assist on the season, but he averaged 40 points per season over the previous three years. Playing alongside Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist could help Pearson rediscover his scoring touch.

The Penguins will also have the benefit of knowing Pearson's cost over the next few years. Hagelin is making $4 million this year before hitting free agency, while Pearson will earn $3.75 million in 2019-20 and 2020-21 before he becomes a free agent.

Much like the Kings, the Penguins are playing below expectations. They are 7-6-3 and 14th in the Eastern Conference. This move doesn't represent a significant shakeup for Pittsburgh but could help the team improve around the margins.