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Insider Only Analyzing the Carl Hagelin – Tanner Pearson Trade

Analyzing the Carl Hagelin – Tanner Pearson Trade

The Carl Hagelin era is over in Pittsburgh.

Jim Rutherford took his first step in shaking up the roster by dealing Hagelin to the Los Angeles Kings for 26 year old winger Tanner Pearson.

It’s a typical trade you see this time of year, a struggling player for another struggling player.

Hagelin, 30, was in the final year of his contract with a $4 million cap hit. Pearson, 26, carries a $3.75 million cap hit and is under contract for two more seasons (through 2020-2021).

Pittsburgh will retain $250,000 of Hagelin’s cap hit.

Both have struggled mightily this season from an offensive standpoint.

Hagelin playing a top-6 role, has a goal and 2 assists. Pearson is off to a nightmare start with 1 assist in 17 games.

From a pure value standpoint, this is a win for the Penguins.

They get a younger player in Pearson under contract for two more seasons who is more effective at creating his own shot than Hagelin. Pearson isn’t as great of a skater as Hagelin is, nor as good of all-around player, but is still quick himself and uses his speed in a different way.

Hagelin is a creating chaos, getting to the holes type of skater, while Pearson can use his speed better to create more 1-on-1 offense.

From the Los Angeles end and again just from a value standpoint, it’s surprising a draft pick didn’t go their way because you have Hagelin on an expiring contract and Pearson being four years younger with a bit higher offensive upside.

“This is a change to our line-up that gives us an additional amount of speed,” Kings GM Rob Blake said in a statement. With Carl Hagelin his number asset is speed and getting to holes and we think he will play a big role on the penalty kill for us going forward.”

— Full Evaluation of the Trade goes beyond ‘who got the best value” —

As mentioned above, from a value standpoint, this trade makes a lot of sense for Pittsburgh.

Younger player, more offensive upside and so on.

However, Carl Hagelin was very valuable to this hockey club beyond the stats and let’s stop with the narrative that he was going to be too expensive to resign.

When the Penguins were at their best over the last three seasons, Hagelin was often a catalyst in how they want to play.

A fast-paced, puck hounding style of game. His presence in January 2016 changed a lot during the 16 Cup run and when the Penguins started turning their play around last season, Hagelin’s game notoriously started taking off.

There’s a reason Mike Sullivan loved Hagelin in a second-line role despite the lack of production through stretches over the last year and Evgeni Malkin often pushed to play with Hagelin.

This also won’t be a popular move in the room, something Rutherford even acknowledged.

Whispers already in the organization is that Mike Sullivan Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access" Hagelin is also best friends with Patric Hornqvist and very close friends with Sidney Crosby.

“I feel bad,” Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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