ON ADDITIONS OF FEHR, BONINO
Brandon Sutter has been traded twice in his career, both times by Jim Rutherford.
“Want to thank Brandon for everything he’s done for the Penguins,” Rutherford said in a conference call. “Believe it or not, one of my favorite guys and I’ve ended up trading him twice. He was one year away from being UFA and felt with this opportunity, we were able to get somebody for him. We really like Nick as a center iceman. Adam is an up and coming defenseman. Skilled player.
Rutherford noted by doing the Sutter trade, it opened up the chance to sign Eric Fehr who Rutherford had a lot of good things to say of.
“Coming off very good year in Washington,” Rutherford said of Fehr. What the Penguins like about Fehr is his versatility and Rutherford even feels he could play in the top-6.
“Eric is definitely comfortable as a two position player,” Rutherford said. “Could potentially jump up in top-6. Good on faceoffs, good shutdown guy. Real good on defensive end, can kill penalties.”
As for Bonino, Rutherford cited his ability to play in all situations and while some scouts like Bonino better on the wing, Rutherford see’s his strongest position being center.
“Certainly his strongest position is center,” Rutherford said. “That would be preference. Nick is a very smart player. Has really good hockey sense. Can play in all situations. Also kills penalties. guy who almost got 40 points, 15 goals. When you look at structure of our salary and cap, it’s important to get those cap hits (bottom-6) in better shape.
Despite being up against the cap, the Penguins would like to add another forward.
“We certainly have room if we want to add another forward,” Rutherford said. “We still want to keep in mind we have some young forwards coming.”
“Couple other options we might explore.”
Tyler Kennedy is one of them, according to a source, and prior to the Eric Fehr signing, Pittsburgh had remained in contact with J.P. Barry the agent for Mike Santorelli.