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Penguins acquire Winnik from Maple Leafs for Sill

by Adam Vingan

WASHINGTON -- The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired forward Daniel Winnik from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday in a trade for forward Zach Sill, a fourth-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft and second-round pick in the 2016 draft.

"He's a guy that will fit in our top nine," Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said of Winnik. "He gives us more balance and more depth up front, something we were looking for. He's had a very good year, one of the best in his career, and he’s a top penalty-killer in this League."

Pittsburgh plays the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center on Wednesday.

Winnik, 29, had seven goals, 25 points and a plus-15 rating in 58 games with the Maple Leafs. He averaged 3:27 of shorthanded ice time per game with Toronto, which led the Maple Leafs.

"Wherever they want me to play, I'll play," Winnik told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "If they want right wing, left wing, center, I can play all three positions."

Rutherford said he began talks with the Maple Leafs attempting to acquire Winnik about a month ago. Toronto retained half of Winnik's salary, according to Rutherford.

"This was an important one for us," Rutherford said. "Glad to get it out of the way."

Rutherford, who traded for forwards David Perron and Maxim Lapierre last month, likes his team but did not rule out making more moves before the NHL Trade Deadline on March 2 at 3 p.m. ET.

"I feel the team we have now has as good a chance as any other team in the League," Rutherford said. "We'll see what's available, but there’s a good chance we're done."

Sill, 26, had three points and a minus-3 rating in 42 games this season. It's the first time in six professional seasons he has spent the entire season in the NHL.

In 62 NHL games in parts of two seasons, Sill had one goal, two assists and a minus-7 rating.

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