PITTSBURGH (AP) -The Pittsburgh Penguins, desperate to add another scorer to Sidney Crosby's line, acquired forward Marian Hossa from Atlanta in a trade Tuesday that sent forwards Colby Armstrong and Eric Christensen to the Thrashers.
With Toronto's Mats Sundin off the market after refusing to waive his no-trade clause, Hossa was the biggest name available at the trading deadline. Hossa is a five-time All-Star who has 26 goals and 30 assists in 60 games this season.
The Penguins paid a big price to get a player who will become a free agent this summer, dealing two of their top forwards, plus 2007 first-round draft pick Angelo Esposito and a future first-round draft pick. Pittsburgh also gets forward Pascal Dupuis.
In a separate trade, the Penguins acquired defenseman Hal Gill from Toronto for second- and fifth-round draft picks. Gill gives Pittsburgh another physical presence to go with enforcer Georges Laraque, but Gill is not an exceptional skater or scorer and has only two goals in 63 games.
Penguins general manager Ray Shero downplayed speculation in recent days that he would target a star such as Hossa, who could very well be a rent-a-player for Pittsburgh. The Penguins already gave Crosby a contract worth $8.7 million a season last year and are looking at a similar deal for star scorer Evgeni Malkin this year.
Hossa is making $6 million a year in a contract that expires after this season.
Hossa is expected to go onto Crosby's line once the 2007 NHL scoring champion and MVP returns from a high ankle sprain that has sidelined him since Jan. 18. Crosby is not on the Penguins' three-game road trip that began Tuesday at the Islanders and probably won't return until next week at the earliest.
Compounding the Penguins' need for another forward, Gary Roberts - last year's major trading deadline day pickup - has a high ankle sprain to go with his broken right leg and may not play again this season. Roberts has been out since Dec. 29 and is not yet ready to resume skating.