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Inside Scoop: Trade Deadline Analysis

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pens pulled off two trades right at the gun of the NHL's annual trade deadline. Pittsburgh acquired defenseman Frank Corrado from Toronto in exchange for forward Eric Fehr, Steve Oleksy and a 2017 4th-round pick. The Pens followed that by sending a 2018 4th-round pick to Tampa Bay for blueliner Mark Streit. 

Here's a look at bigger and smaller picture from today's moves.

Overview

The Pens are hurting on defense with injuries to Trevor Daley (knee) and Olli Maatta (hand) both out until either late-March or early April. Meanwhile Kris Letang is still day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.

So depth on defense was a need for the Pens. And Streit and Corrado definitely addresses that need - as does the acquisition of Ron Hainsey last week.

"That's what our big need was (defensive depth) with all of these injuries," general manager Jim Rutherford said. "We added three defensemen within the last week."

It was also a masterful job by Rutherford. First by clearing Fehr's $2 million in salary and by getting Tampa Bay to retain half of Streit's $5.25 million salary (4.7% of which was already retained by Philadelphia). 

Without either move, there was no way the Pens could pull off acquiring Streit while staying below the salary cap. More impressively, both deals came together within minutes of the deadline buzzer.

There was one name that didn't get moved by the Pens and that was goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. Rutherford said all along that his preference was to keep the team's winningest goalie in franchise history on the roster.

"He's an important part of our team," said Rutherford, who admitted that he didn't entertain any trade offers. "Now going down the stretch it's going to be important to have two healthy and fresh goalies going into the playoffs. That plan didn't change."

The Scoop on Streit

Streit is a veteran blueliner at 39 years of age. He has played in 11 NHL seasons with Montreal, NY Islanders and Philadelphia while posting 428 points (95G-333A) in 765 career games.

Streit, a Swiss native, is an offensive-minded defenseman and a power play asset. He has a strong first pass out of his end zone and is a gifted skater. Streit's attributes will fit in well within Pittsburgh's aggressive and attacking system.

"It fits really well. I'm a puck-moving defenseman, join the rush," Streit said. "They have a lot of speed, a lot of firepower upfront. It's a great mix. I'm excited and really thrilled."

The Scoop on Corrado

Corrado is a young defenseman (23) that has had a rocky tenure in Toronto. The Leafs claimed him on waivers at the start of the 2015-16 season. He played 39 games that year with Toronto, but has appeared in only 2 contests with Toronto on the current season and has gone long stretches of the season as a healthy scratch.

"It's been frustrating," Corrado admitted of the season. "You've got to play. I played 39 games last year. I was excited to get with the Marlies (Toronto's minor-league team) and play some games. You want to be in there."

Corrado has been assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, where he should handle lots of minutes.

"We think with a little work with our development group and coaching in Wilkes-Barre that he's a guy that will play on our team at some point in time," Rutherford said.

But just like Justin Schultz before him, a change of scenery and seeing action may be what he needs to find his game.

"I'm really excited about the opportunity," said Corrado, a Toronto native. "I'm excited to get with the coaches, the staff, learn the system and play."

 

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