David Perron (Derek Leung/Getty Images)
After weeks of rumors surrounding a potential trade, the Edmonton Oilers have finally pulled the trigger, sending winger David Perron to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a first-round pick in 2015 and winger Rob Klinkhammer.
Rumored for weeks now has been that the Edmonton Oilers, losers of 21 of their last 23 games, would be making changes to their roster. GM Craig MacTavish said he wanted to assess the situation, and on Friday, he made the first major move.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Oilers have dealt struggling winger David Perron to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for a first-round draft pick in 2015 and winger Rob Klinkhammer. In 38 games this season, Perron, a three-time 20-goal scorer, has only five goals and 19 points.
With a litany of injuries hurting the Penguins in the race for Eastern Conference supremacy, the acquisition of Perron gives them a legitimate scoring threat who can slot in on either of the team’s top two lines. And at an annual cap hit of just $3.8 million per season for the remainder of this season and next, Perron comes relatively cheap for the impact he may be able to have for the Penguins.
Effectively, one could consider Perron the replacement for injured winger Pascal Dupuis, who was diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs earlier in the season and is sidelined indefinitely. A first-round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues in 2007, Perron has a scoring touch that may just flourish if playing alongside Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby, two of the game’s elite centers.
As for the Oilers, they get yet another pick to help stock the cupboards in hopes they can turn it into something that will hopefully help turn the tides of a franchise that is a far cry from their days as perennial contenders. The first round pick, with the way the Penguins are playing, will likely be a low one, but it does afford the Oilers another piece that could be packaged in another deal down the line.
Klinkhammer, who was acquired by the Penguins from the Arizona Coyotes in early December, has been a scratch in two of the 12 games since coming to Pittsburgh, while registering one goal and three points. A defensive forward, Klinkhammer has been effective at driving possession throughout his career and could be a welcome addition to the Oilers bottom-six.
It is possible Perron could be in the Penguins lineup as soon as this evening's game when the Penguins host the Tampa Bay Lightning. More likely is Perron making his Penguins debut on Saturday when they host Montreal.