The Penguins Are Poised To Make A Serious Run At Third Straight Cup

Addition of Brassard And Extension For Hornqvist Shows Players That Management Wants To Win

Patric Hornqvist Penguins

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PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford stayed mostly quite on the last day before the NHL trade deadline.

They traded minor league center Greg McKegg to the Carolina Hurricanes for forward Josh Jorris, who will go directly to the Pens minor league affiliate Wilkes-Barre.

The biggest move the Penguins made came on Friday when they acquired Ottawa Senators center Derick Brassard, who is still waiting for entry into the United States.

KDKA Radio Sports Director Jeff Hathhorn says when Brassard joins the Pens; he will make a big impact.

“You’re talking about a guy who is normally at least a number two center on most teams and you add him as your three, and you’re really strong down the middle which has served the Penguins well over the years in the post season,” said Hathhorn.

Hathhorn says there isn’t an issue with him getting in to the United States and he’s just waiting his turn.

Jason Mackey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Penguins beat writer tells the "KDKA Radio Morning News" Rutherford had his eye on Brassard for a while.

“I think it was a piece that Jim Rutherford keyed in on for a while, knowing how important that third line position is for the Penguins," said Mackey.

The biggest news the Pens made on trade deadline day was the surprising announcement that they are close to five-year contract extension with winger Patric Hornqvist.

Mackey says the Brassard trade and Hornqvist contract extension shows the players that management wants to win.

“Let’s compare this with say Washington, that didn’t do anything on the deadline . . . and I think when a team does what the Penguins did, pushing their chips in the middle of the table, that really resonates with players,” said Mackey.

While it isn’t a given Mackey predicts an Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“The Penguins are right there with every bit the chance to three-peat as anybody in the league and if you’ve watched them the best two months, they’ve been the best team in hockey and if they’re able to keep this up, I see no reason why they wouldn’t be, they’re right there.”

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