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Thoughts on the Jason Zucker trade?

February 11, 2020, 10:51 AM ET [59 Comments]
HockeyBuzz Hotstove
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In this edition of the hotstove, we share our thoughts on the Jason Zucker trade.

Todd Cordell

Pittsburgh gave up quite a bit to get it done but they look the part of contenders once again and it makes sense to give Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang all the help they can get while they’re still playing at elite levels. The window should be open for another few seasons and Zucker, who has three more years left on his deal, will help keep it that way. This deal makes sense for them.

All that said, I think Minnesota got a strong return on Zucker. It’s clear they need to retool so landing a 1st round pick (not a great one, I know) and a quality prospect with a realistic shot at becoming a top-4 guy is a job well done. They are gaining a lot of years of team control and at low cap hits for somebody whose numbers have tailed off over the last couple of years. I don’t think much of Alex Galchenyuk but if he can right the ship in the coming weeks, perhaps the Wild can also flip him for another asset.

James Tanner

I think this trade was great for the Penguins and just OK for the Wild. The Penguins gave up a pending UFA who was recently playing on their 4th line and they get 3.5 years of control of a legitimate first line winger.

Zucker is 28, so he's likely to decline, but they get him at a reasonable cost for the rest of his prime, and his cap hit is roughly the same as the guy he is replacing.

All it cost was Galchenyuk (UFA , no trade value) a late first and a B level prospect. Those saying this is a bad trade for the Penguins don't understand the rarity of being able to go for it, or the small chance that anything in this deal ever becomes as good as Zucker is now.

So to recap: The Penguins get a first line, defensively responsible winger who is massively underrated in exchange for essentially nothing. You might notice the Pens trade their first round pick every single year and it never matters because they have two of the best players in the world on their roster, so competing now is always more important. The Wild got the Pens best prospect, but he probably isn't the best prospect on any other team. I think they might have been able to do a little better here.

Numbers via NaturalStatTrick.com

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