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In this edition of the hotstove, we share our thoughts on the recent trade between Pittsburgh and Florida.
I don’t like this deal for Pittsburgh.
I know they wanted to make some changes to their blueline but I’m not sure Mike Matheson is the guy to invest in. He is a fluid skater with some natural ability, however, he has not progressed much – if at all – over the last few years and is the kind of player who *always* leaves you wanting more. He’s not good defensively, he’s prone to head scratching turnovers, and there’s simply not enough offense to make up for it. The production simply doesn’t match the tools.
Could he turn it around in the right situation? To some extent, maybe. But, at nearly $5M per for six more seasons, that’s not a bet I’d want to make; especially when things are tight financially. There’s a real chance you’re spending that much money on a guy who can’t handle top-4 minutes.
I understand Patric Hornqvist’s best days are behind him but he’s one of the best net-front players in the league and can still pot 20 in a good year. He also makes less money, and has fewer years remaining on his contract, than Matheson.
Florida clears money, gets out from a deal that could be prohibitive when they’re ready to contend, and adds some scoring insurance on the wing with Mike Hoffman and/or Evgeni Dadonov likely to depart.
I like this deal for Florida, and don’t think much of it for Pittsburgh.
Every GM should be calling Jim Rutherford right now. Hornqvist may be an aging player but he still provides offense and despite missing games he still produced the third most shots on the Pens (168). Matheson is just bad, doesn't provide anything aside from expensive third pairing minutes and is signed for six more seasons. Oh and Colton Sceviour is also a player.
Between the two, Pittsburgh really isn't saving any cap space either so it isn't even as if they can acquire someone else to justify moving him out. The best part is I am certain Rutherford isn't done yet.
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