Winds of Change: Los Angeles Kings trade Tanner Pearson for Carl Hagelin

We knew changes were coming. Tanner Pearson, thanks for the memories.

In somewhat shocking news to start the morning, Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford celebrated his three-year extension by getting on the phone with Rob Blake and trading Carl Hagelin for Tanner Pearson.

The news only comes as a surprise because the Los Angeles Kings have been struggling so much, it’s obvious that they’d be trading from a position of weakness and would be unable to get any real value out of any assets they attempt to trade.

Pearson has long been on the chopping block, though, both as a prospect-with-potential and as a valuable, two-way, middle-six, play-driving winger. Unfortunately, the trade finally came down the wire for Pearson and his time in LA is up.

Though he was a critical piece to the 2014 Stanley Cup run, getting hot alongside Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli, forming one-third of the triumvirate that was the 70s line, he hasn’t been able to replicate his numbers and has seen his goal scoring dip in the subsequent years since. Through 17 games this season, he only has one point, which puts him in company with Dion Phaneuf, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Michael Amadio (who has only played 11 games), and Paul LaDue (who has only played five games). The team’s scoring woes are hardly his fault, but he was easily the most expendable player.

With four years remaining, at a $3.75 million cap hit and his history of being an average-to-good player, his contract holds more value than that of players such as Alex Iafallo or Adrian Kempe, both of whom are facing their own struggles this year, and have one year remaining on their deals. In assessing the Penguins’ cap situation, it looks like Rutherford will have enough contracts to deal with next summer without adding another one. Trading Pearson for Hagelin is a lateral move on the ice, but does allow Blake to potentially clear out some room under the cap in 2020.

We’ll have more reactions on the Pearson-Hagelin trade coming up, but for now, tell us what you think in the poll and the comments below!

What do you think of the trade?

Don’t like it but it had to be done.191
This trade stinks.132
Good move by Rob Blake.139
Hey we heard this Hagelin guy is fast at least.184
My thoughts are too numerous and will be expanded on in a comment below.29