David Perron traded to Pittsburgh Penguins

Edmonton Oilers v Buffalo SabresIt’s not often that an NHL player goes from having no chance of winning a Stanley Cup to playing for a perennial contender for the hockey community’s most prestigious trophy, but that’s exactly what happened to 26-year-old forward David Perron, who was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.

The trade immediately catapulted Perron from third-line duties with the Edmonton Oilers to the top-six with the Penguins. And Perron paid immediate dividends for the Pens, scoring the team’s lone goal in a 4-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens yesterday as he played on a line with center Sidney Crosby and right wing Steve Downie. The goal was Perron’s sixth of the season.

“It’s always hard leaving a place where you’re emotionally involved, no matter how tough the situation was here,” Perron initially said of his trade. “Once you look past that, there’s not many better opportunities to go to and I’m really excited about that.”

The Penguins are deep at center this season with Crosby, Malkin and Brandon Sutter centering the top three lines, but it hasn’t always been easy to find talent to play on the wings of those players, and finding a fit was a priority for Penguins GM Jim Rutherford. The desire to find a top-six winder became even more important with the news that Pascal Dupuis will miss six months with blood clots.

“(Perron) can play both wings comfortably,” Rutherford said of the trade. “He’s a right shot. He likes to plays the left side, but based on our injury situation, I expect he’ll start on the right side.”

In return, the Penguins had to give up a first round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft and center Rob Klinkhammer. The first-round pick will likely occur later in the round, but this draft class is considered to be deep. But Rutherford saw the potential for Perron to thrive in Pittsburgh.

“We also got a player that’s fairly young. Perron is only 26. He’s coming into the prime of his career,” said Rutherford. “As long as the contract works out long-term and he fits here, he could be a good player here for a good six to seven years.”

So far, so good for the Penguins and Perron, who scored 28 goals last season with Edmonton.

“Thanks to the classy people of Edmonton for their support! @EdmontonOilers is a fun team to play for and hope it turns around #OilCountry,” Perron Tweeted following news of the trade. “Having said that, I couldn’t be more excited to join the @penguins and have a great oppurtinity (sic) to win the Stanley Cup! Thanks so much.’

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