The Pittsburgh Penguins are acquiring center Mikael Granlund from the Nashville Predators for a 2023 second-round pick, the teams announced Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know:
- Granlund is signed through the 2024-25 season and carries an average annual value of $5 million.
- Granlund has nine goals and 27 assists in 58 games played this season.
- Granlund was in his fifth season with the Predators.
- The Penguins (30-21-9) are fifth in the Metropolitan Division.
Granlund went 9th overall to the Minnesota Wild in the 2010 NHL Draft. He spent seven seasons with the Wild before being traded to the Predators at the trade deadline in the 2018-19 season.
For his career, Granlund played 729 games, registering 144 goals and 335 assists.
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How does Granlund fit into Pittsburgh?
The Penguins’ last six have been among the worst in the NHL all season. Over the past few days, GM Ron Hextall has done it again — Whether this is for the best remains to be seen.
By waiving Kasperi Kapanen and Brock McGinn and trading Teddy Blueger, the Penguins have created enough prorated salary cap space to land Granlund, a 31-year-old forward who could play center or wing but who will be probably on Pittsburgh’s third line.
Was the addition of Granlund worth parting with Kapanen, McGinn and Blueger? He’s scored nine goals this season, compared to that line’s total of 19 as Penguins.
Granlund’s place remains a mystery. Would he supplant Jeff Carter at the post of pivot? It’s hard to see that happening, unless Carter moves to the wing. — Rossi
What’s so curious about Granlund’s addition is his $5 million cap for each of the next two seasons. The Penguins kind of got rid of Kapanen last year at $3.2 million, but added money to their cap going forward.
It’s a puzzling move, especially considering the Penguins were so limited this season that they couldn’t promote many of their top prospects due to cap constraints. — Rossi
What they say
“Mikael is a versatile striker, capable of playing on the wing or in the middle and contributing offensively,” Hextall said. “He has both power play and shorthanded experience and can add options to our lineup.”
(Photo: Stan Szeto/USA Today)