The Penguins and Blues traded centers Wednesday, with Pittsburgh sending Marcel Goc to St. Louis in exchange for Maxim Lapierre. The Pens get edgier with the move, but on a team that already has Steve Downie, was it necessary?
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is known around the NHL to be fond of working well in advance of the NHL trade deadline, so news he had made another move Tuesday night was not terribly surprising. What was, though, was the deal he made, sending useful center Marcel Goc to St. Louis in exchange for rugged center Maxim Lapierre.
The 31-year-old Goc, who came to Pittsburgh late last season from Florida, had become a dependable penalty-killer under coach Mike Johnston – he led the team’s forwards in average PK time (3:00) in 43 games this year – and Blues coach Ken Hitchcock will be licking his chops looking forward to utilizing him. Coming to the Penguins in return is the 29-year-old Lapierre, who was averaging only 10:21 per game in St. Louis. He’s spent time on the Blues’ PK, but he’s clearly coming over to give the Pens more toughness and edge.
However, on a team that already has Steve Downie in the lineup, was this the most pressing need the Penguins had? That’s debatable to say the least.
Here’s Rutherford discussing the deal: