The last three players the Penguins added to their lineup via trade have a certain something in common. Jamie Oleksiak is a 6-foot-7, 255-pound defenseman nicknamed “The Big Rig.” Riley Sheahan is a 6-3 checking center whose greatest strength might be his ability to lean on smaller skill players down low in the defensive zone. Ryan Reaves is a 225-pound truck who hasn't lost a fight in three years. They're big, heavy, physical players. In a previous era, such acquisitions would have been universally lauded in NHL circles. Size was one of the most precious commodities in the trade market. These days, it's a different story. The moves have raised some questions about the approach the Penguins are taking to roster building. They won back-to-back championships thanks, in large part, to their speed and skill. Are these deals dragging the team away from the philosophy that made it great? General manager Jim Rutherford said no. In fact, he said the moves don't represent a concerted effort to change the composition of the team. Getting Oleksiak added depth on defense that he might be able to parlay into a scoring forward via trade later in the season. The addition of Sheahan was motivated by a desire to add NHL experience at a position where there was little on the opening-night roster.
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford: Recent acquisitions did not alter approach
Pittsburgh Tribune Review | Dec 27