The Bobby Mac Bomb has dropped as the Penguins ship out a 3rd round pick that could become a 2nd round pick if the Penguins win the Cup for Patrick Marleau to bring that Old Man Chasing a Cup Energy to the Penguins lineup.
Full details, via the Penguins:
Marleau is still an effective player and will bring some offensive ability to the Penguins 3rd line, minutes that he’s been playing for the last two seasons. Via HockeyViz.com:
Marleau has been slightly below average on the defensive side of the puck both this season and last season, but getting put on a line centered potentially by Jared McCann or Nick Bjugstad will certainly prop him up there.
Rumors of Marleau’s demise, at 40, have been greatly exaggerated as well. He may not be the 70+ point guy he was in years past, or even the 45+ point guy he was from 2015-2018, but he still has the wheels to play on this team. That offensive ability has largely offset his defensive frailties, via Evolving Hockey:
As for the competition he’s faced this year, Marleau’s distribution has been pretty even, seeing 29.4% of his ice time against Elite competition, 36.8% against bottom-of-the-lineup “Gritensity” competition, and 33.9% against Middle competition, the likeliest competition he’ll see in Pittsburgh in a 3rd line role.
Against Middle competition, he’s found the most success this year. He owned a 53.5% share of the shot attempts that take place while he’s on the ice and, relative to the rest of the Sharks against that same competition, the Sharks benefit to the tune of +2.5%, In terms of dangerous unblocked shot attempts, Marleau and the Sharks have controlled 51.9% against Elite players and 50.7% against Middle competition. Relative to the rest of the Sharks players against those type of players, with Marleau they have seen a jump of +7% and +0.4% respectively.
All in all, it’s a pretty low risk buy for the Penguins to bring in a guy who still has effective play left to his game and has one last run left in the tank. While there may have been better options out there, the price here was the most doable aspect of the deal. Hard to be displeased with the move.
Photo credit: Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images
Update – 2:40 PM
The Penguins also went out and added another depth forward, grabbing Evan Rodrigues and Conor Sheary from Buffalo for Dom Kahun.
Rodrigues got a lot of second line minutes last season, posting 9 goals and 20 assists for his best numbers of his short career. Historically, even on some very bad Sabres teams, he’s been a great defensive forward that can play both center and wing. Via HockeyViz:
Rodrigues’ shooting talent isn’t great, but he’ll be a solid down lineup player that can absolutely fly and fits the Penguins speed identity.
Sheary, on the other hand, we know very well. There was talk earlier in the day that he was on GMJR’s radar, but the thought was that it was dead when he got Marleau because he didn’t want to pay the price for Sheary.
Sheary has largely seen 3rd line minutes this season, but has been unbelievably effective. When he is on the ice and contributing, the Sabres are owning the net front at both ends of the ice, generating far more unblocked shot attempts from the high, middle, and low slot relative to the league average and suppressing unblocked shot attempts form the high, middle, and low slot as well. Via HockeyViz:
The craziest part of this is that Sheary has actually gotten better defensively since joining the Sabres, while still contributing on the offensive side of things. Also via Hockey Viz:
An added benefit here is that both players are free agents this summer, with Sheary being unrestricted and Rodrigues being restricted. The Pens are due to give raises to McCann, Simon, Riikola, Jarry, Murray, and now Rodrigues and it’s hard to imagine a world where Rodrigues’ raise is greater than that of Kahun’s. Having some extra roster space and money to pay these RFAs will always been an important factor.
The Penguins may miss Kahun, who has been great for the Penguins when healthy, but there’s no indication that he’ll be a better player than Sheary currently is. And adding a depth player like Rodrigues will only help the Penguins make another run at this big silver chalice.