We’re still a few weeks away from trade talks really ramping up as we head into the trade deadline, but trade season got kicked off last night.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, dealing with injury woes left and right and in need of a boost of energy, swapped out Marcel Goc for Maxim Lapierre on Tuesday night.
The former St. Louis Blues’ forward is expected to play fourth line center and will make his debut tonight against the Washington Capitals.
“He’s a big guy. He plays with energy. He plays with an edge at times,” Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said. “It seems that we’re getting into more physical games than I would have expected. He will help that group of guys that we already have, (Steve) Downie, (Zach) Sill, (Robert) Bortuzzo, those guys.”
The 29-year-old Lapierre has two goals and nine oints this year in 45 games with the Blues. Goc, 31 years old, had two goals and four assists in 43 games with the Penguins, serving a minor role as faceoff man for the Pens by winning 54 percent of his draws.
With the trade deadline on the horizon, expect the Penguins to be rumored to be involved in another trade or two. But for now, they hope Lapierre can step in and play a key grinder role.