Pittsburgh Penguins’ general manager Ray Shero didn’t have a selection to make early on in the 2013 NHL Draft, but in typical Shero fashion he was aggressive.
With still decisions to make on free agents such as Pascal Dupuis and Tyler Kennedy, Shero decided to focus on re-signing Dupuis as he dealt Kennedy to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for a second-round pick.
The trade of Kennedy in essence frees up about $2 million to use on making sure Dupuis doesn’t get an opportunity to test the open market.
After re-signing Evgeni Malkin to an extension and reportedly being close to signing defenseman Kris Letang to an eight-year extension, Dupuis, who has missed just two games over the past four seasons and tallied 172 points for the Penguins has to be Shero’s next priority.
As for Kennedy, the change of scenery could be a good thing for him.
The trade gives the Sharks depth up front that they were seeking and gives the Penguins a needed high pick after trading their first and second-rounders before the deadline for forward Jarome Iginla and defenseman Douglas Murray.
Before acquiring San Jose’s pick, 50th overall, in the second round, the Penguins had been slated to make their first pick at No. 77.
Kennedy had six goals and five assists in 46 games last season for the Penguins and tallied 76 goals and 92 assists in 372 career games, all with the Penguins.