Courtesy of PNC

Stats ‘N’ At: High-danger Penguins, NL Central, corner busts

A blockbuster hockey-trade-turned-bad can harm a franchise in a variety of ways and for years to come. The current club doesn't get the expected shot in the arm to strengthen its odds of winning the Cup, and the draft picks and prospects squandered in the process make future contention a dicey proposition. The Penguins seemed to have just such a situation on their hands with Derick Brassard, who instead of becoming the team's best third-line center since Jordan Staal, played the worst, lowest-octane hockey of his 12-year career.

But, to GM Jim Rutherford's credit, he has managed to atone for much of that original mistake by shipping Brassard and Riley Sheahan out of town for a pair of young, talented former Florida Panthers who are playing inspired hockey while fitting seamlessly into coach Mike Sullivan's system. Jared McCann and Nick Bjugstad have made the aging Penguins, younger, faster, and better positioned to chase Lord Stanley over the next few years.

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