While a trade between the Florida Panthers and the Pittsburgh Penguins involving Quebec defenseman Michael Matheson appeared to be pending Wednesday, it was finally concluded Thursday.
As confirmed by the two teams, Matheson and striker Colton Sceviour were thus traded to “Pens” in return for veteran Patric Hornqvist. There would be no payroll deduction on either side.
Matheson, 26, played a fifth season in the Panthers uniform in 2019-20. The former first-round pick (23rd overall) in the 2012 draft had 91 points in 299 career games, including 20 points last season.
The native of Pointe-Claire has not amassed any points in two playoffs.
Matheson is on contract until the end of the 2025-2026 season and commands an average annual salary of $ 4.875 million.
Sceviour, a center player, has been rolling his bump in the National Hockey League for seven full seasons, first with the Dallas Stars and then with the Panthers for the past four years. He had 16 points in 69 games in 2019-2020, also being shut out in two playoff games. Sceviour will become a free agent without compensation at the end of the next campaign.
“Mike is a young and talented defenseman with good offensive instincts, quick and has a good shot, while Colton is a solid veteran who has a lot of experience short of a man,” commented the Penguins general manager. Jim Rutherford.
A place to fill in the locker room
Sweden's Hornqvist is the big piece of this deal. The left-winger has been used to the hilt with the Penguins for six seasons and has been a welcome and heartwarming presence for young Pittsburgh players.
“It is absolutely certain that his leadership will be missed and he will be missed too. He's one of the best character players in this league… When you lose a player like that, the others have to fill that hole, ”Rutherford said.
Reliable both offensively and defensively, the 33-year-old scored 17 goals and 15 assists for 32 points in 52 games during the last campaign. He also showed a +9 differential and added two points in four playoff games.
The Panthers general manager, Bill Zito, for his part touted his new acquisition. “A winner and a champion with proof to back it up, Patric brings a level of competition to our club,” he said of the two-time Stanley Cup winner. He's a talented veteran who plays with bite and we can't wait to see what he can add to our squad. ”
Hornqvist will achieve autonomy in 2023 and is paid an average of $ 5.3 million.