Those moaning because Oskar Sundqvist got traded probably don’t remember Angelo Esposito and Kasperi Kapanen. Not many do.
Fans like to fancy themselves as “hardcore,” and thus pretend they know more about a guy like Sundqvist than they really do. That goes for some media, too.
How many times did these “hardcore” types see Sundqvist play?
The outrage is knee-jerk, and exists to make said nimrods feel like experts.
But they’re not.
Sundqvist was a third-round pick. At 23, he’s not yet an NHL regular. Consider what Jake Guentzel, also a third-round pick, has done at 22.
The Penguins sustained a ton of injuries last year, but Sundqvist played just 10 regular-season games and none in the playoffs. Carter Rowney, a mediocre talent at best, was preferred in the postseason.
The Penguins traded Sundqvist, not Steve Yzerman.
GM Jim Rutherford feels that targeting Sidney Crosby has accelerated, and especially did so during the playoffs.
Ryan Reaves can play a regular shift at fourth-line right wing in the postseason. He’s a better skater and player than Rowney. St. Louis played 11 playoff games, and Reaves participated in every one.
Reaves doesn’t fight a ton: Only six times this past season. But he’s big, he can skate, and he can hit. Reaves ranked tenth in the NHL with 239 hits.
Reaves is a solid fourth-liner, and a good fit for the Penguins.
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