Following their first-round sweep at the hands of the New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford said everyone (besides Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin) were available.
The biggest subtraction happened this past Saturday, as Rutherford traded winger Phil Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes in a move to create cap space. So, how did the Pittsburgh general manager use those allocated funds?
On Monday, Rutherford signed former Winnipeg Jets winger Brandon Tanev to a six-year contract, worth $21 million.
So to recap, the Penguins traded a bon a fide point-a-game winger in Kessel (82 points through 82 games)to sign Tanev, who posted 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists) through 80 games.
Tanev will join Alex Galchenyuk as the main links to the Kessel trade. Galchenyuk was highly-touted ever since being drafted by the Montreal Canadiens. Instead, he's failed to live up to the hype due to inconsistency issues.
Rutherford struck out and missed on the Jack Johnson signing a year ago, who failed to improve Pittsburgh's already struggling defense. Who became the scapegoat for it? Not Jim Rutherford, but Phil Kessel.
The Metropolitan Division has only gotten tougher for the Penguins, and signings like Tanev won't build fan confidence in the Steel City.