The Vancouver Canucks have acquired forward Brandon Sutter and a 2016 third-round pick from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for forward Nick Bonino, defenceman Adam Clendening and a 2016 second-round pick.
The second rounder acquired by the Penguins is the Anaheim Ducks’ 2016 second-round selection and the third rounder the Canucks get is the compensatory pick the Penguins were awarded from the Buffalo Sabres for hiring Dan Bylsma as their head coach earlier in the summer.
Sutter had 21 goals, 12 assists and 14 penalty minutes in 80 games with the Penguins last season. He has 185 points in 495 career NHL games and is known for his strong defensive play. The 26-year-old comes with a $3.3-million salary cap and is slated to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2015-16 campaign. Canucks general manager Jim Benning told reporters on a conference call they are working on contract extension with Sutter.
Sutter is your prototypical third-line centre, which suggests the Canucks will rely on Bo Horvat to be the team’s No. 2 centre behind Henrik Sedin.
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford told reporters on a conference call that he feels there’s still room to add another forward. Rutherford has been busy this off-season, acquiring Phil Kessel in a blockbuster from the Toronto Maple Leafs and deciding to part ways with UFAs Paul Martin, Blake Comeau, Steve Downie, Daniel Winnik and Thomas Greiss.
This is the second time in just over a calendar year that Bonino has been traded. Last June he was involved in the deal that sent Ryan Kesler from the Canucks to the Ducks. In his first season with the Canucks, Bonino registered 15 goals and 24 assists in 75 games. The 27-year-old is signed through the 2016-17 season and carries a $1.9-million cap hit.
Bonino should fit in nicely on the Penguins’ third line. In another move that added depth to the Pittsburgh lineup, the club signed UFA Eric Fehr to a three-year contract Tuesday.
Clendening, 22, suited up for 17 games with the Canucks last season, notching two assists and eight penalty minutes. He also played regular 11 games and 23 playoff games with the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League.