Penguins upgrade depth by adding Nick Bonino, Eric Fehr in separate moves

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Penguins upgrade depth by adding Nick Bonino, Eric Fehr in separate moves
Penguins upgrade depth by adding Nick Bonino, Eric Fehr in separate moves

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ bottom six has been an issue and general manager Jim Rutherford spent Tuesday addressing that need.

Rutherford solidified his roster down the middle by acquiring Nick Bonino from the Vancouver Canucks and signing Eric Fehr, who spent nine of the past 10 seasons with the Washington Capitals.

The full deal goes: Pittsburgh sends Brandon Sutter and a 2016 third-round pick for Bonino, defenseman Adam Clendening and a 2016 second-round pick. There is no salary retention involved.

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(What is Sutter feeling today knowing he’s now been dealt twice by Rutherford in the span of three years?)

Meanwhile, Fehr signs for three seasons at $2 million per. The only monkey wrench in that deal is that the 29-year old forward underwent elbow surgery last month and is expected to miss 4-6 months. He also can give Mike Johnston some flexibility and move to the wing, if needed.

Fehr and Bonino combine for a $3.9 million cap hit and will fill the center spots on the Penguins’ third and fourth lines. Sutter carries a $3.3 million cap hit, so that’s some good management there by Rutherford. Bonino won’t become a UFA until 2017, while Sutter can hit the open market next summer.

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Pittsburgh also helped their possession numbers out with Fehr and Bonino. Sutter struggled at driving possession, while Fehr and Bonino did both that and aided their linemates, as Own the Puck's HERO charts show

For the Canucks, well, what are they doing? Are they looking for future flexibility with a number of expiring contracts next summer? Or maybe they’re just #AllInForAuston? How are the 34-year old Sedins feeling today looking at that roster?

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