Reports surfaced on Wednesday that the Pittsburgh Penguins and Florida Panthers were trading forward Patric Hornqvist for defenseman Mike Matheson, but official confirmation never came. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the deal was held up by Hornqvist’s no-trade clause and injury insurance.
Thursday afternoon, the two teams finally made the trade official. Forward Colton Sceviour will also join Matheson in Pittsburgh.
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The deal swaps two average/below average players who make a lot of money. The Penguins will take on Matheson’s contract that has six years remaining and worthy nearly $5 million per season. It’s dangerous because the Panthers benched him in the qualifying round.
Contact breakdown of the 3 players traded:
Hornqvist – 3 years remaining at $5.3M (UFA at expiry)
Sceviour – 1 year remaining at $1.2M (UFA)
Matheson – 6 years remaining at $4.875M (UFA) https://t.co/rKtf7J82qc
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) September 24, 2020
Matheson’s addition will allow the Penguins to remove Jack Johnson from the bottom pairing if they want.
Left side of blue line currently:
• That sure is crowded
• Why did they sign Riikola?
• Which one is getting traded?
— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_PGH) September 24, 2020
Meanwhile, Florida frees itself of Matheson’s gargantuan contract and gives them a veteran, average forward who’s good on the PP.
Hornqvist is old and worn down, but still likely provides some value in a middle six with his goal-scoring and play-driving ability.
Matheson is younger, but hasn't shown enough to be considered a top four guy and is being paid too much for too long for what he provides. pic.twitter.com/ZoF7Q9FADa
— dom luszczyszyn (@domluszczyszyn) September 23, 2020
The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired defenseman Mike Matheson and forward Colton Sceviour (SEE-vee-yuhr) from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Patric Hornqvist, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.
Matheson is signed through the 2025-26 season and his contract carries an average annual value of $4.875 million. Sceviour’s deal runs through the 2020-21 campaign and carries an average annual value of $1.2 million.
“First, this was a difficult decision to say goodbye to a terrific person and player in Patric,” said Rutherford. “He was a huge part of our success over the last six seasons, including back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, and we wish him nothing but the best.
“Mike is a young, skilled defenseman with great offensive instincts who plays with speed and has a good shot, while Colton is a solid veteran player who has a lot of experience on the penalty kill.”
The 26-year old Matheson finished the 2019-20 season with 20 points (8G-12A) in 59 games. His eight goals were most among all Panthers defensemen, while seven of them came at even strength. Only 17 defensemen in the NHL had more even-strength goals than Matheson in 2019-20.
The 6-foot-2, 188-pound defenseman has notched 33 goals, 58 assists and 91 points in 299 NHL games, all with Florida. He has eclipsed the 10-goal plateau once in 2017-18, and has scored at least seven goals in each of his four full seasons in the NHL. The left-handed-shooting blueliner has also appeared in seven career Stanley Cup Playoff games, where he’s recorded one assist.
The Pointe-Claire, Quebec native has appeared internationally for Canada on multiple occasions. First, he helped Team Canada to a gold medal at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, where he tallied six points (2G-4A) in 10 games and was named the tournament’s top defenseman. The following year, Matheson and Team Canada took home a silver medal at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, where he finished with seven points (1G-6A) in 10 games.
Drafted in the first round (23rd overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft held in Pittsburgh, Matheson played three seasons at Boston College of the NCAA, where he accumulated 14 goals, 57 assists and 71 points in 112 games. He served as captain of the Eagles during his final season with the team in 2014-15.
Sceviour, 31, recorded six goals, 10 assists, 16 points and was plus-2 in 69 games for the Panthers in 2019-20. The right-handed shooting forward also finished third on Florida with 91 hits, while his 72 blocked shots ranked fourth on the team and second among team forwards.
Sceviour is especially effective on the penalty kill, where his 172:32 minutes of shorthanded time on ice in 2019-20 paced all Florida skaters, and was eighth-most among all NHL forwards.
The 6-foot, 190-pound Sceviour has played in 454 career NHL games split between Dallas and Florida, where he’s registered 59 goals, 82 assists and 141 points. The Red Deer, Alberta native has also appeared in 19 career Stanley Cup Playoff games, where he’s picked up eight points (3G-5A) and is plus-2.
Prior to being drafted by Dallas in the fourth round (112th overall) in the 2007 NHL Draft, Sceviour played four seasons in the Western Hockey League with Portland and Lethbridge from 2005-09 where he accumulated 240 points (99G-141A) in 348 regular season games.
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