Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sullivan Says Hagelin will Make Pens Faster, Deeper

The Pittsburgh Penguins know what they're getting in speedy winger Carl Hagelin and they're psyched about it.

Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan, who as an assistant with the Rangers for two years while Hagelin played in New York, already has a clear vision of how the Swede can help his team be a little more effective.

He brings a lot of speed,” Sullivan said, according to Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. “He can really skate. He’s a real good guy. I had him in New York for a couple of seasons and I think he’s going to make us faster. He’s versatile. He can play up and down the lineup. He’s a good penalty-killer. I think he can bring a lot to our team.” Hagelin was dealt from Anaheim for left wing David Perron and defenseman Adam Clendening just before midnight Friday. Hagelin, who scored 17 goals in his last two seasons with the Rangers, never found a rhythm in Anaheim and was benched for a bit by coach Bruce Boudreau.

In 43 games for the offensively challenged Ducks, he only put up four goals and eight assists and was a minus-10.

Sullivan isn't worried all about those numbers.

“He’s going to track pucks down,” Sullivan said. “He’s going to help [us] keep the puck longer. He’s going to force turnovers. Put teams in vulnerable circumstances. And he’s got good enough hockey sense that he can play with those guys that think the game at that level. He’s a good player and a real good person. I think he’ll fit into this group real well.”

The Penguins also hope that Hagelin can jump in on the penalty kill for injured Nick Bonino.

The 27-year-old is expected to be in the lineup on Sunday when the Pens host the Carolina Panthers.

"He’s a versatile guy. so I think we can use him up and down the lineup," Sullivan said, according to Rorabaugh. "Where he’s going to settle into, time will tell. But certainly I think he’s a guy that has the ability to complement a lot of guys we have here.”