Pittsburgh Penguins Improve Center Depth with Savvy Acquisition of Marcel Goc

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Pittsburgh Penguins fans might have been hoping that general manager Ray Shero could find a way to acquire either Ryan Kesler or Thomas Vanek, but the trigger was never pulled.

Even after reports that Shero was willing to give up Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and multiple draft picks for Kesler, he remained a member of the Vancouver Canucks when the NHL trade deadline passed at 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Vanek was moved from the New York Islanders to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a second-round draft pick and a prospect.

On the bright side, the Penguins were able to trade for Marcel Goc from the Florida Panthers in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick in 2014 and a third-round pick in 2015.

Goc is a natural center with over 500 games of NHL experience. The original strategy behind his acquisition was more than likely to have him center the third line in case Sutter was traded for either Vanek or Kesler. Because the deal fell through, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Dan Bylsma handles Goc.

Goc was leading the Panthers in both hits and faceoff percentage, which will make him a great fit on the Penguins’ fourth line. Considering the Penguins just re-assigned forward Chuck Kobasew to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, I would imagine that the fourth line will consist of Tanner Glass, Craig Adams and Goc. Adams will most likely move from center to right wing, but having an extra center on the line will allow Goc to cheat on faceoffs. If he gets thrown out of the circle, no big deal — Adams can step right in and take it.

Considering the Penguins gave up very little to acquire Goc from Florida, I would say this is a good move by Shero. He’s no Kesler or Vanek, but center depth is what won the Penguins the Stanley Cup back in 2009.

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