Lee Stempniak trade: Penguins acquire forward from Calgary Flames for draft pick

Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Penguins didn't land one of the big names at the trade deadline, but they did address their depth issues at forward.

The Pittsburgh Penguins didn't make the big blockbuster trade they've become known for over the years at the trade deadline.

They didn't land Ryan Kesler, or Thomas Vanek, or another defenseman.

But they might have addressed their biggest need by landing Marcel Goc from the Florida Panthers for two draft picks, and then following that up later in the day by getting Lee Stempniak from the Calgary Flames for a third-round draft pick.

That need, of course, being depth.

Pittsburgh is an interesting team in that it has maybe seven or eight guys a Stanley Cup contender would feel comfortable playing big minutes in the playoffs, and then has a massive drop when you get to the bottom parts of the roster, especially when it comes to their forwards. Injuries to Pascal Dupuis and Beau Bennett have certainly played into that, but this has been a weakness since the season started.

Look at it this way: When neither Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin is on the ice the Penguins have been outscored 53-29 at even-strength this season. That is not going to get it done in the playoffs because for as good as Crosby and Malkin are, they're still going to have games where the puck doesn't go in for them or they have an off night.

When that happens, the Penguins had nothing to pick up the slack. They at least addressed that on Wednesday and with Stempniak and Goc have given themselves what could be the makings of a real third line that doesn't get crushed on a nightly basis.

It's also possible that Stempniak, a free agent after this season, could  slide into the spot that opened up on the top line alongside Crosby and Chris Kunitz when Dupuis went down for the season.

In 52 games this season Stempniak has eight goals to go with 15 assists.

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