The NHL trade deadline is still six days away, but the playoff bound Pittsburgh Penguins decided to get the ball rolling early.
With four starting defencemen dealing with various injuries, the Pens pulled the trigger on a deal to acquire Carolina Hurricanes veteran defenceman Ron Hainsey. Going to Carolina in the swap are minor league forward Danny Kristo and a 2017 second-round draft pick.
Hainsey has played in 891 NHL games and scored 250 points, but has yet to play in a post-season game. That will likely change, as the Penguin it in second place in the Metropolitan Division with 82 points, which is 16 points clear of the last wild card.
In 56 games with Carolina this season, pending UFA Hainsey has four goals and 10 assists and a -16 rating in 22:20 of average ice time.
The deal was confirmed five minutes after the Penguins revealed defenseman Trevor Daley will sit out six weeks with a knee injury. The Pens have already done without Justin Schultz (concussion), Kris Letang (upper body injury, day-to-day) and Olli Maatta, who will miss at least five more weeks after having surgery on his left hand.
Kristo, a second round pick of Montreal in 2008 (56th overall) has yet to play a NHL game, but has posted three straight 20-goal seasons in the AHL. He will report to the Charlotte Checkers.