Pens Zucker To Play Tonight & With Crosby

New Pittsburgh forward will start on top line

Jeff Hathhorn
February 11, 2020 - 12:27 pm

PITTSBURGH (93.7 the Fan) – Imagine the times you are out at dinner and you’re phone starts ringing, Pens head coach Mike Sullivan decided to answer it and that’s how he found out the team added 28-year-old forward Jason Zucker in a trade with Minnesota Monday night.

Sulllivan was at the Dapper Dan Awards last night and got the news from general manager Jim Rutherford.

“We’re thrilled to have Jason,” Sullivan said before the game with Tampa Bay Tuesday morning.  “We really think he will make us a better team.  He is a guy that has attributes that will fit into the style we are trying to play.”

“We really like his speed, his overall two-way game, his ability to shoot the puck.  He is another one of those guys we can use in a top six capacity to make us a better hockey team.  We are excited to add him to our group.”

Zucker, who had 29 points in 45 games this season and a career high of 33 goals in 2017-18,  is scheduled to arrive in Pittsburgh on Tuesday afternoon and the plan is to play him with Sidney Crosby, likely replacing Patric Hornqvist.

“I don’t think we played with the consistency as of late that we have shown for most of the year,” Sullivan said.  “That is something internally that we have talked with our players.  I think the addition of Jason and adding him to our lineup will help us do that.”

Zucker will play some special teams, although Sullivan is not going to rush him into any role and feel out where he fits.

Sullivan said it likely will move Jared McCann out of the top 6, saying they could use him in different capacities.

“We are excited that Jason is going to become a part of this group,” Sullivan added.  “We’re excited about the group we have, but now we have to earn it each and every night.”

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