The Penguins traded Mark Recchi to the Carolina Hurricanes today for two players and a draft pick. Before I say anything about who the Pens received in return, I do have to say that it's disappointing to see a player like Recchi be traded. He was producing and playing at a fairly high level, and apparently wanted to be here in Pittsburgh. They won't be able to replace him easily. (Thanks to Will for the heads-up in the comments!)
In exchange, the Pens received 26 year old winger Niklas Nordgren, 24 year old center Krystofer Kolanos, and a second round pick in 2007.
Nordgren just came over to America this season, starting in the AHL and making his way to the NHL. He's a little bit older for a rookie (26), but he did just come over from what I'm guessing was the Sweedish Elite League. More importantly, he has good offensive skills and is a right handed shot, something the Pens are a bit short on lately.
Kolanos is a story we've all heard before (it's quite familiar to the Pens) - former first round pick that hasn't panned out. He's been in the league for four seasons (and he's just 24) with Phoenix and Edmonton. His playing time and productivity have trended downward since his rookie season. He has good size, but simply hasn't been playing many minutes. He'll go into the mess the Penguins have at center behind Crosby and Malkin.
You have to wonder how the organization feels about Erik Christensen, given that the team has traded for a center in Kolanos and picked up a second center via waivers in Andy Hilbert from Chicago.