NHL trade news: Penguins send Carl Hagelin to Kings for Tanner Pearson

The changes promised by Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford have begun.

The Penguins have acquired forward Tanner Pearson from the Kings in exchange for fellow forward Carl Hagelin, the teams announced Wednesday.

Rutherford casually hinted at the trade earlier Wednesday during his media availability after signing a three-year contract extension with the team, though he wouldn’t disclose any details. He had blasted the Penguins for their poor start and threatened a shakeup during his bi-weekly radio show just one week earlier.

“What I’m seeing I don’t like,” Rutherford said last Wednesday. “Nobody likes it. We’re trying to figure out what’s gone wrong here.

“I’d like to say we have an answer for it. We don’t right now. We’re watching it really close. Certainly if this continues, in short order, we’re going to have to make some changes.”

Hagelin, 30, has one goal and three points in 16 games this season after finishing with 10 goals and 31 points in 81 games last year. He is set to become a free agent after this season, which could save the Kings $4 million in salary cap space entering the 2019-20 campaign.

Pearson, 26, has one assist in 17 games this season after posting 15 goals and 40 points last year. His best output came in 2016-17 when he scored a career-high 24 goals. He carries a $3.75 million cap hit through the 2020-21 season.

The Penguins (7-6-3) have gone 1-5-1 in their past seven games, while the Kings (5-11-1) have lost three straight.