The Pittsburgh Penguins did manage to move Phil Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes - and everyone is happy - however, GM Jim Rutherford had to admit he needs to shed salary…
After signing defenseman Brandon Tanev to a hefty contract as the free-agency market opened and re-signing forward Zach Aston-Reese and Teddy Blueger, the Pens are broke as they sit just over $157K above the $81.5-million salary cap.
Rutherford told Josh Yohe of The Athletic that there is a mutual interest between the Penguins and defenseman Marcus Pettersson regarding a long-term contract. While the GM did say a deal will be completed soon, he acknowledged he’ll have to do something to free up sufficient salary-cap space.
It smells like another trade is coming!
While the Penguins (and their fanbase, let’s be honest) would love to see defenseman Jack Johnson shipped out, it seems like trade candidates are more likely to be forwards Nick Bjugstad ($4.1-million annual average value) and Bryan Rust ($3.5 million AAV).
No matter who goes, someone has to! Then, the Penguins will be able to ink Pettersson to his new deal.
But… Who goes?