The Pittsburgh Penguins seem to have no other choice, which prompted general manager Jim Rutherford to suggest to Josh Yohe of The Athletic that a trade is a possibility before the start of the season. The Penguins are over the $81.5 million salary cap by between $300-400K and must become cap compliant before the season opens next week.
Rutherford admitted earlier this month that he attempted to move goalie Tristan Jarry this summer, but the deal fell through seeing he couldn’t find any takers at the time. The GM now believes the goalie market has heated up in recent days. However, Jarry and netminder Casey DeSmith are no longer waiver exempt, meaning they could be claimed by another team if the Penguins attempt to demote one of them to the American Hockey League.
Yohe has also reported that sources claim the Penguins are willing to deal “numerous players” for the right return. They include not only Jarry, but also defenseman Jack Johnson, and forwards Bryan Rust and Nick Bjugstad. The Penguins could be seeking a young roster player in a trade.
Moving Johnson could however be quite a tough sell! His performance has been on the decline for seasons now and his contract (four years remaining at $3.25 million annually) could make a move impossible.
It is also believed that Rutherford isn’t as keen on letting go Rust and Bjugstad, which could make things harder on the Pens to become cap compliant.