The Penguins nearly traded another top player at the Deadline!

His potential new team didn't have the cap space to make it happen.



It was the end of an era for the Pittsburgh Penguins, as popular forward Jake Guentzel was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes at the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline.

For the Penguins, it was one step closer to the inevitable decline that many feel that they are about to undergo, especially given the fact that the franchise iconic trio of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang are all on the wrong side of 35 years of age.

But according to a recently released report, the Penguins nearly traded another one of their key players who is currently in his first year with the franchise. Reilly Smith, who was acquired from the Vegas Golden Knights over the offseason just weeks after helping them to their 1st ever Stanley Cup, was nearly sent to the Los Angeles Kings, according to NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman. 

However, as Friedman put it, the Kings didn't have the cap space in order to accommodate a potential acquisition of Smith. 

"There was a lot of competition for Toffoli," Friedman said on the latest 32 Thoughts podcast. "There were a lot of rumours about LA LA was also interested in Reilly Smith; they just didn't have any room to do anything."

Smith has scored 11 goals with 18 assists for the Penguins, who are ranked 7th in the Metropolitan Division with a pedestrian record of 28-27-9 and are facing the very real possibility of missing the playoffs for the second straight year, something that has not happened in the Crosby-Malkin-Letang era. 

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