The Penguins are up against the salary cap in a big way. Once they place Pascal Dupuis on long-term injured reserve, they will be roughly one million under the cap. This is the primary reason that Matt Cullen has not be re-signed as of yet.
While Pittsburgh’s roster is pretty much set for opening day in October, there are still players that are able to be moved for cap space, or to simply improve the roster. Today we will look at all tradable players not named Marc-Andre Fleury or Matt Murray.
FEHR FAIR KARDA! @Penguins with a huge 3-1 win! #StanleyCup #PITvsSJS pic.twitter.com/Ro37nhIJoV
— Hockey Night Punjabi (@HkyNightPunjabi) June 7, 2016
Eric Fehr has been frequently injured during his career, and this surely has had an impact on his production. Fehr, who will make $2 million over the next two seasons, played decently in the playoffs, but was disappointing during the regular season. In 55 games, he scored 8 goals and 14 points, with a CF% of 48.9 and a Relative CF% of -1.89.
If Fehr can stay healthy, he has shown in the past that he could have a lot of value, and be a quality depth player. Getting his salary off the books would give the Penguins some breathing room, while opening the door for a young player from Wilkes-Barre.
If Lovejoy, Schultz go via UFA, Rutherford projects D pairings as Dumoulin & Letang, Maatta & Daley, Pouliot & Cole w/1 playing his off side
— Shelly Anderson (@_ShellyAnderson) June 25, 2016
Derrick Pouliot would not be a move to get cap space as he will only make $863k next season, but he may be their most tradable young player. The skills are there to be a high-end defender in the NHL, but there are enough weaknesses in his game to have caused trust issues with the coaching staff.
The subtraction of Ben Lovejoy, and the likely loss of Justin Schultz should open the door for Pouliot to be a regular contributor next year for the Penguins. But the organization needs to decide quickly what they want to do with the young defenseman, as his confidence and trade value could drop significantly if he is handled in the same manner as last season.
#Pens 2nd round pick Filip Gustavsson (left) and Tristan Jarry getting instruction to kick off Prospect Camp. pic.twitter.com/UMTD33oFPB
— Josh Getzoff (@PensJG) June 29, 2016
Tristan Jarry was once touted as the heir-apparent to Fleury, but with Murray’s emergence, and the drafting of Filip Gustavsson, one has to wonder where Jarry stands in the organization.
Much depends on how the Fleury drama plays out, and Jarry’s development in Wilkes-Barre. Can he be Murray’s backup at some point in the not-so-distant future? He would not command as much in a trade as Murray or Fleury, but there is definitively value there. An organization can never have too many young netminders…until they do.
I think I will forever be fascinated by some stats people disliking the guy on the left. pic.twitter.com/6O610Sz7jS
— m g (@kikkerlaika) June 26, 2016
This one is a trade that I would never make. I am including him on this list because so many people talk about moving Hornqvist. The Sweedish product will make over $4 million next season, but he earns every penny of it. He plays well within the possession driven system, despite the dump-ins, and adds a physical presence that the Penguins don’t have otherwise.
The term “physical” tends to scare some people off, but it is a smart, necessary type of physical. His net-front presence has been invaluable, while frequently disrupting opposing defenses and goalies. He meshes well with Sidney Crosby, and that is very important, especially with Dupuis gone.
Pittsburgh should not consider trading Hornqvist, but he could bring a huge return and cap relief. However, barring an outragious return, it wouldn’t be worth it.
With Sestito signed for 1 year at $575k, the #Penguins are estimated to be $2.06M above the cap ceiling pic.twitter.com/SzC3GTkCdT
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) July 1, 2016
I have already discussed trading Chris Kunitz, so there is no need to delve into that again. I cover my thoughts on that here if you are interested.
I don’t foresee the Penguins making any trades before December, at the earliest, but these are the likeliest players to be moved. As I have mentioned many times recently, Pittsburgh is in a good place right now, with the only reasons to mess with success being financial ones.
Until next time.