The Penguins do have a tiny bit of cap space. They were thinking about moving out more salary via trade to create more. Their plans don’t appear to be big today.
There were some options out on the market that have already been scooped up. They include: Brett Connolly, Corey Perry, Jason Spezza, Tyler Ennis, and Richard Panik
There are some options out there, some are better than others. Although I’m not sold on the idea they need to add a bottom six player today anyways.
I don’t really need to go into too much detail. Until he announces his retirement this is an option on the table for the Penguins. Rutherford probably feels like they need Cullen’s leadership to help curtail some of the fallout from the Kessel trade in the locker room. Kessel was very well liked by the players. His issues were with the coach and the management team. This is a very bad idea because Matt Cullen cannot play at a level to help the Penguins win a Stanley Cup. He was done in 2017-18 in Minnesota. He is still done now.
He is coming off of a career high 17.9% shooting percentage and scored 22 goals with the Oilers last year. Eight of those goals came on the power play. He is a right shot and I sure hope he isn’t the Penguins idea for a replacement on the power play for Kessel. His most common teammates were Leon Draisaitl, Darnell Nurse, and Adam Larsson. His 5v5 points per 60 was 1.24 despite his career high shooting percentage. He’s a right winger and the Penguins still have a lot of those to find space for. Not a big fan of this idea.
If the Penguins were going to add a right winger Pominville is a better player than Chiasson and if you’re into the intangible stuff he checks off a lot of boxes there. He treaded water playing up with Jack Eichel. His 2.01 points per 60 was evidence of that. He can play up and down the lineup, is very smart, and is very good with his positioning. Depending on cost this might not be a bad idea.
This one I could definitely see. He kills penalties and blocks shots. He had a 1.53 points per 60 last year which is at least something. It is more than Nick Bjugstad or Jared McCann in 2018-19. I just don't see where you would put him. He's going to come in at 2M or higher. You want to pay that premium for somebody who likely slots in on the 4th line? Where does he go?
The line combos are irrelevant for the sake of this discussion. There are ten players listed there. How many are getting moved down for Tanev? Dominik Simon is a better player than Tanev and is way cheaper. Seems silly to block Kahun from an opportunity just after trading for him? The more I look at this the more I don't understand the need for a bottom six player at all. You still have Teddy Blueger and Zach Aston-Reese as part of this.
He checks off everything Rutherford has been talking about this offseason. You would get pushback and somebody good in the room. The problem is he is 34 years old and has been wildly overrated. He had a rough year last year on the ice. He brings no offense to speak of and he isn’t capable of being a shutdown player even though that was his usage and would likely be his usage in Pittsburgh. He would be a more expensive version of Matt Cullen
What a great story it was for Maroon to leave the Oilers and go home on a discount to his hometown in St. Louis to win the Stanley Cup. Signs are pointing to both team and player moving on. The 1.75M he was paid in 2018-19 isn’t a realistic figure for the upcoming year. Add the Stanley Cup tax to the equation and it will likely be a non-Penguins team giving him a healthy raise this offseason.
Unless the Penguins are moving more players out I don’t see a pressing need to be involved with any UFA’s today. They are already full up front and guys like Tanev, who are OK, are going to eat up cap space while not really giving the team anything extra they are desperately missing (like a point per game winger). Unless the team is going to move contracts like Jack Johnson, Erik Gudbranson, or Patric Hornqvist it is probably best to sit tight and let the primary market play out and re-evaluate in a week or so.
Phil Kessel trade podcast
Thanks for reading!