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Sound the Zohorna for a new signing

August 3, 2021, 1:30 PM ET [130 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Penguins have signed another depth forward

This was as expected as far as the AAV is concerned. The 750k is standard for the type of player with a minimal NHL sample. The quirk here is that the first year of the contract is a two-way contract, which suggests the Penguins aren’t quite ready to go all-in on him earning a roster spot. The second year of the deal is a one-way deal so they must think he will earn his way to the big club by then.

He’s an intersting player because we only havea 64 minute sample. Those minutes showed more promise than players like Colton Scevious, Mark Jankowski, and that ilk. It remains to be seen if he can muscle his way past Evan Rodrigues types. He might not have to, though. Zach Aston-Reese has filed for arbitration and we don’t know how his situation will play out yet. If they can’t strike a deal before arbitration I could forsee a situation where the Penguins walk away from his award. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that point because the Penguins have already lost Jared McCann and Brandon Tanev for nothing. Losing Aston-Reese for nothing after losing those two would be another check in the screw up column for the Penguins this offseason.

The Penguins have 1.8M in cap space at the moment. This does include Sam Lafferty and Radim Zohorna at a combined 1.5M. They could send them both down and Aston-Reese could slide into the fourth line easily using the 1.5M in savings. The team will also have Evgeni Malkin’s LTIR to start the season, but this isn’t a Kucherov situation. Malkin will return at some point and the team will have to be able to create the 9.5M in cap space to accommodate him.

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