The Pittsburgh Penguins missed the playoffs last season and fired their GM and hired former Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas to build the team back up.
Pittsburgh entered the offseason with some big questions, especially at goaltending as Tristan Jarry was a pending free agent. Ultimately, the Penguins re-signed their starting goalie and now are actually negative $1.5 million in cap space, so Pittsburgh will need to make a move.
Although the Penguins are over the salary cap, they aren’t much over, so it will be easy to get under. Dubas and company have made Pittsburgh a better team on paper with the moves he has made this offseason.
Pittsburgh Penguins busy in free agency
Pittsburgh started by trading for Reilly Smith from the Vegas Golden Knights who needed to dump his salary. The Penguins also added Lars Eller, Noel Acciari and Matt Nieto in free agency, which were key signings according to Dubas.
“We went into free agency not wanting to overextend ourselves and make subtle bets on the forward front,” Dubas said. “We addressed one of the needs we had with the Reilly Smith trade, and then the rest of the needs, we (addressed in) free agency on shorter-term deals …
“To give these players an opportunity here with us and let them fill the needs that we had, which we’ve identified as a staff and worked through together.”
Arguably the biggest move Kyle Dubas and the Pittsburgh Penguins made was re-signing Tristan Jarry in net to a five-year deal. They also inked Alex Nedeljkovic to a one-year, $1.5 million deal to be the backup, despite Casey DeSmith being under contract for $1.8 million, who now could be moved.
With the Penguins having three solid NHL goaltenders, Kyle Dubas says he is happy to have Jarry back between the pipes:
“We just felt that was the best bet to make for our club at this time. I think the competition is an important thing for the group as well, in addition to pushing Tristan and showing that we have suitable people there.”
As of right now, Pittsburgh has RFA Drew O’Connor left to sign, but he likely won’t cost too much. The Pens will likely have to trade DeSmith and maybe make a move from their forwards to get under the cap.
Ultimately, don’t expect many more moves from the Pittsburgh Penguins, who do look like a better team than last season.
Poll : Do you think the Pittsburgh Penguins will make the playoffs next year?
#Examining #Pens #salary #offseason