On the Pittsburgh Penguins …
Matt Gajtka of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: They were $300,000 from the cap ceiling to finished the season. The salary cap could go up by at least $3 million. Carter Rowney is the only UFA for the Penguins, so not much money is coming off the books.
Given the number of wingers the Penguins have, they could let Kuhnahackl walk.
GM Jim Rutherford has hinted that there could be a trade or two.
Josh Yohe of The Athletic: GM Rutherford said he has no intentions of trading defenseman Kris Letang. There were reports back in December that Letang was on the trade block, and Rutherford wasn’t impressed.
“Let me put it this way,” Rutherford said of Letang, who has a limited no-trade clause in his contract, which has four years remaining at $7.25 million per year. “He’s not a guy that I’m actively trying to trade from our team. He’s been a great player for a long time and I think he’ll continue to be so. But, I can’t sit here and project an offer that some team could come along and make. I can’t project the future.”
On the Vegas Golden Knights …
Chris Nichols of FRS Hockey: Darren Dreger on TSN 1050 and was asked if despite having some pending UFAs, could the Golden Knights be a Top 10 right off the start next season?
Dreger said that there will be changes, but they could be big free agent hunters.
“What if George McPhee takes a swing at John Tavares. And I’m not so sure that John Tavares wouldn’t consider going to Vegas. Why wouldn’t he. I’ve heard Nashville. I don’t know how they make that work with their cap space. They’d have to move somebody out of Nashville to make room for Tavares. Maybe McPhee and company take another swing at Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators.
“Now if you were able, in this dream world, to land John Tavares as a free agent and then make a deal for Erik Karlsson,” chuckled Dreger, “I think that puts them in pretty good form again for contending for another Stanley Cup.”
Dreger adds that they obviously aren’t worried about next season at the moment.