LATEST BUZZ ON PENS CAP SITUATION
The Pittsburgh Penguins struck a 6 year, $30 million deal with 24 year year winger James Neal this morning. Although the Penguins have known for a while that it was likely going to cost at least $5 million per season to get something done with Neal during the season, Neal officially signed makes it a reality for the team that a big salary is likely going to have to be moved, and possibly as early as this off-season.
PENS INK NEAL
The Penguins and James Neal have agreed to a 6 year, $30 million extension. The Latest Read More
With the signing of Neal, Pittsburgh has $59.59 committed to 11 forwards, 6 defensemen and 1 goaltender on 1-way contracts for the 2012-2013 season.
Why are the Penguins possibly in cap trouble? Because there is a strong push from small market owners to lower the salary cap to at least the $60 to $62 million range. Pierre LeBrun of ESPN reported this week that a temporary cap of $68-69 million will likely be put in place this summer until a new CBA signed but many GM's are preparing for the cap to go down once a new CBA is agreed upon.
Assuming Sidney Crosby is fully healthy and if the cap lowers by just by a few million, Pittsburgh will be forced to move some bodies for next season.
Pittsburgh also has to start preparing for the 2013-2014 season as Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal are eligible to sign new extensions starting July 1. The asking price for Staal is widely expected to start at $5 million per season.
Meanwhile, Kris Letang who is the most underpaid defenseman in the NHL at $3.5 million per season, is eligible to sign a new extension on July 1, 2013. He figures to see his cap hit possibly double.
Here's a look at the top three candidates to be moved if the Penguins have to shed salary, in addition to a 2012-2013 roster breakdown:
Top-3 Candidates to be Moved
1. Paul Martin - Age 30
Cap Hit: $5 million (Signed through 2014-2015)
Clauses: No Trade Clause
GM Ray Shero has yet to send out a fax to all 29 teams informing GM's that he is looking to move Paul Martin that almost all GM's do when they are looking to dump a player in pretty much a "non hockey trade".