TRADE DEADLINE BUZZ
A pending restricted free agent, Tyler Kennedy is entering a crucial next couple weeks when it comes to his future as a Pittsburgh Penguin. In the second year of a $4 million contract, internal discussions are on-going about Kennedy’s role with the team for the present and future.
Kennedy will have to be tendered a contract of $2.1 million to retain his rights next season and the Penguins will seriously consider moving Kennedy by the trade deadline if they no longer feel like he is in their plans for next season.
The struggling winger has just 2 goals and 4 points in 23 games this season and is being shopped around the league.
TSN to no surprise listed Kennedy among five notable players who could be on the move at the trade deadline during their trade deadline special show tonight.
Kennedy’s future could also be affected by whether the Penguins can add an upgrade over him on the third line as the team is looking to add some grit and sandpaper. Right now, though, the Penguins don’t feel they have a better third line right wing option than Kennedy.
Adding a top-6 winger is one way the Penguins feel they could address that need (upgrading third line), which would have a domino effect in Pascal Dupuis likely moving down to the third line if Beau Bennett can stick as a top-6 winger. Bennett is the key under that scenario.
What is the Penguins cap situation for next season? Including Bennett and Simon Despres on two-way contracts, the Penguins have $53.7 million committed for next season to 8 forwards, 6 defensemen and 2 goaltenders. The salary cap will be $64.3 million.
The Penguins unrestricted free agents are forwards Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke, Craig Adams and defensemen Mark Eaton.
The team expects to make an attempt to resign Dupuis and Cooke could also work his way into being resigned during the summer.
Notable restricted free agents include Kennedy and Robert Bortuzzo.
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