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Jim Rutherford always has his ear on trade discussions around the league, even if there’s no chance the Penguins can be a player because of their cap situation, ect, but, what the ability to dump Erik Gudbranson on the Anaheim Ducks this early in the season did is it opens the opportunity to game plan for the deadline in a much more realistic manner.
Because of all of the callups and injuries, moving Gudbranson didn’t clear a straight four million off the cap for right now, but its created a couple million in cap space to put themselves in a different position than expected where Jim Rutherford is already planting seeds with other General Manager’s, sources say.
As the season progresses, another dynamic to watch is using Alex Galchenyuk’s expiring contract as an asset.
Will Galchenyuk’s biggest value to the Penguins this season be on the ice or as a trade candidate?
It’s been a question since day 1.
Unless a player with term and similar money is going the other way, the Penguins intend to be cautious this season of acquiring players with term (Talking $4 million + range) because of their impending cap situation for next season.
Pittsburgh projects to have three of their key pending RFA’s taking up around $15 million in cap space next season.
Contract talks for Matt Murray have been slow moving by design but both parties know where that number ($ Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"
The framework of a long-term deal for Marcus Pettersson is already done that will be signed in January will see Pettersson bump up next season to a cap hit in the neighborhood of Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"
Then there’s going to be a big decision on pending Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"
NHL sources contend Galchenyuk’s expiring contract is an asset to the Penguins in multiple ways.
If Pittsburgh in a month or two wants to move on from Galchenyuk and add a different type of rental top-9 forward, there are going to be plenty of options from expected non-playoff teams where Galchenyuk is still at the age where some coaches remain intrigued they can tap back into that previous 30 goal ability.
Galchenyuk could still hold some value as more of a money thrown-in to a young non-playoff team with cap space that wants to take an in-person look at Galchenyuk for a few months.
Some situations that stand out:Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"