The Pittsburgh Penguins inked Bryan Rust to a new six-year contract, but the forward wasn't first on the fans' list of questions. However, according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Matt Vensel, there still might be enough cap space for both Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin to return as well.
"There is still room to fit in both, especially if the Penguins and those players can compromise, as well," Vensel wrote in his thoughts on Rust's contract.
Finding room for Malkin and Letang could be done, but the Penguins would have to hope for more team-friendly deals, according to Vensel. It'll also play a role in other players returning.
"It will definitely have an impact down the depth chart," Vensel wrote. "It could close the door on a return for deadline pickup Rickard Rakell. Evan Rodrigues might also be affected; he has certainly earned a pay bump. And while Kasperi Kapanen should receive his modest qualifying offer, that situation could get dicey in arbitration."
Vensel writes that every situation is different, and he believes Malkin's will be a bit different from the others this summer. He also says the Rust contract closes the door on "rebuild mode."
Pittsburgh's salary cap situation is still extensive. Here's a deeper dive into each of their positions and the money they have left to spend within them.
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