The current roster situation for the Pittsburgh Penguins is far from ideal; a new log jam at defense and a weak bottom six up front, something has to give.
After re-singing Kasperi Kapanen to a contract worth $3.2 million annually, the Penguins sit about half of a million dollars over the cap limit all but guaranteeing that another move is bound to happen.
While everyone patiently waits for general manager Ron Hextall’s next move, a question arises over who could be on the move next.
Penguins insider Mike DeFabo of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette thinks a popular trade piece may no longer be on the market.
“I know we’ve talked a lot about Marcus Pettersson, but that may be off the table at this point,” DeFabo told 93.7 the Fan. “I know they’ve got a backlog on the left side… But they also have a lot of question marks. Imagine a world you don’t have Pettersson and Brian Dumoulin gets hurt.”
DeFabo went on to talk about how there may be a lot of names, but not a lot of experience on that left side.
Dumoulin is a fragile player and can be prone to injuries and if one happens and there’s no Pettersson in the lineup, who’s left to fill in?
“PO Joseph who has 20 games to his name in the NHL,” DeFabo said. “Ty Smith who last year went through a sophomore slump. And Mark Friedman who is best as a third pairing defenseman.”
Pettersson has been a top name in trade talks since signing a five-year contract in 2020; at $4.025 million and still decent potential in the NHL someone might be willing to take a shot at him.
Despite the surplus, however, Pettersson is likely here to stay at least another season.
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