The NHL Entry Draft came and went last week, but that didn’t stop the ol’ gunslinger GMJR with his 8 flip phones set to ring from wheelin’ and dealin’ as promised in an effort to add that little extra to his squad. He wasn’t able to get anything done at the draft, but nevertheless, he prevailed.
You’ll recall this is the same team that won 2 of the last 3 Stanley Cups, falling to the eventual winners this past season.
You’ll also recall this is a team that had one or two holes in the lineup that were amplified by the fact that over the last couple of offseasons, this group had approximately 3 total days off between seasons.
With that in mind, Jim began his summer of retooling by shooting his first shot, dumping Conor Sheary and Matt Hunwick on the Buffalo Sabres, a team and city known for getting shit on, for a conditional 4th rounder in 2019.
Now, what’s interesting about this deal is that it was broken by Darren Dreger and definitely not an Instagram comment. Didn’t know that in this day and age that was possible, but here we are.
Also worth noting that noted Pensblog Blogger Peep had the scoop here.
Anyway, what this means for the Penguins is that they have just a hair under $10M in cap space to work with heading into July 1’s free agency frenzy, per Cap Friendly, following the 4x$3.5M Bryan Rust signing yesterday.
Riley Sheahan (UFA) and Jamie Oleksiak (RFA) still remain as the two bigger pieces left unsigned, for whatever that’s worth. You may be inclined to think a move for a depth d-man and maybe another wing are in the cards and you would not be faulted for thinking that. Whether or not that comes via free agency remains unclear, but at the end of the day, dumping $5.25M of salary is both good and great, giving GMJR arguably more cap flexibility than he’s seen since taking over this squad.
Safe to say that this team will not have the same look to it that it did in 2017-18. Change, it is a comin’.