The Pittsburgh Penguins made a tough decision last weekend as the team traded forward Jared McCann to the Toronto Maple Leafs for one-time Penguins prospect Filip Hallander and a 2023 seventh-round draft pick. The deal had everything to do with a numbers game in Pittsburgh and nothing to do with acquiring Hallander.
This summer will be tough for general manager Ron Hextall, as the team currently has under $4 million in cap space heading into the Seattle Kraken expansion draft. They’re hoping the Kraken select a player with an expensive contract come the Penguins’ time to get poached.
Losing one of Jason Zucker or Marcus Pettersson would be the best-case scenario for Pittsburgh. This would more than double the team’s available cap space and give them a chance to add a significant player. While I reported the Penguins need to take a serious run at free-agent-to-be Zach Hyman, it sounds like the interest is going to drive up his annual salary into the danger zone for the Penguins. They’ll have some other options on the free-agent market to replace McCann’s minutes.
3 Free Agents the Penguins Should Consider
The 29-year-old Finnish forward is someone who plays the game the right way each and every night. Granlund is known for having an everlasting motor, being versatile enough to play up and down the lineup, and is someone who could provide the Penguins with lineup flexibility depending on the matchup.