Cap Crunch, Aging Roster Leaves Penguins at a Crossroads

by | Jul 9, 2019 | News, NHL | 28 comments



  1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again ….. Pens have 0% chance at another cup with JJ as a regular

    Ridding him immediately substantially improves the team while having the added benefit of an extra $3.25 M in Cap space

    I argued before for the Pens to do their very first buyout ….. costing the team only $270 K this year

    Window closed but with Arb coming a new 48 hour window will open …. will Jimbo do it….unlikely

    The recent news (thank you BlackNGold) that Anaheim just may be interested in JJ comes as heavenly music to my ears…. there is a chance …. a 7th rounder 10years down the road and GMJR should be signing that deal as fast as possible

    If he had done that dealearly last week ; he could have signed his 3 RFAs AND Jordie Benn and he’d have a competitive team that had a shot at a deep run

    Outside of that it will have to be complicated multiple deals and/or a multi-player multi-team deal

    …. and I’m talking nutso type of deals to make things work…..

    Here’s the type of craziness it just may take to rid JJ in a deal outside of Anaheim taking him for nothing…..

    Bjug + Rust + JJ to Min for Staal and Spurgeon; then sign the RFAs and one more UFA with total cap available…. D massively (and I mean massively) improves and Staal goes in as 3C

    The odds of a deal like that materializing are bordering on zilchitude (I know not a word; but we’re posting here about JJ who in reality is not an NHL hockey player)

    With Horny having all say in any trade …. me thinks he stays

    Keep Tanger IMHO

    Fingers crossed on either Anaheim having a cataclysmic brain fart and trading for JJ or for GMJR to get out his chequebook and buyout JJ when the 48 hour window opens


    • Not picking on you pengy but why would Minnesota do this deal? Spurgeon is far away the most valuable asset here and you could argue Stall with his 3.25M cap hit is the second most desirable piece

      • Hi Taz

        No I don’t think they would… that’s why it’s a nutso crazy deal… LOL

        Per TSN and SN Minn would like home state boy Bjugstad and are interested in more scoring

        I was greedy with Spurgeon in the deal but a deal involving Staal and Bjugstaad as the main pieces is not that crazy

        What would you think is fair for Minn to add to Staal for Bjug + Rust + JJ?

        I’m pulling at straws here … help a guy out … LOL

    • Giving out these contracts to people that should sign for less term is getting ridiculous, Rutherford destroyed the canes this way, yes they won a cup. Then bad deal after bad deal and letting talent walk to replace for lesser talent at higher prices. Dude gotta go faster than jj

  2. $23,650,000

    That’s the amount tied up by:

    Bryan Rust
    Patric Hornqvist
    Brandon Tanev
    Erik Gudbranson
    Jack Johnson

    Three bottom six forwards and a bottom pair defensemen. All also tied up from 2-6 years…

    29% of the overall team salary cap for the Pens.

    That’s ungood folks.

    Not much else can be said than this. It really strikes home at the problem with over paying for replaceable players. Now you have something no one really would ever want, an expensive unserviceable asset.

    • That’s almost as bad as having 4 soft forwards making half the salary cap that shy away from playoff hockey eh Ron?

      • They had to shy away, Kadri is a good example. Debrusk got what he deserved.

      • @BBB: Do you know more than we do? Has Marner signed a contract? Please let us know!
        And this article is about the Pens not the Leafs!
        You Leaf fans are all the same… unrealistic trade scenarios and only able to talk the Leafs 🤣

      • Juss76 he’s a sad Habs fan that comments more on the Leafs aka throws a ton of shade on the team and it’s fans. Sometimes he has a point but most of the time he blinded by hate.

        To reply to your dumb comment, I don’t think anyone can blame the Leafs or any other team that would sign JT and AM to a similar number and in the case of JT we know he was offered more. With the rest of the big wasted cap on “soft” players, for $6.9M I think is a fair price considering others that have recently signed similar dollars and term contracts and I would take him over any of them in a heartbeat. Marner is a very good player and so players like him will demand a big pay day regardless of what team they’re on as we will see with some of RFAs this year. Maybe your still have that smash mouth hockey mentality but the game is changing (see many fights recently?) and in many ways changing for the better.

        Don’t hate them because they hit home runs on some of their picks for once and for once they look good any way you look at them.

        Are there problems? Of course there are and far from perfect and about just as far from bad.

    • Yeah, except maybe you are looking at the glass half empty…

      Go look at the list of bums that make close to what Sid makes. What Geno makes. What Letang makes. Heck, the ink is barely dry, but even Jake Guentzel’s deal now looks like a bargain.

      Looking at the slightly rich contracts at the bottom of their roster while ignoring the absolute bargains the contracts that their stars are signed to is missing the forest.

      • You cannot compare Crosby’s deal to today’s deals. Signed under entirely different rules and a different cba.

        In today’s world, Crosby’s deal would be 13 per season.

      • It would be…but it’s not…

        $8.7 million for the best player in the world.

        Meanwhile, Kevin Hayes makes almost as much and Matt Duchene makes more.

        What they are overpaying certain role players doesn’t compare to what they are saving in underpaying their stars.

      • Agree with ny. Appreciate the effort to sugarcoat but that list is concerning. Thing is I am on board with all those players signings slash trades. But term!!! One is gone ion expansion (probably with a sweetener). But geez.

      • We can argue till the cows come home on the best player in the world…. definitely don’t agree there….but his deal was signed in a different time, different rules….You can’t argue that at all.

        And 6 years left on that deal? Let’s be honest here. Aside from Crosby, an often injured Malkin, and another often injured goaltender…. there aren’t any real core pieces to this team. And with the current state of the cap in Pittsburgh, it’s unlikely they’re coming into any.

        Do you think Crosby will continue to put up 100 points in 4-5 years? Especially considering the lack of talent surrounding him? I certainly don’t.

      • OK…what era the deal was signed in is completely irrelevant to my point…the deal is the deal is the deal. It exists.

        Ask any team if they would rather have their top players on bargain deals or have their bottom players on bargain deals, the answer is obvious.

        And, as a guy who has watched almost every game of his career, Crosby just had the best (regular) season of his Mount Rushmore HOF career and remains the best player in the world.

        Which is why it makes sense to do everything you can to win now and not worry so much about the 2023 season.

      • You can’t say in one breath “Go look at the list of bums that make close to what Sid makes. What Geno makes. What Letang makes. ”

        To turn around and say “OK…what era the deal was signed in is completely irrelevant to my point…the deal is the deal is the deal. It exists.”

        You get one or the other, not both. You’re either going to compare a contract signed in a different era under different rules or you’re not.

        You’re correct about irrelevant. You can not compare a 12 year 104 million dollar deal signed 6 years ago under different rules, under a different cap number, to an 8 year deal signed today….

        You only get one! Again, that deal today would make it a 13 million per deal…. not 8.7.

  3. The Pens aren’t really at a crossroads. More like a 4 lane highway that cuts down to just 2 lanes ahead.

    If people are worried that the Pens will be loaded with old players, bad contracts and very little farm system in a few years…

    Well, I don’t know what to tell you because that is what is going to happen.

    And in the meantime, the core of a team that already won 3 Cups will give it a few more shots.

    No use complaining about the credit card bills after you enjoyed the shopping spree.

    • Maybe using the analogy of 4 roads out of the city converging into 2 lanes into the tunnel? N at.

    • Yes , they won now they might have to suffer alittle . I think alot of teams would like that problem.

      • After back to backs as a pens fan I am satiated. It will be many years after the Crosby era is over for me to get cup blue balls. I’ve seen 5 championships in my life. 2 as a young boy who could watch with wide innocent excited eyes. One in my mid twenties that I could party hard too… and two in my more middle aged era that I could really take in more maturely. I could win the power ball if I get to watch my youngsters see a cup as young kids 6-9 years from now. I am… as a fan… in a perfect place.

    • The Pens have nothing to hang their heads about. They had a great run. But going forward they’re going to face issues. I don’t see how even the most die hard fan can deny where they’re going.

      To say “that’s not going to happen is pure denial at its finest. They somehow know something Chicago and LA don’t? This franchise probably has 1-2 seasons left at kicking the can. But I don’t see them even sniffing another cup final without some major changes.

      • Who is saying that? I have yet to meet that fan.

        I’m saying that there is pain ahead and they are absolutely going to end up like Chicago and LA.

        SO WHAT?

        Here’s the deal…I was as big a Pens fan when Milan Kraft was their number one center and as I was when it was Mario and as I am now that it’s Sid.

        And I’ll be just as big a fan in a few years when they are basically an alumni team as I was the day they became the only back to back cap era champs.

  4. But they won and that’s what it is all about
    The penguins, hawks and kings all should be proud.

    • Nobody is saying otherwise.
      But then again that’s not what this thread is about.

  5. Letang will not get traded, He never was going to get traded. He is the engine that drives this team, if u dont understand that… do ur self a favor and just say NO to hockey, B/c u dont get it. Horny will not get traded this year, the dude had a great 1st 50 games but then wasnt the same after concussions. Good news is that Horny killed it at Worlds and looked like himself again. Now maybe next yr w/ all the RFA’s him and Guddy get dealt but not this year.
    Pens have had maybe 1 of the best off-seasons in the 87/71/58 era and have done what was needed finally in moving Kessel for a new 3rd star in Gally got this team younger in trades w/ Kahun, Bjugstad, McCann, Guddy, & Petersson.
    To make this perfect all we need to do is move Johnson.

    • Then who was driving last cup run? Must have been one of them self driving cars that year.

  6. The biggest problem the Pens have is JJ. I’ve posted the link to capfriendly’s buyout calculator a few times, but obviosly GMJR will not buy out JJ.

    With the money saved, the Pens could have signed Chiarot or Benn and would look a lot better (at least on paper).

    The Tanev signing now looks like a bad signing (term and $). But it could be a bargain in a few years or his playing style will affect his play in the later years and he could be Hornqvist 2.0. But imo that doesn’t matter because the cup contending window for the Pens is closing. They may have the next 2 years and then it’ll be probably over.
    I am also very sceptical that Galchenyuk can replace Kessel. He will have better numbers this season because he will get the chance to play with Geno or Sid, but i’d rather have Phil for another season. I know he’s not very popular here and sullivan doesn’t like him but look at his numbers (playoffs+reg. Season).
    And if he’s done respectively his numbers decline heavily in 1 or 2 years? Doesn’t matter because at that time the Pens will not be contenders anymore.

    Crosby’s contract looks very good now, but when Geno and he signed their contracts the amount hurted the Pens as much as newly signed expensive contracts hurt other teams today. One reason that the Pens did not achieve much following their cup win in 2009 were the contracts of Malkin and Sid. The difference for example to the Leafs is that they won a cup before all those expensive contracts counted against the cap and hampered them signing second tier talent.

  7. This Daniel Coyle, a writer in Montreal, fails to analyze the Penguins big picture!! It was time for Phil Kessel to go!!!! Olivia Matta, a slow D-Man and often injured is replaceable. Penguins rooster now consists of many younger players. Next season better chance the Penguins win the cup instead of the Maple Leafs!