Signing Season Updates: June 30th

Free Agency



Woo-hoo, we struck silly season gold last night as the big Phil Kessel trade finally went down. The Pens landed Alex Galchenyuk and a top prospect in return. And with less than 24 hours to go until free agency we have even more news and rumors beyond that to unpack so let’s go!

Remember, this is the latest in Penguins related Free Agency moves and rumors. All in one spot and sourced from only the most reliable NHL insiders, prepping you now through the opening of the 2019 Free Agency Frenzy on July 1st.




-Pittsburgh Penguins: Phil Kessel is gone. He indeed did go to the Coyotes. The total trade looks like this: Penguins’ Phil Kessel (F), Dane Birks (D), and a 2021 4th Round Draft Pick to the Coyotes in exchange for Alex Galchenyuk (W) and Pierre-Oliver Joseph (D).

The Pens get a top level player who's only 25-years-old and a top prospect even younger at 19! Both players are also former first round draft picks, something the Pens do not get for themselves very often. Galchenyuk was taken 3rd overall in the 2012 Pittsburgh draft. Joseph was drafted just in 2017 at 23rd overall.


-Renaud Lavoie (TVA Sports): Tom Kuhnhackl (F) has re-signed with the Islanders. It’s a 1 year deal for $850,000.

-Stephen Whyno (AP): Former Wheeling Nailer Scott Darling (G) was traded by the Hurricanes to the Panthers in returned for James Reimer (G), and now Darling will be bought-out by Florida. He will then become an unrestricted free agent.


ON THE PENS: -The Athletic (via Spector's Hockey): The Pens ownership will not trade Kris Letang or Evgeni Malkin. Even though they've gotten offers for Letang at least. But it will not happen. It's a non-starter on those three. In case you haven't noticed it's 87/71/58 ride or die for the Pittsburgh Penguins and as it should be. If they surround them with youth (as they are) that's a winning recipe and championship window remains open for half a decade still.

-CapFriendly: A look at where the Pens roster situation stands now- After the Kessel trade the Penguins now have in about $5,092,500 Million in cap space going into tomorrow’s free agency signing period. A current roster of 20 players: 10F/8D/2G. And 5 RFAs unsigned: Aston-Reese, Blandisi, Blueger, A.Johnson, M.Pettersson. (I expect Aston-Reese, Blueger, and Pettersson are locks for keeping and re-signing.)

Just a reminder from me- teams can sign more contracts than the cap limit in summer time. The summer cap overage means they can add 10% more than their current cap as long as they are back under the limit by season’s start. Keep that in mind if/when you hear about signings you think can't be done because of the salary cap limit. It's highly unusual for this overage to be significant, however. Usually a few million dollars.

-Mike Zeisberger ( Jim Rutherford would still like to be somewhat active tomorrow in free agency. And has specific wants he's searching for: he wants to be harder to play against and he wants forward depth where players can play up and down the lines.

-Pens Insider: Once the RFAs are signed Pens project to have about $2-2.5 Million in free cap space as of now without any further moves.

-Chris Johnson (Sportsnet): As evident from this buy-out recap, the Pens did not buy-out Jack Johnson or any players before today’s deadline to do so.

-Frank Seravelli (TSN): Corey Perry, a free agent name rumored with the Pens, has about 10 teams interested in him. That’s ⅓ of the league, so I think the odds are the Penguins probably checked in, but hopefully they’re sticking with their plan to get younger and faster. (They seem to be very serious about that, as evident by the returns for Kessel being ages 25 and 19, and adding Dominik Kahun who's 23in the Maatta trade.)


-Andy Strickland (FSMidwest): Ron Francis’ name continues to come up as a possibly General Manager for the future NHL Seattle franchise. Francis is free to sign on with a new organization tomorrow when his Hurricane’s GM buy-out expires.

-Jesse Granger (The Athletic): It appears like Deryk Engelland will return to play at age 27 and re-sign with the Vegas Golden Knights. Deal seems done in principle but working out specifics.

-Eric Francis (Sportsnet): The Flames want to get bigger and tougher. Last July they had a deal in place to land Ryan Reaves before he chose to stay in Vegas, so they might be looking at him once again.

That's our update article for today. But be sure to follow us on Twitter @PensReport as news continues to break on NHL signings and trades in real-time. We'll be covering things there almost continuously through the waking hours from now, right up until, and through the start of Free Agency tomorrow at 12 Noon (ET). And you can expect more articles here through that time as well. We're your Penguins Free Agency HQ!

#2019 #NHL #ACRobinson #FreeAgency #Penguins #Coyotes #PhilKessel

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