5 Penguins Probably Won’t Return Next Season

The Pittsburgh Penguins are enjoying some success this season, even though they have faced a string of injuries, COVID-19 battles and a number of players struggling to find form. The team is expected to be a buyer by the close of the deal, as the Stanley Cup is the event for the Penguins for 2021-22. Next season, however, could be a different story, as the roster is expected to see some changes over the summer. Let’s take a look at five penguins who will likely enjoy their final season in Pittsburgh.

Brian Boyle

Boyle is the easiest target of them all, as the veteran striker is coming of age, he is a fringe player and he currently has no contract for next season. The towering central defender has only appeared in 18 games, scoring twice. Boyle averages just over 10 minutes of kicks per game and is likely to be upgraded even during the off-season, so the chances of him returning next year are low.

Boyle is the type of player who is willing to do whatever it takes for his team to win. He’s a great teammate and a huge hit in the Penguin locker room and across the NHL. At 37 years old, retirement is certainly creeping into the conversation, but at this point it doesn’t seem like any decisions have been made about his future this past season. Don’t expect to see him again in Pittsburgh next season, though.

Jason Zucker

The Penguins management duo have some key decisions to make when it comes to renewing their contracts Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. Meanwhile, Zucker is expected to make $5.5 million next season and there’s been plenty of disappointment in his game since his arrival.

Jason Zucker Pittsburgh the penguin
Jason Zucker has become a penguin (Amy Irvin / Hockey writers)

Make no mistake, Penguins will attempt to move from Zucker in time to scatter his coins around. So far, after 27 games, he has only scored 10 points, mainly playing in the second line of the team, and has had many explosive playing times this season. While some players are not expected to return next season, it is likely he will be moved ahead of the trade deadline.

Zucker has no trade protections for the 10 teams, but it is expected that management will assess the market before March next year to see if there is any interest. One team to watch out for here, the Vancouver Canucks, as former Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford is now in charge of the west side and a huge fan of his game.

Casey DeSmith

Backup Netminder is in its final season of contract, and while he must have been late, expect to see Penguins try and upgrade the position. Tristan Jarry is in the prime of his career and isn’t going anywhere, and there’s some management speculating it would prefer someone who offers long-term experience especially in the Stanley Cup Playoffs or enough good at pushing Jarry to become a 1-B keeper. DeSmith is not one of those factors for Penguins.

Related: Rumors of selling out penguins are exaggerated

The 30-year-old earns $1.25 million above the salary cap and will have to play in specials for the remainder of the 2021-22 season to be considered for signing with the NHL in any upcoming season. After a rough start, DeSmith is currently leading 2-3-1 for the season with 3.03 goals on average and one tackle. He will need to keep it going to stay in town for the Penguins. Next season, it’s unlikely he’ll still be in Pittsburgh.

Pettersson was extremely lucky to have Rutherford as his general manager when he got to Pittsburgh, because he was able to land $4.02 million long-term contract on the salary limit. You can bet your bottom dollar Brian Burke and Ron Hextall would never contract him into that kind of deal. In the 2021-22 period, Pettersson has played quite well, scoring six points in 23 games and averaging just under 17 minutes of kick per night.

Marcus Pettersson Penguin, Pittsburgh
Marcus Pettersson, Pittsburgh Penguins (Amy Irvin / Hockey writers)

There has been some speculation that Pettersson has entered some commercial chats this season, but nothing has materialized so far. It is believed that Hextall and Burke wanted to bring in someone more physically fit and cheaper in his stead, so this is definitely something to watch as we head into 2022. The deal deadline is not over. March this season, so there’s some time for the Penguins to tackle something. Paying the depth defenders $4 million to play third pairing minutes and create the least for the team is not a recipe for success.

Bryan Rust

When I didn’t mention the contract renewal earlier in the post, yes, I was forewarned. The Penguins have only four strikers signed for next season, and a total of nine player deals. They just ended $33 million in limited space. into next season.

Bryan Rust Pittsburgh Penguins
Bryan Rust hopes to be healthy before 2022 (Amy Irvin / Hockey writers)

Rust was blown up, and is no longer in the lineup. A move in the off-season is unlikely, and expect to see the forward quickly end his current contract in Pittsburgh. He is making $3.5 million above the limit, and frankly should be making north of $6 million. There will be a lot of interest in his services next season, and some teams with limited space will outbid the Penguins. Searching for Detroit Red Wings is of great interest to the Michigan native.

If the Penguins are expected to re-sign both Letang and Malkin and that means some of their current squad could be moved ahead of next season. These five players are likely to be on the board’s radar as players if moved would help create a certain amount of flexibility and a few are out of contract for next season and will need to be searched. somewhere else if they want to stay in NHL.

https://thehockeywriters.com/5-penguins-probably-not-back-2022-23/ 5 Penguins Probably Won’t Return Next Season

Subhankar Mondal

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