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The 7 Penguins Who Won’t Be Traded

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin

It’s the offseason. The Pittsburgh Penguins were not invited to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and there will be changes. Exactly how president of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas manages to escape his straitjacket and locked trunk in the form of players’ no-movement clauses and player no-trade values is part of the magic trick everyone is waiting to see.

Of course, a few players can be quickly removed from the NHL trade chatter. Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, and Evgeni Malkin. The trio made a stand to stay together for the ride to the end, and unless one of them asks to be traded, it’s not going to happen.

They have full no-movement clauses as well as a continued organizational commitment to building around them once again. Whether you like it or not, and there is definitely a section of the paying public who does not, the players are committed to the path.

Malkin has two years remaining, and soon to be 38 years old, decline is gaining on him like a dogged backchecker. It would be the most unlikely trade in years to see him finish his career elsewhere. The trio do have three Stanley Cup rings, and chasing a fourth at the expense of their goal of finishing their careers together is a no-go.

4 More Penguins Who Won’t Be Traded

Erik Karlsson

He makes four Penguins not on the trade block … unless he asks. The silky smooth skating defenseman did not exactly meet all potential in his first year with the Penguins, scoring only 56 points after his epic 100-point run in 2022-23 with the San Jose Sharks, but Dubas acquired Karlsson to shake up the Penguins roster.

He remains a supremely talented weapon from the blue line, and Dubas has, on multiple occasions, included Karlsson when discussing the Penguins’ core.

Bryan Rust

The Penguins’ scrappy winger, with a big heart, sizable contract, and ability to score 25 goals per season, also has a no-movement clause. Later in the season, there was a rumor that Rust would be asked to waive his NMC, but all involved shot it down without equivocation or hesitation.

Rust turned 32 on Saturday and has four years remaining on a contract with an average annual value of $5.125 million. He made a run at 30 goals this season, finishing with 28 goals and 56 points.

As the salary cap goes up, his production and value look even better.

Tristan Jarry

Sure, anything is possible, and Jarry’s new contract lacks a full NMC. Instead, Jarry has a 12-team no-trade list. However, he’s also the Penguins starting goalie.

His late-season benching does not add good vibes to the situation, but Dubas’s end-of-season presser made it pretty clear that Jarry was the guy who was sticking around.

Jarry’s late-season struggles make it highly unlikely that another team would come calling with an offer Dubas couldn’t refuse. Stranger things have happened, and NHL GMs are known to become slightly, if not completely, irrational, but Jarry also has four years remaining on his new contract with a $5.375 million AAV.

However, ask again at the 2025 NHL trade deadline or next summer as top prospect Joel Blomqvist prepares to make the big show.

Michael Bunting

The bookend to Rust.

Bunting, 28,  is also a speedy, scrappy winger with a taste for creating a little bit of chaos near the opponent’s net.

He counts $4.5 million against the salary cap in each of the next two seasons, which is an easily affordable number for a top-six winger who provides a missing element.

Adding more trade insulation, the team acquired Bunting at the deadline as part of the Jake Guentzel deal. He didn’t disappoint and was a significant contributor to the Penguins’ frantic stretch run that nearly culminated in a historic comeback and playoff berth.

Bunting chipped in six goals and 19 points in 21 games.

Bonus: Drew O’Connor

If Dubas chases a big name on the NHL trade block this summer, rival GMs will ask for O’Connor, and they’d be fools not to. O’Connor, 25, is young, fast, and has improved in every season.

He also makes only $925,000 next season before being eligible for unrestricted free agency. His offensive totals haven’t yet caught up to his potential, but they’re rising. This season, O’Connor scored 16 goals with 33 points in 79 games.

At that salary, he’s not just a bargain but could become a Black Friday doorbuster. There’s no logical reason for Dubas to shop O’Connor unless the return is a headline grabber.