McGinn Clears Waivers; Penguins’ Savings Limited
TAMPA, FL — The Pittsburgh Penguins tried to purge two-thirds of their struggling third line over the last five days and are flush with salary cap space ahead of Friday’s NHL trade deadline, but not as flush as they probably wanted. Tuesday, GM Ron Hextall placed offensively struggling winger Brock McGinn on waivers, less than two years after signing him to a four-year contract with a $2.75 million AAV.
Wednesday, McGinn cleared waivers. He can remain with the Pittsburgh Penguins, or the team can assign him to the WBS Penguins, which would save them $1.125 million on the cap.
Fellow third-liner Kasperi Kapanen was waived Friday and claimed Saturday by the St. Louis Blues.
The move puts the Penguins in a solid position of having about $4 million in salary-cap space. For a team that had only $18,000 of cap space not long ago, the money opens doors, but perhaps not as many as if McGinn had been claimed.
If another team snagged McGinn, the Penguins would have had the equivalent of $5.6 million in cap space.
In the last 24 hours, various national outlets have issued conflicting reports about the Penguins’ trade targets, from high-priced forwards Brock Boeser and J.T. Miller to highly sought defenseman Jakob Chychrun.
McGinn, 29, broke a 26-game scoreless streak Tuesday in Nashville, when he sprang Sidney Crosby for a breakaway goal. Coach Mike Sullivan and captain Sidney Crosby praised McGinn afterward.
“I thought he played an unbelievable game under really difficult circumstances. I think it just speaks volumes for the person (McGinn) is,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “That’s a difficult circumstance, not only for him but for his teammates, as well. I thought they all handled it really professionally.”
McGinn has 16 points, including 10 goals, this season. The Penguins signed him on the first day of free agency, July 28, 2021. Unless the Penguins add a forward before their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena Thursday, McGinn will likely be in the lineup unless Ryan Poehling is able to play.