The Marcus Pettersson deal is done. Pettersson signed his one-year qualifying offer Thursday afternoon. The QO was the minimum the Penguins could offer and retain Pettersson’s rights in June. After months of waiting for a better deal and hopes for a multi-year deal collapsed as the Penguins were reportedly unable to find a trading partner willing to take on salary, Pettersson and the Penguins agreed to the tender.
The one-year deal is worth only $874,125 per an NHL source but is a one-way contract. The NHL guarantee was Pettersson’s trade-off for taking well below market value. PHN estimated placed Pettersson’s value close to $2 million. The more specialized analysis placed Petterson’s contract value at about $1.6 million. Earlier Thursday, Pittsburgh Hockey Now reported the two sides had an understanding and were waiting to sign a deal.
By ending the saga Thursday, Pettersson will be in Penguins training camp on time. The Penguins are currently over the NHL’s $81.5 million salary cap by about $1 million. They have until Oct. 1 to announce corresponding moves to get below the threshold.
An NHL source hinted that Pettersson will not be as accommodating next summer when he will again be an RFA. He clearly took a loss to finish the deal.
Last season, Marcus Pettersson scored 19 points (2g, 17a) in 57 games with the Penguins. He had six assists with Anaheim in 27 games before the Penguins acquired him on Dec. 4. Pettersson initially played the left side of Jack Johnson as the Penguins third pairing. Over the final weeks of the season, Pettersson played on the left side of bruising defenseman Erik Gudbranson.
The Penguins roster is now complete but additional moves will be necessary. The Penguins could push two defenders including Juuso Riikola, Zach Trotman and Chad Ruhwedel to make up the difference. The team has used 49 of its 50 allowed contracts, according to CapFriendly.com.
Penguins training camp begins Friday and Pettersson could again anchor the third pairing with Gudbranson or perhaps be moved up to play with offensive defenseman Justin Schultz.