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Dan’s Daily: UFA Bargains, Vegas Now Over Salary Cap–Cue the Rumors

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Pittsburgh Penguins trade, frederick andersen

There’s just a little piece of all of us that miss former Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford. If not in Pittsburgh, somewhere in the NHL, Rutherford would be stirring this NHL trade market and free agency rumors. We examined the bargain basement RHD options for the Penguins. Sportsnet looked at the top bargain free agents for everyone. The Washington Capitals made a splashy little trade to clear cap space, and the Vegas Golden Knights are now over the salary cap.

Cue more Marc-Andre Fleury and NHL trade rumors.

Last fall, the Penguins were indeed “in” on Fleury as they hunted for a third team to eat some salary, but that was the wrong time and place to find a team willing to eat salary. The same thing applies here but never say never.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins need a right defenseman. They also have about $3 million or less to spend. Here are three UFA defensemen to watch, including an old friend who can handle Tom Wilson. 

The Penguins did not qualify four players, including Mark Jankowski and Jesper Lindgren, who played in the Swedish minor leagues. They DID qualify Zach Aston-Reese and Radim Zohorna. 

Assuming the NHL players go to the Olympics in Beijing, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan will be the head coach for Team USA.

Vegas: This does maybe, sorta, possibly involve the Penguins. The Vegas Golden Knights signed defenseman Alec Martinez to a three-year deal. Now–they’re over the cap. 

NHL Trade, News & National Hockey Now

Washington: The Washington Capitals took a sure step towards the Alex Ovechkin contract, but it cost them solid defenseman, Brenden Dillon. The Capitals traded Dillon to Winnipeg for picks and a chunk of cap space. 

TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs have yet to offer goalie Frederick Andersen a contract.

Gut feeling–watch Carolina, but I don’t think the Penguins are a legit player for him. The market turned, his fortunes rose, he’s well beyond the Penguins’ reach.

Colorado: Who is the Avs goalie if not Grubi? Talks with soon-to-be free agent goalie Philip Grubauer have hit a wall. 

Florida: I know Penguins fans are disappointed. Sam Bennett signed a new deal in Florida, and he’s getting paid. 

Florida: We need NHL trade sirens for every cap-clear deal, eh? To clear some cap space, Florida then flipped Anton Stralman to the Arizona Coyotes. 

Boston: The Boston Bruins changed course and did not tender QOs to a couple of players in whom you may be interested. Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Case got the boot. 

Philly: The Flyers, of course, qualified their starting goalie Carter Hart and defenseman Travis Sanheim. But–now it gets interesting because neither will sign their QO.

San Jose: Bit of a surprise–The San Jose Sharks did NOT qualify Ryan Donato, who is now a free agent. 

PuckPedia: Here’s the full list of players who didn’t get their qualifying offers and are now free agents. 

Today! We launch Vancouver. The countdown clock is in its final hours. We’re excited to have a big talker helm the ship. The surprises start at 1 p.m. EST, 10 a.m. PST. Check it out!

There will be plenty of the vintage skate blade logo. And follow Vancouver Hockey Now on Twitter.

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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