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Drew O’Connor Files for Arbitration



Pittsburgh Penguins trade talk, Drew O'Connor

Wednesday at 5 p.m. was the deadline for NHL restricted free agents to file for arbitration, and the Penguins will have one player set up for a hearing to determine his salary for the 2023-24 season.

Drew O’Connor was the only player in the organization to file, and the only one on the NHL roster eligible to file. The Penguins chose not to qualify RFA Ryan Poehling before the June 30 deadline, making him an unrestricted free agent. Poehling was the only other Penguins RFA who was eligible and signed with the Philadelphia Flyers as a UFA for one year, $1.4 million on July 1.

Defenseman Ty Smith will be eligible next year.

Overall, 22 RFAs elected arbitration. No salary details are available. Last summer, Kasperi Kapanen filed for arbitration against the Penguins before signing a two-year contract with a $3.2 million AAV. Kapanen was claimed on waivers by the St. Louis Blues at midseason.

Last season, O’Connor, 25, had 11 points (5-6-11) in 46 games, eventually earning a full-time role in the second half of the season. He carried a cap hit of $775,000 but has not signed his qualifying offer of just over $787,500.

Hearings will be held from July 20 to Aug. 4. Also, teams receive a second buyout window three days after the player settles or is awarded a new contract.