Just when you thought it was safe to put down Twitter, the Pittsburgh Penguins and GM Ron Hextall capitalized on the second wave of signings on Wednesday afternoon to scoop up physical bottom-six LW Brock McGinn on an affordable four-year contract.
McGinn, 27, is seemingly the replacement for the Seattle Kraken-selected Brandon Tanev. The former Carolina Hurricanes grinder, McGinn, will get a slight raise on his previous contract for the next four seasons. He’ll carry a $2.75 million AAV after signing the four-year, $11 million deal.
The AAV will offer the Penguins a $750,000 annual savings on Tanev.
McGinn is a hard-nosed, honest player with a bit of grit but not overwhelming size. He’s 6-foot, 187-pounds, and generally dishes between one and 1.5 hits per game throughout his career.
Last season, he scored 13 points, including eight goals, in 37 games. In his six-year NHL career, he’s scored 51 goals and 106 points in 345 games. He was the Carolina Hurricanes second-round pick (47th overall) in 2012.
The Pittsburgh Penguins thus far had an uneventful start to free agency. GM Ron Hextall re-signed forward Evan Rodrigues to a one-year, $1 million contract. Hextall also welcomed back forward Dominik Simon on a two-way, one-year deal.
McGinn was the first significant signing of the Penguins’ day.
However, the lineup is still incomplete, unless Rodrigues or Simon are expected to be every-game players. The Penguins lost Frederick Gaudreau to the Minnesota Wild, and right-side defenseman Cody Ceci signed a four-year deal with Edmonton that carried a $3.5 million AAV.
McGinn is the Penguins’ fourth LW on the roster, though Rodrigues can play both sides, as can Simon. After signing Rodrigues and McGinn, the Penguins have about 3.75 million cap space remaining, according to PuckPedia.com.
Penguins GM Ron Hextall indicated last week the Penguins would pursue free agents into August, meaning the Penguins weren’t expected to be major players on the NHL free-agent market. Still, the move does fill the Tanev-void, which opened when the Seattle Kraken selected Brandon Tanev in the expansion draft.