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Johnson Being Bought Out; Simon Not Given Qualifying Offer

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Penguins trade Jack Johnson Pittsburgh Penguins Trade Talk
Jack Johnson

The Pittsburgh Penguins made one surprise move and one expected move Monday as they continue to shape their club this offseason.

Defenseman Jack Johnson, much maligned by many fans but supported publicly by team management, has been placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buyout. The team extended qualifying offers to five restricted free agents, retaining their rights, but winger Dominik Simon was not among them.

Johnson, 33, would have had a $3.25 million cap hit for 2020-21 and two more seasons that remained on his five-year deal he signed as a free agent. According to @puckpedia, the buyout will save the Penguins $3.41 million in cap space over the next three years.

Simon, 26, spent time on various lines during his time with the Penguins, who often complimented his skill and hockey sense, but he had trouble finishing. A fifth-round pick by the team in 2015, he had 19 goals, 64 points in 173 games. He becomes an unrestricted free agent Friday at noon.

Goaltender Matt Murray, also an unrestricted free agent, received a qualifying offer, but that is primarily procedural. The Penguins are expected to trade the two-time Stanley Cup winner after recently re-signing goalie Tristan Jarry.

The Penguins extended qualifying offers to forwards: Pontus Alberg, Anthony Angello, Sam Lafferty and Sam Miletic. Forward Graham Knott and defenseman John Nyberg did not receive qualifying offers.

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Shelly is the newest columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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