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Riikola, Sceviour Clear Waivers; Remain Penguins

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Juuso Riikola Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins potentially cleared $2.3 million of salary-cap space at noon on Sunday when defenseman Juuso Riikola and fourth-line forward Colton Sceviour cleared waivers. The NHL trade deadline is on Monday, and the Penguins can use that money to acquire additional help at the 2021 NHL trade deadline.

The Penguins placed both on waivers on Saturday. Since no team claimed either, the Penguins may assign them to the taxi squad or the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The players may also remain on the NHL roster, though their salary would count against the salary cap if they remain with the big club. Both are still listed on the club roster but can be moved without additional waivers.

According to capfriendly.com, the Penguins have $1.144 million of cap space and are using 48 of the maximum 50 contracts. However, the cap space grows if either Riikola or Sceviour are assigned to the taxi squad or the WBS Penguins.

At the 2021 NHL trade deadline, players count for about 50% of their salary against the trade deadline.

Riikola, 27, has played 75 games in his three-year NHL career and has scored 12 points (3g, 9a). The Finnish defenseman who played six seasons in the Finnish SM-liiga signed as a free agent before the 2018-19 season.

The left-handed Riikoal generally factors as the Penguins’ seventh or eighth defenseman. He is in the first year of a two-year, $2.3 million deal. The Penguins retained the full salary when no other team laid claims to the players.

This season, Riikola played two games without registering a point.

Seviour has been a part-time regular in the Penguins lineup. He has six points (3g, 3a) in 31 games this season. However, he has often been a healthy scratch, too.

Sceviour is in the final year of a contract that pays him $1.25 million. He scored his third goal of the season on Thursday night against the New York Rangers. The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Sceviour with defenseman Mike Matheson for Patric Hornqvist in October.

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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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William Stone
William Stone
6 months ago

This pretty much guarantees that Riikola isn’t getting flipped at the trade deadline as part of a deal for a 4th line forward, right? If he had any trade value, somebody probably would have claimed him.

Jay95
Jay95
6 months ago
Reply to  William Stone

I don’t think that Riikola alone would be able to bring in anything of value. He’s more of a “sweetener” to a deal if the Pens want to add. I think there are teams that would be interested in him…but they’re probably looking to shed cap themselves and not take on his salary alone.

crazyhorse87
crazyhorse87
6 months ago

Do something wild like putting Riikola and Friedman as a pairing and see what that looks like in practice.

Matthew Lawless
Matthew Lawless
6 months ago

I still don’t understand why Rutherford just didn’t put Jack Johnson on waivers instead of buying him out and forcing the Pens to take a cap hit on him for six seasons. Then they could have just let him toil down in the AHL until his contract expired.

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