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Penguins Trade Reilly Smith; Dubas Stockpiling Picks

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Pittsburgh Penguins trade Reilly Smith

Pittsburgh Penguins president of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas has thus far kept his word. Dubas said he wanted to acquire draft picks as urgently as possible, and he acquired three in the last three days, trading winger Reilly Smith to the New York Rangers during the heat of the NHL Free agent frenzy.

The Penguins trade netted them a 2027 second-round pick and a 2025 fifth-round pick.

Smith, 32, got off to a hot start with center Evgeni Malkin last season but soon swooned, finishing with only 13 goals and 4o points. Both totals were well off the expected numbers, and he scored only nine goals in his final 67 games.

The Penguins parted with a third-round pick for Smith at the 2023 NHL Draft, acquiring him from the Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights. Smith remained in Las Vegas for most of the summer, completing charity events, including a large annual charity softball event that had become quite popular.

Reports of Smith’s unhappiness in Pittsburgh surfaced, but the player spoke with PHN, aggressively shooting down what he called “totally baseless.”

Smith’s deal, with an average annual value of $5 million, has one year remaining. The salary will come off the books, giving the Penguins additional salary cap space. The Penguins traded for a second-round pick and forward Kevin Hayes Saturday in exchange for future considerations.

Update: The Penguins are retaining 25% of Smith’s salary. The retention reduces the Penguins’ cap space to about $7.5 million.