After the, um let’s call it “generous” signing of lower line winger Brandon Tanev by the Penguins yesterday, Jim Rutherford admitted he created a bit more work for himself. The team only has about $2 million in cap space and still needs to sign a few free agents. So even Rutherford could acknowledge a move will be coming to make sure everything fits under the salary cap.
And with it, comes his last best chance to fix the Penguins before the start of the 2019-20 season.
The Athletic’s Rob Rossi had an interesting idea, making a three-way deal with Ottawa and Vegas (heh, not that it worked last time!) to ship out Nick Bjugstad, Erik Gudbranson and Zach Aston-Reese plus a third round pick, to get in return forward Nikita Gusev and goalie Mike Condon.
I disagree a bit with Rossi’s theory on the likelihood of putting Evgeni Malkin and Alex Galchenyuk with Gusev, that does not sound like a “Mike Sullivan approved” line. At all.
Plus it doesn’t really fit in with Rutherford’s stated goals of this off-season to get Gusev where he glowed over words and phrases about Tanev like “character” and “hard work” and “harder to play against”.
Still, the premise is a very good one. Several media outlets have speculated Bjugstad or Bryan Rust could be the ones to go this time around.