Penguins general manager Ron Hextall is still looking for salary cap relief

The preseason begins Sunday for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the common season is proper across the nook Oct. 13.

But Ron Hextall is still in offseason mode in a single model.

The crew’s general manager is looking for a method to get his crew’s roster compliant with the NHL’s salary cap.

While the league’s cap isn’t actually enforced all the way through the offseason, the Penguins are projected to be $1,480,175 above the ceiling of $82.5 million in step with Cap Friendly.

Hextall has lower than 3 weeks to get that determine in compliance.

“Obviously, there’s some mechanics that we’ll have to do to get under, “Hextall said. “We have good depth. We’ll see how the preseason games go. We’ve got some tough decisions to make, make no mistake.”

Perhaps the hardest of the ones selections will come at the bloated blue line the place a minimum of 9 NHL-caliber defensemen are underneath contract.

Brian Dumoulin, Mark Friedman, Kris Letang, Marcus Pettersson and Chad Ruhwedel were supplemented with novices like Jeff Petry, Jan Rutta and Ty Smith. And there’s the ascension of proficient prospect P.O Joseph, who is not exempt from waivers for transactions involving Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

“I really like the mix on (defense) that we have between guys that are puck movers and skill guys and kind of defensive defenders,” Hextall stated. “I really like our mix with the guys that we’ve added along with the guys that we had. We have nine NHL defensemen. They can all play. We have some tough decisions. Quite honestly, right now, we don’t exactly know where we’re going.”

One choice may contain a business or two. But given the NHL’s relatively stagnant revenues lately on account of the pandemic, the salary cap has no longer grown an ideal deal. As a consequence, 12 of the league’s 32 groups are projected to be over the salary cap in step with Cap Friendly.



Penguins defenseman Marcus Pettersson is coming into the 3rd yr of a five-year contract with a salary cap hit of $4,025,175.


“There’s only a few suitors in terms of wanting to take on money,” Hextall stated. “It’s a tough market right now the last couple of years with basically a flat cap. It’s been challenging for all of us, for sure. You know what we went through this summer with our guys in trying to fit everybody in. It’s a tough market right now and yes, it does make it hard to make a move.”

Hextall held court docket with media following the second one complete day of coaching camp in Cranberry on Friday and addressed a lot of topics.

• Unlike final season, the Penguins don’t have many issues on pending unrestricted loose brokers.

But there is one main part in their roster scheduled to visit marketplace within the 2023 offseason in beginning All-Star goaltender Tristan Jarry.

Hextall stated he has had some preliminary discussions with Jarry’s illustration on a possible contract extension, however he presented few main points.

• Smith and ahead Drew O’Connor are exempt from waivers for any assignments to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. While they have got confirmed to be succesful NHLers, the crew’s salary cap issues may depart Hextall few choices than to ship them to Northeast Pennsylvania to open the season.

“It’s certainly an option,” Hextall stated. “But we want to put the best team on the ice on opening night that we can. So if they’re part of it, we’re going to try to find a way. You look at all your options and you start to break them down, talk it through with your staff and the coaches. Make those decisions when the time is right. But that’s a fair discussion that will be part of it.”

• Smith was once got in July via a business that despatched defenseman John Marino to the New Jersey Devils. The Penguins’ number one motivation in that deal was once to shed Marino’s salary cap hit of ($4.4 million). But Hextall lengthy has had his eye on Smith, a first-round select (No. 17 general) of the Devils in 2018.

“We liked him where I was (previously the Philadelphia Flyers general manager) his draft year,” Hextall stated. “All the (Penguins) scouts liked him. We talked about him, went over reports. We just felt like he was a good fit for our group. He’s a young defenseman, first and foremost. Skates very well, he’s very agile, he’s got good puck skills, a lot of deception with the puck.”

Seth Rorabaugh is a Tribune-Review body of workers creator. You can touch Seth through e-mail at or by means of Twitter .

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