The Pittsburgh Penguins were guaranteed to lose one player via the 2021 Seattle Kraken expansion draft. No matter how wickedly any GM spun the chessboard, one player was headed out, except the Pittsburgh Penguins are one of a few teams to lose two NHL players.

And therein lies the problem.

After sitting through a cringe-worthy ESPN debut, the thought was inescapable. The money saved did not equal the players the Penguins lost, Brandon Tanev and Jared McCann.…-expansion-draft/Penguins GM Ron Hextall had two holes to fill before the NHL expansion draft: a bottom-six RW and a right-side defenseman. After the draft, there was inevitably going to be a third open lineup spot, but with McCann traded away and Tanev lost to expansion, there are now four open spots.

But instead of clearing one of their biggest salaries that could free adequate resources, the Penguins lost a pair of wingers with unique skillsets when Hextall traded McCann to Toronto for prospect Filip Hallander and a seventh-rounder to avoid losing him to Seattle, then actually lost winger Brandon Tanev to Seattle.

Two players out, but there’s not enough money to replace them and patch the holes.