The Pittsburgh Penguins were swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the New York Islanders, opening the door to plenty of questions surrounding the roster composition moving forward. The team made a few big trades during the season to change the look of their group, sending out names like Derick Brassard, Riley Sheahan, Daniel Sprong, Carl Hagelin and Tanner Pearson at various times. While that ended up with a deep group of defense with plenty of talent, it also now may lead to more deals having to be made this summer.
Speaking with Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford admitted that the team will likely have to trade a defenseman this summer. In fact, Rutherford told Mackey:
“But it will be difficult to keep all of our defensemen and keep them happy. I’m sure with the amount of teams who are looking for defensemen, we’ll have to move at least one.”
That may not come as a surprise, given the state of the blue line right now. Six players are currently under one-way contracts for next season, all of them with cap hits of at least Jack Johnson’s $3.25MM. That makes for an expensive group, especially when you consider the fact that Marcus Pettersson, a restricted free agent, deserves a substantial raise after becoming one of the team’s more reliable options.