Money talks: What the 2008-09 Penguins team is making now

Justin K. Aller

We take a look at the salaries then and now of the Stanley Cup winning 2008-09 Pittsburgh Penguins team to show who's making more money and how the team has done keeping together their core of that championship team.

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With Rob Scuderi coming back to Pittsburgh, and other key pieces from the 2009 team like Tyler Kennedy and Matt Cooke finding new homes for 2013-14, we got to wondering what the Cup winning 2009 squad looks like now five (!!) years later.

  • 17 players are still in the NHL, making a combined $65,075,000 for this season. Throw in Ruslan Fedotenko’s new KHL deal and it’s north of $68 million. That’s well above the cap and well short of fielding a team that could compete for a season.
  • 10 players from that team (including hardly never used Dustin Jeffrey) are still under contract for 2013-14. Which actually is pretty good for a high roster turnover league like the NHL to retain most of the important parts of a Cup team over this stretch, and most importantly, keep the pieces together for the future.
  • The famed 3rd line of Cooke-Jordan Staal-Kennedy counted $3,941,000 against the salary cap in 2009. The trio will have a combined hit now of $10,800,000 this season, with all three now on different teams.
  • Sidney Crosby, Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury are the only players on the same contract from now until then, with Chris Kunitz making the same amount each year too (though he’s been given a slight bump for his next contract).
  • Some biggest gainers in % change (Staal, Alex Goligoski, Kris Letang) come from young guys off entry level deals and into big money. Scuderi also benefits from being a later bloomer.
  • Letang, by the way, will be making 768% more starting next season than his cap hit in 2009. Let that sink in. Of course, he was a 3rd pairing player back then and now is one of the finest players at his position in the league, but getting contributions from players on entry level contracts is pretty much the name of the game.
  • Remember that time Philly gave a 4th liner with two bad shoulders a five year deal for $1.75 million a season? It’s just fun to laugh about.
  • The Pens paid about $12.5 million against the cap for Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in 2009, their new long-term combined cap hit will be $18.2 million. Can they afford enough depth to be yearly contenders with such a cap hit?

Interesting chart and an interesting summer time debate and look back

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