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Penguins Salary Cap: Outlook after July 1st

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After the dust settles on the biggest day of the year for signings, we take a look at what shape the Pittsburgh Penguins are in to round out their team for the 2017-18 season.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After the dust has settled (we think), here's how the Pens are looking, courtesy of Cap Friendly:

Cap hit: $63,945,000

Available space: $11,055,000

Notable RFAs still out there: Brian Dumoulin, Conor Sheary, Derrick Pouliot

Current lineup:

AAAA -  Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist

Jake Guentzel - Evgeni Malkin - Phil Kessel

Carl Hagelin - DDDD - Bryan Rust

Scott Wilson - CCCC - Ryan Reaves

*Carter Rowney, Tom Kuhnhackl

BBBB - Kris Letang

Olli Maatta - Justin Schultz

Ian Cole - Matt Hunwick

*Chad Ruhwedel

Matt Murray

Antti Niemi

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AAAA is a spot held open for Conor Sheary. As a young, skilled complimentary forward we still see his projected contract as a 2 year bridge at a yearly $2.0 million cap hit, give or take a little

BBBB is going to be Brian Dumoulin. As a proven top-4 caliber defensive defenseman who doesn't put up points, the projected long-term contract (similar to a Mattias Ekholm) would be in the $3.75 million range, which we project Dumoulin to come in lesser.

CCCC would be the 3rd line center. Rutherford has more than hinted a trade will be made to acquire this spot, though who it could be? Well we took some guesses (and are remiss to have forgotten Bryan Little from the Jets as a candidate) and it remains to be seen what the trade price will be. With guys like Rust/Wilson/Kuhnhackl/Rowney the Pens do have a glut of forwards, plus a 1st round pick next year to potentially dangle. Ideally this player is a $3.0 million cap hit (with wiggle room if a roster player is traded out)

DDDD is a 4th line center addition. Candidates like Brian Boyle and Dominic Moore found other homes today. At this point, ideally it would be Matt Cullen - though he may retire or elect to move back to Minnesota. Regardless of the "who", the price for this ought to be $1.0 million, give or take a little.

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Add it all up and that's a projected $9.75 million to sign those 4 spots, to leave a small $1.25 million cushion under the cap. That cushion may be tested if they need to sign a guy for more, so that's some nice wiggle room built in, if necessary.

With signing Schultz, Hunwick and Niemi today the Penguins pretty much took care of their defense and goalie position (sans the Dumoulin contract). Now the only questions that remain are the lower line centers and hearing what happens with what could be a meaningful trade to add a 3rd line center to replace the departed Nick Bonino.