Penguins fans have had the luxury of not needing to stop and look at the roster and contract outlook this early into the offseason since 2015....so that’s pretty good, I’d say. But alas, the Penguins were eliminated in the 2nd round and business calls.
You start to ask the questions, what do the Penguins need to do this summer and what does their salary cap picture look like?
The first thing that I notice are the trade acquisitions made by Jim Rutherford still under contract moving forward — not rentals.
You’ve got Derick Brassard under contract for one more year, and you’ve got Jamie Oleksiak and Riley Sheahan both as Restricted Free Agents. I imagine the Penguins would like to extend both of these players, even if on one-year deals like the team did with Justin Schultz after his acquisition.
After that, you’ve got a handful of other RFA’s to take care of — Bryan Rust, Dominik Simon, Tom Kuhnhackl.
I’d say it’s pretty good that the only player on the roster who is an Unrestricted Free Agent going into the offseason is Carter Rowney, especially considering that this is a team who is a legitimate contender. This isn’t an example of a team going all-in, trading futures for rentals and going for broke, failing, and the dust settling and looking around and seeing you need to rebuild a whole team. The Penguins have set themselves up to bounce back well.