Zach Bogosian is free of the Buffalo Sabres, after clearing waivers and refusing an assignment to the AHL. There were no takers for his $5.1 million salary cap hit for the rest of the season, but that contract is now done. Bogosian could have rode the buses in the AHL and collected $1.7 million more dollars this season, but instead passed that up to be able and pick a new team.
The Penguins could be among his suitors.
Assuming Bogosian clears unconditional waivers today, I expect he will wait until Monday to decide where he wants to play for the remainder of the season. Toronto, Pittsburgh, Carolina and Winnipeg are among the strong contenders.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 22, 2020
In a way, this would be ideal. Bogosian waiting until after the trade deadline makes sense. That will be after the 23-man maximum roster limit expires and teams can have as large of roster as they want, provided it stays under the NHL’s upper limit of the salary cap. Bogosian is likely to sign about a minimum salary NHL deal for a pro-rated $700,000 — this won’t be about the money, just the opportunity.
And, though Bogosian has a poor reputation, his advanced numbers still show that he is an NHL caliber defender. Just not worthy of a $5 million cap hit any longer. Here’s how Bogosian stacks up to another defender on the team.
For Pittsburgh it would be an ideal situation to add Bogosian. With all the injuries they’ve suffered this season, depth is good. Might even be necessary. And the Pens have very limited trading assets — just look at players like Brenden Dillon, Marco Scandella, Dylan Demelo, Andy Greene who all went for at least a third round pick and often more. Pittsburgh isn’t shopping in that aisle for a pickup.
But Bogosian would be added as a free agent being as his previous contract has been terminated. The Pens would give up nothing to add him. It makes as much sense or more than trading for a player like Ron Hainsey or someone else that would require giving up a piece, even a marginal one.
Whether or not Bogosian would add anything to the top six defenders if healthy would be another debate. Same with if everyone has been healthy at the same time, would Bogosian even play? If not, he probably opts to sign with a place that will assure him playing time. Given that there’s really been no time all season that “everyone has been all healthy at the same time”, that shows why Bogosian would be needed.