According to Pierre Lebrun on twitter and Jeff Marek on TV, the Pittsburgh Penguins have added defender Dmitry Kulikov from the Anaheim Ducks. Marek has since added that Brock McGinn is going the other way.
Pens send Brock McGinn and a pick to the Ducks. Aneheim takes part of Kulikov's salary as well.— Jeff Marek (@JeffMarek) March 3, 2023
Anaheim writer Eric Stephens and national writer Frank Seravalli have said it will be a third round pick. The Pens have a surplus there, with New Jersey’s pick this year and their own plus Vegas’ third rounder in 2024.
Kulikov is a pending unrestricted free agent after the season and carries a $2.3 million cap hit. McGinn was counting $1.6 million against the Pens after clearing waivers and being buried in the minor leagues. More importantly, McGinn was under contract for two more seasons, so Pittsburgh moving him and getting out from that somewhat onerous deal is a positive to free up cap room moving forward. It remains to be seen how much Anaheim is retaining of Kulikov’s contract, but the move should be close to salary neutral for the Pens.
Kulikov, 31, has been a useful defender in previous seasons, but much like almost everyone in Anaheim this year it hasn’t been a season to remember.
Dmitry Kulikov, acquired by PIT, is a defensive defenceman who was maybe not particularly well-suited to playing top-four minutes on the worst defensive team of the cap era. #LetsGoPens pic.twitter.com/2LtM76EklX— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) March 3, 2023
The Penguins have a history of beefing up the depth as much as possible before the deadline, this move feels very similar to last year’s trade addition of Nathan Beaulieu. Beaulieu never ended up suiting up for a game with Pittsburgh and became a free agent last summer.
Pittsburgh is also believed to have picked up Nick Bonino from the Sharks in a three-team trade but that deal has not yet been officially announced. All trades must be in with the league by 3:00pm eastern, though often times deals are announced formally in the minutes and hours after the deadline.