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Official: Nick Bonino is a Penguin again, salary cap details/update

Bonino, Bonino, Bonino is back, back, back...What it means for the Pens’ salary cap situation

San Jose Sharks v Pittsburgh Penguins Photo by Joe Sargent/NHLI via Getty Images

The rumored deal hung out there for a while, but is now official: Nick Bonino is back with the Pittsburgh Penguins. It took a three-team trade and Montreal pitched into retain 50% of Bonino’s $2.05 million salary cap hit. Bonino is set to be a free agent at the end of this season.

Here’s the full deal, the Pens end up paying a modest price of fifth and seventh round drafts to make it happen.

Bonino is fading a bit but still an effective NHL player, and if nothing else should help replace what Pittsburgh lost on the PK by trading Teddy Blueger away earlier in the week.


What does this mean for the Pens salary cap? It’s a very fluid situation at the moment, but let’s get it updated:

  • Space entering the day: $1.9 million (after demoting Drew O’Connor and Drake Caggiula on paper to also keep them on the AHL clear day rosters for the rest of the season availability in that league)
  • Bonino trade: -$1.025 million (Montreal took half of the cap hit, the Pens take the pro-rated half of what is left)
  • Kulikov trade: ? (Just based on Kulikov +$2.3m with McGinn’s $1.625m going out means a loss of $.625m of cap space for the Pens. However, details on how much Anaheim is retaining [which could be up to $1.15m] still remain unknown. The closer to neutral of a move it is, the better for the Pens - who remember still will be looking to bring O’Connor back)

The Pens and the rest of the league have less than an hour to complete any further moves. As it can be seen above, Pittsburgh is scraping to the top again with very little operating room, if they have any further moves it will likely have to be close to “dollar in, dollar out” neutral trades in that regard.