Kyle Dubas has yet to finalize any transactions yet with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but it doesn’t look like that’s due to a lack of effort - or bound to remain that way very long.
Per Frank Seravalli in his latest “trade targets”, Jeff Petry made the list all the way at No. 12. Petry previously wasn’t even listed by Daily Faceoff in this feature, which goes to show how much activity is kicking up. Here’s the latest nugget:
The Penguins were working on Tuesday to find a new home for Petry, who was acquired by then-GM Ron Hextall last July. The goal for GM Kyle Dubas is to try to lower the Pens’ average age a touch. The view around the league is Petry has slowed down a bit and is no longer playing at a level commensurate to his cap hit. The term on his deal also makes him a little more difficult to move. It’s believed San Jose is a potential landing spot for Petry, while the Pens are also among the teams believed to be interested in Kaapo Kahkonen.
A lot to digest there.
First, it makes sense that the Penguins ideally would like to get younger. While Jeff Petry probably wasn’t bad in 2022-23 as the narrative or memory might suggest, his first year in Pittsburgh still left a lot to be desired as well as far as injury and not moving the needle too much. He’s not getting any younger, however, so that reputation of a fading player isn’t completely untrue either. Still, for what he is, Petry is a veteran second-pair option who can log 20 minutes per game in all situations and perform at a fairly decent level. That’s not nothing, even if he is entering the closing chapters of his career.
At 35 and with two years left on Petry’s deal that has a rich $6.25 million cap hit, it’s no surprise that the Pens haven’t immediately found a workable deal. Throw in a 15-team partial no trade clause that Petry also possesses and the mission to move him gets that much tougher.
Seravalli wrote later that perhaps surprisingly several NHL teams think Kahkonen is a bounce-back candidate. The netminder has a $2.75 million contract for next season, and while the 26-year old was once considered a top young goalie, he’s not that young any longer and also posted a .883 save% in 37 games with San Jose last season. Given how poor the Sharks were, it might make Kahkonen a nice buy low candidate for a backup or “1B” type of starter next season, should the Pens also be looking to move on from Tristan Jarry and/or Casey DeSmith this summer.
The first round of the NHL draft kicks off tonight, and the activity for the Penguins making their changes could finally kick up.
Dubas shopping around Petry and sniffing around backup-ish goalies could be early signals that Pittsburgh’s re-tooling this summer might be more thorough and include a lot of different areas of the roster.