How does Hextall plan to get Penguin under the salary limit?

cranberry – Ron Hextall knows he’ll have to deduct about $1.5 million from the Pittsburgh Penguins’ payroll in order to fall under the NHL’s payroll limit.

He also knows that there are a few ways to accomplish this.

He may trade one or two for one of nine NHL-caliber defensemen currently on the training-camp roster.

But there’s a catch.

or he can assign ty smith and Drew O’Connor for the Penguins’ farm team at Wilkes-Barre, as neither of them will have to be exempt and their combined salaries dropping would drop the Penguins below the $82.5 million threshold for 2022-23.

Except that it’s not as easy as it might seem.

Which explains why, while discussing the status of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ hats with reporters on Friday, Hextall admitted that “we have some tough decisions to make.”

Of course, he could have reduced the salary by doing one or more trades, although it is not as easy as it may seem.

Based on a project roster, about half of the NHL’s 32 teams are either above the cap ceiling or within $1 million of it. That means a lot of clubs are looking to transfer players over the next few weeks, and a buyer’s market that creates all but eliminates any benefits for teams hoping to transfer personnel.

“A lot of the teams (hats) are gone,” Hextal said. “I think some teams, you wonder what they’re going to do. We’re obviously in that position. … There are only a few savvy people in terms of wanting to take the money, so it’s a tough market “

Deciding which defenseman to part with, whether it’s a trade or a relegation to the American Hockey League, may not be an easy call, either.

“I really like the mix on guys (defense) who are between puck-movers and skilled guys and defensive defenders,” Hextall said. “Right now, we don’t know exactly where we’re going. Obviously, we have some ideas, but we have some tough decisions to make.”

Another difficulty may be deciding what to do with O’Connor and/or Smith if either of them has a strong showing in the camp and effectively forces management to keep him on the major league roster. .

Hextall allowed “it’s definitely an option” to demote them both, but quickly added, “We want to put the best team on Ice Opening Night that we can, so if they don’t want to go ahead with it.” part, so we’re going to try to find a way (to keep them).”

Which forward and defenseman will be in uniform on October 13 against Arizona is yet to be decided, but with the exception of injury, Tristan Jerry and Casey Desmith There are locks to create your chubby tandem.

Hextall confirmed that they have had cursory contract talks with Jari, which has a cap hit of $3.5 million and who is due to be an unrestricted free agent next July, but suggested either side could insist on reaching an agreement soon. not giving.

“There’s no real urgency there, from either side, but we’ll continue to talk and get something done,” Hextall said. “I don’t anticipate talking when the season starts, but who knows?”

Jerry returned from a late-series meltdown against the New York Islanders during Round 1 of the 2021 playoffs with a strong regular-season performance, but Game 1 of their opening-round series against the New York Rangers this spring Except everyone missed it. a leg injury.

The Rangers’ win extended the Pittsburgh Penguins’ worst streak of franchise-playoff losses to five series, but it didn’t stop Hextel from retaining his veteran core by re-signing Chris Letang, Evgeny Malkin, Brian Rust and Ricard Raquel. Was able to stop Were free agents this summer.

“Every year is a new year,” Hextall said. “Well, we’ve lost the last two years in the playoffs since I got here. We thought we could have definitely won both series, but I think that’s what gives you hope that it’s still there.

“These guys are still very good players. … We thought this group could still run and do a lot of damage. … I’m really excited about where we are now, as a team.

“It is difficult to win in this league. It’s hard to win a round in the playoffs. Winning the Stanley Cup is definitely tough. But this is our mission.”

Having settled on how to come into compliance with the salary range.

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