The Pittsburgh Penguins need a shakeup. Here are three players they should move out during what should be a long offseason.
There are going to be changes with the Pittsburgh Penguins this offseason. General Manager Jim Rutherford implied as much during his end of the year press conference. The Penguins are a “win now” team who have won a total of one postseason game the past two seasons. Rutherford refrained from any huge shakeups last offseason, but he needs to make some changes this time around.
The Penguins Stanley Cup window isn’t closed – yet. But it’s starting to close and you can bet Pittsburgh’s going to do whatever it takes to pry it back open. They can’t afford to rebuild. Not while Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are still elite players.
Back in 2015, the Penguins were tempted to make huge changes to their core, but they instead elected to add to it. That’s the kind of move Pittsburgh needs to make. They shouldn’t be subtracting from their core. If anything, the Penguins need to add to it.
More from Puck Prose
- Dallas Stars should consider signing Haula in wake of crushing Seguin news
- New York Islanders: Grading the home-run Ryan Pulock extension
- Philadelphia Flyers: Is this the year Shayne Gostisbehere bounces back?
- Arizona Shouldn’t Have Drafted Mitchell Miller
- Detroit Red Wings: Locking up Anthony Mantha is a win-win
Is there a Phil Kessel trade on the market this offseason? Probably not. But if the Penguins want to make any changes, it’s going to have to happen via the trade market. Let’s take a look at three players who the Pittsburgh Penguins should trade if they’re serious about making changes.
3. Nick Bjugstad
At the time, the Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann trade was brilliant for Rutherford. It’s still a good trade, but Bjugstad’s tenure with the Penguins has been rather disappointing. In 45 games, he has just 16 points.
This season has been plagued by injuries for him. And even when Bjugstad has been on the ice, he hasn’t gotten much playing time. In 13 games this season, he averaged just over 12 minutes per game, a huge drop from his career average of over 15 minutes per game.
Trading Bjugstad will be hard for several reasons. First of all, there’s his health, which pretty much speaks for itself. He’s played over 70 games in a season just once in the past five seasons. Secondly, Bjugstad’s $4.1 million cap hit isn’t awful, but he’s due over $5 million in salary next season.
The Penguins will need to make some moves to optimize their finances and getting rid of Bjugstad would be a huge help. Of course, to dance, you need a partner. Who’s going to want to trade for Bjugstad?