4. Michael Bunting
Michael Bunting is another name who could make sense for the Penguins. The Penguins President of Hockey Ops has experience with him as he handed out Bunting’s last contract two years ago, and at just 27 years old he is still on the younger side.
Bunting has put up 126 points in 187 NHL games with his best outing coming in 2021-22 when he put up 63 points in 79 games. The Penguins can offer him a considerable pay raise compared to what he was going to get in Toronto, and if he likes playing under Kyle Dubas that would be an easy choice for Bunting to make.
5. Ivan Barbashev
Ivan Barbashev is another player who could make sense for the Penguins, although his playoff run right now might be pricing him out of the picture. Barbashev put up 16 points in 23 games after being traded from the Blues to the Vegas Golden Knights at the deadline this year.
The 27-year-old also has 17 points over the course of 21 games thus far in the playoffs, oh and his team is just one win away from winning the Stanley Cup. If the Penguins add Barbashev they would be adding a skilled winger who has won one or two cups in his career (depending on how the next few Stanley Cup Final games go) and will only be 28 by the time next postseason comes around.
Barbashev and Bunting both could potentially play alongside Crosby and Malkin or they can play on a third line providing offense on their own. These are the types of free agents the Penguins need to go after when free agency comes around.
Free agency starts on July 1 at noon ET. The Penguins currently have $20.2 million in projected cap space according to CapFriendly. Additionally the Penguins will be drafting 14th overall at the upcoming NHL Draft.