Each day goes by and the Pittsburgh Penguins have still not acquired a third line centre.
After Nick Bonino left the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Nashville Predators as a free agent, the hunt has been on for a replacement. This has become the Penguins number one priority this offseason. They have to figure it out before the season starts.
According to CapFriendly, The Penguins have $3.28 million dollars in cap space available. This isn’t too much to work with but it could work. An option was to trade someone like Olli Maatta to free space in a deal for a third line centre, but GM Jim Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he doesn’t intend on shipping someone out to free up space.
The Penguins have been rumoured to be looking at acquiring one of three players. They include Jordan Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes, Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche and Tyler Bozak of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
With GMJR’s new intent to acquire a centre without freeing up cap space, it looks like these options are out of reach. So what does that leave us with?
The Penguins may have to turn again to free agency to pick someone up for that third line centre role.
One free agent still available is Daniel Winnik. Although he may be suited better on the fourth line, his play may improve playing with the current Stanley Cup champions.
As Lyle Richardson of the Hockey News also suggested, Detroit Red Wings centre Riley Sheahan may be an affordable option. He is only 25 years old with a contract worth only just above $2 million. He could take over the vacant role in Pittsburgh.