The Pittsburgh Penguins have made a trade.
On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Penguins traded forward Conor Sheary and defenceman Matt Hunwick to the Buffalo Sabres in return for a conditional 2019 fourth-round pick that could improve to a third-rounder.
The move is a significant move because it’s a huge cap dump for the Pens. The move frees up $5.5 million of space under our salary cap before the NHL’s free-agency period opens Sunday. This gives us a lot more options to work with during free agency.
Sabres GM Jason Botterill, who was formerly the Penguins assistant GM, particularly noted Sheary as the key piece in this deal.
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“When people were saying he couldn’t do it, he found a way,” said Botterill.“That sort of determination and compete and work ethic something we’re looking to bring to our group.”
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Sheary was a fascinating story for the Penguins, as he worked his way up from a minor-league tryout to winning two Stanley Cups with the Penguins. He is a strong winger with a lot of great potential. He scored 23 goals and 53 points in 2016-17 but saw his production drop to just 30 points last season. Still, he was able to manage 18 goals which is rather impressive for a young player.
The Penguins may be losing Sheary but they also are able to shed his $3 million AAV, which gives them space to find an affordable replacement.
And finally, Matt Hunwick has finally been shaved off our salary cap. His $2.25 million AAV contract looked hefty considering his sub par play last season with the Penguins. With him gone, the Penguins have a lot more options to find a strong third pairing defenceman during free agency.