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Penguins GM Rutherford says he has listened to trade ideas

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 8:00 p.m.

NHL teams are after Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford's new players.

“Some people came after me today, and there's ideas out there,” Rutherford told reporters in New York, where general managers held their annual Stanley Cup Final meeting Wednesday. “I haven't been throwing any ideas out, but I'll listen.”

The Penguins have about $55 million in salary-cap space committed to 14 players for next season. The NHL projects the cap to be set at around $68 million.

Eight Penguins players will have full or modified trade clauses that kick in July 1, with a notable exception being winger James Neal.

In the three weeks the Penguins went without a general manager, Neal's agent received calls from several clubs that expressed interest in acquiring his client, who told the Tribune-Review he has not requested a trade.

The Penguins have 11 players set to become unrestricted free agents July 1. One is defenseman Matt Niskanen. Rutherford said retaining him “is not going to be easy.”

Rutherford, who will begin interviewing coaching candidates next week, also said he has not met with captain Sidney Crosby.

“Maybe at some point,” Rutherford said. “I've been calling trying to say hello to players, and half of them are wrong numbers or they're off on vacation somewhere. I'm trying to get as much done as I can in a short period of time.”

Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.

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