Marcus Pettersson, Zach Aston-Reese among Penguins due pay raises | TribLIVE.com
Penguins/NHL

Marcus Pettersson, Zach Aston-Reese among Penguins due pay raises

Jonathan Bombulie
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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins celebrate Marcus Pettersson’s goal against the Rangers in the second period Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019 at PPG Paints Arena.

The Pittsburgh Penguins don’t have much work to do this summer when it comes to re-signing their own restricted free agents.

When they do get around to the task, defenseman Marcus Pettersson and winger Zach Aston-Reese will be due the biggest raises, according to hockey-graphs.com’s annual free-agent contract projections.

Among players who could reasonably be expected to start next season on the NHL roster, the Penguins have five restricted free agents to sign – Pettersson and Juuso Rikkola on defense and Aston-Reese, Teddy Blueger and Adam Johnson up front.

According to the website’s projections, Pettersson will receive a two-year deal with an average salary of about $1.63 million. His salary cap hit was $794,167 last year.

Aston-Reese is in line for a two-year deal with an average salary of about $1.29 million per year. He made $925,000 last season.

The projections point to one-year deals for Blueger, Johnson and Riikola. Blueger would get a pay raise from $650,000 to $892,390. Johnson would take a pay cut from $925,000 to $743,261 and Riikola would get a cut from $925,000 to $861,017.

In total, the raises given to RFAs won’t have a great impact on the team’s salary cap situation. Jake Guentzel’s new contract, however, will.

Guentzel’s pay will go from $925,000 last season to $6 million in the first year of a five-year deal next season.

That increase will put the Penguins well over the salary cap. Penciling in a lineup with 13 forwards, eight defensemen and two goalies, the team’s projected salary total next season stands at about $85.3 million. The cap is expected to be set around $83 million.

General manager Jim Rutherford has suggested that significant roster changes are in store after a disappointing finish to last season. Those changes will have to include at least a couple million in salary savings.

Follow the Pittsburgh Penguins all offseason long.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Penguins
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