Marcus Pettersson, Zach Aston-Reese among Penguins due pay raises
The Pittsburgh Penguins don’t have much work to do this summer when it comes to re-signing their own restricted free agents.
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.
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .