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Penguins

According to projections, Penguins can re-sign free agents without breaking the bank

Jonathan Bombulie
| Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 12:57 p.m.
The Penguins' Bryan Rust celebrates his goal against the Sharks in the first period Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
The Penguins' Bryan Rust celebrates his goal against the Sharks in the first period Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 at PPG Paints Arena.

According to the latest projections, the Penguins should be able to re-sign all their restricted free agents with a little bit of salary cap space to spare.

Here's how the math breaks down:

The Penguins have 17 players under contract for next season with salaries totaling $70,217,500.

There are also six restricted free agents, who likely will be part of the opening night roster: forwards Bryan Rust, Riley Sheahan, Daniel Sprong, Dominik Simon and Tom Kuhnhackl and defenseman Jamie Oleksiak.

According to computer model projections released by Matt Cane, the proprietor of the hockey analytics blog puckplusplus.com and an editor at hockey-graphs.com, those six players should fetch contracts totaling $7,955,900 for next season.

That would give the Penguins a projected total of $78,173,400 for a full, 23-man roster. The salary cap is expected to rise from $75 million last season to between $78 and $82 million next season.

Cane's model predicts two-year deals for Rust ($2.24 million annually), Sheahan ($1.80 million) and Oleksiak ($1.66 million) and one-year contracts for Simon ($791,000), Kuhnhackl ($753,000) and Sprong ($719,000).

The actual cap number should be announced before the NHL Draft June 22-23.

The only unrestricted free agent on the Penguins NHL roster at the end of this season was fourth-line forward Carter Rowney.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at jbombulie@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

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