The Pittsburgh Penguins are going to acquire Dmitry Kulikov from the Anaheim Ducks. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun is reporting that the two teams are putting the final pieces in place to complete the deal.
Emily Kaplan of ESPN reports the return for Anaheim will be a third-round pick and a player. Jeff Marek of Sportsnet added that the Ducks will be retaining a portion of Kulikov’s salary. LeBrun reports that the player heading back to Anaheim will be Brock McGinn.
Kulikov will add some depth to the Penguins defense, and has three goals and 15 points in 61 games this season. He is a pending unrestricted free agent at season’s end and has a cap hit of $2.25MM. The 32-year-old defender is a veteran of 866 NHL games, giving the Pens some valuable experience to round out their blue line.
McGinn is a gritty winger who is in the second season of a four-year contract that has a cap hit of $2.75MM. He passed through waivers earlier this week and was assigned to the AHL. The 29-year-old winger scored ten goals and 16 points in 60 games for the Penguins this season.
This trade will open up some cap flexibility for the Penguins moving forward. Kulikov’s deal expires at season’s end, but the Pens get out from the final two years of McGinn’s contract, giving them an extra $2.25MM to spend in the coming years.
If it is indeed McGinn, that is more about dumping his contract than anything else. This trade likely won’t move the needle much this year, but it now does clear almost 3MM/year off the books for the next 2 years.
Interesting that this is Kulikov’s 6th team since 2019.