Taylor Haase of DKPittsburghSports is reporting that the Pittsburgh Penguins are not going to buyout Mikael Granlund before the 5pm buyout window later today. Granlund has had his name thrown around for weeks as a player that was likely to bought out, but it appears he will remain with the Penguins barring a trade, or a buyout in the second buyout window should one open for Pittsburgh.
Granlund was acquired on trade deadline day by previous Penguins general manager Ron Hextall and did not fit in well with the club. After posting 36 points in 58 games with the Nashville Predators, Granlund was traded to Pittsburgh for a second-round pick and put up just a goal and four assists in 21 games as the Penguins failed to qualify for the playoffs. If he does remain with the Penguins, it’ll be interesting to see how head coach Mike Sullivan deploys the 31-year-old as he was not a fit in the Penguins bottom-6 and the recently acquired Reilly Smith is expected to take their vacant left-wing spot on the second line.
Some more snapshots from around the league:
- Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet tweeted that recent buyout recipient Blake Wheeler would prefer to play for an Eastern Conference team to have a new experience and less travel. The news comes from Wheeler’s agent Matt Keator and it makes sense given Wheeler’s age and his family considerations. The former Winnipeg Jets captain is a free agent for the first time and should have several teams to consider given that is coming off a season in which he posted 16 goals and 39 assists in 72 games.
- Eric Engels of Sportsnet is reporting that he expects the Montreal Canadiens to be quiet in free agency as the team has a lot of players that they would like to move to open roster spots for their younger prospects. While Engels jokes about Canadiens’ general manager Kent Hughes putting his phone on silent, he does concede that the Canadiens could add a player if they fit into both the short-term and long-term parts of their rebuild plan. He mentions Mike Hoffman, Joel Edmundson, and Christian Dvorak as players Montreal would like to move on from and given that all three are veterans on expensive cap hits it does seem unlikely for the Canadiens to acquire more of that through free agency.