Jason Zucker’s tenure with the Penguins has been a tough one with the veteran struggling to stay healthy and not being as productive as expected when he has played. With that in mind, some wondered if they’d try to find a home for him this summer. As Dave Molinari of Pittsburgh Hockey Now reports, they did have the opportunity to do so but elected to not pay the high premium it would have cost to do so. The proposal, which is believed to come from a division rival, would have seen the Penguins part with a first-round pick to clear the final year and $5.5MM of his deal off the books while not receiving anything in return. We’ve seen that happen recently with the Sean Monahan trade but it would have been a steep price to pay for Pittsburgh. Interestingly, no team in the division has the money to take on Zucker’s deal outright so this opportunity likely would have come early in the summer before other moves were made.
More from the Metropolitan:
- While some expected the Islanders to move Josh Bailey in order to free up cap space this summer, Arthur Staple of The Athletic reports (subscription link) that the winger was told at the draft that he wouldn’t be getting moved. The 32-year-old managed to record 44 points in 74 games last season but has seen his production taper off over the last few seasons compared to a three-year stretch where he had at least 56 points per season. Bailey has two years left on a contract that carries a $5MM AAV and in this trade market, New York would have been hard-pressed to get top value for his services if they did move him.
- Capitals winger Carl Hagelin took part in informal team skates without needing a no-contact designation, relays Tarik El-Bashir of The Athletic (Twitter link). The veteran has been dealing with an eye injury that has his availability for the upcoming season in question but the fact he’s skating without restriction bodes well for him. The 34-year-old had 14 points in 53 games last season.