Gosh, are penguins turning the clock back in early 2000?


If you are old enough the Penguin‘Fan, you won’t need this preface. But 61% of our traffic and millions and millions of hits now comes from mobile devices and possibly Millennials and Generation Z kids, so bear with us…

There was a time when the Pittsburgh Penguins did not increase their luster. (See, using lingo to reach youth). Played at The Melon Arena, a cute rat dumped without modern amenities. This all changed when the team got super aggressive with the Marianne Hausa trade in 2008, pushing the chips into the figurative middle and going for it. Working in back-to-back Stanley Cup finals in ’08 and ’09, achieved the distinction of the Penn Regiment Championship.

What is now known as the modern field was created by PPG Paints, and the team has enjoyed fruitful playoff runs and extra money. Since 2008 they have been spending more than the salary cap each year and every year, and spend ownership and incentives. This is not a completely selfless effort on their part, as more championships mean more prestige which means higher franchise value, but good things are good things.

This was not always good for Penn. In 2001 he traded the best player of the time, Jormir Jag, to Washington for all three prospects. And more importantly, $ 5,000,000 directly in cash, of the house (as Randy Moss would say). Well, it was actually a penny less than $ 5m because the league didn’t want any more, but the point was proved. To stay behind Penn had to put financial interests ahead of the product on ice.

The process was repeated less than two years later in 2003 when Penn sold an All-Star caliber Alexey Kovalev to the New York Rangers for a fraction of the time, and the $ 3,999,999.99 consideration, the NHL would allow the largest amount of the time . New York took minor pieces from Penn in Jane Lucannan and Dan LaCounter so that Pittsburgh would not have to pay those salaries

The Pens became one of the worst teams since 2001, until the course of the franchise was changed – and most likely survived – by winning a league-wide draft lottery to select Sydney Crosby. Crosby luckily lived all his bills, and then some, as one of the greatest players of all time.

All of this makes up for how Penn’s two biggest moves this summer are bringing back some major negative vibes about money.

On the surface, the Toronto trade is somewhat skewed in the sense that Penn gave two future possessions (2020 first round pick + Prospect Phillip Hollander) in exchange for Casper Capon. The Penn says Kapanen will be a top-six winger, and I believe they are not fobbing – even if Capen falls into a third-line position with Toronto. Still, he is young and has a first-round pedigree and has a 20-goal NHL season under the belt in his age-22 season. You can talk that in hockey tricks.

Even if, as we pointed out, there were significant financial benefits to this business below the surface. The Maple Leafs loaded Kapanen’s contract, hitting the $ 3.2 million cap for the 2020-21 season and the 2021-22 season. But due to the signing of the bonus Toronto has paid, Pittsburgh only has to pay Kapan a total of $ 4.2 million over the next two seasons, with Toronto already paying $ 5.4 million out of the $ 9.6 million contract.

Pittsburgh also dropped minor league defenseman David Warsofsky in the Toronto trade, along with his hefty $ 400,000 down-side guarantee salary for next season. This is a minor detail, which has flown under the radar, but certainly not insignificant when considering organizational expenses. Warsofsky was Wilkes-Barre’s captain and a luxury piece. This is a clear indication that Penn is no longer in the business of carrying such luxury.

Fast forward to today’s transaction for a trade to Nick Bjugstad and retained half of his salary cap in a trade with Minnesota for a conditional seventh round draft pick. A team literally cannot trade a player these days. As we wrote about today, a Buzzstadt considered his injury history and the actual salary for 2020-21 was $ 5.25 million.

But this type of move, rather than using the team’s isouts managing for the bottom line, to maintain a $ 2.05 million cap number and not on the ice. Which is annoying because Penn’s priority was to ice the best team to compete.

I am not sure that this can happen now after the Bjugstad trade.

The trade market was apparently non-existent for an injured player like Bjugstad in the flat-cap world. Penn was only able to maintain the maximum amount allowed for him to speak.

Instead, if Pittsburgh was gunning without financial concern, a buyer would have understood. Bjugstad would have counted $ 600k against the cap in 2020-21, instead of the $ 2.05 million he would now have with this trade. This is a big loss in that department.

The benefit is that Penn has only signed a deal for a year of cap fines for Bjugstad, a purchase would mean an additional $ 1.75 million cap penalty in 2021-22.

The other benefit gained is for the expenditure line. A buyout means a total of $ 3.5 million paid to Bjugstad ($ 1.75m this season and $ 1.75m the following season). Instead Penn saves in real money, a half-a-year cash penalty of $ 2.625 million on salary at Bjugstad ($ 5.25m).

Pittsburgh saves approximately one million in actual cash, but to do so, they pay $ 1.4 million more than the difference in buyout cap hits ($ 600k) vs. this trade retention ($ 2.05m against salary cap) Bjugstad’s annual average value is less than his salary).

In total, to be able to pay at least real dollars in 2020-21, instead of having to pay a total of $ 3.5 million in real money to act like a big market team and overcome a problem. Penn Sacrifice Cap Location.

This is good for the bottom line, but bad for the product on ice in 2020-21, as they have $ 1.4 in cap space to put the best team possible around Crosby and Evgeny Malkin in their quest to be contenders. Millions will be less. .

To be fair, at the end of the day it is not trading strictly for money with some of the best players on the team, such as Jag and Kovalev. But this buzzstad of Minnesota with 50% retained, along with aspects of the Kappen deal, suggest that the Pittsburgh Penguins are clearly not in a position to maximize their spending to chase championships, such as from 2008-20 did.

As it is, Penn would likely spend $ 70 + million in player payroll in 2020-21 (see link above) and possibly still risk losing money and running red in a world where now Not even the NHL can guarantee there are a full 82 game season yet.

It is a Kovid world with an uncertain future, so it is not even wrong to say that it is wrong to do. If it was an avoidable situation where the team was ready to eat more money to free up cap space, they could do so. But he chose very clearly not to do such a thing. And it makes no sense that “the pen doesn’t want to buy a player”, because they are eating a penalty for Bjugstad for not playing for this team.

This is precisely the same position and concept, but Penn chose to make the most of his salary cap position to maximize impact on the bottom line and best use the gun for another title, which he is currently Could do.

It could be a way of the world in 2020. But for those of us well enough to remember the old days, dig under the surface of the tricks that Penn has made, and enough to actually ring for a very volatile future is.