The Pittsburgh Penguins will have many business decisions to make in the next few months. Pittsburgh may need to look into the future, rather than looking at putting themselves in a major hole and deficit in trying to win another Stanley Cup in the Evgeni Malkin and the Sidney Crosby era. Malkin is 34 years old and will be owed $9.5 million next season. He will be a free agent after next season.
Would General Manager Jim Rutherford re-sign him to that kind of deal? Would he expose him to the Seattle Kracken for the NHL Expansion Draft next summer? Evgeni Malkin is meant to be with the Pittsburgh Penguins for life, but what happens if that wasn’t the case? He has been rumored to be traded for years now and maybe now would be the time to do it. Defenseman Juuso Riikola and forward Zach Aston-Reese could be added to the trade as well.
Riikola scored one goal and recorded six assists, in 36 games played last season. His plus/minus was 3. Aston-Reese played in 57 games last season. He scored six goals and recorded seven assists. His plus/minus was 6.
You can lose him for nothing. This franchise needs draft picks in return and other key prospects, because they have one of the worst farm systems in hockey. You could trade Evgeni Malkin to the New York Islanders. The Pittsburgh Penguins could get some combination of these options in return: NYI first-round picks in 2021 and 2023, a second-round pick in 2022, a conditional third-round pick in 2025 , Nick Leddy, Sebastian Aho, Simon Holmstrom, Travis St. Denis, and Reece Newkirk though.
Malkin played in 55 games last season. He scored 25 goals and recorded 49 assists. His plus/minus was 7.
Nick Leddy is 29 years old. He played in 60 games last season. Leddy only scored three goals and recorded 18 assists. His plus/minus was -1.
He will be owed $5.5 million next season and this would be nothing more than a salary dump for next season for both teams though.
Aho was a fifth-round pick (139th overall selection) in the 2017 NHL Draft. He has only played in 22 career games. Sebastian Aho is only 24 years old and has a lot of upside. He isn’t play due to a log job on defense. Aho has scored one goal and recorded three assists. His plus/minus is -5.
He also played in 49 games last season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the AHL. He scored three goals and recorded 27 assists. His plus/minus was -16.
Simon Holstrom played in 46 games last season in the AHL. He scored eight goals and recorded seven assists. His plus/minus was -15. Holstrom is only 19 years old and was the 23rd overall pick (first-round selection) in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Reece Newkirk was a fifth-round pick (147th overall selection) in the 2019 NHL Draft. He played in 55 games last season with the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL. Newkirk scored 29 goals and recorded 36 assists. His plus/minus was 11.
Travis St. Denis played in 60 games last season with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He scored 13 goals and recorded 16 assists. His plus/minus was -18.
In the 2020 NHL Draft, the New York Islanders first selection will be 90th overall in the third-round.
In the 2020 NHL Draft, the Pittsburgh Penguins first selection will be 77th overall in the third-round.