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The offseason is here, and a slightly famous wrinkle in the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement goes into effect tonight;

In a player-friendly move, you can’t be traded or sent to the minors this time of year, a rare break and some certainty.

What does that mean for the Penguins this year?

Not much except Drew O’Connor. If the Penguins don’t trade O’Connor today, he will be in Pittsburgh until at least 12/28. It’s back to skating with Jason Zucker regular practice Contact jersey today, it can be somewhat significant.

O’Connor is under a one-way contract, meaning he makes the same amount whether he plays in Wilkes-Barre or Pittsburgh. Financially, it’s not a difference in making a few extra bucks with the holiday freeze, but rather O’Connor’s NHL roster spot is guaranteed for a few days even if Pittsburgh gets healthy and he moves from 13th to 14th. forward if Zucker returns quickly.

Much of the same thought above also applies to Mark Friedman, who is also under a one-way contract. The big difference, though, is that defenseman Friedman has been called up to replace Jeff Petry, who is slated to remain on long-term injured reserve until January. Based on that, it would be unlikely that the Penguins would opt to ship Friedman in the next few days, even if they could.

Recalls from Wilkes-Barre to Pittsburgh are still allowed during the holiday freeze, in the event of further injuries to Pens players, although new recalls will remain in the NHL until after the freeze if necessary. The 23 player limit doesn’t apply for now, which is good because the Pens are 23 at the moment.

With Petry’s placement at LTIR, Pittsburgh has up to $4.725 million under their accrual cap space (ie the new upper limit of their salary cap once Petry is out). Meaning the Pens have all the cap space they need to bring in other players during the offseason or simply until Petrie is ready to be waived and back on the active roster.

If Petrie didn’t get hurt and the Pens were injured, the holiday freeze could have added complications due to the lack of cap space, as well as the ability to trade or send someone down if they needed an extra defenseman. or before with a hypothetical future injury.

Fortunately for Pittsburgh, that’s not the case. The NHL’s holiday roster freeze shouldn’t have too much of an impact. There won’t be any trades coming, but as NHL general managers point out, the lack of cap space around the league has resulted in very limited avenues on the subject this year anyway.


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