The Pittsburgh Penguins have played well the first third of the season considering the injuries they have had to deal with to start the season. One pleasant surprise has been the play of Evan Rodrigues.
Could Rodrigues be the player who makes Jason Zucker or Kasperi Kapanen expendable for a trade?
Zucker has a meager 10 points in 30 games while Kapanen is just slightly better at 16 points in 30 games. Meanwhile Rodrigues has started the season well with 23 points in 30 games and makes a lot less than Kapanen and Zucker.
The big question is, which player could be traded? Zucker has a modified no-trade clause in which he can submit 10 teams he does not want to be traded to. He also has a big salary cap hit of $5.5 million/year. Kapanen does not own a no-trade clause and makes $3.2 million per season.
With Evgeni Malkin set to return soon, the Pens could make a trade to free up a roster spot and it is more likely Kapanen would be traded over Zucker. Kapanen has been in coach Mike Sullivan’s dog house the past month with him being dropped in the lineup several times as he tests Sullivan’s patience.