The Pittsburgh Penguins have a tough offseason upcoming because they 6 major UFAs and 2 RFAs to resign and they only have about $29 million to do so. To make things tougher for the Penguins they don't have any of players in the system that can replace those players. Here is what I would do if I were GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Before the 2022 Draft, a few trades are made
Pittsburgh Penguins trade Evgeni Malkin and Kasperi Kapanen to the Minnesota Wild for Kevin Fiala, Fredrick Gaudreau, 1st round pick '22.
This is a win-win trade for both teams; Minnesota gets a top-line center in Evgeni Malkin to pair with Kirill Kaprizov, as well as Kasperi Kapanen to replace Kevin Fiala, while the Penguins get Kevin Fiala, a top 6 winger, Fredrick Gaudreau, an underrated center, and a 1st round pick.
The Penguins also trade Kris Letang to the Montreal Canadiens for Kaiden Guhle, Ryan Poehling, Joshua Roy, 2nd round pick '22, 1st round pick '23.
Montreal gets Kris Letang to be their top pair defenseman, which would be a huge blow for Pittsburgh but at the same time they did get some nice pieces in Ryan Poehling, top prospects Kaiden Guhle and Joshua Roy, as well as a 1st and 2nd round pick.
Jason Zucker, Brian Dumoulin are traded to the Vancouver Canucks for Tanner Pearson, 3rd round pick '22.
This is mostly a cap dump for the Penguins, which saves the Penguins 6.35 million in cap space. In addition, this trade addresses the positional needs of both teams, the Penguins need goal-scoring, while the Canucks need better defense.
At the 2022 Draft, the Pittsburgh Penguins trade picks 21, and 33 to the Buffalo Sabres for picks 16, and 41.
The Penguins improved their dreadful prospect pool a bit with the additions of three former USNTDP players: Jimmy Snuggerud, Rugter McGroarty, and Seamus Casey. They also added Topi Ronni and Marcel Marcel, who are big forwards, who could play a depth role on the team down the road, and two defensemen in Elmeri Laakso and Elias Pettersson.
Pittsburgh Penguins re-sign the following players:
Kevin Fiala-8yrs/7.5M per
Bryan Rust-5yrs/6M per
All Non-Roster RFAs are re-signed
Pittsburgh Penguins sign the following players in Free Agency:
John Klingberg-6yrs/6.5M Per
Andrew Copp-6yrs/5M per
This is how the lineup looks like next season
2022-23 Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins can still remain a competitive team in the Eastern Conference with the moves they made here, and didn't have to overpay 35 year old veterans.