The Pittsburgh Penguins cleared some cap space by making a trade with Buffalo on Wednesday. Forward Conor Sheary and defenceman Matt Hunwick were sent to the Sabres in return for a conditional 2019 fourth-round pick.
This trade leaves the Penguins with about $8.1-million or so in cap space with only Jamie Oleksiak left to sign after they signed Riley Sheahan to $2.1-million yesterday. Assuming Daniel Sprong is the 12th forward added to the current roster, and depending what Oleksiak’s contract, this now leaves the Penguins with about $6-million to add one more forward. Enough room for, say, a Max Pacioretty or Jeff Skinner. Reports are that they cleared the cap space for Jack Johnson. We’ll see what they decide to do.
Anyway, this gives Buffalo a player they can slot into their top-6. With Evander Kane gone, their left-wing depth took a big hit. Evan Rodrigues is a fine player but he’s not a guy you want on your first line.
First thing about Sheary: he can finish. Across three seasons spanning 184 games and 300 shots on goal at five-on-five, he’s converted at a 12.6 percent clip. That’s a very, very good scoring rate.
Now, I understand the urge to say, “it was all because of Sidney Crosby.” Playing with Crosby should help anyone. All the same, I would like those people to explain why Sheary performed so much better playing with Crosby than Patric Hornqvist did: