Penguins’ Reilly Smith Draws Surprising Interest in Non-Rental Market

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One prominent name outside the rental market has drawn attention amidst the many discussions surrounding it: Pittsburgh Penguins player Reilly Smith.

The attention of opposing teams usually shifts to rental players as the NHL trade deadline draws near and they can make an instant difference. 

According to reports from Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the Penguins have been fielding numerous calls regarding Smith, with more inquiries than even Jake Guentzel, a sought-after rental option. Smith, acquired by Pittsburgh last summer from the Vegas Golden Knights, has garnered attention despite not fitting the typical rental mold.

The 32-year-old winger, once a crucial part of the Golden Knights’ Stanley Cup run, arrived in Pittsburgh as part of a salary-cap-driven trade. 

Despite his impressive track record, which includes multiple 50-point seasons, Smith’s offensive production has declined this season, registering 10 goals and 15 assists in 51 games, a subpar return given his $5 million price tag.

Penguins’ Deadline Impact on Rebuilding

penguins-reilly-smith-draws-surprising-interest-in-non-rental-market
One prominent name outside the rental market has drawn attention amidst the many discussions surrounding it: Pittsburgh Penguins player Reilly Smith.

Although Smith’s offensive output has waned, his versatility and defensive capabilities make him an attractive asset for potential suitors. 

However, accommodating his contract within the constraints of the salary cap presents a challenge, especially with half the league utilizing long-term injured reserve (LTIR) to manage their cap space.

Seravalli suggests that salary retention could enhance Smith’s marketability, potentially leading to a more favorable return for the Penguins. With two of their three salary retention slots available, the Penguins could consider retaining a portion of Smith’s contract to facilitate a trade. 

While this may not align with their original plans, it could yield valuable assets for a potential rebuild or retooling effort. As the trade deadline approaches, the Penguins must weigh their options carefully regarding Smith’s future. 

Whether they opt to retain salary or explore other avenues, Smith’s availability presents an intriguing subplot in the broader trade deadline narrative. With several teams expressing interest, the coming days could see significant developments in Smith’s trade saga.

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