Penguins Trade Sheary And Hunwick To Sabres

Salary Cap Space Is The Big Return In The Deal

Eric Hagman
June 27, 2018 - 1:01 pm

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh (93.7 The Fan) - The Penguins traded winger Conor Sheary and defenseman Matt Hunwick to the Buffalo Sabres, clearing $5.25 million from their payroll.  In return, the Penguins receive a reported conditional-fourth round draft choice in 2019.

The trade was engineered between General Manager Jim Rutherford and his former top assistant, Sabres G.M. Jason Botterill.  

Rutherford said the NHL's salary cap system made the trade necessary.

"This is just part of the system now," Rutherford said.  "The cap system makes it hard to keep all the players, and if you're going to free up cap space these are the things you need to do."

Rutherford thanked Sheary for contributing to two Stanley Cup championship teams.

Sheary signed a three-year $9 million contract last summer, but went through an inconsistent season, scoring 18 goals.  Hunwick was signed to a three-year, $6.75 million dollar deal as a free agent.  He never seemed to fit into the Penguins system and was benched at various points during the season.  He did not suit up for the playoffs.

The search is now on for a defenseman.

"It's what we wanted to do anyway," Rutherford said.  "Whether we still had Matt or not, our priority this off-season was to add another defenseman."  It's reported that the Blue Jackets Jack Johnson will sign on Sunday.

Rutherford also said they are closing in on a deal to resign center Riley Sheahan, who did not receive a qualifying offer on Monday.

Listen to Rutherford's full comments below.

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