Pittsburgh Penguins veteran forward Pascal Dupuis has announced his intention to hang up the skates. He was suffering from chest pains over the weekend that was assumed to be related to his blood clot issues and he and the team decided that it was in his and his family’s best interest for him to quit playing.
The Penguins announced that they will be placing Dupuis on long-term injured reserve so that they can continue to honor his contract. While his loss does leave a big hole to fill in the lineup, and his personality in the locker room cannot be replaced, it does give the Penguins some much needed salary cap space.
Salary cap situation Dupuis is placed on injured reserve with two-thirds of the season remaining, which means two-thirds of his salary can be applied to the LTIR exemption. His $3.750 million salary still counts against the team’s upper limit but $2.500 million of it is able to be used towards the exemption. Prior to his being placed on injured reserve the team had $153 thousand in available salary space remaining, thus by exercising the LTIR exemption option the team is allowed to exceed the salary cap by $2.247 million.
The Penguins currently have two goaltenders, eight defensemen, and 12 active forwards now. Their total player salary is $74.392 million, but due to the LTIR exemption and the bonus cushion they are able to exceed the cap ceiling by $5.492 million. Thus their artificially inflated cap ceiling is $76.892M, leaving them with $2.500 million available in order to bring in new players to replace Dupuis.
The Penguins are still in the market for a top four defenseman and now with Dupuis gone they are also trying to find another top six winger as well. They do have some internal options that may work out, but they need to figure it out sooner rather than later. One possibility may be that the Penguins now have enough cap space available to give Derrick Pouliot a chance after how well he has been playing in the AHL this year.