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Penguins GM says he's open to trading a goalie

Bill Wippert / National Hockey League / Getty

The Pittsburgh Penguins have three NHL-caliber netminders in Matt Murray, Casey DeSmith, and Tristan Jarry. Since all three would need to clear waivers to be sent to the minors, general manager Jim Rutherford is exploring other options.

"Conversations are going on," Rutherford told The Athletic's Josh Yohe. "If someone wants to make a trade, then there’s a good chance we will do that. Otherwise, we’re either going to keep all three on the roster or hope one of them clears waivers."

Murray is the uncontested No. 1 goalie, so his job appears to be safe. Rutherford wouldn't give any hints on who has the leg up for the No. 2 job, but he did admit he tried to trade Jarry in the offseason, only to find no takers.

"We just couldn’t do anything in the summer," Rutherford said. "But in the last three or four days, things have changed. The market is really heating up, especially for goalies."

DeSmith performed well as Murray's backup last season, going 15-11-5 with a .916 save percentage and 2.75 goals-against average. Jarry has not had the same amount of success in the NHL, but he did register a .915 save percentage in the AHL a year ago.

The Penguins have a bit more invested in Jarry, who was a second-round pick in 2013 and is still just 24 years old. DeSmith, meanwhile, is 29 and was undrafted.

Pittsburgh is about $300K over the salary cap. Moving DeSmith, who has a modest cap hit of $1.25 million, would help solve some of those issues, but he's also signed for three more years, providing some security. Jarry, meanwhile, has one year left on his deal worth $675K.

Rutherford's phone calls around the league extend past his netminders, though. In addition to Jarry, forwards Bryan Rust, Nick Bjugstad, and defenseman Jack Johnson are all reportedly available for trade, league sources told Yohe.

Rust ($3.5M), Bjugstad ($4.1M), and Johnson ($3.25M) would all help solve Pittsburgh's cap issues.

"We can still find a way to make this roster compliant," he said. "We can go with fewer than 23 players on the roster, but that’s not ideal. We’ll see. We could certainly move somebody."

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