NHL Rumors: Vancouver Canucks, and the Pittsburgh Penguins
It may not be worth it for the Canucks to send Loui Eriksson to the AHL. Penguins don't have a lot of future assets left, and the Seattle Kraken expansion draft.
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May not be worth it for the Canucks to send Eriksson to the AHL

Harman Dayal of The Athletic: Vancouver Canucks forward Loui Eriksson has two years left on his deal at a $6 million salary cap hit but only $5 million in total salary. If the Canucks were to send him to the AHL, his cap hit would be reduced by $1.075 million.

Because escrow could be as high as 20 percent next season, Canucks ownership could end up having to pay him more cash if he is sent to the AHL. (Dayal goes into greater detail on how works)

There are some fans who are hoping that Eriksson would retire rather than be sent to the AHL. It’s not known when the AHL season will get underway, and there could team movement as well. It’s possible that Utica could be moved to Canada and play out of Vancouver if the Canada-US border doesn’t open.

The Canucks did lose Tyler Toffoli and Josh Leivo, so he still may hold some value to the team. Having him in their top-six is not ideal, but they lack depth.

Penguins mailbag and the expansion draft

Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: (mailbag) The Pittsburgh Penguins lack 2021 NHL draft picks – no first, third or fourth. If they are going to trade away futures it would likely have to involve Samuel Poulin or Pierre-Olivier Joseph, and that doesn’t make much sense.

The Penguins current roster doesn’t really put them in the top Cup contender category, so a quick playoff exit may not be the end of the line for coach Mike Sullivan.

If the Penguins did have some salary cap space available, their top target should be Erik Haula. It may take a multi-year deal at around $3.2 million. Mikael Granlund may look good on their third-line on the right side.

Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The way the Pittsburgh Penguins are currently constructed, they may not lose anything of great value in the expansion draft. They don’t really have any assets that they could send the Seattle Kraken to select a bad contract.

John Marino will be exempt from the draft.

Protected forwards: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jake Guentzel, Bryan Rust, Kasperi Kapanen, and Jason Zucker. Two of Jared McCann, Teddy Blueger, and Brandon Tanev would likely be protected.

Protected defensemen will likely be Brian Dumoulin, Kris Letang, and Marcus Pettersson. Mike Matheson could replace Pettersson depending on how each plays this year.