Before Thursday’s major news that the Vegas Golden Knights were acquiring Jonathan Quick, the Golden Knights acquired forward Teddy Blueger from the Pittsburgh Penguins, their second deal ahead of the March 3 trade deadline.
Given that Blueger is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, the deal didn’t cost the Golden Knights much, as they sent back prospect Peter DiLiberatore and a third-round pick in the 2024 draft. That said, there was no money retained in this deal, meaning the Golden Knights will take on Blueger’s full cap hit of $2.2 million.
Blueger, 28, has played his entire 250-game career as a member of the Penguins. Not known for his offense, he has managed just two goals and 10 points in 45 games this season. However, he is a very solid defensive forward who leads all Penguins skaters in minutes per game on the penalty kill this season at 2:37. He is also very reliable in the face off circle, having won over 50% of his draws in 2022-23.
As mentioned, heading the other way is a third-round pick in next year’s draft along with DiLiberatore. The 22-year-old defenseman seems to be nothing more than a throw-in in this deal, as he hasn’t shown much in terms of NHL potential. After beginning the season in the American Hockey League and having just three points in 22 games, he was assigned to the Savannah Ghost Pirates of the ECHL and has remained there since. During that time, he has amassed just three assists from the back end.
With Blueger’s contract on the books, as well as the remaining $2.9 million the Golden Knights are responsible for from Jonathan Quick’s contract, the Golden Knights have roughly $2.9 million in cap space if they choose to make another move before Friday’s deadline.
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