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Garrioch: could Pittsburgh move Chris Kunitz or James Neal for Malkin’s sake?

The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch believes the popular line that Dan Bylsma will get the axe in Pittsburgh as the Penguins try to find a new direction after losing in the Eastern Conference Final, but with the Penguins facing some nasty cap-related decisions and the almost-sure losses of at least two of their their trade deadline acquisitions in Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray, and needing to determine whether their $7.8 million in Capgeek-estimated cap space is worth spending on re-signing the aforementioned players and/or UFA's-to-be Pascal Dupuis, Craig Adams or Pascal Dupuis...

Garrioch thinks that the Penguins will do more than flip Marc-Andre Fleury and his $5 million cap hit out of Pittsburgh:

[Peguins GM Ray] Shero will have to shift his roster even if Bylsma stays. A league executive told QMI Agency he expects the Penguins to either move Kunitz or Neal with the cap going down to make room to keep Malkin, who is only one year from being an unrestricted free agent.

Wingers Pascal Dupuis and Matt Cooke are both unrestricted free agents July 5. Shero will have tough decisions to make because he can’t keep everybody. Crosby and Malkin eat up a lot of cap space, which limits what the club can do.

On defence, Murray will be allowed to walk away as a free agent because the Penguins want to keep Letang. Then there’s goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who has two years left on his contract and and is owed $11 million.

The Penguins can go one of two ways with Fleury: They can try to trade him to the Minnesota Wild, Colorado Avalanche or Florida Panthers, or buy out the last two years of the deal and head in another direction. Pittsburgh could pitch for Buffalo Sabres netminder Ryan Miller.

Garrioch continues and sticks with the Penguins' problems.

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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