3 Penguins Players Who Won’t Be Back Next Season

The Pittsburgh Penguins are not out of the playoff race just yet even though the team moved Jake Guentzel at the trade deadline. Regardless of what happens this season, there has to be some changes made to the team in the summer in order to give the veterans another shot at making the playoffs and winning a Stanley Cup. These are the three players who aren't likely to return next season.

Reilly Smith

There were a lot of rumors ahead of the trade deadline that Reilly Smith was going to be moved. This didn't end up happening, but as he's having a down year and his cap could be better used to upgrade the depth, it is likely he is going to get traded in the offseason instead when a trade is easier to pull off. Being a former Stanley Cup champion and consistent player (excluding this season), it shouldn't be extremely difficult for the Penguins to find a partner for Smith in the offseason.

Alex Nedeljkovic

The goaltending hasn't been the problem this season for the Penguins as Tristan Jarry and Alex Nedeljkovic have been a solid tandem. Jarry is locked in for a few more years while Nedeljkovic is a free agent after the season. He will be wanting more money and likely more playing time which he may not see behind Jarry. Despite his good season as the backup in Pittsburgh, he has still gotten in less than half of the games. He was a starter once and he should try to at least join a team where he can push for 40 starts in a season again.

Jeff Carter

The Penguins need to change up their depth for next season. Most of the supporting cast has not pulled their weight and are wasting a great season by Sidney Crosby and some of the other older players. When the Penguins first acquired Jeff Carter, he did very well for them, but age has been hitting him hard and he can't keep up. Not only is his cap hit a burden on the team, the 39-year-old is very likely going to retire after the season. He is a UFA and has already won his Cups. The Penguins will be able to fill that role with someone younger and hungrier.

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