Penguins Rumors: Pittsburgh Could Move Ryan Graves

The Pittsburgh Penguins are confronted with the challenge of finding a solution for defenseman Ryan Graves, whose performance has failed to meet expectations since joining the team.

Despite his previous success elsewhere, Graves has struggled to integrate into the Penguins' defensive system, particularly alongside star defensemen Kris Letang and Erik Karlsson, as noted by Jacob Punturi.

His hefty contract, signed last summer with a $4.5 million average annual value and significant signing bonuses, adds another layer of complexity to the situation. The entire contract is a 6-year, $27M deal.

In light of Graves' underwhelming performance and the team's need for roster flexibility, Penguins' is management is undoubtedly considering options to potentially move him.

Graves isn't having a horrible season, he's just not living up to what the Penguins and his contract expect him to. Over 68 games this season, the 28-year-old has three goals, 14 total points, a +9 plus/minus rating, and 138 blocked shots.

However, with Graves holding a limited no-movement clause in his contract, finding a suitable trade partner poses a significant challenge.

That being said, the 6-foot-5, 220 lbs defenseman had a nice season in 2022-23, scoring eight goals, 26 total points, a fantastic +34 plus/minus rating, and 152 blocked shots across 78 games played with the New Jersey Devils.

As a result, teams could take a gamble on Graves and hope that he returns to form next season, which is very possible given his career numbers.

General Manager Kyle Dubas may need to explore creative solutions or sweeten the deal to entice other teams to take on Graves's contract, ultimately freeing up valuable cap space for the Penguins and potentially providing opportunities for younger players to step into larger roles.

Over his five-year career, before joining Pittsburgh, Graves amassed 28 goals, 72 assists, 100 total points, a +84 plus/minus rating, and 579 blocked shots across 302 games played. He was also an All-Star in 2019-20 with the Colorado Avalanche.

Graves could be a nice fit with many teams across the league, and there are definitely interested suitors, however, his 12-team no-trade list and large contract will make it tough for Dubas and the Penguins to navigate a deal.

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