Pittsburgh Penguins' 3 Worst Contracts of 2023-24

The Pittsburgh Penguins have had another down season and will likely miss the playoffs for the season year in a row. The pieces brought in and the squad assembled just haven't lived up to expectations once again, so we're going to take a look at the three worst contracts on the Penguins.

Jeff Carter

Jeff Carter was traded to the Penguins in 2020-21 and finished the season strong. He also had an impressive following season when he was really needed to step up. But from there it has gone downhill very quickly. He was part of one of the worst lines in the NHL last season and had a pretty big point drop-off. Then he has struggled even more this season, scoring nine goals and 12 points in 61 games. He is currently sitting in the press box as a healthy scratch while the Penguins give it their last go to push for a playoff spot. His contract, with a cap hit of $3.125 million AAV, is over after this season.

Erik Karlsson

Erik Karlsson had an amazing season in 2022-23, but many knew it was going to be very difficult to replicate, even on a better team with the Penguins. Not only is he not going to come close to 100 points, he may not hit 50. Karlsson has eight goals and 46 points in 71 games and has played a lot this season, but he just hasn't settled in properly on the Penguins. It's not a bad year, but considering he has a cap hit of $10 million AAV on the Penguins and a salary of $11.5 million AAV overall, it isn't good enough. There are still three more years left on this deal.

Reilly Smith

Reilly Smith was brought in to replace what the Penguins lost in Jason Zucker last offseason and Smith has had a difficult time settling in as well. He has been so consistent throughout his career, but has taken longer than expected to turn things around. The Penguins opted not to trade him at the deadline as he has one more year left on his contract. At $5 million AAV, he has recorded 12 goals and 34 points in 65 games. It could be better.

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