With the NHL salary cap not expected to rise for the 2020-21 season, Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford admitted Tuesday that his team will be facing a cap crunch this off-season.
Goaltenders Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry are both scheduled for restricted free agency and Rutherford told The Athletic that, while there is a way to keep both goaltenders, manoeuvring to stay under the salary cap will prove difficult.
“Well, I’ll say this: If we are going to keep both of them, we’d have to move a few things around on our team," Rutherford said. "There is a way to do things and to make that work, yes. There are some very, very tough decisions ahead.”
Murray edges Jarry in starts this season at 38 to Jarry's 33, and has a 20-11-5 record, while Jarry has gone 20-12-1. Jarry has a .921 save percentage and a 2.43 goals-against average compared to Murray's .899 save percentage and 2.87 GAA.
Murray, who helped the team win back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017, is in the final season of a three-year, $11.25 million contract, while Jarry carries a cap hit of just $675,000 this season in the last of a two-year deal signed in 2018.
Murray will turn 26 this month, while Jarry turned 25 on April 29. The Penguins also have goaltender Casey DeSmith, who started 14 games last season, under contract through 2021-22.
Pittsburgh currently has $67.28 million committed towards next season's salary cap with 15 players under contract, per CapFriendly.