Marcus Pettersson doesn't have a new contract yet, but he should be getting a visa soon.
And securing one of those was the major hurdle that had to be cleared before Pettersson, a restricted free agent, could travel to the U.S. and participate in drills when the Penguins open training camp next Friday.
Pettersson's agent, Peter Wallen, said in an email that the team has taken the necessary steps to get the visa.
"Pittsburgh has dealt with Immigration and used the (qualifying offer) as the doc(ument) for P1 (visa) approval," Wallen wrote. "That means Marcus can apply for (a) visa and prepare (to attend camp)."
A P1 visa is designed for use by foreign athletes or entertainers who wish to compete or perform in the U.S.
Athletes such as Pettersson must be able to provide proof of employment in the U.S., which is how the qualifying offer came into play, and that they have a "high level of achievement" in their sport.
One thing that is not clear is whether Pettersson will be issued his visa in time to make it here for the first day of camp, although the Penguins are believed to have filed for an expedited resolution of his request.
Pettersson, who was acquired from Anaheim last December, is the final player who projects onto their major-league roster for the coming season who is not yet under contract.
Both sides have expressed interest in working out a deal -- and it's quite possible that the parameters of an agreement are in place -- but the Penguins do not have the salary-cap space needed to accommodate a contract for him at the moment.
By extending a qualifying offer to Pettersson in June, the Penguins guaranteed themselves the right to match any offer he received from another team or to receive compensation if they declined to match it.
Pettersson was used primarily on the third defense pairing last season, but is expected to challenge for a top-four spot in 2019-20.