The Penguins tried for months to trade Tristan Jarry but never received an offer to Jim Rutherford's liking.
So they will keep him.
At least for now.
They put Casey DeSmith on waivers today, which means he is eligible to be claimed by another club until noon Tuesday.
"Between Casey and Tristan, there certainly wasn't anything appealing, in order to make a deal for either/or," Rutherford said. "It was obviously a tough decision, because we like Casey a lot. We'll see where it goes here in the next 24 hours."
Waiving DeSmith is not the only move the Penguins will make before regular-season rosters have to be finalized by Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Jim Rutherford said they "probably" will put right winger Bryan Rust on Long-Term Injured Reserve while he recovers from an injury sustained when he was hit in the hand by a shot during the Penguins' preseason finale against the Sabres last Saturday.
That means Rust will not be available to them for at least 10 games and 24 days, but it will give the Penguins some short-term salary-cap relief. In fact, the way the league's labor deal is set up, it gives them incentive to get as close as possible to the cap ceiling of $81.5 million.
"It eases the pressure of having to make a deal to be cap-compliant," Rutherford said. "You don't have that same pressure. We'll do some maneuvering to (get close to the cap ceiling) ... And also keep the players we want to keep and who deserve to be here."
Rutherford said he is not close to making any trades, and that he did not have an update on whether Sidney Crosby or Alex Galchenyuk, both of whom are injured, will be available for the regular-season opener Thursday against the Sabres.
The move with DeSmith was rooted, at least in part, in longer-range cap considerations. He is scheduled to earn $1.25 million this season, regardless of where he plays.
Per the league's CBA, assigning him to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton will save the Penguins a $1.075 million cap hit.
Jarry will earn $675,000 when he's in the NHL. This is the final year of his entry-level contract; Jarry will be a restricted free agent next July.
That $400,000 difference in cap hits, as calculated under the league's collective bargaining agreement, should enable the Penguins to slip under the NHL cap ceiling of $81.5 million, albeit temporarily, if Rust and Zach Trotman go on LTIR.
"It's certainly an advantage to have the lower cap hit with Jarry, and we like Tristan a lot," Rutherford said. "He's a good young goalie."
DeSmith had been projected as Matt Murray's backup this season, in part because Jarry is regarded by many inside the industry as a potential No. 1 goalie at this level and figured to have more value than DeSmith on the trade market.
DeSmith, 28, was 0-1 in two appearances during the preseason, when he had a 2.75 goals-against average and .913 save percentage.
Jarry, 24, also played in two games, going 0-1-1, with a 3.66 goals-against average and .872 save percentage.
Waiving DeSmith leaves the Penguins with 25 players on their major-league roster. Teams must be down to 23 or fewer by 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Because players who are waived remain available for 24 hours, today was the deadline for putting a player on waivers if the move was intended to help get into compliance with the 23-member limit.
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