Report: Gap remains between Dupuis, Penguins

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The Pittsburgh Penguins haven’t ceased their efforts to re-sign forward Pascal Dupuis, but the two sides aren’t close to agree to terms, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Dupuis’ two-year, $3,000,000 contract is expiring and he will become an unrestricted free agent Friday unless the talks pick up steam. It’s believed that he’s looking for a sizable raise after recording 59 points in 82 games in 2011-12 and 38 points in 48 contests last season.

“He’s an important piece of our team that I’d like to have back,” Penguins GM Ray Shero told the team’s website. “The money and the term have to fit both parties. We’re still not there yet. We’ll continue to work on it. We’d like to have him back, if at all possible.”

The issue hanging over their heads is cap space. Pittsburgh has a little under $8 million left for next season, according to Cap Geek with just 18 players on their 2013-14.

That’s actually not too bad, but compounding the problem is the fact that they’ve already committed to giving Evgeni Malkin a decent raise in 2014-15 and are projected to hand Kris Letang a huge pay increase. Even if you assume that the cap is increasing, it would be risky for the Penguins to sign another player to a significant long-term contract.

That consideration could ultimately lead to Dupuis hitting the free agent market.