Kunitz is an unrestricted free agent, which means he could sign with Vegas, making him its one selection from the Penguins. With Pittsburgh limited in cap space -- just under $15 million -- there is no guarantee the four-time Stanley Cup champion will be back even if he is not selected in the expansion draft. The 37-year-old was more often in a bottom-six role this season, which certainly affected his production -- 29 points in 71 outings -- but stepped up in the postseason as he racked up two goals and nine helpers.
Kunitz would like to play at least another season, preferably in Pittsburgh, Sam Kasan of Pens Inside Scoop reports.
A drop in production -- just 29 points this season -- combined with being 37 years of age, led many to wonder if Kunitz would go out on top after back-to-back titles. Apparently that thought has not occurred to the four-time champion who has adapted well to his responsibilities as a bottom-six role player. Whether general manager Jim Rutherford can fit the winger under the salary cap -- even if he goes for a discount -- will be one of the many challenges facing Pittsburgh as it heads into the offseason.
Kunitz collected two assists and four PIM during Wednesday's Game 2 win over Nashville.
Kunitz has registered two goals and five assists through his past three games. It's an impressive outburst after he missed all of Round 1, then recorded just two helpers over his first 13 postseason games. The 37-year-old veteran is chasing his fourth Stanley Cup, and if Pittsburgh prevails, Kunitz would become the only active player in the NHL to hoist the Cup four times.
Kunitz recorded two assists over 15:47 of ice time during Monday's Game 1 win over Nashville.
This was the second consecutive multi-point game for Kunitz, as he scored twice and added an assist during Pittsburgh's Game 7 win over Ottawa to reach the Stanley Cup finals. He missed all of Round 1 against Columbus, and recorded just two assists over his first 13 postseason contests, but the veteran has made a huge impact the past two games for the defending champions.
Kunitz contributed his first two goals of the playoffs and a power-play assist in Thursday's 3-2 double-overtime Game 7 victory over Ottawa.
Kunitz opened the scoring 9:55 into the second period, then earned a helper on Justin Schultz's go-ahead tally with 8:16 to play in the third. Unfortunately for the veteran winger and his team, the Senators responded to each of those goals by potting one themselves within the next three minutes. The one-time 35-goal scorer turned back the clock one more time 5:09 into the second overtime, beating netminder Craig Anderson to make Pittsburgh the fifth team in NHL history to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals on a Game 7 overtime winner. Kunitz's performance was truly out of left field considering he pulled it off after posting just two assists in his first 13 appearances this postseason.