Penguins deal Tyler Kennedy to Sharks; beneficial for Dupuis negotations?

NEWARK -- Two days after the Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed Chris Kunitz to a 3-year extension, word came out via Rob Rossi of the Tribune-Review that negotiations with unrestricted-free-agent-to-be Pascal Dupuis weren't going so well.

From Rossi:

The Penguins and winger Pascal Dupuis are far apart on a contract that would prevent him from becoming a free agent Friday.

Shero and Allan Walsh, Dupuis' agent, met Friday. However, the Penguins believe Dupuis will test the open market — that is why they signed winger Chris Kunitz to a three-year contract Thursday.

Before Sunday's NHL Draft kicked off, Shero improved his chances of re-signing Dupuis by dealing forward Tyler Kennedy to the San Jose Sharks for one of their two second round picks, No. 50 overall. Shero said earlier Sunday that a change of scenery might do Kennedy some good, according to the Post Gazette's Dave Molinari.

Dealing away Kennedy, a restricted agent, frees up about $2 million for Shero to use in negotiations with Dupuis, who has missed just two games over the past four seasons and tallied 172 points for the Penguins.

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

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