Pittsburgh Penguins: Offseason Report
The celebrating of the Stanley Cup championship is still being done by the players and staff, but unfortunately for management it’s back to work. It starts with the NHL Entry Draft which is scheduled for June 26th-27th. The Penguins have the 30th spot and have a luxury of really being able to pick the best player. Most likely they will look to pick up a big winger to groom in the AHL. I am anxious to see how the rest of the draft plays out for the Penguins. Unlike in the NFL draft, I don’t expect any players from the draft to make contributions anytime soon (if ever for that matter).
Free Agency opens up on July 1st and with that comes more decisions. Luckily for the Penguins they are not losing as many players as they did last year. I have put together a chart below with all of the Penguins UFA’s (no RFA’s on the major league team) along with what they are making.
|Bill Guerin||4.5 million|
|Miroslav Satan||3.5 million|
|Petr Sykora||2.5 million|
|Ruslan Fedotenko||2.25 million|
|Philippe Boucher||2.5 million|
|Hal Gill||2.075 million|
|Mathieu Garon||1.1 million|
I have my doubts about Guerin resigning with the Pens and find it hard to want him back depending on the price. There is no doubt what he brought to the Penguins was more than just a veteran winger. He brought heart and soul into the locker room and the team fed off of it. I say Satan is gone (hopefully) and I only see the Pens holding on to either Sykora or Fedotenko. Since Sykora was a scratch for most of the playoffs I am hoping that might have hurt his price a little and settled it to where the Pens could afford him. I would like to see Craig Adams back. He is a good 3rd/4th liner for a reasonable price. I see the Pens also only choosing one between Boucher and Gill. As much as I love Gill, watching him skate was like watching a freight train inch along a railroad.
Rob Scuderi is going to be one of the biggest question marks. With his performance in the playoffs he has earned himself a nice salary upgrade. If he wants to return to Pittsburgh he is going to have to settle for less. Last, Garon is gone. John Curry from the Wilkes-Barre should be moving up to backup Fleury if they resign him as he is an RFA.
Other offseason moves that I could see the Pens making are signing Kris Letang to a new deal. He will be an RFA after next year and Letang is one of my favorite players so I certainly hope he stays and can’t imagine that the Pens won’t make an attempt to keep him. I am also curious to see if the Pens are going to look to extend Gonchar’s contract as well considering he has one year left until he is an UFA.
The Pens have a lot of young talent in Wilkes-Barre who got playing time this past season. I would like to see them resign Alex Goligoski (RFA), Tim Wallace (RFA), and John Curry (RFA). Mike Zigomanis was the Pens best face off man until he was injuried half way through the season. He is an UFA and I am not sure the likelihood of him being resigned.
Overall, the Pens will have a busy offseason. Look to see them make some small splashes in the free agency pool, but they will most certainly not be making big splashes considering their cap space.
Speaking of cap space, the Pens have 46.8 million tied up currently. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out and I look forward to a fairly busy offseason. I am already looking forward to next year!