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Updates on UFAs, Shero’s contract, and calling all Virtual GMs.

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QUICK HITS

Well, dear readers, as I detailed in Tuesday’s Tribune-Review, Penguins GM RAY SHERO said talks with those impending UFAs he hopes to retain should head up this week. An update on that story:

= A collection of NHL agents, all who represent Penguins and a couple with clients set for UFA status, have sent word they are not aware of any announcement today by the Penguins regarding a potential signing. I can tell you after covering three NHL offseasons that if something is coming usually somebody knows.

= The NHL buyout period opened Tuesday, and it lasts two weeks. Buyout possibilities are tied into players’ ages. A player at or over 26 is eligible to be bought out at two-thirds of his remaining contract; a player younger than 26 can be bought out at one-third. Teams receive twice the years remaining on the bought-out player’s contract to pay the player a reduced salary. This provides the team salary cap relief.

The Penguins have 15 NHL regulars counting about $45 million against the NHL salary cap for next season. Six of those players will be on expiring contracts: Fs Pascal Dupuis ($1.4 million), Max Talbot ($1.05), Mike Rupp ($825,000), Eric Godard ($750,000), Tyler Kennedy ($725,000) and Craig Adams ($550,000).

= Speaking of Shero, he is set to enter the final season of his contract. The last thing the Penguins want is for him to be a lame duck next season. I’d look for team president and soon-to-be CEO DAVID MOREHOUSE to make re-upping Shero one of his first big moves in his new dual role. I’d also look for Shero to become one of the higher paid GMs in the NHL.

YINZ DON’T SAY

I’ve been told by many hockey fans that the days between the Stanley Cup Final and July 1 are the best of a calendar year because everybody can play Virtual GM. With that in mind, I’m hoping to use this blog to post some of the best GM scenarios from Penguins fans. The rules:

= For your plan to be considered for print all submissions must include your FULL NAME and CURRENT HOMETOWN.

= The salary cap counts. So, if the Penguins have 15 players costing about $45 million next season, assume they have about $14 million in available space on a NHL cap for next season at about $59 million. (I’ll give a 3 percent margin of error for that NHL cap number).

= Trade if you want, but, again, the cap must be considered – both short and long term. The site capgeek.com isn’t completely accurate, but it is a good resource for fans looking to research the cap situation facing the Penguins and other teams.

= The Penguins breakdown of under-contract NHL players for next season as of Tuesday: 10 forwards, 3 defensemen, two goalies.

= I reserve the option of assessing your GM plan. In fact, I might run some of the better plans past the GM.

To get this party started I’m turning to my cousin, Michael Henry Schwartz of Center, Pa. He sent me a four-page plan. I’m quick-hitting it. Shockingly, a relative of mine is a bit word. Anyway, his plan:

= Do not retain Ws ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY and RUSLAN FEDOTENKO. Like many Penguins fans, Michael wasn’t keen on the team giving up a top prospect – W LUCA CAPUTI – for Ponikarovsky in the first place. I probably would have done a lot of things regarding Caputi differently, to be honest; but I can’t second-guess the decision to trade him. I am not alone in being shocked at Ponikarovsky’s poor performance after being acquired from Toronto.

= UFAs such as W ILYA KOVALCHUK and D ANTON VOLCHENKOV would be nice, but Michael doesn’t see either in the Penguins’ realistic plans. D ANDY SUTTON and W ALEX FROLOV he would go after. Sutton wearing a Skating Penguin? Hmmm…

= Michael has W MATT COOKE and D MARK EATON as the must-keeps among Penguins’ UFAs. For the right price he’d bring back D SERGEI GONCHAR and RW BILL GUERIN. His right price for Gonchar is $3.5 million, which is at least $2.5 million off what Gonchar might be thinking.

OK, kids, yinz are up…

–ROSSI

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Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

Comments

  1. Bryan Lowe says:

    Harrisburg, PA

    Re-Sign: Matt Cooke 3 yrs./1.75 mil cap hit
    Mark Eaton 2 yrs./ 2.25 mil cap hit
    Jordan Leopold 2 yrs./ 2.25 mil cap hit
    Ben Lovejoy 2 years/1 mil per year

    Target: Ray Whitney – throw a 2 year deal for 3.5 mil his way to see if he bites
    Matthew Lombardi – 2.5 mil per year, he’s young so it could be a longer deal, 3 or 4 years

    I’m sure there would need to be another defensemen in there. Those signings there would equal out to be 13.25 mil used out of the 14 mil available

    If some of those guys don’t bite (Whitney, Cooke) I wouldn’t be opposed to giving a guy like Dustin Jeffrey, Eric Tangradi, Chris Conner or Nick Johnson a try to start the year.

    Also if one of the forwards don’t sign. Possibly re-sign if price is right: Guerin (price is right around 1.5 mil tops)

  2. Justin says:

    Any chance you would use an offer sheet at Hjalmarsson from the Blackhawks to help our defense? 2.6 Million per year would only take a 2011 2nd round pick and it could be hard for Chicago to match it.

  3. Shane says:

    Kunitz – Crosby – Tangradi
    Malkin – Staal – Dupuis
    Cooke – Letestu – Kennedy
    Adams – Rupp – Talbot

    Letang – Orpik
    Volchenkov – Goligoski
    Eaton/Lovejoy – Hamhuis

  4. espo33 says:

    Rob

    Here is the plan of of who we have right now 15 players at $45M and $14M available.

    Plan A
    Add forwards:
    Afinogenov-$1.75M 1 year
    Plekanec-$4M or Frolov-$3.5M for 4 years

    Resign:
    Cooke-$2.2M anymore and no dice for 3 years.

    Resign and Promote:
    Johnson-$0.65M (RFA 10% raise on tender)

    Add Defense:
    Volchenkov-$4M for 4 years
    Michelek-$2M for 2 years

    Resign and Promote:
    Lovejoy-$0.55M (RFA 10% raise on tender)

    They will be about $0.6M to $1M under cap. They have 14 forwards, 6 D’s and 2 G’s. Kunitz-Crosby-Plenkanec (or Frolov), Afinogenov-Malkin-Johnson, Cooke-Staal-Kennedy, Rupp-Talbot-Adams with Godard and Dupius. Letang-Oprik, Gols-Vol’s, Michelek-Lovejoy.

    Plan B
    Vol’s is too expensive and Cooke is too expensive.

    Add Forwards
    Afinogenov
    Plekanec and Frolov
    Trade Kennedy or Dupius for Skrastins (D from Dal $1.4M)

    Promote
    Letestu $0.5M
    Johnson $0.65M

    Add Defense
    Michelek $2M
    Skrastins

    Resign and Promote:
    Lovejoy-$0.55M

    So now about $3.3M under cap with. They have 14 forwards, 6 D’s and 2 G’s. Plekanec-Crosby-Kunitz, Afinogenov-Malkin-Frolov, Johnson-Staal-Letestu, Rupp-Talbot-Adams with Kennedy/Dupius fighting with Johnson and Letestu on 3rd line and Godard. Letang-Oprik, Gols-Michelek, Skrastins-Lovejoy.

    I kind of like the combo of Plan A and B.

    Joseph Esposito
    Laurel, MD

  5. espo33 says:

    And if we wanted to get tougher on the 3rd line then sign Torres for $1.5M.

  6. seabs says:

    I think some people need to be more realistic with their expectations. Frolov is not worth the amount of money you would need to give him. He disappears for long stretches of the season. There’s a reason Dean Lombardi doesn’t plan on signing him, he wants too much money. It would take at least 4M a season to sign him.

    Michalek for 2M per season on just a 2 year deal? His agent would hang up the phone and refuse to talk to Shero again.

    Realistically we’re looking at signing one top 6 forward and one top 4 D. Something like Whitney for 3M per season on a 2 year deal and Michalek for 3.75 per season on a multi-year deal. The rest of our signings will probably be one year deals for veterans trying to win a cup.

  7. bri29smith says:

    Resign:
    Cooke – 3 years $2.0
    Lovejoy – 2 years $0.8

    Sign:
    Lombardi – 2 years $2.5
    Afinogenov – 2 years $2.0
    Michalek – 3 years $3.5

    Offer Sheet:
    Hjalmarsson – 3 years $3.0

    Chris Kunitz ($3.725m) / Sidney Crosby ($8.700m) / * Lombardi ($2.500m)
    Pascal Dupuis ($1.400m) / Evgeni Malkin ($8.700m) / * Afinogenov ($2.000m)
    * Matt Cooke ($2.000m) / Jordan Staal ($4.000m) / Tyler Kennedy ($0.725m)
    Michael Rupp ($0.825m) / Maxime Talbot ($1.050m) / Craig Adams ($0.550m)

    Brooks Orpik ($3.750m) / Kristopher Letang ($3.500m)
    * Michalek ($3.500m) / * Hjalmarsson ($3.000m)
    Alex Goligoski ($1.833m) / * Ben Lovejoy ($0.800m)

    Marc-Andre Fleury ($5.000m) / Brent Johnson ($0.600m)

    ROSTER: 20; CAP:$58.8m; PAYROLL: $58.158m; CAP ROOM: $0.642m

  8. spiros l says:

    I see the things a bit different for the pens,i would add some depth at forward and quality on defense.

    My first target would be volchekov at 5 years $20 million something around komisarek money got last year,then i would go after corvo at about $2.5 a year

    Eaton to me looked very slow and not physical enough,at $2 a year , u can get better than that,someone around $1 a year,freddie meyer,as a 7th d is not bad,with lovejoy as 6th dman

    Forwards my #1 target would be matt cullen,a couple of reasons,great speed,can play the powerplay point,can play wing or center,the #1 reason,great faceoff man,would be great as malkin’s winger,cullen had a regular season f/o % over 52% and his playoff % was an amazing 65.4,against the PENS..while malkin’s f/o % was a disgraceful 40% in the regular season and 43% in the playoffs,totally unexceptable for one the nhl’s top 3 players.,hoping to get him at $2,5 year for 2 years.

    i would sign steve begin to replace cooke as a grinder and penalty killer,not as good as cooke as a scorer,but another great faceoff guy.53% in reg and playoffs.probably at $1 a year for 2 years..

    then another great speed,penalty killer,faceoff man and a RIGHT HANDED CENTER,richard park,another guy at $1 a year for 2 years..

    Then i would offer $2 a year to a sniper and see who bites at playing with crosby,my list would be,whitney,kariya,selanne,tanguay,

    As u can see there is no guerin,gonchar,eaton or cooke,the first three in my mind had bad playoffs and are really slowing down on their production,as for cooke i think he will be on high demand and pitt won’t be able to afford him.

    I also hope that our great gm ray shero trades gonchar and cooke’s right before the draft,like he did with malone,so we can get back a couple of picks

    spiro
    montreal

  9. espo33 says:

    Bryan Lowe-that would be the same D as last year and it had no muscle to it.

    seabs-if Frolov is expecting more then that let him walk. I said $3.5M and you said he isn’t worth it b/c he disappears too much. Well playing on Crosby’s line I wouldn’t think he would disappear that much. But then you said it would take at least $4M to sign. Is $0.5M that much of a difference. I think Michalek for $3.75 is a tad too much. There is much more depth at D at the UFA’s then forwards. And Rob asked us to play GM. Your comment that “the rest of our signings will probably be one year deals for veterans trying to win a cup” doesn’t say much. Who are the vets and at what position?

  10. Travis says:

    This would be my 23 man roster…

    Offense:

    Chris Kunitz (3.725m) / Sidney Crosby (8.7m) / Ray Whitney (3m)
    Eric Tangradi (0.846m) / Evgeni Malkin (8.7) / Max Afinogenov (1.75)
    Tyler Kennedy (0.725m) / Jordan Staal (4.0m) / Pascal Dupuis (1.4m)
    Michael Rupp (0.825m) / Max Talbot (1.050m) / Craig Adams (0.550m)

    Eric Godard (0.750m)
    Mark Letestu (0.500m)

    Defense:

    Kris Letang (3.500m) / Brooks Orpik (3.750m)
    Alex Goligoski (1.833m) / Zbynek Michalek (3.5m)
    Dan Hamhuis (3.5m) / Ben Lovejoy (0.500m)

    Deryk Engelland (0.500m)

    Goaltenders:

    Marc-Andre Fleury (5.000m)
    Brent Johnson (0.600m)

    On a 59m cap, leaves you with 0.183m in room.

  11. There are two main issues the Penguins should address with the $14 million of cap room they have.

    1.) A scoring winger for Sidney Crosby.
    2.) A complete defensemen who is strong in his own zone.

    Ultimately I only see Pittsburgh signing two free-agents who are not already part of the franchise–but first the Penguins present FA’s.

    * Sergei Gonchar–Both Gonchar and the Penguins know he is in the twilight of his career. Re-signing Gonchar looks great if he would come back for $8 million over two years, but Sarge is going to want more money and a longer contract–which someone will gladly give to him.
    * Jay Mckee–Hard worker but a ‘dime-a-dozen’ type guy.Let him walk.
    *Alexei Ponikarovsky–A fan favorite but there is no room left for underachieving forwards–cue Ruslan Fedoenko, Billy G, and Brian’s Song soundtrack.
    *Matt Cooke’s are not hard to find–just ask Jarkko Ruutu–but Cooke’s four playoff goals and third-line-chemistry are basis enough to offer him a 3-year $1.8 million contract.
    *Mark Eaton–sign Eaton here because he is outstanding on at least one end of the ice–something tells me that Leopold is a journeyman for a reason.

    Bump Eaton up to a 4-year $2.3 million deal settling the Penguins at $9.9 million under the cap. There are now six spots which need to be filled. Only four everyday NHL-caliber players are needed–two on both offense and defense. Two of these positions are taken care of rather easily. Promote both Eric Tangradi and Ben Lovejoy to the show at a cap hit of $845,000 per year each.

    We now have $8.2 million left to sign our two major needs.

    Ideally the King’s Alexander Frolov would be available to the Penguins at around $5 million per-year. Reality is though that Frolov will be asking for more than $5 million and comes with a poor reputation thanks to Los Angeles HC Terry Murray who called him lazy and selfish.
    Option B is 26-year-old right-winger Lee Stempniak. He also will probably command somewhere in the $5 million price range but at least he would provide Crosby with a scoring threat.
    The third, and best option, is to move Evgeni Malkin to wing and sign the Montreal Canadiens leading scorer Tomas Plekanec for $4.5 million over three years. Not only does this take Malkin’s suspect defense out of the equation, it also places two Art Ross winners on the ice together for 20 minutes every game.

    We are now down to $3.7 million and need a solid defensemen.

    A hard sell at first, but because of my charisma and experience as a Stanley Cup winning GM I am able to convince Dan Hamhuis to sign with Pittsburgh for $3.5 million over four years. If he demands more money it would not be a problem to let Eaton walk and keep on either Mckee or Leopold instead.

    Although this is a dream scenario, acquiring Plekanec and Hamhuis is possible for Ray Shero. A final 18-man roster with these signings would project like this:

    Line 1: Kunitz/CROSBY/Malkin

    Line 2: Tangradi/PLEKANEC/Dupuis

    Line 3: Cooke/STAAL/Kennedy

    Line 4: Rupp/TALBOT/Adams

    D 1: Letang/Orpik

    D 2: Goligoski/Hamhuis

    D 3: Eaton/Lovejoy

    *Eric Godard & Deryk Engelland as scratches

    My full reasoning behind the signings if on http://www.blackandblueandgold.com but it is too long to post.

  12. Justin Wellen says:

    The most important thing to keep in mind is that in a salary cap era, the key to staying competitive year after year is to acquire low cost assets who have the ability to greatly outperform their salary.

    Here is the one simple move, which will open up any option Ray Shero wants to persue.

    Trade Malkin to the Oilers for the #1 overall pick and a top prospect like Jordan Eberle. You immediately get Malkin’s 8.7 mil cap hit off the books. You compile two top-shelf, low-cost Wingers that will cost less than a million for 3 years.

    THEN – because you just cleared 8.7 million, the Pens can make a run at Patrick Marleau, Kovalchuk, defensive help or a combination.

    So, you get a franchise winger in Taylor Hall, a top-6 winger in Jordan Eberle, and either a top line winger in Marleau/Kovalchuk or 2 top-4 defenseman.

    What is the downside?

  13. espo33 says:

    spiros-I like your idea on Park and Cullen. I am not sure Park would leave the Isles. Wasn’t he the captain last year? It would seem like a demotion playing 3rd line here. But Tanguay is far from being a sniper now and is not worth $2M, Selanne will retire or go back to SJ. Kariya looks done and had the chance to come here. Whitney is the best of the group, but will probably cost more then $2M.

    bri29smith-I like the D you have together. I am not sure about the 2nd line though. It looks too soft with Dupius on the wing. I think Malkin really needs a big guy on the wing to do well.

    Travis-nice lineup, but if there is an injury we are screwed. We wouldn’t be able to call up anyone. We would have to send Letestu and Eng’s down to save room.

    Joel Peretic (Pittsburgh)- Eaton is 33 and looking slow out there, but you want to offer him a 4 year deal? And Poni wasn’t a fan favorite. We traded for him to score goals and he didn’t.

    Shane-I think yours is the best, not sure Tang’s is ready though, but I like the D signings.

  14. john says:

    justin wellen- are you serious with that? trading malkin for the 1st overall pick? malkin is better than and will ALWAYS be better than sequin or hall, also better than kovalchuk and marleau who if we pursued either of those two as a result of trading malkin would demand almost as much as malkin is making, thus leaving us with no combination of top 4 defenseman you are talking about, and you contradicted yourself about staying competitive year after year if you think trading away a young superstar center who is about to enter his prime for either a 27 yr old in kovalchuk who has NO playoff experience or a 30 yr old marleau is “staying competitive yr after yr you are sadly mistaken” kovalchuk wants ridiculous amounts of money and i dont see marleau putting up the type of numbers he did last year for much longer, as for the first overall pick why would the pens waste their time developing another superstar when they have one in malkin with tons of playoff experience

  15. espo33

    –At 33 I still think Eaton was the best defensive player on the Penguins last year. Maybe 4 years is too long but I would love to retain a guy like Eaton with the signing of Hamhuis. It sets up for a solid defensive foundation with the offense coming from Gogo and Letang (and occasionally Hamhuis).

    –The Poni comment was purely sarcastic. The guy has skill but does not know how to use it. Sorry for the confusion.

  16. Mike Dybie says:

    Lines:

    1 = Torres, Crosby, DuPuis
    2 = Tangradi, Malkin, Rupp
    3 = Johnson, Stahl, Kennedy
    4 = Kunitz, Talbot, Letestu

    D Pairings

    1 = Letang, Orpik
    2 = Hamuis, Goligoski
    3 = Lovejoy, Eaton

  17. Mike Dybie says:

    Not going deep into the playoffs this year is going to give our Pens a chance to rest. Loosing Scuderi and Gill left the teams goaltenders exposed to higher quality scoring chances from the oposition, which I believe prompted the frustration with the athletic Fleury. The Pens’ young stars are becoming legitimate leaders for a team that won’t have to rely on established veterans much longer to set the team attitude straight. Too many offensive-defenseman needs to change. Adding Hamuis to the corps will help a lot. Bringing in Raffi Torres may bring a legitimate winger for Crosby. Kunitz on the 4th line would make Talbot and Letestu a possession line.

    Think Therrien will return?

  18. tony says:

    Hamhuis will be a flyer

  19. tony says:

    Tony Vecchio
    North Huntingdon

    2010-2011 Penguins
    Cap Number: 57.65/ 59M
    Cap Space: 1.35 M
    Prorated Cap Space at Deadline would equal: 5.4 M

    Forward:

    Kunitz (3.75) Crosby (8.7) Tangradi (.825)
    Higgins (.825) Malkin (8.7) Tanguay (1.5)
    Torres (2.0) Staal (4.0) Dupuis (1.4)
    Rupp (.825) Talbot (1.0) Adams (.5)

    Defense:

    Orpik (3.75) Letang (3.5)
    Regehr (4.0) Goligoski (1.83)
    Eaton (1.5) Lovejoy (.6)

    Goal:

    Fleury (5.0)
    Johnson (.6)

    Reserves:

    Goddard (.750), Guerin (1.0), Schubert(.850)

    The team would be Fast, and Tough and with enough Skill not to waste the big 3….how the pens improve is that next year we will say the pens need a wing for Stall as well,

    The 3 center model…needs

    5-2nd line quality wings
    4-3rd & 4th line quality players that are tough and can forcheck

    You have to go into the bargain bin for some spare parts, given the pens salary constraints, and available talent. And guys like Tanguay, Higgins need to be this decades Lang, Straka, and Stu Barns….guys the skating flightless bird brings to prominence. Rejects and leftovers that workout…..

    Resign:

    Mark Eaton: (1.5-mil-3yrs)
    At 33, he still has some years left…may be willing to take a 25% reduction in pay for the guarantee of the 3rd year, especially with his age and injury history. Solid D-man, just what we need as a 5-6 defenseman.

    Ben Lovejoy (.5-.6mil 1way- 1-2yr)
    Time to see if he is ready. Looked it last year, and his R hand shot would be nice to work in to the corp.

    Bill Guerin ( 1mil-1yr) Conditional
    If he was going to retire, he would have by now. Gonchar is all but gone, and losing both of the veterans would take a lot of heart/soul of the chemistry out of the room. He had a good season, but at times he looked like he was holding Sid back a bit, especially when Kunitz was hurt. If he’s not playing with Sid, where does he play…can he play on the 4th line? Maybe… his value is that he could spot in…play on the top line, play on the 4th line, play some PP…be a healthy scratch…Rest him up, save his legs. But can his Ego…take that and accept that role. Billy G is great and if he could be used this way, it would be perfect (think Satan….through the cup run.) This could be a great way to shield the Rookies on the way up, take the pressure off of Tangradi /Letestu /Johnson /Jefferies. It could go bad, and I would hate to see him, sent to minors(Satan)…traded mid year (Recchi)…or Retire Mid Year (Roberts). Too disruptive to chemistry of the team.

    Key Loss:

    Sergie Gonchar:
    Economics, with Go-Go on the roster you can only pay Gonchar 3.5-3.75 at most. And with his slight decline in DEFENENSIVE play, even that may be a lot…as he ages he will become a one way defensemen and that is not worth that much. Gonchar is the rrare bird that will only be good at offense as he ages(see Leech, Horsley) , most lose the offensive touch and just play D as they age (see: Chelios, Tinordi, Sydor, Blake, Stevens). His numbers and ability to run that point will make him a draw for a lot of teams, and they will pay for that 50pt guy, but more of the hooks, avoiding contact, getting walked around will happen. He’ll be in the league until 39-40 years old, but on this contract he’ll get 3 years 15mil from an ATL, VAN, WAS, TB, NYI…who need a PP-QB, mentor young D…but we can’t when we have Go-Go on the roster…so if Gonch stays Go-Go-Goes (which might not be so bad.)

    Note: Will losing him affect Geno….????

    Addition
    Robyn Regehr (4 mil)via Trade (Tyler Kennedy or Dupuis and some other prospect/pick)

    Just as effective as Volchenkov, if not better. Handles big forwards and isn’t afraid to mix it up. Has great size and a nasty hitter. Shut down player, a warrior, a natural leader. Calgary is in cap trouble, and wants to resign Ian White so the Phneuf trade doesn’t look like a complete disaster.

    Note: Volchenkov is also wanted but with price and other league interest he would be tough to get. He will end up costing more….and more importantly the term will be too long, 4-6 years…only need a 3 year player, until prospects, like Strait, Sneep, Despres, and Grant. Can make the jump. When your paying Orpik 4+ years from now, you won’t want to be paying an oft injury prone 32+year old Volchenkov 5 mil to block shots when you can get 10-20 guys like Eaton, to do it for 1.5 mil.

    Cris Higgins (.825-1mil) via UFA

    At 28, he is in his chronological prime, but has dropped like a stone with only 17pts, this last season. He’s a two way forward with, speed, some size and skill. Slumped since the coaching change in Montreal 2 years ago. Prior to that he was a 50+ points/ 20+ goal players playing with Kovy. Sign for 1yr, low risk big reward, Resurrection. May be able to slide him in via try out if his league status has dropped enough, selling him on being Geno’s wing.

    Raffi Torres (2.0mil-2-3Yr) via UFA

    At 28, he’s three years younger, an inch taller, 25lbs heavier than Cooke. – He has had a scoring touch, and has 3 20+ goal seasons. Everyone loves Cooke, but his career high 30pts, is only great because his cap hit is 1.2 mil. When he gets paid 2 mil this summer, he won’t look so good, especially since he can only play on the 3rd line. Torres, on the other hand is a 225lbs Kunitz, who isn’t as fast or pass as well, but would not be out of place on any line. He’ll fight, and he’ll smash defenders on the forcheck, and be nasty to play against.

    Alex Tanguay (1.5-1.75mil- 1yr) via UFA

    At 30, he has struggled, slipping production. Lower point totals every year (37pts). He needs to resurrect his career as well. He is fast, with loads of skill, can dish the puck, and score goals but he has just had injury and the funk of playing in Tampa to ruin his luck. He can play either wing, and is similar to Sykora when we first signed him. In that he has skill and talent, plenty of pedigree…but a victim of being in the wrong situations. Seems to me that he was always destined to be a penguin. Note: would like him on a 1yr contract…but my be forced to go 2yrs competitive market with limited wings available, but could drive down cap hit.

    Cristoph Scubert (.850) via UFA
    33 with no cup, he is big, physical, would be a no risk signing. I would like Sutton, but will make too much. Schubert can play wing in a pinch, good vet 7th D-man Shero would like

  20. Kanin says:

    Thank Billy G, Poni, Feds, and Gonch for their time and let them walk. Resign Cooke, Eaton, and Leopold.

    Target Volchenkov(Gonch replacement), Frolov(Poni replacement), Svatos(Feds replacement), and Kariya(Guerin replacement).

    Kariya-Crosby-Tangradi
    Frolov-Malkin-Svatos
    Cooke-Staal-Kennedy
    Kunitz-Talbot-Dupuis

    Letang-Orpik
    Goligoski-Volchenkov
    Leopold-Eaton

 
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