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2010 FA Day 1: Fifth update


— Want your thoughts (, but I love the signing of D Zbynek Michalek to a four-year deal worth $20 million, with a limited no-movement clause.

I identified him in today’s print story—- — and he is, essentially, a defensive-minded D man with big upside at 27, somebody that can block shots and who possesses a decent outlet pass.

This doesn’t mean the Penguins are out of the free-agent market with slightly more than $7 million in remaining camp space. I’m told they are still in on D Paul Martin (as of 1:27 p.m.). He is seeking a five-year deal.

Pens also have offers on the table for D Dan Hamhuis — and he if he wants to play in Pittsburgh, he better hurry — and W Ray Whitne. Hamhuis would be long-term. Whitney, I hear, is two-year offer.

Like I’ve been saying, Pens had a plan to regroup if they lost out on D Sergei Gonchar and/or Hamhuis, and they’re moving on it.


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.


  1. Joe says:

    Great pickup! Defensive blue liners are definitely a huge need after giving up 3 goals or more in most of their playoff games. Now, if they could get a more physical D than Michalek and possibly bring back Eaton too, they will be all set.

    Scuderi has finally been replaced, now we need to replace Gill. As for wingers, we lost Fedotenko and Guerin. I know we might land Whitney, but who else might be thrown in as a second winger?

  2. Frank says:

    Pens sign Martin

  3. espo33 says:

    I like the signing of Michalek, might be a little too much, but still good. He is a much better player then Scuderi. I don’t see how they can sign Hamhuis though.

    Paul Martin for 5 years is nuts.

  4. espo33 says:

    $5M for $25M? That is way too much for Martin. Come on. I guess he is playing with Orpik on the top pair, Letang with Michalek and Gols with Lovejoy?

    They have no room for anyone else now except maybe Guerin for $1M on Crosby’s line with Kunitz, then have Staal with Malkin and Dupius, Cooke with Kennedy and Letestu (or Talbot), then Rupp with Adams and Godard.

  5. Edward H. says:

    Still bugged that we gave up a 3rd for nothing, essentially. But couldn’t be happier with the two the Pens DID sign: Michalek AND Martin. What a day to be a Pens fan, and what a day for Ray Shero.

  6. Mario Lopez says:

    Well i guess Martin’s signing signals end to Hamhuis. By my math, thats $9 million on 2 D men, leaving what around $2million for smal pieces… does this spell a reunion of STAAL & GENO… or does shero have a few trades up his sleeve to free up some money, I would like to think Dupuis & Godard are expendable…both going into last yrs of there deals….

  7. harp says:

    Martin for 5M a year is way too much. He puts up a fraction of what Gonchar did the last few years for the same price. This leaves them with nothing for wings except some from their minor’s unless they swing a trade but I don’t see that happening either.
    They have zero to acquire Hamhuis now so the gamble did not pay off. I would have rather of seen Hamhuis then Martin. 26 goals in 6 years is a joke, Letang can do better then that and for less money.
    I hope Shero has a trick up his sleeve.

  8. Gary Curci says:

    I think the signings were great and much needed. I know it dosen’t leave much left but you need defense.

  9. steelcity says:

    we are really upset that we landed Martin??? are you kidding me

  10. harp says:

    I counted all the players who they have not signed who were FA’s and their salaries and come up with 15.5M total. If you take the signings of today they should have 6.5M left?
    As it stands now Guerin probably will not be back and you have to fill in Poni and Fed’s. Godard, although handy once in awhile is really not needed unless they are going to play him on the 4th line every game, otherwise trade him towards a decent winger.
    If Tangradi is brought up then only two wingers or one good winger and another from their minors.

  11. Jim Duron says:

    Love the moves, NJ reporters thought Martin would get around 6.5 so he took less to play with the Pens. He is a really good two way D-man. Z gives a solid stay at home guy who can also get the puck out fast via chipping or passing.

  12. Jim Duron says:

    I think the pens will be OK with the wings but would not mind them doing some trades to get a winger if one is available, maybe trading Kennedy he doesn’t play special teams and is margin able at best.

    MAF is the big over paid guy to me. Very inconsistent goalie.

  13. espo33 says:

    steelcity-I think the thought is $25M for 5 yrs is too much for Martin and we didn’t get Hamulias and wasted the pick. I think he is pretty good, but that amount seems high for a guy that doesn’t score much. Maybe it is the system in NJ and he liked what he did for the US in the games. Pair him with Orpik and we will be fine. Then Letang and Michalek as the 2nd pair and that is pretty good. Looks like Martin/Gols on 1st PP unit and Letang/Lovejoy on 2nd PP unit with a L/R on both units.

    Overall pretty good, we just didn’t fix the forwards yet. Hopefully they have a little bit of change to convince someone to jump ship to play with us.

  14. D says:

    Espo – Martin was hurt for the games and did not play. He was expected to be a key piece to the roster and was all but named to the team during the early part of the 2010 NHL season. However he never played.

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