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2010 FA Day 1: Sixth update


OK, dear readers, some thoughts on what has been a busy Hockey Day in Pittsburgh. First, though, the details of the deals:

• D Zbynek Michalek is 27. He signed for five years at $20 million, with limited movement clause. His annual cap hit is $4 million.

• D Paul Martin is 29. He signed for five years at $25 million. I’m awaiting word on his movement clause. His annual cap hit is $5 million.

Pens are now committed to $16.25 million in cap space over next four season for Michalek, Martin, and Ds Brooks Orpik (29) and Kris Letang (23).

I’m going to break this down with an analysis piece in Friday’s print edition, but I’d consider this day a big win for Shero. I’ll explain in that piece.

That said, this is your fourm as much as mine, so have it, please.



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. Steve says:

    I love the top-six now:


    It will be interesting to see how the forward lines shake out… Does Shero offer Guerin $1M for one more year?

    Or does he scour the bargain bin for a guy who is willing to take a cheap one-year deal in hopes he can revive his career?

    Or does he go with what he has, meaning Dupuis & Talbot see significant time on the top two lines?

    Or does he reunite Malkin & Staal and slide Max into an appropriate role as a third line center (or Letestu even)?

    Still a lot of questions to be answered…

  2. Mike Priz says:


    You can’t say you don’t get bang for your buck with Shero. Hamhuis wanted 6 years 5 million per? I love how Martin is not even on the Pens radar and then he lands here to the surprise of everyone. I guess Mr Tangradi and Mr Johnson better be ready to fill the net this year….because we loaded the back so the kids have to play up front.


  3. Dominic says:

    Great job by Shero today. Signing two late 20s defensemen for the normal ‘prime time’ of their careers for $9 million rather than bogging down on a potential risk in Gonchar was a great choice!

  4. Evilpens says:

    Ray Shero Has Definitely Kicked ASS so far

  5. Dave says:

    That is a ton of money to dish out today on defense, but I like the moves. This now makes the team one of the strongest defensive clubs in the league. Ray and Co. do not have to address many defensive needs over the next 2 or 3 seasons.

  6. Tom says:

    I really appreciate Shero and applaud his work this week. Very goal oriented and productive FA day 1. As you said he definitely learned from off-season past and was open minded. I am excited to see our team next year.

  7. Curt Mullins says:

    Looks like solid signings for us. Winger is still a concern. Any chance the Pens will make a pitch at Oli Jokinen on a 1 year deal to resurrect his career?

  8. roc1138 says:

    Love these pick ups, anyone who thinks we should have gone after winger isn’t paying attention to what’s gone on the past few years. This is going to be a young strong team for the next 3 years at least with this D and our center’s. If Syd keeps up his pace, Stall keeps his, Malkin has even a slightly better year then last year, and our wings do what they do we have all the offensive power we need.

  9. Matt Bachovchin says:

    This is a huge win for Shero. The Pens finished 5th in Scoring last year and were mediocre on defense. They upgraded the defense big time, have the same core on offense (i.e. Malkin & Crosby) and some combination of Martin and Letang can replace Gonchar’s offensive stats. Plus Michalek and Ben Lovejoy will give them shot blockers and a more defensive posture when needed.

    The Penguins are better today then they were yesterday. If Tangradi and/or another young player (Kennedy?) can make a jump in offensive production, they’ll be the class of the East.

  10. Jim Duron says:

    I predict Martin has his best Offensive year ever.
    MAF will test this defense with his rebounds and lack of focus at times.
    This is why I thought Gill was so important to the Pens tying up that forward in front of the net waiting on Fleury’s rebounds.

  11. john says:

    curt, first off jokinen is a center, second off ressurect what career? he was OK maybe above avg at his best in florida but since then has been downright terrible everywhere else he has played….if anything pens need a winger or two in place of feds and poni boy, who knows maybe poni’s terrible showing at the end of last year will make him available to us at a discounted price and he could chip in 20 + goals this year, feds needs to go….. sign guerin at a hometown discount for 1 more year and then if needed work a trade of a bottom six winger and a draft pick for one more top six or try to sign an aging veteran such as kariya, selanne to a 1 yr deal for a cheap price sell them on the fact they will play with 1 of the best centers in the league in crosby or malkin and will be playing in a state of the art arena in the city ranked most liveable by forbes magazine

  12. Doreen says:

    Great job Shero! We may not have gotten what we thought we wanted but, I think, we got what we needed. Our defense is looking good and with some depth comming from the young guys in WBS; we have strength yet to come. I feel like some people have discounted Talbot and Dupuis. Talbot was injured or recovering most of last year and Duper came on strong in the spring. Don’t they deserve a chance to prove themselves? I’m looking forward to the fall and very optamistic about our potential.

  13. Steve says:

    We needed to fix the D and I feel good about Ray’s work this first day. Good planning and he had a back up plan if Gonch didn’t work out. The only thing I don’t understand is why give up a third rounder on what appears to be a deal that was never meant to happen. With all the resourses available to Ray, he had to know Hamhuis’ demands and unlikely signing. As far as wing, let Guerin retire a Penguin, he earned the right and deserves the shot. Plus, watch the young duys step up this year. It’s time!

  14. Jim says:

    If you’re looking for a player who might be gotten cheap and looking to resurrect their career, how about Jonathan Cheechoo. The Senators bought out the last year of his 3.5M contract and is an UFA. 2005-2006, he won the Rocket Richard trophy when he scored 56 goals playing along side Joe Thornton. Sounds like someone who can finish with a top notch play maker. And I think we have a couple of them who need a scoring winger.

  15. john says:

    cheechoo’s 05-06 season was a fluke if you look at his numbers the following years it goes 37 goals (which is still impressive), 23 goals, 12 goals, 5 goals, so if he follows this trend he may end up with somewhere around 2 to 3 goals next year?

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