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B21

What's next for the Pens?

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Posted (edited)

As of today, the Pens have (under contract) 13 forwards, 4 defensemen and 2 goalies who will be (or have at least a very good chance to be) on the opening night roster when the season kicks off on October 4.  Rounding up, those 19 players account for $58,000,000 in salary leaving the Pens $17,000,000 to play with.

 

Forwards:  Malkin, Crosby, Kessel, Hornqvist, Hagelin, Reaves, Aston-Reese, Guentzel, Sprong, Rust, Wilson, Kuhnhackl and Rowney

 

Defensemen:  Letang, Maatta, Cole and Ruhwedel

 

Goalies:  Murray and Jarry

 

There are 5 key restricted free agents all of whom I see the Pens brining back albeit with big raises (my annual cap hit estimates included) in some cases…

 

Conor Sheary:  $667,500 > 2 Years @ $2,750,000 Per Year

Josh Archibald:  $660,000 > 2 Years @ $750,000 Per Year

Brian Dumoulin: $800,000 > 2 Years @ $2,000,000 Per Year

Derrick Pouliot: $865,000 > 1 Year @ $950,000

Justin Schultz: $1,400,000 > 5 Years @ $5,500,000 Per Year

 

That leaves the lines and defense pairings looking something like this…

 

Sheary / Crosby / Hornqvist

Guentzel / Malkin / Kessel

Rust / ??? / Hagelin

Kuhnhackl / Rowney / Wilson

Archibald

(Sprong)

(Aston-Reese)

 

Letang / Maatta

Schultz / Cole

Pouliot / Dumoulin

Ruhwedel

 

Murray

Jarry

 

Remaining cap space is just over $7,000,000 with Sprong and Aston-Reese starting in the AHL. The glaring need is the 3rd line center. Bringing back Bonino would be priority #1 if I were Rutherford. He’s due a nice raise of his current $2,100,000. He’s 29 when the season starts. Will 4 years at $3,500,000 per get it done? I think it could. I’d kick the tires on Martin Hanzal, too.  After spending most of his career in hockey purgatory (Arizona) he might take a little less than market value for a shot at a Cup (this should be Rutherford’s pitch to any free agent). Hanzal would cost more than Bonino but not much more (I could be grossly underestimating the free agent market, too). 

 

If (big if) the Pens can solve the 3C spot for about $3.5 - $4 million then I’d like to see them add another defenseman. I have no faith in Pouliot and asking Ruhwedel to play on a nightly basis is risky.  Daley will cost too much.  Hainsey could be an option but I’d rather go younger.

 

One option I’d like them to look at that “might” be affordable is Karl Alzner. If they could somehow find a way to fit Bonino AND Alzer in after all the RFA are signed I think you have the makings of a team with as good a shot as any to win it all…

 

Sheary / Crosby / Hornqvist

Guentzel / Malkin / Kessel

Rust / Bonino / Hagelin

Kuhnhackl / Rowney / Wilson

Archibald

(Sprong)

(Aston-Reese)

 

Letang / Maatta

Schultz / Alzner

Cole / Dumoulin

Ruhwedel

(Pouliot)

 

Murray

Jarry

Edited by B21

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Some great ideas.  Not sure how the next week or so will work out with all the RFA's, but there may be a few dreaded bridge deals for some, and I hope that it won't cause bad feelings.  

 

Shultz will obviously get a good raise, but if I'm the Pens, I'm selling a little lower around the Maatta range, at least to start.  Try to sell him on the fact that the system that the Pens play works right into his wheelhouse.  It will also depend on whether or not anyone gives him an offer sheet.   Being an RFA, maybe, his options are limited if no one does. 

 

I'm hoping they go a little longer with Dumo.  I think he's coming along quite nicely, and if they can get a medium term, 4 years or so done, that would be really great. 

 

If they get Dumo and Shultz locked up, I don't really see them dealing for a defender, at least to start the season.   Alzner will probably try to stay in Washington, same good reasons to stay their as go to the Pens, and he's been there his whole career.  That does count for something.    If they do somehow get him, I don't see Pouliot being a part of the future. He will wallow in the AHL as they would probably keep someone like Ruh up to cut the cap hit.  And I don't think that the Pens will be able to get Pouliot through waivers. 

 

Sheary is a conundrum.  He was in the dog house a little bit in the playoffs.   I think because of that, they extend a one year offer for maybe $1.5M and see what happens.   I don't see anyone giving him an offer sheet. 

 

I'm looking forward to the reports from prospect camp this week to see how Sprong looks.  The shoulder injury lost him a lot of time last season, and I wouldn't be surprised if he is making a run for the lineup this season.   It would be a little iffy having both he and Guentzel, both very young, as far as the long seasons, but there is definitely a lot of talent in both cases. 

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Qualifying offers were sent out this week to:

Pittsburgh Penguins: Justin Schultz (D), Brian Dumoulin (D), Conor Sheary (F), Derrick Pouliot (D), Frank Corrado (D), Jean-Sebastien Dea (F) and Josh Archibald (F).

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Interesting article on NHL.com.  Apparently the Pens are looking at Matt Duchene.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/27/2017 at 10:26 AM, nossagog said:

Some great ideas.  Not sure how the next week or so will work out with all the RFA's, but there may be a few dreaded bridge deals for some, and I hope that it won't cause bad feelings.  

 

Shultz will obviously get a good raise, but if I'm the Pens, I'm selling a little lower around the Maatta range, at least to start.  Try to sell him on the fact that the system that the Pens play works right into his wheelhouse.  It will also depend on whether or not anyone gives him an offer sheet.   Being an RFA, maybe, his options are limited if no one does. 

 

I'm hoping they go a little longer with Dumo.  I think he's coming along quite nicely, and if they can get a medium term, 4 years or so done, that would be really great. 

 

If they get Dumo and Shultz locked up, I don't really see them dealing for a defender, at least to start the season.   Alzner will probably try to stay in Washington, same good reasons to stay their as go to the Pens, and he's been there his whole career.  That does count for something.    If they do somehow get him, I don't see Pouliot being a part of the future. He will wallow in the AHL as they would probably keep someone like Ruh up to cut the cap hit.  And I don't think that the Pens will be able to get Pouliot through waivers. 

 

Sheary is a conundrum.  He was in the dog house a little bit in the playoffs.   I think because of that, they extend a one year offer for maybe $1.5M and see what happens.   I don't see anyone giving him an offer sheet. 

 

I'm looking forward to the reports from prospect camp this week to see how Sprong looks.  The shoulder injury lost him a lot of time last season, and I wouldn't be surprised if he is making a run for the lineup this season.   It would be a little iffy having both he and Guentzel, both very young, as far as the long seasons, but there is definitely a lot of talent in both cases. 

 

Agree on Schultz. I read in the Trib (since I used up my 15 free PG articles) that Schultz wants to stay in Pittsburgh but also wants "rewarded" for not only his season but for taking the 1 year "prove it" deal and actually proving it.  I can see the Pens starting in the Maatta range, Schultz's agent starting at $6,000,000 and the sides meeting in the middle.

 

I wasn't sure where to go with Dumoulin though I'd be happy with 2-3 more years even at a slightly bigger number. I think he'll outplay that number by then. 

 

Now that I think about it - you are right about Sheary. Give him a decent bump for 1 year.  If there is one thing the Pens have a glut of it's wingers.  If he works out, great. Trade chip.  If not, Sprong and Aston-Reese could be waiting in the wings (pun intended).  

 

Bottom line - at the end of the day they can afford to keep a lot of key pieces in place.

Edited by B21

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9 minutes ago, nossagog said:

Interesting article on NHL.com.  Apparently the Pens are looking at Matt Duchene.

 

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Wow. So....what would that cost? It's a big cap hit so Colorado would have to eat about $1,000,000 of the $6,000,000.

 

Certainly our 1st round pick in 2018. A good prospect (Pouliot?) and Sheary. Too much?

 

Guentzel / Crosby / Hornqvist

Sprong / Malkin / Kessel

Rust / Duchene / Hagelin

Kuhnhackl / Rowney / Wilson

Archibald

(Aston-Reese)

 

Letang / Maatta

Schultz / 

Cole / Dumoulin

Ruhwedel

 

Still need a 3/4/5 defenseman...

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, B21 said:

 

Wow. So....what would that cost? It's a big cap hit so Colorado would have to eat about $1,000,000 of the $6,000,000.

 

Certainly our 1st round pick in 2018. A good prospect (Pouliot?) and Sheary. Too much?

 

Guentzel / Crosby / Hornqvist

Sprong / Malkin / Kessel

Rust / Duchene / Hagelin

Kuhnhackl / Rowney / Wilson

Archibald

(Aston-Reese)

 

Letang / Maatta

Schultz / 

Cole / Dumoulin

Ruhwedel

 

Still need a 3/4/5 defenseman...

 

To get Duchene, they will have to give up a bit, like pick and player or pick and prospect.  I'm sure that he will not come very cheap.    This may be where someone like Hagelin has to go, or maybe Sheary after a sign and trade. To get them to eat contract, we'd have to give quite a bit.  But you never know with GMJR. 

 

I think Sid and Matt have been training together in recent years, so that's a bonus too. 

Edited by nossagog

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Rolling out Duchene on the third line would create hellish matchup problems for other teams.

I think he would blow up your current cap "cushion" and maybe squeeze some of the depth that won the last cup.

It would be an interesting experiment, certainly, try it on PlayStation.

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1 hour ago, nossagog said:

To get Duchene, they will have to give up a bit, like pick and player or pick and prospect.  I'm sure that he will not come very cheap.    This may be where someone like Hagelin has to go, or maybe Sheary after a sign and trade. To get them to eat contract, we'd have to give quite a bit.  But you never know with GMJR. 

 

I think Sid and Matt have been training together in recent years, so that's a bonus too. 

 

Sean Gentile's take....he suggests Maatta.

 

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Posted (edited)

Let Bonino walk at your peril, he's a true glue guy. He does everything hard. He's the reason the Pens won game 1 of the SCF.

He's one of my favorite guys on your team.

Edited by mojo1917

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17 minutes ago, mojo1917 said:

Let Bonino walk at your peril, he's a true glue guy. He does everything hard. He's the reason the Pens won game 1 of the SCF.

He's one of my favorite guys on your team.

 

True but you can't overpay either.  He's a good 3C.  He's not a $4,000,000 per year 3C.

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2 hours ago, mojo1917 said:

Let Bonino walk at your peril, he's a true glue guy. He does everything hard. He's the reason the Pens won game 1 of the SCF.

He's one of my favorite guys on your team.

 I believe that the Pens will sigh him 

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7 minutes ago, notfondajane said:

 I believe that the Pens will sigh him 

 

How much and for how long?

 

Anything more than 4 years and anything more than $3.5 million per year is too much.  I think he gets more though. Someone is going to pay him like a 2C.

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12 minutes ago, B21 said:

 

How much and for how long?

 

Anything more than 4 years and anything more than $3.5 million per year is too much.  I think he gets more though. Someone is going to pay him like a 2C.

Guessing around 2.75 to 3 million for 3 years maybe! That seems high to me.

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4 hours ago, B21 said:

 

Sean Gentile's take....he suggests Maatta.

 

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Can't read it as I've used up my free articles.   But I would not cry if they moved Maatta.   I have worried about him for two years now as his foot speed has not improved at all.   He was "okay" in the playoffs, but that's all.  He's still young, but I know I've said this in other threads, I don't know if its possible to improve his skating speed at this point.     

 

Better not be Daniel Sprong though, I think he really is going to be a keeper.  Let's not give up on him before he's even had a chance. 

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2 hours ago, nossagog said:

Can't read it as I've used up my free articles.   But I would not cry if they moved Maatta.   I have worried about him for two years now as his foot speed has not improved at all.   He was "okay" in the playoffs, but that's all.  He's still young, but I know I've said this in other threads, I don't know if its possible to improve his skating speed at this point.     

 

Better not be Daniel Sprong though, I think he really is going to be a keeper.  Let's not give up on him before he's even had a chance. 

 

No way I'd part with Sprong either. A 1st, Mattaa and a lesser prospect or a 1st, Pouliot and Sheary would be OK by me.

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3 hours ago, notfondajane said:

Guessing around 2.75 to 3 million for 3 years maybe! That seems high to me.

 

If he's willing to sign for that he's a Penguin come July 1. I'm thinking he gets more though. 

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10 hours ago, B21 said:

 

If he's willing to sign for that he's a Penguin come July 1. I'm thinking he gets more though. 

Just as long as he sign! That is all I am concerned with! 

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12 hours ago, B21 said:

 

If he's willing to sign for that he's a Penguin come July 1. I'm thinking he gets more though. 

Yeah, you have to figure this is he last BIG cashin as a free agent.  At 29, players are looking as best they can for a four or five year deal that may be their peak contract.  Coming off of back to back Cup's, and being a big part of it, I don't blame him.  

 

But where does he fit?   I really think he's found his niche here as a third line center on a team that has two great centers in front of him.  He basically NEVER has to play against the other teams top pair, and even not so often against the second pair.   So I think teams understand that.   He is not going to be a second line center that will be able to boost a teams offense.  So where does a third line center, who provides some of those intangibles that teams look for, fall in the salary of NHL teams.   

 

For most teams, I don't think you pay more than $4M, maybe $4.5M for a third line center, if you are, then you have a pretty flat team in terms of talent and probably don't have any game changers.   

 

 

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Well it look like the defense is almost set.  If they can come to terms with Dumo,  then the Defensive pairings could be:

Letang/Maatta

Shultz/Hunwick

Cole/Dumo

With Pouliot/Corado in the presser. 

 

Too bad on Bonino, but $4.1M/year is a little too much for us. 

 

Kunitz, thanks for being here, no big loss. 

 

Daley, thanks for your time here. Wouldn't have minded to resign you, but that's the way it is. 

 

Hainsey, $3M/year was too much, thanks for help this year. 

 

@B21 Well you had the amount for Shultz right, just got the term wrong. 

 

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14 hours ago, nossagog said:

Well it look like the defense is almost set.  If they can come to terms with Dumo,  then the Defensive pairings could be:

Letang/Maatta

Shultz/Hunwick

Cole/Dumo

With Pouliot/Corado in the presser. 

 

Too bad on Bonino, but $4.1M/year is a little too much for us. 

 

Kunitz, thanks for being here, no big loss. 

 

Daley, thanks for your time here. Wouldn't have minded to resign you, but that's the way it is. 

 

Hainsey, $3M/year was too much, thanks for help this year. 

 

@B21 Well you had the amount for Shultz right, just got the term wrong. 

 

 

Hunwick is a solid if not unspectacular signing.  

 

I though for sure Schultz would get at least 4 but I don't have a problem with the length or salary.

 

As for Daley, Hainsey and Bonino - clearly Bonino is the guy whose loss will be felt the most. The way I see it, we replace Daley with Letang. :)  This offseaon will ultimately be judged on who Rutherford gets to replace Bonino.

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Posted (edited)

 

4.1 for a 3rd line center may be a little high, for me though Bonino is the premier 3rd line center in the league, so you get what you pay for ?  

I think his style of play will fit in nicely for Nsh, especially if he is slotted for 3c. 

Your team is most dangerous when that 3rd line is a threat, Bonino gave your 3rd line great leadership and good production. Is there anyone "in house" for the 3c role ?  The pickin's are slim in FA and whom would you want to trade to bring in a quality 3c ?

 

Also I wonder how big of a leadership role C Kunitz played ?

I know he wore an A, more importantly though,  I think he helped to give the team a toughness, it will be interesting to see if the Pens "hardness" takes a dip without 14.  Even though his production fell off...a cliff, I suspect his presence in the room, in practice day to day will be missed.

The nice thing for your team is this, after back to back championships, even if the Pens go out in round 2, it's been a helluva 3 year run.

 

Edited by mojo1917

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On 6/28/2017 at 1:54 PM, mojo1917 said:

Let Bonino walk at your peril, he's a true glue guy. He does everything hard. He's the reason the Pens won game 1 of the SCF.

He's one of my favorite guys on your team.

I'm sorry he left for Nashville! I liked how he played. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, mojo1917 said:

 

4.1 for a 3rd line center may be a little high, for me though Bonino is the premier 3rd line center in the league, so you get what you pay for ?  

I think his style of play will fit in nicely for Nsh, especially if he is slotted for 3c. 

Your team is most dangerous when that 3rd line is a threat, Bonino gave your 3rd line great leadership and good production. Is there anyone "in house" for the 3c role ?  The pickin's are slim in FA and whom would you want to trade to bring in a quality 3c ?

 

Also I wonder how big of a leadership role C Kunitz played ?

I know he wore an A, more importantly though,  I think he helped to give the team a toughness, it will be interesting to see if the Pens "hardness" takes a dip without 14.  Even though his production fell off...a cliff, I suspect his presence in the room, in practice day to day will be missed.

The nice thing for your team is this, after back to back championships, even if the Pens go out in round 2, it's been a helluva 3 year run.

 

I think Reeves will the Pens hardness even with Kunitz gone.  But also realize, I don't think the Pens are done just yet. With all the moves, they still have a lot of money free at the moment for a   3C.  I think they'll go the trade root for someone. 

Edited by nossagog
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35 minutes ago, nossagog said:

I think Reeves will the Pens hardness even with Kunitz gone.  But also realize, I don't think the Pens are done just yet. With all the moves, they still have a lot of money free at the moment for a   3C.  I think they'll go the trade root for someone. 

Just don't give up a draft pick!

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      Post
        How much and for how long?   Anything more than 4 years and anything more than $3.5 million per year is too much.  I think he gets more though. Someone is going to pay him like a 2C.
    • 1
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      Yeah, you have to figure this is he last BIG cashin as a free agent.  At 29, players are looking as best they can for a four or five year deal that may be their peak contract.  Coming off of back to back Cup's, and being a big part of it, I don't blame him.     But where does he fit?   I really think he's found his niche here as a third line center on a team that has two great centers in front of him.  He basically NEVER has to play against the other teams top pair, and even not so often against the second pair.   So I think teams understand that.   He is not going to be a second line center that will be able to boost a teams offense.  So where does a third line center, who provides some of those intangibles that teams look for, fall in the salary of NHL teams.      For most teams, I don't think you pay more than $4M, maybe $4.5M for a third line center, if you are, then you have a pretty flat team in terms of talent and probably don't have any game changers.       
    • 1
      Post
      I think Reeves will the Pens hardness even with Kunitz gone.  But also realize, I don't think the Pens are done just yet. With all the moves, they still have a lot of money free at the moment for a   3C.  I think they'll go the trade root for someone. 
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      Got to be the last try at the NHL for Pouliot with the Pens. He probably will not clear waivers if they attempt to send him back down.  But the $800K one way contract may cause teams to pause.    Archibald is one of those energy guys that the Pens just seem to be able to develop and bring up.  There does not seem to be anything special there, but he gives a lot of effort. 

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