The Parade is over and the memories will linger on forever yet the team management gets no rest.
The Secondary Awards Banquet is tomorrow… the Entry Draft next week… and Free Agency about a week later so there is no time to rest for Ray Shero and his management team.
What should they do? Let’s first lay a few assumptions out there… that the Salary Cap remains at $56.7 million and our current Salary Cap Hit is $46.835 million.
The Pens have (10) players… Satan, Sykora, Fedotenko, Guerin, Zigomanis, Adams, Gill, Boucher, Scuderi, and Garon as UFA’s that were on the final roster. Plus, a few other UFA’s – Pesonen, Taffe, and Minard who were at WB/S. They also have (4) RFA’s – Goligoski, Lovejoy, Bissonnette, and Curry. That’s (14) players and contracts where decisions need to be made.
That’s why we are here – to help Shero make his decisions! You do know that this is where he comes for advice, right.
Let’s start with who not to keep. In others words no contract offered. I have selected (5) players:
- Bill Guerin… it’s a great story and the media is filled with his joy over being a part of this. But at $4 to $5 million and 2-years?? No way. We just cannot afford him… it’ s as simple as that.
- Petr Sykora… he’s contributed over the last two years but it’s a no can do either. It doesn’t appear that Disco Dan has confidence in him either.
- Miroslav Satan… handled himself very professionally when sent down to WB/S but he was sent down. That tells you that he won’t be back.
- Philippe Boucher… he was just a replacement to get Sydor out of here. He will not be re-signed.
- Mike Zigomanis… I know, I know – he’s a great face-off specialist. He also lacks speed and I say don’t bother.
See, that’s (5) down… now that you are over any Billy Guerin shock you may have had it’s clear to see that some of this is about money while some of it isn’t.
Second are those players on the fence. Depending on contract length and amount and dependant on what others do… we could sign them. But, I would think that chances are not to sign them holds a higher percentage. I have () players in this group:
- Hal Gill… another calming influence veteran player but with each game appeared to get slower. Maybe possibly a one-year depending if Scuderi doesn’t sign but maybe not that either.
- Mathieu Garon… most would have him on the do not sign. I, however, worry about our goaltending depth behind Fluery. He could easily fit into the do not sign depending on what Disco DAN thinks of John Curry.
- John Curry… late blooming (small) goalie. Again, I think this decision comes down totally to Disco Dan’s call. If Curry signed, Garon is not.
- Rod Scuderi… a lot of this depends on Scuderi. This is after all a business and Scuderi is his own product. I’m sure his agent is working out the best deal possible. Depending what he will accept to stay – I see him possibly being gone. These are the toughest of decisions but you can’t afford to pay way too much, either. Both Gill and Scuderi could be lost.
- Craig Adams… some may not care for him but at $600k on a 4th line – he brings some toughness and energy that every team needs. If he wants more than that – let him go.
- Ben Lovejoy… this is also a little about Gill and Scuderi. But it’s also about Disco DAN and whether Lovejoy can fill either of those defenseman’s skates.
Third are the players we should sign (being of fair value) – and what it will do to our salary cap hit. I have only selected only (1) positive signing:
- Ruslan Fedotenko… what we’ve have learned is that Fedotenko is a gamer and lifts his play. He plays well with Malkin and is just 30 years old with his name on the Cup twice. His last contract was for $2.250 million… I’d offer a 3-year at $3.5 million. This would bring the Salary Cap hit to $50.335 million. Leaving only $6.365 million under and all of a sudden everyone see’s the problem here. Right? That’s why my list only contains (1) player.
You were looking for someone else here? I believe Goligoski is a priority BUT if he gets an offer from someone maybe we take the draft picks with him too.
There are players to sign and some extensions possibly worked out with Gonchar for instance and Kris Letang who will be a RFA next season. Shero and the players themselves all know that in this day of the new NHL and the CBA and with the liklihood the salary cap likely to go down next season that it takes a good management group to keep the team going. Even teams like the Red Wings who get players to play for less (?) are going to have major problems and IMHO have screwed the pooch with some of those lomg terms they’ve handed out.
This is a core-group team of Fluery, Orpik, Letang, Staal, Malkin, and Crosby… with a few key contributors like Talbot – and most haven’t recognized that Letang has made the core-group yet. The support at the wings on each line are going to change quite a bit every year and we had better get used to it.
Anyone else have a different opinion?
This is DR Hook… carry on.