July 2, 2008
Well, that was an eventful two days. So, as I count it, the Penguins lost the following guys:
Not to mention Georges Laraque, Jeff Taffe and Kris Beech were all told to pursue contracts with other teams and the Penguins need to re-sign Marc-Andre Fleury to a new deal.
The big one, obviously, was Marian Hossa leaving for Detroit. That was a shocker, as everyone was talking about Boston, the Rangers, and Edmonton all being in the mix. The Red Wings were bantered about, but nothing sounded too serious. I can see why. Who saw a 1-year deal, for less money coming?
It's interesting to see Hossa, in the prime age of his career, take a one year deal. You would have thought he'd want the security of a long-term contract in case of a career-ending injury occuring this coming season. Then again, if Hossa has another good season, he's an unrestricted free agent again next summer and could command a huge deal.
There's an incredible amount of anger geared towards Hossa now from Pens fans. We believed all along that the Penguins had the best chance to re-sign him and now we feel like scorned ex-spouses. It is ironic that fans are killing Hossa for taking less money for a better chance at the Stanley Cup than the typical "it was all about the money approach". Hossa could have easily taken a rumored $9 million deal from Edmonton, but chose to sign with the 2009 Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings.
Yes, they're going to repeat. Ken Holland is a genius. Let's move on.
Brooks Orpik saved the day and my sanity by signing on for six years and at least having Pens fans eager for some "free candy".
What I'd like to know from Ray Shero is what his plan is. With all that Pittsburgh has lost so far, who is targeted next? Jaromir Jagr? Pavol Demitra? Kristian Huselius? Markus Naslund?
Or does Shero look at the 2009 free agent market and try and swing some deals? After next season, guys like Erik Cole, Mikael Samuelsson, and Marian Gaborik are all unrestricted wingers and will be sought after before the 2009 trade deadline.
I understand Ray Shero not wanting to overpay for free agents yesterday (Jeff Finger, $3 million? Really?) , but you're telling me they couldn't match the deal that Detroit gave Ty Conklin for $750K? Or Adam Hall for $600K? Fans just want a clue into the plan and how the team will move forward, because while signing Evgeni Malkin to an extension is terrific, not supplying him and Sidney Crosby with a good supporting cast will turn the team into the Tampa Bay Lightning circa 2007-08 in no time.