July 2, 2008

Where Do We Go From Here?

Well, that was an eventful two days. So, as I count it, the Penguins lost the following guys:

Ryan Malone
Adam Hall
Ty Conklin
Marian Hossa
Jarkko Ruutu
Gary Roberts

and signed:

Eric Godard
Evgeni Malkin
Pascal Dupuis
Brooks Orpik
Mark Eaton

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.

Ballhype: hype it up!


PghWriter1979 said...

First off, the Hossa to Detroit deal feels like a smack in the face to the Pens. Granted Detroit is a better team, but you have to think that the Pens, with the right signings, would be in a good position too.

Second, I don't think the Pens are in as bad a shape as it seems. They've got a pretty stacked blueline now, which means that if they don't sign a winger, it may be because they're working on a deal that involves one of their defensemen. Perhaps Shero swings a deal for a guy who isn't a free agent, and keeps the salary total the same in the process (as opposed to taking on more with a FA signing).

I will say this, though - if Shero stands pat with what he's got now and thinks that this team will be just as good, he either has some great inside information on the players in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, or he's just insane.

Stevens8204 said...

They did sign Fedotenko and Satan...doesn't take the sting away I know.

PghWriter1979 said...

The sting still exists... but these aren't terrible signings. I still think there might be a trade in the works. They've got at least 7 quality defensemen as it stands now who could start on other teams. I have to think that one of them will be moved to get another winger.

jc said...

The Hossa signing in Detroit will come back as a blessing in disguise. Imagine you are Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, or any other pens player watching this happen.

Hossa just told them they are not good enough to win a stanley cup. I think this will be a motivating factor next year and i pray we get to play Detroit in the finals again next year.

PghWriter1979 said...

Eh, it might be a blessing just because of the cap space it leaves open should the Pens end up grabbing another player in the near or not-so-near future.

Hossa's decision won't really drive them to win the Cup anymore than they already want to. I think losing in the Finals is enough of a bitter pill for this team in terms of that extra push of motivation.