Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Latest Pens news and rumors

- The Penguins have broken off talks with forward Mike Zigomanis per Dave Molinari of the Post Gazette. This was expected after the Pens signed 4th liner Craig Adams yesterday to a $550k/yr deal. Ziggy made $650k last year and he wanted a raise so Shero in effect saved some money here. Plus there's still Dupuis to be worried about and his $1.4 mil, so letting Ziggy go was now a no-brainer. His faceoff prowess will be missed but 4th line centers aren't going to be the difference in winning or losing in the playofffs.

-Talks with Fedotenko and Ray Shero and his agent Allan Walsh continue to go on. Feds wants a 3 yr deal at around $3mil, but the Pens can't really afford that especially because they still need to sign a defenseman. Feds will get $3mil or possibly more on the open market and the Rangers/Flyers/Thrashers are among those interested. Shero does not like the 3yr that Feds wants, nor the $3mil/yr.

-Many reports indicate defenseman Rob Scuderi will re-sign with the Pens. He has said all the right things in the papers this week and he wants to return at a discount price. That price would have to be in the $2.5 mil range. Eklund from hockeybuzz also believes Scuderi will re-sign with the Pens. If he goes to free agency tomorrow, Montreal, NYI, Tampa Bay, and Phoenix will show interest.

-If Fedotenko leaves the Pens, which is looking more and more likely, the Pens will set their sights on a number of wingers to put alongside Geno on the 2nd line.

Top of the list: Mike Knuble (Phi), Ales Kotalik (Edm), Nik Antropov (Nyr), Steve Sullivan (Nsh)

Bottom of the list: Todd Bertuzzi (Cal), Maxim Afinogenov (Buf), Mikael Samuelsson (Det)

The Pens would look at the bottom three as cheap options or low risk/high reward type deals. Especially Afinogenov. He's had a couple 25 goal seasons and he's one of the fastest skaters in the league. I know I know, so was Konstantin Koltsov, but Maxim can score goals too and imagine him with Geno. Bertuzzi would also be a $1.5mil signing, he had 15 g to Fedotenko's 16g at half the price of Feds. But a guy like Knuble will be the main target as he has been the most consistent 25 goal scorer the past 5-6 yrs. The best bargain might be a guy like Kotalik who would sign for $2.5, potential 30 goal scorer.

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