Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Pens Unrestricted Free Agents
Pens UFAs: RW Miro Satan, RW Petr Sykora, RW Bill Guerin, LW Ruslan Fedotenko, D Hal Gill, D Philippe Boucher, D Rob Scuderi, C Mike Zigomanis, RW Craig Adams.
Minor League UFAs: LW Jeff Taffe and LW Chris Minard
Minor League RFAs: D Ben Lovejoy and D Alex Goligoski
Who we need to sign?
Fedotenko- Feds had an average regular season but had another great playoffs collecting 14 pts (7 g 7 a) and being a key part of the Pens 2nd line with Geno and Talbot. Feds was brought in as a replacement for Ryan Malone last summer in free agency, although he hasn't had the same net presence as Malone, he still checks hard and has a great shot as the playoffs showed.
current contract: $2.25 mil.
projected contract: $ 2 mil.
Scuderi- Scuds was a key part of the Pens defensive shutdown unit with Hal Gill throughout the regular season and in the playoffs. He showed why he is so good in his own end. Great on his backhand and even better with his stick. It always seems to be in the shooting lanes of forwards and disrupts their time. He was able to contain Alex Ovechkin in the 2nd round and able to shutdown Eric Staal in the 3rd round. We'll never forget his saves on Franzen in game 6 of the finals.
current contract: $750k
projected contract: $2.3-2.6 mil
Zigomanis- Ziggy was traded to the Pens from the Coyotes in the first month of the season and he became a go to faceoff guy. He was winning roughly 58% of his faceoffs and Therrien was constantly using him in important faceoffs, both on the power play and penalty kill. His contract is cheap and he'd be a great 4th line center to have. Max Talbot has showed us he's capable of being on the 2nd line.
current contract: $650k
projected contract: $600k
Who needs to leave?
Guerin- Sure we all love Billy. He's a great lockerroom presence, funny guy, and a great player. Although he showed a lot of chemistry with Crosby after we acquired him, he was running out of gas by the time we got to the finals. If he takes a discount to stay and play on the Pens I'm all for it. But Guerin isn't THE answer for Crosby's wing. There will be a lot of other good players to choose from, and Guerin who's 38 isn't exactly in his prime. Kovalev(Mtl), Tanguay(Mtl), Cammalerri(Cal), Havlat(Chi), and Gaborik(Min) are all out there and would be better fits than Guerin. I know the players like Guerin and he wants to stay, but I can't see him lasting the whole season next year without getting burned out at some point. Look at Sykora and Satan this year.
current contract: $ 4.5 mil
projected contract: $3-4 mil range
Gill- He was the other piece of the shutdown pairing with Scuderi. What a turn around he's had in his career. From being on one of the worst teams a couple years in Toronto to being traded to the Pens and winning a Cup. Gill used his size and reach very well this time during the playoffs and didn't let Holmstrom of the Wings push him around that much. But, he's getting old and he's very slow. In the system we have under Bylsma, we can't have too many slow skaters who don't move the puck up ice well. Eaton isn't too good at it, neither is Scuderi, and then there's Gill. Moreover we have Goligoski and Lovejoy in the minors waiting for a shot in the NHL. And there are a lot of better options in the UFA market. Beauchemin(Ana), Blake(SJ), Boynton(Fla), and Zanon(Nsh) among others.
current contract: $2.1 mil
projected contract: $2.5 mil
Satan & Sykora- Miro was brought in to help replace some of the production Hossa had when he left. Nothing came about as Miro only had 36 pts(17 g 19a) playing alongside Crosby most of the year. At the trade deadline he was sent down to the minors to make room for the acquisitions. He came back for the playoffs and played very well on the 4th line when Sykora was scratched. He scored a crucial 1st goal in game 1 vs. Carolina. But he's also too old and too slow for the Pens high octane system.
Sykora had his typical year having 46 pts(25 g 21 a). But he was held scoreless the last 3rd of the season and eventually became a healthy scratch late in the Philly series. He's a nice guy, good friends with Geno, and still scored 25 goals during the regular season and finally had his first hat trick of his career. But he's getting old and very slow as well. He doesn't backcheck, doesn't forecheck, and at the end of the year he wasn't scoring those wide open goals from the slot.
Note: You'll be happy to know the KHL is offering Sykora and Satan some nice contracts. Sykora in the 4 mil a yr range and Satan in the 2-3 mil a yr range.
Note #2: The Pens want to extend Gonchar's contract for a couple more years. The extension will be somewhere in the 4-5 mil a yr range. Gonchar's contract expires next summer.