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Penguins Around The Rink: Arbitration, the Sutter Debacle Plus More

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Prospect Camp, Arbitration, the Sutter Debacle and injury updates. Let’s take a look at what’s been going on with the Pittsburgh Penguins these past few weeks.

Injury Update

Pascal Dupuis has resumed skating after not taking to the ice in nearly five months. He expects to be ready by the time Training Camp opens in September.

It appears that Sidney Crosby will NOT need any type of surgery on his wrist this summer.

Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta bot look forward to recovery after shoulder surgery and hope to be ready when Training camp opens.

The Sutter Debacle

Brandon Sutter has reportedly turned down three different offers from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The report states that two of the deals were short term, while one was long term.  He was offered a one year, two year, and four year contract.  He was offered $2.75 million for the one year, $3 million on the two year , and $3.75 million along with incentives on the 4 year.

Is Brandon Sutter worth all the hassle? When GMJR signed Marcel Goc a few weeks ago it appeared that, even then, the staff was unsure on what would come of contract talks with Sutter. Now after three turned down offers one should ask, “Does Brandon want to play in Pittsburgh?”

The three offers reportedly presented to him appear to be more than fair. IT also showed that GMJR and the Penguins are willing to work with Sutter on either short or long term. Is it the money Brandon is turning down? If it is then that is a very curious. Both Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz have put up better numbers than him over the course of the last three seasons. Neither makes more than $3.75 million a year. Yes Brandon is much younger than both and also doesn’t get the opportunity to play along side Crosby or Malkin, but you need to ask what has Sutter brought to the Penguins since being acquired in 2012?

His PPG has not improved from what he had in Carolina, his +/- has been anything but impressive and his face-off abilities haven’t blown anyone away.

So again, Is Brandon Sutter worth the hassle?

Keep in mind Marcel Goc is a very capable centerman who exceeds in face-offs as well as penalty killing. This leaves the Penguins with the option and ability to possibly trade Sutter’s rights and utilize the cap space elsewhere to fill holes in the roster.

The Wreckin Ball Mark Recchi Returns to the Penguins

Mark Recchi has replaced the vacancy left by Bill Guerin as Player Development Coach

Arbitration

It is believed that  the recently acquired Nick Spaling is asking for a contract around $2.4 million a year.

Prospects Camp Update

Kaperi Kapanen impressed the likes of new Assistant GM Bill Guerin.

“He’s even better than I thought he would be. So I was very happy with him. He’s just high-end talent, high-end speed. He’s a very, very mature kid for his age. Obviously, having his father (Sami Kapanen) playing so many years in the NHL and playing with him and brining him up that way, he’s already a pro. So he’s ahead of the game in that department, but you just got a little screenshot of what’s to come and he’s not even 18 yet.”

Forwards Adam Payerl, Matia Marcantuoni and Troy Josephs skated on a line together and showed immediate chemistry.

“They were a good line. They had good speed, good size, good aggressiveness. You just kind of throw guys together. I mean, there’s no science behind it. It’s fun when it works out.”

On top of forward prospects having a strong camp, defenseman Brian Dumoulin showed why he will be making a strong push towards the NHL this season.

Potential UFA Targets who could cost under $2 Million….Why Not?

I realize the Penguins currently sit with roughly $6.4 million in cap space. And most, if not all of it, will go towards signing RFA’s Brandon Sutter and Nick Spaling. But if the GM Jim Rutherford can find a way to save around $2 million I ask why not give one of these players an opportunity?

Paul Bissonnette- Not exactly known for his goal scoring abilities, Paul Bissonnette would bring a much needed grittiness and nastiness to a squad that has struggled in that area for the past few years. It’s true the Penguins have more than solidified their bottom six for this coming season, but depth is key when a team looks to make a strong run at Lord Stanley’s Cup. Paul isn’t the be all end all, but he would surely be a welcomed addition on the Penguins roster.

Ryan Malone- Drug issues aside, Ryan Malone has always put 100% into his career and there is no doubt that he will do everything he can to turn around this current issue around. It’s also true he has struggled with injuries nearly every season, but again adding depth to the bottom six isn’t a bad idea. Bugsy may not be the Malone Penguins fans remember from his five year tenure in the black & gold, but make no mistake he still plays the strong hard nosed game that the Flightless birds still need.

Dustin Penner- When you think of players that will make under $2 million this season not putting Penner in that category would not be a surprise. Unfortunately for him though he has never brought a high level of consistency to his game and could benefit from doing a low amount bridge contract on a team like the Penguins. His best season was nearly five ears ago when he played for the struggling Oilers putting up 32 goals and 63 points. Since then he never quite found his groove again until he played for the Ducks this past season notching 13 goals and 32 points in 49 games before being traded to the Washington Capitals. So with GMJR still in need of finding one more legit top six winger to play along side Crosby or Malkin, Dustin Penner could be a temporary Band-Aid and possibly at a cheap price.

Devin Setoguchi- Only scoring more than 41 points once in a season Devin isn’t the most likely candidate to fill a top six role on a roster like the Penguins. Do not let his shallow numbers scare you off though. One thing the Penguins need are players who are not afraid to shoot the puck, and that is something Setoguchi likes to do. Lining him up along side one of the Pens top two centers could be an excellent fit. Unfortunately his knack for shooting doesn’t necessarily mean he is proficient at it, nor does it make him the most enticing player to sign. But again the with the limitations GMJR currently has Devin may be the best available option.

There is no denying that Rutherford and company has shaken up this roster quite a bit, unfortunately there are still holes that need filled. Some are saying that players like first round pick Kasperi Kapanen, Adam Payerl or Anton Zlobin could potentially fill them. And while that may be a possibility, depth at every position is a big part of reaching success in this league. So I will ask once again. Why not give one of the players listed above a chance?

As Always Enjoy!

- Robert Slavinsky

 

Robert Slavinsky

Pittsburgh Penguins writer for hockeytracker.net. Since my childhood I have followed hockey, from the years of The Great One up to The Next One I have followed the fastest sport on ice. Growing up in Pittsburgh PA, I have had the privilege to witness some of Hockey's Greats. Since the days of Le Magnifique no other team in Pittsburgh has mattered to me but the Penguins.

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