Much has been made recently about who the Penguins may or may not resign for the 2010-11 season. Matt Cooke, Sergei Gonchar, whoever it may be. But on July 1, who are some of the potential candidates that Ray Shero should pursue?
- Shut down defenseman that can block shots
- Physical, stay-at-home defenseman
- Scoring line winger(s)
At the moment, the team has 12 UFA's - Guerin, Fedotenko, Ponikarovsky, Cooke, Bayda, Gonchar, Eaton, Leopold, McKee, Engelland, Lovejoy, and Lee. Guaranteed, they will not all be back with the team next year. But outside of the organization, there's a few players I would like to see Shero go after.
1. Zbynek Michalek (PHX - D), currently makes $1.5m a season. I personally think he would be a more than perfect fit for what we need. We're paying Eaton and Leopold more than that already, so we could afford to potentially pay him in the $2-2.25m range. He's a superb shot blocker and a great shut down defenseman, not to mention that he's only 27. Although admittedly, the Yotes will want to hang on to him and they do have cap space, but they also have a ton of free agents that they'll want to resign - Wolski, Lombardi, Stempniak, Pyatt - and as well as extending Keith Yandle.
2. Andy Sutton (OTT - D), currently makes $3.5m a season. I wanted Shero to get him at the trade deadline this past season, so I'll put him on here again. He's exactly Hal Gill, just with more speed and plays with more of a physical edge. Bottom line, as we saw, he's a guy that will consistently line up with top forwards and he's not a fun man to play against. But, he is 35, he would have to take a pay cut to come to Pittsburgh, and you have to think that Ottawa will do everything in their power to keep him. Especially if they're going to lose Volchenkov this summer.
3. Dan Hamhuis (NSH - D), currently makes $2.5m a season. A name that has been circling around for seemingly the last few seasons, as of course Shero has connections to Nashville. Can play big minutes if needed, moves the puck well and can operate in a shut-down role. But, he's not really a physical defender and is built in the exact same mold as Leopold. So, why pay more for getting nearly the same final product?
4. Colby Armstrong (ATL - RW), currently makes $2.4m a season. I don't really think this needs further elaboration, as we all know what Colby can bring to a team. I also think he would want nothing more than to win a Cup with his old friends in Sid, Staal, etc, so you'd have to imagine he'd be willing to take a pay cut if Shero gives him a call this July. But you can almost guarantee someone throws cash his way in attempt to lure him, as he's not exactly old.
5. David Perron (STL - LW), currently makes $0.875m a season. This is a bit of a stretch, but it's not as impossible as you might think. St. Louis may not be keeping him even though he is a RFA, and would most likely demand a fair amount of cash. But I do think that he's a very skilled player that wants to win, and if he was given the opportunity to play alongside Sid/Geno, you would think that could only help Shero. Stranger things have happened.
Only a few ideas..