The next move by the Penguins looks likely to be the addition of a new 3C to facilitate Jordan Staal's move to Malkin's line while maintaining, to the extent possible, the team's philosophy of "Strength Down the Middle."
A couple prime candidates can be removed from Shero's shopping list:
1) Manny Malhotra -- signed a 3-year deal with Vancouver at $2.5M/year early on July 1), and
2) Eric Belanger -- won't be re-signed by Washington, but is reportedly seeking a multi-year deal at >$2.0M/year.
So who is on the list...The candidates and their SB Nation Scouting Reports:
1. Jeff Halpern (LAK)
Assets = Is a diligent worker. Plays a solid defensive game and excels on the penalty kill. Possesses solid leadership qualities and the ability to play both center and wing.
Flaws = Has struggled when called upon to serve a top-six forward role, since he's extremely streaky in the offensive zone and not a natural talent.
2. Ryan Johnson (VAN)
Assets = Has blinding speed and is a tenacious forechecker. Likes to get physical and play an energy role. Can play either center or left wing. Is a good face-off man.
Flaws = Lacks offensive flair and struggles to put points on the board. Is also somewhat injury-prone and lacking in physical toughness.
3. John Madden (CHI)
Assets = Outstanding penalty-killer and shutdown pivot. His versatility enables him to play any role on a hockey club. Has great speed, sound fundamentals, and an excellent work ethic.
Flaws = Doesn’t put up huge numbers which makes him a less-than-ideal top six pivot. Can go long stretches without a point.
4. Dominic Moore (MON)
Assets = Has excellent hockey sense and two-way instincts. Always gives maximum effort on the ice. Gets under opponents' skin. Skates very well and shoots the puck a lot.
Flaws = Is smallish in stature, which negates some of his checking ability. Lacks offensive consistency. Doesn't score enough goals for the chances he receives.
5. Rob Niedermeyer (NJD)
Assets = Has good size and excellent defensive instincts. Skates well and is versatile enough to play anywhere up front.
Flaws = Has underachieved on offense, mainly because of prolonged scoring droughts and a lack of offensive instincts.