Pens Open up Contract Talks with Pascal Dupuis and Mike Rupp

UNIONDALE NY - FEBRUARY 11: Travis Hamonic #36 of the New York Islanders fights Michael Rupp #17 of the Pittsburgh Penguins as teammates Josh Bailey #12 duels Pascal Dupuis #9 during the second period on February 11 2011 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

It's been four years since the Penguins have had this long of an offseason, but it would appear as if Ray Shero isn't wasting any time in negotiating contracts.  Pascal Dupuis and Mike Rupp appear to be at the top of his to-do list, according to an article in yesterday's Tribune-Review:

Agent Allan Walsh confirmed Monday night that he has started negotiations with Penguins general manager Ray Shero. Walsh represents forwards Pascal Dupuis and Mike Rupp.

Dupuis' end of the season review is obviously coming up soon, but Hooks already went into a little depth with regards to bringing the grinder back.  You had to suspect that Shero would consider his in-house options first before testing the free agent market this offseason, so it's at least encouraging to see Walsh is starting to light the fire under negotiations. 

There is of course the possibility that Walsh is merely showing his interest in chatting about his clients.  Shero admitted just last week that he wasn't all too concerned about negotiating with free agents yet.  For all we know this article in the Trib could have stemmed from one phone call along the lines of:

Walsh: "Hey it's Walsh.  Ready to talk?"
Shero: "Not yet."

...but we'll take what we can get at this point.

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