In all seriousness, congratulations to both Parise and Suter. Sometimes the allure of coming home is too strong a siren call to ignore. I have no ill will against them, I only wish they had made they're decision earlier and saved me about a quarter inch on my hair line. Oh and for all the pens fans who are flipping they're lid wishing them bodily harm, I have this to say: Eat Shit(ake mushrooms). The collective response has resembled something along the lines of a Mel Gibson voicemail. "How dare you sign with your hometown team for more money and a bigger role to play in the hockey capital of America....HOW DARE YOU!!!" Anyway, I wish them nothing but the best of luck, and congratulations to Minnesota, they just drastically improved their team on one day.
So on to plan B. Who might we be targeting? Let's take a look at some of the possibilities.
Chris Stewart: Hooks mentioned in his post about us possibly taking a run at him. I like this idea. Stewart is a big dude, who can clear space for Crosby, and forecheck's hard. Not much of a point producer, but then again, Crosby had his best half season with Kunitz and Dupuis on his line, so he doesn't really NEED another scorer.
Rick Nash: The columbus dispatch is reporting that the Pens are on Nash's short list of teams that he would be willing to be traded to. What does that mean? Well not really a whole lot. It's a nice compliment from him that he likes our team, but the asking price is just insane. Supposedly they want Jordan Staal-esque compensation, and even if we COULD match that, I wouldn't want us to. Unless that asking price goes down, I don't see Shero pulling the trigger.
Bobby Ryan: This seems to be an absolute perfect pick. He's young, he has speed, skates hard AND can score (bonus). The asking price from Anaheim MIGHT not be as high, but who knows. All things being equal, I'd rather have Ryan over Nash anyway.
Alex Semin: No one can doubt this guy's skill. There were times when he was the best player on the ice for the caps last season. But then there the other times. He doesn't play to the best of his ability at NEARLY a consistent enough basis. On terms of sheer production, ya we'd be crazy not to look at him, but production isn't the issue here. He almost never shows up for the optional skates and is supposedly a locker room cancer. Maybe the right locker room can change that, and maybe that solution lies within the confines of the Consol Energy Center, but maybe not. It's an awful risk. I'd only like to take him if it is a 1 year deal with an option for another one (if hockey contracts can be structured in such a way...) and maybe for 3-4 mill. I doubt Semin would even go for that.
Shane Doan: Ya, this is the guy I want to see. He's loyal to PHX, the only organization he's ever known and supposedly he's also asking for a 4 year deal. His age is the only thing that is really a drawback for him. I definitely wouldn't want to give him a 4 year deal, but 2 years is doable. Seeing Billy G's play drop off somewhat drastically after his first year has given me a little pause when it comes to signing aging vets to anything longer than a year deal, but Doan is younger than Guerin was, so maybe the drop off from year 1 to 2 won't be as stark. Given the recent signing of Jagr, the market for him would probably be about 4.5 mill per. So a two year deal for about 8-9 mill is what I would try and sell to him.
The comments Shero made really make it sound as if he likes our defense as is, so I really don't think Martin will be moved, but who knows. Going forward, we have two big things going for us. We have a lot of cap space, and we have Sid as our pitchman for any potential free agent. Still kinda bummed about not getting Parise, but there are still some options left. Let me know what you guys think.
P.S: Have a safe and happy 4th of July as well!