With the Stanley Cup Finals well underway and the sting of the early exit of the Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals, I figured now was as good of a time as any to list my offseason wish list. Some of the dominoes have already fallen into place, with Bylsma and Geno both getting extensions to ensure their stay in Pittsburgh is a little bit longer.
1. Trade Marc-Andre Fleury. This is a tough one to write. I've always been a huge supporter of him, because of his incredible raw athletic ability and flashes of brilliance. He also happens to be one of my favorite personalities on the team, and always seems to keep the room light in times of adversity. That being said, the raw ability has remained that, even ten years into his career: raw, unfinished talent. Two consecutive post-season collapses have all but sealed his fate, and he deserves a chance to start fresh with a clean slate.
If Steve Mason could get a backup goalie and a 3rd rounder, Bobrovsky could net three picks last year (2nd, and two 4ths), and Varlamov could net a 1st rounder, Fleury should be able to net at least a 2nd and a 4th, or possibly an end of the 1st rounder. The Penguins could go into next season with either Vokoun or Hartzell getting a chance as a starter, or they could swing another deal for a goalie (e.g. Bernier).
2. Re-sign Kris Letang, Pascal Dupuis, and Matt Cooke. There's a large caveat to this second wish, it has to be at the right price. For me, the sweet spot for each would go as follows: Letang - $6-6.5 mil for 6 years, Dupuis - $3-3.5 mil for 3 years, Cooke - $1.5-1.75 mil for 2 years. I actually think that on this team, Dupuis and Cooke are more pivotal than Letang, as Letang can be traded to quickly and effectively re-stock the minors with great talent. If Letang stick with his current demands of $7-8 mil annually, he's definitely going to have to be traded.
A player of Letang's skill set to a team that's willing to pay him would be worth no less than a can't-miss prospect and a 1st-rounder, or a veteran D-man, a mid prospect, and a late 1st/2nd rounder.
3. Sign Danny Briere, if the price is right. Assuming that he is let go by Philly using the buy-out clause, I think that Briere could be had for around $1 mil or less. He could be a good low-priced winger that could earn some PP time and some top-6 minutes.
4. Trade Tanner Glass, do not re-sign Iginla. Glass has been a disappointment, and was mediocre at best on the PK. Isn't particularly good at faceoffs, and his $1.1 mil cap hit, while not enormous, could be better spent elsewhere. Jarome Iginla was someone I was super excited about when he was acquired, but the theory was much better than in practice. His game at this stage of his career just doesn't mesh with the Penguins' normal uptempo style.
With those players departing (likely along with Tyler Kennedy and Craig Adams), I think that some top-6 minutes would be open for Beau Bennett for sure, and Dustin Jeffery might finally get a chance as a regular starter on the third line. What does everyone else think?