FanPost

A look at our summer free agents

Let's take a gander at what the new GM will be looking at this summer.

We need to fill almost a dozen spots and will have roughly $18m to do it with.

Key RFAs(in my opinion): Brandon Sutter, Simon Despres, Jayson Megna, Philip Samuelsson.

Key UFAs: Brian Gibbons, Jussi Jokinen, Lee Stempniak, Matt Niskanen, Deryk Engelland.

I put Jokinen and Niskanen in there, although I think they'll fall out of our price range on the open market.

The 4 RFAs I think we can bring back without breaking the bank much, and I think we should. Gibbons and Engelland should be affordable and retained. Stempniak I think would be a decent 3rd-line player if we can get him at a reasonable price(~2m/yr).

One guy under contract through next year stands out as possible trade bait. Paul Martin. I like him, and thought he had a solid playoff, but he's taking up $5m in cap space and will be unrestricted after in the 2015 summer. Thoughts on trading him for a younger, cheaper player and a draft pick?

All in all, it's not a great situation to walk into with so much tied up. Still, let's say that Bortuzzo, Despres, Samuelsson, and Engelland can be everyday NHL players for us next year(or 3 of the 4). OK, so defense is set without hurting the cap much. Now we have maybe $14m to focus on re-signing Sutter and Co. and chasing down "gritty" forwards to compliment our star players up front. Not too shabby.

The content expressed in fanposts does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the staff here at Pensburgh.com. FanPosts are opinions expressed by fans of various teams throughout the league but may be more Pittsburgh-centric for obvious reasons.

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