Prepare your goodbyes because we are just over 24 hours away from the opening of NHL free agency and today could be the last day a few fan favorites are members of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Free agency will officially open on Saturday at noon and players can begin to sign contracts with new teams.
Unlike last offseason, the Pens have a fair amount of unrestricted free agents that could be wearing different uniforms come Saturday afternoon. While the Pens do have a comfortable amount of room under the salary cap the money to resign guys like Nick Bonino and Chris Kunitz still has to be fair on both sides. [Trib Live]
One free agent who already seems to be moving on is defenseman Trevor Daley as reports indicate he has narrowed his list to 2 or 3 teams, none being the Penguins who he has spent the last two seasons with. If this in fact the end of Daley’s time in Pittsburgh it sure was a memorable two seasons for player and fans alike. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Another Pens free agent who is showing to be a hot commodity on the open market is center Nick Bonino. Reports show upwards of 10 teams interested in Bonino’s services and due to the lack of free agent centers, he could be in for a very big pay day and price himself out of Pittsburgh. [TSN]
If Bonino does move on the Pens will have to fill his skates via free agency or by making a trade. Luckily there are a more than a handful or candidates that could be brought in using either method it will just be up to general manager Jim Rutherford to decide which route is best. [Trib Live]
While most big name free agents have been fielding calls from over a dozens different teams, there is one big name who has not received a call at all. Jaromir Jagr took to Twitter on Thursday evening to let the world know he’s still waiting for his phone to ring. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
New goaltending coach Mike Buckley announced on Thursday at the Penguins’ development camp that the team plans to keep goaltender Tristan Jarry in the AHL another year to help him develop his game rather than sitting on the bench behind Matt Murray. This means the Pens are now in the market for a veteran netminder to serve as Murray’s backup next season. [Times Online]
While the front office takes care of all the off ice matters, Mark Recchi and the player development staff are working with the young prospects to improve their game. Yesterday, the prospects taught the next generation of players some of the skills they’ve been learning. [Penguins]
It’s barely been two weeks since the Pens hoisted the Stanley Cup and Vegas already has them pegged as favorites to lift the Cup again next season. [NBC Sports]
News and notes from around the NHL...
A week after acquiring Mike Smith, the Calgary Flames added goaltender Eddie Lack to the mix along with defenseman Ryan Murphy from the Carolina Hurricanes. [CBC]
Former Edmonton Oilers tough guy Dave Semenko passed away on Thursday at the age of 59 after a battle with cancer. [NHL]