July 1st and free agency is almost upon us and over the last week we have had many articles and discussions on what could be as well as what is out of reach. Today I am going to give my prediction on a few players I believe the Penguins will sign and one trade that I believe will take place.
A no brainer here, Plotnikov will be a cheap experiment for the Penguins. costing them no more than $1 million he could make the team and potentially slide into a top six role.
Sarge has apparently expressed interest in returning to the Penguins, while many fans may be against welcoming him back with open arms, I believe for a low costing 1 year contract bringing in one of the best Powerplay quarterbacks the Pens have ever seen would only better the team and the development of the Penguins young players.
This ones a bit off the radar, there has been no connection between the two parties in anyway, as far as we know. I believe P.A. could be a HUGE asset to the club and could be had for $1-$2 million a year. GMJR im sure sees this and wil make a jump at the opportunity.
His interest in the Penguins makes this one even more enticing. Granted he is 34 years old and we all know the team wants to get younger, but Ward can still bring it on a nightly basis. Size, tenacity and a bit of a scoring touch can go a long way on the Penguins bottom six.
It was announced today that the Carolina Hurricanes will be buying-out the remaining contract of Semin. Because of this move here I could see the Penguins making a BIG push to acquire him in Free Agency and essentially nixing any trade scenarios that include Kessel, Oshie, Skinner or Sharp.
End of Update
I believe its very possible the Penguins have a deal already made with Toronto to acquire Kessel after July 1st. Why? Well since the NHL draft the chatter around the league has come, nearly, to a complete halt regarding him. So it is very possible that the Penguins have a deal in place and just want Toronto to pay Kessel’s $4 million signing bonus before being shipped to Pittsburgh. However I also can see that maybe they re working out additional tweaks to the deal and nothing is yet agreed upon.
This is the BIG fish everyone, not necessarily me, wants to see the Penguins catch. Oshie would be a decent pick up but not quite as skilled as Kessel and Patrick Sharp is not what the Penguins need.
Obviously I could be way off here as one other possibility could be that GMJR wants to see if he could land someone like Frolik in Free Agency first before pulling the trigger on this trade.
Look for Sutter and Dumoulin to be a part of this trade as well as a possible addition of Kunitz.
No matter what though, if the Penguins do acquire a winger through trade I believe its going to be Phil Kessel.
Scuderi’s contract is nearly impossible to move. He has a Limited No Trade Clause and is one of the most over paid players in the league for what he brings. Look for Sutter and Kunitz to be moved before anything happens with Scuderi.
So there are my predictions on a few scenarios for the Penguins. what are yours?
– Robert Slavinsky