I am absolutely positive that the Pittsburgh Penguins Front Office had a back up plan just in case the 2 biggest free agents would decide to go else where. And I think there was always a chance that the 2 of them would end up somewhere together, I just don’t think that anyone really thought it would be in Minnesota. So now that the big two are off the board, Where Do We Go From Here?
Now that Both players have chosen to go to North, the Pens are left really with the same team they had last year. There are still options out there that will improve this team, but I am not sure that the options are what Ray Shero really had in mind.
And here is another question worth pondering, how attractive is this team or situation if neither player came here? Maybe the thought of having such big names here scares off more talent then it attracts.
Malkin, who is here now, is up for free agency after next season so how hard will the push be to sign him long term? One would have to think that if Shero was not working hard to sign him to a long term deal before, he is now. Not that Shero wasn’t trying, just probably not as hard since his contract is not up till the end of next season. Though now, it is imperative that he locks Geno and because of the fallout today, he may even have to pay him more than Sid. No hometown discount.
To top everything else off, Steve Sullivan has signed with the Phoenix Coyotes. As mentioned, Their are options, but the best options are really gone so what is the next target. And something ironic here, for the first time in a couple of years, the Pens have some money to spend but the guys they wanted are gone.
As a Penguins fan, we think that there is no place better on earth to play hockey than here in Pittsburgh. As fans and an organization, we are all finding out differently and that the other cities have something to offer. Much to our despair.
Though, the Pens could just stand pat and hold onto their cash and when the trade deadline draws near, they will have cash to spend with out making a ridiculous trade to make room. That may in fact be the back up plan.
Not all that bad I guess going forward, with Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Sutton, and the rest of this grand cast of characters. Maybe all is not lost. Maybe I will step away from the edge of the Fort Pitt Bridge now. Maybe it is time we all do that.