The Pittsburgh Penguins are rumored to be involved in several more deals that could add to an already powerful lineup. Is this an organization scrambling because they lost out on the Parise sweepstakes – or a team that is striving to be once again a dominant force in the post season?
There have been rumors linking the Pens to Rick Nash, Alexander Semin, and Shane Doan. Doan is a player that has stated that he would consider going to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Rick Nash has expressed interest in the Penguins. Both would be a fit in the organization but at what cost, unless they think they can sign him to a longer term deal when the time was right – Nash would be a temporary solution. The depth in Wilkes Barre might make a temporary move appealing to Pittsburgh penguins GM Ray Shero.
As far as Semin, this is where things get real interesting. SportsNet is reporting that Semin and the Pens are close to inking a 1 year deal. Semin is intrigued with playing for the team has played against for so long as a Washington Capital. Semin has been accused of being a player that performs well, only when he wants to. Meaning he does not give a full effort all the time. That can be a frustrating trait, and one the Pens have worked with before with previous players like Jaromir Jagr. Even with experience, I can not see the Pens wanting to take a chance on him. Though, having Evgeni Malkin on the team to keep him in order, could be just what Semin needs to make a relationship like this work.
With Shane Doan, the rumors are out there that any number of teams are interested in signing one of the better remaining unrestricted free agents available. Personally I like the fact that guys this year are taking their time with their free agency decisions instead of jumping at the first million dollars that are flashed at them. Doan is also the last of a dying breed. He’s only on his second NHL franchise – the same organization that drafted him but in a different country and a different sweater. There is probably a lot going through his mind right now that takes him away from the franchise that he has been with for almost twenty years. Coyotes fans will feel like original Winnipeg Jets fans if their top name and captain just walks away from the team that has invested so much in him. With the ownership situation in Phoenix apparently getting better, Doan may be enticed to finish his career where it started. For all the reasons that the Coyotes want to keep Shane Doan in a desert sweater, Penguins fans should be drooling over the fact that their team could be on the short list. If Doan is tired of being the letterman, Pittsburgh would be a nice model because he could focus on hockey, as the on ice leadership in Pittsburgh is pretty well set. No one is taking the C of the sweater of Crosby, Malkin is money on that team, an Brooks Orpik is a pillar for the team. Doan could come to the Pittsburgh Penguins and play hockey.
That type of status does not always matter to some players, while others want that kind of responsibility. It remains to be seen what Doan really wants, but I think it is an intriguing possibility and of the remaining players to consider, he truly is the best option.