It’s anybody’s guess as to how the Pittsburgh Penguins’ lines will look come Oct. 9 – opening day – but general manager Jim Rutherford could look to invite more players to training camp, and make matters even more confusing.
According to Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, it’s quite possible Rutherford may be inclined to add more players into training camp for head coach Mike Johnston.
#Penguins GM Rutherford said Sutter contract is last pressing issue this summer but could look at signing or inviting others to camp tryout.
— Shelly Anderson (@pgshelly) July 31, 2014
Penner, 31, was having a phenomenal season with the Anaheim Ducks before getting traded to Washington at the deadline, and is a big body that Crosby lacks on that top pairing. Given his experience out west, and now in the east, Penner’s addition could be extremely beneficial to Pittsburgh.
The 6-foot-4, 242-pound winger recorded 32 points (13G, 19A) and skated to an outstanding plus-22 rating in 49 regular-season tilts for Anaheim last season, and if Penner’s placed alongside scorers just as, if not more, prolific as the Ducks’ forwards, Rutherford could have himself a gem looking to establish prominence again, after being sort of an afterthought this summer.
But, even if Pittsburgh doesn’t have any intentions to sign him – because their cap may prevent it, unless they do some maneuvering – they can still give Penner a look during camp. It doesn’t hurt, right? And if Pittsburgh views him to be a greater asset in a long run over guys whose contract is minimal, it wouldn’t kill them to add more depth at the wing.
Not too long ago, this guy was rackin’ up 30-plus goals for the putrid Edmonton Oilers, and given he’s probably more motivated than ever to get a contract next season, for those reasons, Rutherford should strongly consider him.
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins