Pittsburgh Penguins: 5 Potential Free Agent Targets

3 of 6

May 3, 2015; Anaheim, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks left wing

Matt Beleskey

(39) follows through on a shot attempt against the Calgary Flames during the second period in game two of the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Beleskey

Beleskey is one of the youngest unrestricted free agents available this year, and he’s coming off a very strong season with 32 points (22g, 10a) in 65 games played.  He is definitely going to require a raise from his current $1.35 million cap hit, but he has produced while playing second line minutes all season alongside Ryan Kesler and Kyle Palmieri and could fill the Pens’ top-six void nicely.

The knock on Beleskey in the eyes of Pittsburgh Penguins critics is that he isn’t a natural scorer, and plays a grinder-style game. But, his production this year shows that he can be effective with top-tier talent and while he may not be a sniper, his work ethic and ability around the goal crease is superb.

I mentioned Palmieri as a possible trade target in an article found here, as Anaheim may be willing to deal him this summer considering the UFA’s and RFA’s they have. However, it’s more likely that Beleskey will walk and test the market considering they have Palmieri signed for another year at $1.6 million.

Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford made it clear that this team needs to get younger and faster.  If he’s true to his word, he’ll kick the tires on Matt Beleskey.  While Beleskey will likely spark a bidding war, he could turn out to be a long-term solution.