Pittsburgh Penguins Offseason Thoughts: Free Agency, Trade Possibilities, and More


Twas the week before the Stanley Cup Finals, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The Pittsburgh Penguins have been extremely quiet thus far, and so has most of the NHL. But, I wouldn’t expect it stay this way for very long.

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If you’re like me, you’re sitting around and waiting patiently for some legit and exciting rumors to break. You probably find yourself checking the “Pens and Erreything Else” piece every day by the folks at the Pensblog, wondering if there will finally be some news to officially kick off the offseason.

But, nothing.

I can’t say I blame you. When your team is eliminated from postseason contention it seems like things such as the buyout period, entry draft, and free agency will never actually get here. However, there are some rumblings from around the league that could impact the Pittsburgh Penguins this summer.

Jeff Petry, cited by many as a possible addition for the Pittsburgh Penguins this summer, looks primed to re-sign with the Montreal Canadiens. I can’t say I’m upset about this, as I’ve clearly outlined that I’d love to see the Pens build their defensive corps around their talented youth.

If those rumors are true, is there anyone else the Pittsburgh Penguins might be interested in?

Cody Franson is a name worth watching this summer in free agency. The issue is that he’s going to see a huge pay day, especially if Petry is no longer on the market. If the Pens decide they need to add to their defensive corps, I’d rather see them sign someone like Matt Barkowski. He’ll come fairly cheap, has some unrecognized potential, and is still only 26 years old. He could be a solid depth player and fill in when needed. His HERO chart is below via ownthepuck.blogspot.co.uk. Click to enlarge.

Rumors that the Pittsburgh Penguins are planning to re-sign Blake Comeau continue to swirl. I visited that topic a bit when I did his 2014-15 assessment, but the only way the Pens should consider his return is if his price tag is between $1 and $1.5 million. Anything more will prove to be too much, especially if the Pens stay healthy and he’s playing bottom-six.

As the Pittsburgh Penguins look to fill a top-six void through either free agency or trade this summer, I often wonder if the Ottawa Senators will be looking to move Milan Michalek. They’re a team that has multiple RFA’s to sign, but sit only $11 million under the cap. Of course, they were able to sign Andrew Hammond to a cap-friendly contract, which makes Craig Anderson expendable. If they can’t find a trade partner to unload him, though, his buyout penalty may prove to be too steep which would mean finding other ways to free up money.

If you’re the Pittsburgh Penguins, do you consider Justin Williams for that role?

My biggest issue with Williams is his age, obviously. And, teams are going to overpay him based on his playoff performances, which has earned him the nickname of “Mr. Game 7”. But, does he really fit the Pens? Will he mesh well with Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby? In my opinion, you let someone else overpay for him and stick to the younger and faster game plan.

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