It’s nearly that time of the year again. Come July 1st, it will be time for sign new free agents, and the Pittsburgh Penguins have a few decisions to make.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will be looking to make a moderate splash in free agency. After all, we still have many free agents from our own Stanley Cup winning team to sign. But if managed correctly, we may still be able to sign new players, or rather, we may have to.
We have many unrestricted free agents this season, and one of them is Nick Bonino. If Bonino signs elsewhere, that creates a huge hole for us in the #3 C position. We may have to turn to free agency for this.
Enter a pipe dream that many Pens fans have. San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton in a Penguins uniform. He could fill in on the third line easily, and he would be an upgrade too. He can continue chasing that Stanley Cup that he wants, and probably have a better chance at it if he comes here. But would he be a good fit here?
The problem with Thornton is his age. At 37 years old, you never know what to expect from him. He is still an elite player, however he is clearly slowing down. We don’t know what kind of injuries are coming for him, and we would not want to be stuck with a contract that only weighs us down.
It looks likes Thornton will be wanting a three-year contract from a willing team come July 1st. This is not that intriguing for the Pittsburgh Penguins who should want to keep their core together in the next few years and not have a bad contract take up our cap space.
Thornton would be an ideal signing if we got him for only one-year. He would come and help us be a better team, and not hurt our cap space at the end of next season. However, I don’t think this will be attainable. I believe there will be a suitor available for him who is willing to give him the term and money he asks for.
If the Penguins can only sign him to a longer contract, I wouldn’t do it. Let’s stay focused here and keep the core young, cheap, and strong, as it is.