Looks like free agency frenzy is back, and this time the Pittsburgh Penguins are looking at a Russian star.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pittsburgh Penguins may be more interested than we thought in signing KHL star Danis Zaripov. In fact, they seem to really be looking at the prospect of signing him.
Zaripov is skilled KHL star who has recently been banned from the league for using illegal substances. However, he has been cleared to sign an NHL contract if he wishes, which will most likely be the case.
Another Penguins star is already pushing for this signing. Earlier this week I wrote about how Evgeni Malkin would like for the Penguins to sign Zaripov. Malkin has played with him before for Team Russia, and But do we really need him?
Cap Space Trouble
Look, we need to save our money. What’s been our biggest hole this offseason? A third-line centre. Ever since Nick Bonino left and signed with the Nashville Predators, that has been our number one priority.
We only have $3 million left in cap space. I don’t know about you, but we already have slim pickings for third-line centres with this cap space. Danis Zaripov is looking like a luxury right now. Do we really need him instead of a third-line centre? I don’t think so.
Age is a Risk
OK let’s get over the age part. He may be a great player, but he’s 36-years-old. Who knows how much gas he has in the tank this year.
Also, we have to think about injuries. Using up our precious cap space on someone who may get injured is just foolish. This is an area of concern, no matter how skilled he is. It seems like it’s just a better idea to stay away from him.
Honestly, I think it’s not a good idea for the Penguins to go ahead with this signing. Zaripov is a highly skilled forward, I know, but our cap space can be spent on better things. These things include holes like a third-line centre, which should be our number one priority right now.
The only scenario I can think of where this may be a good signing is if we can use him as trade bait to acquire players we truly need. Perhaps another team may want him in exchange for a third-line centre, and therefore he would be a valuable asset to obtain.
However, the chances of that are slim, and I just think we’re better off without him. What do you think? Let me know below!