Pittsburgh Penguins To Do List before March 21.2022

Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Penguins (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Penguins have quite the To Do List and the March21.2022, NHL Trade Deadline is fast approaching.   While some decisions can wait until after the Playoffs, other decisions must be made before then.

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Here is what I think is on the Penguins “To Do List.”

1-Search for a Back-up Goalie.

2-Look for Depth on Forward – based on IR Player recovery dates.

3-Look for Depth on Defense – the Playoffs are a War of Attrition.

4-Sign Upcoming Penguins Free Agents – some…not all.

5-Trade upcoming Free Agents for Assets – see above #1 on To Do List.

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So, when making big decisions you must factor in your Wants vs your Needs.  There are players the Penguins “Want.”  However, there are other players the Penguins “Need.”  It’s all about Priorities my friends.  Priorities for the Short Term as well as the Long Term.

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Pittsburgh Penguins Objectives 2022

1-Make the Playoffs (Short Term)

2-Win the Stanley Cup (Short Term)

3-Be Competitive for years to come (Long Term)

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Key Info to Know

When you are talking about the Penguins and the future, you must consider that Crosby, who is still the straw that stirs the drink, will not be part of a re-build.  Only a re-load.

Crosby #87 -F- age 34 $8,700,000. He will become a Free Agent in the 2025-26 season (in 3 years).

By looking at the Penguins Free Agent List, you can see there will be a lot of money potentially coming off the books at the end of this season.  So, whatever your planning, you better keep this information in mind and have taken a creative accounting course.

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Penguins Upcoming 2022 Free Agents – Priority #1 Group

Letang #58 -D – age 34 – $7,250,000. He wants to stay a Penguin for Life, however, he also wants a long-term deal.  I understand the value that a Right-Handed Shooting Defensemen has in the NHL.  However, a Long-Term Deal for Big Money will “handcuff” the Penguins for the term he signs for. FYI, the top 5-Defensemen are making between $7 and $9 Million per season, Ouch!

Malkin #71-F – age 35 – $9,500,000. He wants to stay a Penguin for Life, appears to be ok with talking less money and might be ok with a 3-year deal, matching Crosby’s Free Agent date.  The Penguins might have to offer a term deal with incentives, given his injury status over the last couple of years. I don’t want to say this but, can you say pay cut?

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Rust #17-F -age 29-$3,500,000.  He is an 8-year Penguin, who can score, play team D, provides grit, and can play on any line.  I’m not sure if he wants to test his pure market value as Free Agent or will he be open to a term deal to remain in Pit.  A slight bump up, will be needed to keep him.

Kapanen #42-F-age 25- $3,200,000. He is a second year Penguin, who plays up and down the line-up.  I can see his potential, I just would not over-pay for it.  Based on his track record to date, it’s time to trade for assets and reallocate the money.

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Rodrigues #9 – F –age 28-$1,000,000.  He has been with the Penguins for 3 seasons.  This year is by far his best season of his career.  He will want a raise for sure.  I’m not sure if he wants to test his pure market value as Free Agent or will he be open to a term deal to remain with the Pens.  Again, I can see his potential, I just would not over-pay for it.  A nice bridge deal could work.  If not, and I don’t want to say this but, you need to make a trade, while his stock is high.

I know, I know, we are trying to win the cup this year.  These are the difficult decisions that the Penguin front office face right now.   Wait, what, you mean there’s more?  Ugh, yes.

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Penguins Upcoming 2022 Free Agents – Priority #2 Group

Aston-Reese -F-age 27-$1,725,000.

Heinen -F-age 27-$1,100,000.

Boyle -F-age 27-$750,000.

Chaput -F-age 27-$750,000.

Simon -F-age 27-$750,000.

Ruhwedel-D-age 31-$750,000.

Friedman-D-age 26-$725,000.

DeSmith-G-age 30-$1,250,000.

Domingue-G-age 29-$750,000.

My heart is breaking knowing what is to come.  So, we will discuss the Priority #2 group later.

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Pittsburgh Penguins as of Feb 10.2022

28-11-8 = 64 Points

3rd in the Metropolitan Division (Up from 7th Place in Oct)

4th Tied in the Eastern conference (Up from 13th Place in Oct)

4th Tied in the NHL overall (Up from 22nd overall in Oct)

Pittsburgh Penguins are holding the #3 Playoff Spot, in the Metropolitan Division (Eastern Conference).

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My View from the Cheap Seats

The Penguins, like most teams are up against the Salary Cap.  They are busy crunching numbers as we speak.  It is one thing to want to keep all your own Free Agents.  It is another thing to pay them all what they think they are worth.

Most people value what they have, more than what the market values it at.  And this is where things get really interesting.

What do you feel, the Penguins “own upcoming Free Agents” are worth? Would you, “Keep and Re-sign?”  OK, but for how much?  Or would you, “Trade and get Assets Now.”

In my humble opinion, the Penguins have new Management.  New Management always want their own Players. Changes are coming.  To be continued…

Quote of the Day

“Value is a perception not a calculation.   Value is something people feel, not something we tell them they get.”