The Pittsburgh Penguins were never in the running for Steven Stamkos. They didn’t talk about trading for Taylor Hall or P.K. Subban. In all likelihood on July 1 at 12 pm, they won’t do much of anything.
The thing is, if the Penguins do absolutely nothing in free agency, with the exception of some depth signings, although they are still in a great place. Nearly all forward lines will be intact, with replacements ready in case a piece or two don’t return. The same can be said about the defense, and everyone knows about the logjam in goal.
Ready for Repeat
No, the Penguins don’t need to do anything, and will still remain a Stanley Cup front-runner. There is nothing immediately exciting about that, and that’s ok. The biggest splash that general manager Jim Rutherford is likely to make is the potential re-upping of Matt Cullen. Sure, they could trade Chris Kunitz, Eric Fehr or Derrick Pouliot, but that isn’t likely. However, if we have learned anything from Rutherford, it’s that anything is possible at any time. Though anything substantial seems unlikely.
Penguins would have loved to add Stamkos, assuming he’d have been willing to work for minimum wage, plus tips. https://t.co/A6e1rCbtwC
— Dave Molinari (@MolinariPG) June 29, 2016
Salary-cap concerns, finding the right price and trading partners will prove difficult. Trading Marc-Andre Fleury seemed like a slam dunk before the draft. That didn’t exactly work out as expected.
Spoiled by the Home Run
As people who follow the Penguins, we have been spoiled over the years, going all the way back to Craig Patrick’s acquisition of Ron Francis and Ulf Samuelsson. Home-run trades and free-agent signings have been trademarks of this franchise for as long as most of us can remember. Paul Coffey, Alexei Kovalev, Marian Hossa, Jarome Iginla and Phil Kessel are just a few big fish caught by Pittsburgh GMs. When this much talent has been reeled in, it’s difficult to stand idly by while the rest of the league gets some brand new toys.
— Hockey Hall of Fame (@HockeyHallFame) June 28, 2016
As I stated, the Penguins likely won’t be active because they don’t need to be. The fans get to watch Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kessel, Carl Hagelin, Patric Hornqvist, Nick Bonino and Kris Letang every night. The franchise is stacked for at least one or two more runs at a championship. Do not be envious Penguins’ fans, leave that to the rest of the league while Lord Stanley’s Cup resides in the City of Champions. If Rutherford finds a way to make a splash, it would be fun, but not necessary.
Until next time.
Greg is a Pittsburgh Penguins writer for ‘The Hockey Writers’.
He is a Pittsburgh area native who has written for multiple Penguins news and opinion sites. In addition to hockey writing, he is also an experienced YouTube creator.
Greg started with THW in 2015 as a Blue Jackets writer, and spent time as a Fantasy Hockey analyst.