Now that the season is behind us and we’ve had some time to let the dust settle, I’d like to offer my take as to where the Pittsburgh Penguins currently are and where they may be going. This is part 1 in a 3-part series that will be released over the coming days.
Over at HockeyBuzz.com, they have the Pens current salary cap situation. This will be useful to reference throughout the off-season.
Overall, the unit is deep with talent. With guys like Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry waiting in the wings, the future looks bright.
Marc-Andre Fleury (4 yrs, 5.75mil per)
34-20-9; 2.32GAA; .920SV%
Fleury silenced all of his serious critics this past season with spectacular play, and at times carried the team on his back. He doesn’t need to be the top goalie in the league to be exactly what the Penguins need, as his steady play was noticeably improved this past season.
My Verdict: No. 1 Goaltender
Thomas Griess (UFA)
9-6-3; 2.59GAA; .908 SV%
That 1-year deal for Griess last season looks pretty decent now, as he was not terrible; yet he was unimpressive. A bit of a downgrade from previous backups, I don’t believe that he is someone the Pens need to waste money on, given their current goalie depth.
My Verdict: Let Walk
Jeff Zatkoff (1yr, 600k)
0-1-0; 1.62 GAA; .941 SV%
Zatkoff played well the season before last for the Penguins, but lost his spot on the team to million dollar Greiss. In very limited NHL action, he was good; posting the numbers listed above. I believe he deserves a shot to retake the backup position at least until the organization feels Matt Murray is ready.
My Verdict: No. 2 Goaltender (until Matt Murray is ready – which may be right now)
Lee is a contributor here at The Hockey Writers as well as at Pens Initiative. A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, he worked an internship at VH1 Radio in NYC and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Penn State – New Kensington campus student newspaper, The Nittany Pride. You can visit Lee’s website here: leecjsobotka.com.