In Search of Next Year… for the Pens

Ok I have to admit it; I was not ready for the Penguins season to be over.  This sentiment is I’m sure shared by millions.  I spent the morning of the series clinching loss wearing my Penguins gold rush shirt from last year’s Ottawa game (yes the double overtime series clincher).  Now I’ve come to the acceptance that it’s over and take a moment to look at next year.

Memories of Last Year’s Clinch vs. Ottawa- By Zeke Caresani

When I do:  Holy Cow!  There are no unrestricted free agents on the squad.  We traded Ian Cole and signed Patrick Hornquist.  Only frequent healthy scratch Carter Rowney is a UFA and let’s be honest, I never learned his number.

That’s it.  Everyone is back!!!

There are some interesting decisions at Restricted Free agent.  Daniel Sprong will surely be tendered, but he is in Coach Sullivan’s doghouse and would attract a nice return.  Bryan Rust is due a huge raise from his $640,000 and will get it.  His Claude Raines impersonation in the Caps’ series not withstanding, he has made many clutch plays for the team and will get paid.

I assume Riley Sheahan will get a bump from his two mill but probably not much.  What is the going rate for a fourth line center who scored one goal in the playoffs despite logging serious ice time.  Ditto Dominick Simone (coach Recchi’s favorite).

So the cupboard is full.  One would have to assume that Kassel, Brassard, Malkin, and Letang were all way less than 100% and should make full recoveries.  Three out of four cups is still a dynasty.

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