No Big Names
Following the NHL Draft, many Penguin fans were excited as they believed Pittsburgh was prepared to be a big player in the free agent market. With $12 million dollars left in salary cap space after trading Jordan Staal to Carolina and not re-signing veteran free agents Arron Asham and Steve Sullivan, many people thought the Pens would prove an attractive destination for at least one of the marquee free agents available.
Much like how the attention of the fans was focused on Jaromir Jagr last year (who signed a one year deal with the Dallas Stars this year after a season in black and orange), the preferred target of most fans as well as the front office seemed to be New Jersey's captain, Zach Parise. A talented winger, such as Crosby has been seeking for his entire career it seems, received an offer from the Penguins, but chose instead to take his skills along with Ryan Suter, the most prized defenseman, to the Minnesota Wild. Both players received 13 year contracts worth $90 million.
With the league negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement this year, and the very real prospect of an ownership lockout clouding the horizon, Parise and Suter were among a number of elite talents who were looking for the multi-year deal such as the Penguins gave to Crosby over the next ten years that probably will be prohibited in the next labor agreement. A good deal for the players, but it put those free agents out of the Penguins range for signing given their upcoming contracts for Malkin next year and Letang beyond that.
With those targets gone, speculation moved to the talented Capitals' winger Alexander Semin whose knock has been a poor work ethic, but with him gone to the Hurricanes as of two days ago, it appears the Penguins are content to go with what they have.
The only signing they made at the NHL level was for Tanner Glass, a fourth line grinder who played with Winnipeg and who would seek to replace the role played by Asham who went to the Rangers.