by Tony on 07/02/09 at 11:54 AM ET
I guess that we as Penguins fans have gotten used to being patient when it comes to Free Agency under GM Ray Shero. You must resist the urge to exclaim “Huh ??” when the first free agent signing of the period for the Pens is, Mike Rupp ??
Like last July 1st, when Shero’s only signing was, Eric Godard.
It was on July 2nd a year ago when Hossa-gate happened, resulting in GMRS scrambling to sign Ruslan Fedotenko and Miro Satan the next day.
Fast forward to present day, and Rob Scuderi and Fedotenko are still negotiating with several teams, Hal Gill has to start learning French and Mathieu Garon is next up to Dot the “I” at the Horseshoe.
As far as UFA’s still out there, most of the players that the Pens even had a realistic chance of signing are still out there. There was not going to be a Hossa signing, nor Gaborik, nor Havlat, yadda, yadda. The Pens reportedly were attempting to sign former Flyer Mike Knuble, but he signed with the Caps.
With the Penguins only having ~$4.7M of cap space remaining, GMRS is going to have to do some wheeling and dealing if he has any chance of retaining both Scuderi and Fedotenko. Even if both of those players go elsewhere, getting suitable replacements will be tough with that little cap space available. I’ve read reports, particularly from KDKA’s Bob Pompeani, stating that Shero was attempting to deal Pascal Dupuis and Godard to clear up cap room.
One player I’ve been watching closely for updates is Chad LaRose, who looks to be formerly of the Canes. LaRose would appear to fit like a glove with the Pens. Speedy, good hands, a little gritty.
I have a feeling both Scuds and Feds will be signing today. Whether it’s in Pittsburgh or elsewhere, that’s the question.
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