Friday, June 18, 2010

Countdown to July 1: NHL Salary Cap Numbers- Pittsburgh Penguins

As the July 1 Free Agency period is quickly approaching, we continue our look at the current cap status of each team, and breakdown what they have, or don't have in terms of room to maneuver this off-season.

Next up: the 2009 Cup Champions.

Pittsburgh Penguins
 
Roster players under contract for 2010-2011*

Forwards:
Sidney Crosby $8.7m, Evgeni Malkin $8.7m, Jordan Staal $4.0m, Chris Kunitz $3.725m, Pascal Dupuis $1.4m, Max Talbot $1.05m, Eric Tangradi $845k, Michael Rupp $825k, Eric Godard $750, Tyler Kennedy $725k, Craig Adams $550k 

Defensemen:
Brooks Orpik $3.75m, Kris Letang $3.5m, Alex Goligoski $1.833m
 

Goaltenders:
Marc-Andre Fleury $5.0m, Brent Johnson $600k

Roster Players Under Contract: 16
2010-2011 Cap: $56,800,000
2010-2011 Payroll: $
45,954,167

Cap Space:
$10,983,333
Non-Roster players under contract

Forwards:

Keven Veilleux $854k, Casey Pierro-Zabotel $850, Nick Petersen $566k, Joey Haddad $513k. Joe Vitale $512k, Dustin Jeffrey $508k, Mark Letestu $500k, Tim Wallace $500k, Nick Johnson $500k

Defensemen:
Simon Despres $900k, Brian Strait $861k, Carl Sneep $850k, Alex Grant $790k, Robert Bortuzzo $535k, Deryk Engelland $500k, Steve Wagner $500k

Goaltenders:

Brad Thiessen $875k, Mattias Modig $600k, Patrick Killeen $548k, John Curry $500k

UFAs
Sergei Gonchar, D $5.0m, Alexei Ponikarovsky, F $2.1m, Mark Eaton, D $2.0m, Bill Guerin, F $2.0m, Ruslan Fedotenko, F $1.8m, Jordan Leopold, D $1.8m, Matt Cooke, F $1.2m, Jay McKee, D $800k, Ryan Bayda, F $500k, Wade Brookbank, F $500k, Chris Lee, D $500k, Wyatt Smith, F $500k
 
RFAs

Jonathan D'Aversa, D $500k, Ben Lovejoy, D $500k, Chris Conner, F $500k, Aaron Boogard, F $500k

Analysis:
What to do with or without Sergei Gonchar?  The Penguins believe Gonchar to be in that special place where he is an amazing power play specialist, but he cannot take the beating he used to, and have seen his overall game suffer as a result.  What do you pay for?  The points or the overall game?  The problem for Pittsburgh is that Gonchar's camp knows that they will get paid for the points by someone, so the team may have to move forward without his services.








The Penguins were bounced from this year's playoffs due to defensive inconsistencies and lack of scoring from the wings.  Expect them to at least explore fixing those areas through both free agency and trade.  It is a possibility that Pittsburgh may re-sign none of their UFAs, allowing them to use their limited cap space to pursue one quality shutdown blueliner and one top level winger. Of the RFAs, the Penguins will likely key on bringing back Ben Lovejoy and make him a regular roster addition at a low cost.



They would then have to back-fill from their system, and do some bargain hunting in free agency to round out their roster. Names that have been linked to Pittsburgh via free agency or trade include: Anton Volchenkov, Zbynek Michalek, Ray Whitney and Kris Versteeg.


The Penguins will remain top contenders as long as they have sweaters in the middle of the ice with the names of Crosby, Malkin, Staal and Fleury on the back.  Yet the key each year will remain to be how well GM Ray Shero balances the complementary pieces around his core.



* all cap numbers provided by www.capgeek.com

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