The Pittsburgh Penguins weren’t losers in free agency per se, but the team appears to be about as good as they were before July 1. If you consider Matt Niskanen and Christian Ehrhoff to be a wash and players like Joe Vitale, Deryk Engelland and Tanner Glass to be expendable, then the team isn’t really much better or worse than they were when they blew a 3-1 series lead to the New York Rangers in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. If that worries you, Penguins fans, take a deep breath. It’s all part of the plan.
Josh Yohe at Trib-Live Sports writes that Penguins GM Jim Rutherford prefers to only sign short-term deals with free agents right now in order to give the team added flexibility down the line.
Rutherford, who stated at his introductory press conference that he will only remain as Penguins’ GM for “two or three years,” could theoretically take an aggressive stance in free agency, potentially crippling the Penguins down the road for the sake of luring players to Pittsburgh with lucrative, lengthy contracts.
Instead, the Penguins — already being heavily reconstructed after another playoff flameout in May — could look dramatically different at this time next year and shouldn’t be financially disadvantaged even after Rutherford has departed.
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins