Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Lots of Pens stuff in the news + player contract status!

Don't look now, but there was actually an article that was related to the Penguins in the Post-Gazette this past Sunday. It was about Erik Johnson, who will likely be the #1 pick in the NHL Draft. The Draft is taking place this Saturday night at 6:00. I hope to have a little more about that later in the week.

While we have an abundance of riches, I'll also mention that Dave Molinari had a great Q&A this past Friday. I'd recommend reading it - at the very least for his list of which players are under which contract status. I'll reproduce it here so we have it for posterity once free agency opens:

Players under contract for next season:
  • Jocelyn Thibault
  • Sebastien Caron
  • Sergei Gonchar
  • Ryan Whitney
  • Josef Melichar
  • Rob Scuderi
  • Eric Cairns
  • Sidney Crosby
  • Erik Christensen
  • Shane Endicott
  • Maxime Talbot
  • John LeClair
  • Andre Roy
  • Michel Ouellet
  • Noah Welch
  • Micki DuPont
Players who will be restricted free agents, provided the Penguins give them a qualifying contract offer by June 26th:
  • Marc-Andre Fleury
  • Colby Armstrong
  • Andy Hilbert
  • Konstantin Koltsov
  • Ryan Malone
  • Tomas Surovy
  • Brooks Orpik
Players who are free agents:
  • Eric Boguniecki
  • Matt Murley
  • Ryan VandenBussche
  • Lyle Odelein
Players who have already signed to play in Europe:
  • Lasse Pirjeta
  • Jani Rita
  • Niklas Nordgren
I'm a little bit surprised that Jani Rita left the NHL to go to Europe, though I guess not getting much playing time for the worst team in hockey (almost) is not a good sign for your career.

I can't see any of the potential restricted guys being let go, except maybe for Surovy. I guess guys like Koltsov aren't that hard to come by either, though he seemed to find his niche playing alongside Malone and Leclair at the end of the year.

The regular free agents probably won't be back, in my opinion. I guess the might bring back a few if they make some moves that open some holes, or some other guys get hurt, but I can't see any of them having much impact on what should be an improved team this season.

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