Penguins Spend Lots in UFA, Prep For Future Playoffs Contention

The Penguins headed into UFA with two things: lots of cap space and a desire to spend it. These two factors combined to form three big UFA signings in Evgeni Kuznetsov, Chris Kreider, and Jake Allen. The Penguins believe in these players, which is shown by the money spent on these players as the first two got 7.5M over 4 years, while Allen got 5M over 3 years. At a press conference following the signings, GM Juliet Richards had this to say:

“Looking at the group of young players I have, I believe that this team is closer to contending for a playoff spot than we are to the start of our rebuild. Given the massive amount of cap space we already have, combined with a need to hit the salary floor, I decided now would be a good time to go out and make some big money bets. Evgeni Kuznetsov has proven in years past that he has it in him to be a first line center and we believe he still has that type of talent. Kuznetzov also expressed interest in coming in and playing with his countrymen Kaprizov and Svechnikov on his wings, so we believe this was the perfect fit. Chris Kreider is a big powerful winger who has shown he can score goals and be a high end contributor, so it made perfect sense to go out and add him into the fold. We see Kreider as a guy who can anchor our 2nd line for years to come while also being capable of slotting into the top line in a pinch. Jake Allen is a good bet to be capable of playing a 1A/1B role, and seeing as our goalies in the pipeline are years away, it made perfect sense to make a bet and potentially gain a starting goalie. Overall we’re very pleased with our moves, and can’t wait to see everything we’ve built over these past few years begin to come together”.

What do you think of the Penguins moves?

GM Shank Happy with Perron and Foligno Additions

The New York Rangers concluded their busy offseason by filling out their top six, adding two veteran forwards in the ever consistent David Perron and rugged two way forward Marcus Foligno.

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They may not be the flashiest names available on the open market, but GM Shank feels the value they can provide will prove worthy of their $7.9m and $5m cap hits respectively. Perhaps quietly, Perron has put up no less than 16 goals and 46 points in each of the last 5 seasons, and has been near a point per game player the last 4. Marcus Foligno looks to provide some physicality in the Rangers top 6, which was the main thing they were lacking up until now.

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The Rangers lineup seems set now with training camp opening up soon, perhaps only adding some farm players and depth pieces. GM Shank seems to be living up to his promise to the fans of New York, but only time will tell if he’s done enough to add up to a playoff appearance.

Islanders Acquire Hyman

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Replacing Nikita Kucherov on the top line was a top priority for the New York Islanders heading into the offseason.  A tough break for New York who lose one of the top players in the league this year.  After numerous talks involving a bunch of different players on many different teams, the Islanders acquired Zach Hyman from the Ottawa Senators for two high picks and Lawson Crouse.  It was a very high price to pay for a rental, but keeps NYI in the hunt for a Stanley Cup.

Hyman is very highly rated across the board which will make him invaluable to the team.  He can score goals, pass the puck, and play exceptional defense.  He will be highly utilized on both special teams as well as 5 on 5.  The addition pretty much completes the team for the coming season as this was by far the most pressing need and biggest hole to fill.  He is expected to line up alongside Johnny Gaudreau and Connor McDavid on the top line, in front of Quinn Hughes and Drew Doughty.  Hyman will be a high point man playing with that talent.

New York had tried to acquire Hyman for the past number of months which includes contacting 3 different general managers over that span who have been in control of the Ottawa franchise.  To finally get their man, even if it is only for a year, is considered a big win for Islander management as he will be a core piece for the franchise heading into this season.