Now that the NHL Lockout is all but in the rearview mirror, it is time to look ahead to the 2013 season and if Pittsburgh Penguins’ general manager Ray Shero will be able to add to the current group before the season begins.
Unlike the NBA Lockout one year ago, the NHL players were locked out well into the offseason, so pretty much all of the top talent that was on the market had already signed with new teams or re-signed with their current clubs.
So with that being said, there isn’t a whole lot of talent out there to be had and what is out there, every team in the league will be trying to move on quickly.
With the season rumored to start in around ten days, it is doubtful that Shero will be able to improve the current club much more, so it could be a case of what you see is what you get.
The Penguins failed to add a Top 6 winger in the offseason, which is likely their biggest need, but one of those isn’t really available at the moment.
I can’t see Shero making a play for restricted free agents Jamie Benn or Ryan O’Reilly and defensemen P.K Subban and Michael Del Zotto are out of the question because the Canadiens and Rangers won’t be letting their solid young blue liners get away from them.
That brings me to the unrestricted free agents and there isn’t much there to fill the Penguins needs.
Shero likely doesn’t have interest in the top wingers on the market: Petr Sykora, Eric Fehr and Tom Kostopoulos.
Nor will they likely be in play for centers Jason Arnott, Dominic Moore and Daymond Langkow.
There’s nothing of real impact left to help the Penguins out.
On the blue line I would expect the trend towards the Penguins’ younger defensemen to continue so I highly doubt that Shero makes a run at the likes of Chris Campoli, Kent Huskins or Kurtis Foster.
Unless Shero comes across a good deal that could land the Pens a legitimate winger, I don’t expect them to do much of anything.
They will begin the season with the team they had, which is fine because they have more than enough talent to win.