Pascal Dupuis easily had his best season with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2013.
In addition to setting career highs in goals and assists per game, he’s a guy who brings intangibles to the Penguins locker room, along with a positive attitude and a lot of even-strength firepower.
However, the Pens face a big decision with Dupuis as he is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the start of July.
It would be a reasonable decision to re-sign Dupuis, something Penguins general manager Ray Shero is trying to do as we speak. The timing also makes sense because they can ink Dupuis before he hits the open market, it will give the Penguins a huge advantage, as there will certainly be a big market for Dupuis.
One reason to re-sign Dupuis is to keep the Sidney Crosby line intact.
Dupuis, Crosby and Chris Kunitz worked very well on the first line together and they are arguably the best top line in the NHL.
If Dupuis were to leave, it would be a significant blow to this Penguins team.
He is a guy who can score a lot of big goals and he’s also just a great teammate in the locker room.
The best thing about his situation is that it appears that Dupuis wants to stay here. He has a wife and four kids that live in Upper St. Clair and he really seems to like the area.
However the Penguins could allow him to walk.
If they did, the Penguins would have to sign someone equally good as him or move someone on the team up to the Crosby line. Who could go up to the first line?
They could move Jarome Iginla up to the first line (assuming they keep him and not let him go) to play with Crosby and Kunitz next season. It’s too early to tell though if they will keep Iginla because he’s down on their priority list at the moment
The Penguins have just now started to talk to Dupuis and his agent on a new contract. The details of it are unknown re: how much he wants but I’m guessing he wants three to four years with about $4-5 million per year.
Will the Penguins pay him that much?
We will have to wait and see where these negotiations go.