May 13, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Brandon Sutter (16) skates after the puck against the New York Rangers during the second period in game seven of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Rangers won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Penguins' New Priorities: Sign Brandon Sutter & Nick Spaling

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The Penguins have had a great offseason so far in terms of upgrading their roster with bottom-six depth, goaltending depth and talented defenseman.

They’ve also re-signed all of their restricted free agents except two: Brandon Sutter and Nick Spaling. Let’s analyze why they need to sign both of them:

Sutter

This is a must sign since he was the biggest part of the package that came back in the Jordan Staal deal. He had a great playoffs this season where he was in seventh on the team in scoring (5g, 2a). He had the game-winning goal against the Blue Jackets in Game 1.

He’s going to want a lot of money since he was the third-line center last year, but if you get him on the cheap side, then the Penguins are set. Pittsburgh reportedly offered him a multi-year deal somewhere in the 3 to 3.5 million range but Sutter rejected it since he wants a shorter term deal of around two years to stay here.

If you’re the Penguns, you don’t want to be paying Sutter around four million a year since that would be considered overpaying, but I’m sure we will find out anytime now that the Penguins have re-signed Sutter to a new contract.

Spaling

This was one of the players that the Penguins acquired from Nashville along with Patric Hornqvist in the James Neal deal. Spaling is coming off of a career year in which he had 13 goals and 19 assists. He was on the power play when he got some of those points, but don’t expect him to be on the power play when he plays here.

Pittsburgh has to sign him because he provides bottom-six depth and they didn’t have a lot of that last season. He’s most likely to get around the same number of goals this season since he will be playing with Brandon Sutter.

He’ll get around $1.5 to $2 million a year on a two-year deal if I were a betting man. We’ll see how Jim Rutherford does on both of these negotiations.

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Tags: Brandon Sutter Nick Spaling Pittsburgh Penguins

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