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Pittsburgh Penguins

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions for Ray Shero

From Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Retaining Hossa, who reduced his reputation as a playoff underachiever to an historical artifact this spring, will be extremely difficult if, as expected, he commands a salary of $8 million or more on his next contract. Whether he’s worth it isn’t the issue; finding the cap space to accommodate such a deal is.

Malone seems likely to pull down something around $4.5 million or so, and that also might be prohibitive for a team that will be paying Crosby an average of $8.7 million and is about to discuss new deals with Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal.

Figuring out how to hold onto some of his soon-to-be-unrestricted role players — guys such as Pascal Dupuis, Jarkko Ruutu, Adam Hall, Gary Roberts and Georges Laraque — could cause Shero some fitful nights because all have contributed to the team’s success in varying degrees.

Laraque might be a cap victim, although the Penguins would miss having him around when they play teams such as Philadelphia, and Roberts should be allowed to leave. He has become a folk hero and left an indelible impression on his teammates, but his $2.5 million salary is a luxury the Penguins can’t afford.

Read the entire article here.

Molinari is as close to the Penguins situation as you are going to get. His analysis is bang on and he examines the Pens off-season from every angle in this piece. As he points out, and I’ve said before, re-signing Marian Hossa is going to be an extremely difficult task. The Penguins may look at a lot different at puck-drop next season than they did last week.