On Tuesday, July 1st, Free Agency began in the NHL, and while nobody expected the Pens to keep their team intact, it still hurts to see some people go. A quick recap of the past couple days events:
Marian Hossa: Fuckin' Traitor... One month removed from losing in the Stanley Cup finals to the Detroit Red Wings, Hossa turns down a 7 year $50 Million offer from the pens (about $7 mil a year) to sign a ONE YEAR (!!!) deal with those same Red Wings for about $7 mil (!!!). He says it's because he wants to win a Cup (ouch), but sources tell me that it's because of problems with Pens coach Therrien. It's a big gamble by Hossa. If he gets hurt or underperforms next season, he won't be cashing in on that longterm payday that he could've gotten with the Pens. This picture from the Pensblog says it all.
Ryan Malone, J. Ruutu, Gary Roberts: All gone, but all definitely replaceable. Also Georges Laraque is gone, but that's good news, not bad news.
Brooks Orpik, Malkin, and Fleury: Signed big fat extensions with the Penguins. Orpik's "free candy" shift is legendary.
Jaromir Jagr? The Pens have offered Jags a two-year offer worth about $10 million to come and cement his legacy. People are saying it's a longshot, given that Jagr doesn't like being treated (and certainly doesn't like being paid) like the number 2 or 3 guy, which he will be in Pittsburgh. But the city is actually buzzing about this and is excited to see Jagr back. A couple weeks ago I did a Star Wars/Pens comparison where Jagr was Darth Vader. If he comes home, it would just like Return of the Jedi when Vader kills the Emperor and returns to the side of good before dying (retiring). Mario was on the phone with him yesterday, hopefully luring him with a retired number in the rafters of the new Pens arena.
Some other possible grabs for the Pens: Markus Naslund and Pavol Demitra.