In any given offseason, an NHL team has plenty of questions to answer; The summer of 2022 is going to be no different for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Depending on who stays and who goes from the Penguins group of players, there may be some holes to fill, but also some notable free agents to avoid.
It’s understandable to want a reunion, especially as time seems to be fleeting on other members of the Penguins’ core, but Marc-Andre Fleury shouldn’t yet be considered in Pittsburgh.
One of the main reasons Fleury isn’t the answer is because he’s still a starting level goalie in the NHL, and the Penguins are in need of a backup.
Tristan Jarry has built great momentum as the Penguins’ starter and he deserves his chances in net and not have somone who can steal the starting role at any moment.
Another obstacle between Fleury and the Penguins would have to be money; He’s currently making $7 million in AAV and just had a good stretch with the Minnesota Wild.
In 11 games after being traded from the Chicago Blackhawks, Fleury put up a 9-2 record with a .910 save percentage.
He may not make $7 million on his new deal, but he’s entitled to more than the Penguins should be willing to spend on a new goaltender.
A reunion between Fleury and Pittsburgh is sure to happen one day, but it shouldn’t any time soon.
Players have crossed rivalry lines to play for both the Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers before, but it just doesn’t seem feasible with Claude Giroux.
Giroux is a former, longtime Flyers captain who built a notable career in orange and black and has been a focal point of the rivalry since at least 2009.
This isn’t a numbers or salary discussion, one just has to assume that the rivalry between Giroux and the Penguins still runs deep.
Sure, the Penguins current general manager is Ron Hextall, the Flyers franchise leader in wins as a goalie, but those two parties separated on less than ceremonious terms.
While for Giroux, there was a literal ceremony before his departure; On March 17th, 2022 he played his 1,000th and final game with the Flyers.
Giroux still has the talent to be a great player in the NHL, but there is a small group of players that shouldn’t cross rivalry lines, and he’s one of them.
Without reading too deep into the details, John Klingberg could come to Pittsburgh as the possible Kris Letang replacement.
They’re both right handed defensemen who can play top-line minutes in the NHL; but it’s those deeper details that should keep the Penguins away from Klingberg.
The Dallas Stars are one of the most defensively minded teams in the NHL, focused on shutting down opposing offenses and slowing the pace of play at any opportunity.
Red flags should begin to fly when Klingberg reached a minus-28 rating, the lowest on the Stars and in the bottom 10 of the league.
The numbers continue to work against Klingberg when looking into his problems with turnovers.
In the first round of the playoffs, Klingberg committed a league leading 16 turnovers that directly led to a shot on goal.
Letang has become known as a player who turns the puck over a lot in Pittsburgh, but he plays nearly 30 minutes every game and that’s bound to happen with that much ice-time.
Klingberg plays far less than 30 minutes and seems to commit more errors.
Oh, and he’ll probably be requesting a boat load of money that the Penguins may not be able to afford, so it’s safe to not give Klingberg a call.
It may be hard to replace some of the names that may be departing from Pittsburgh, but it’s easy to know who should be avoided no matter the skill.
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