Some Pens Afternoon Tidbits
-- The signing of goaltender Tomas Vokoun puts the Penguins around $61.6 million committed to 19 players (11 F, 6 D, 2 G) for next season. A temporary cap of $70.3 million will be put in place this summer but many league insiders predict the cap will end up being in the $65 - $67 million range under a new CBA.
-- The Penguins have yet to open up preliminary talks with defenseman Matt Niskanen, the team's top restricted free agent. Niskanen will be due a $1.75 million qualifying offer later this month for the Penguins to retain Niskanen's rights.Ã‚Â At this point, Niskanen'sÃ‚Â camp is uncertain of how things will play as they haven't heard from the Penguins yet. They are aware of the Kennedy situation last summer when the Penguins didn't qualify him, which accelerated the negotiating process. Look for a discussion to take place between the Penguins and agent Neil Sheehy at somepoint next week, following the Penguins pro scouting meetings.
-- A decision on whether to bring back Arron Asham will be made following the Penguins proÃ‚Â scouting meetings, sources say.