PENGUINS FREE AGENCY UPDATE VII (updated 11:30 p.m.)
The waiting game is now on for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins who have been involved in an aggressive pursuit for star winger Zach Parise, have been informed by Parise’s reps at Newport Sports in the past hour that the Penguins are still in the mix and that they will be in touch with the team again on Monday, as agent Don Meehan confirmed to Inside Pittsburgh Sports.com just after 8:00 p.m, that Pittsburgh is indeed on Parise’s “shortlist” of teams.
Pittsburgh made an initial mega offer of 10 years that the team is believed have increased later in the afternoon, but nothing close to the 13 year – $100+ million offer the Philadelphia Flyers have made to Parise and indications are the Minnesota Wild have also offered a deal in the 12-13 year range worth over $100 million.
Word as of this afternoon is that to get into the game, teams had to submit 10-12 year offers and as much as $26 million in the first two years of the deal. However, money isn’t going to drive where Parise signs and Pittsburgh feels they have made a competitive offer, in addition to a solid sales pitch and have been pleased with how things have gone to this point.
The top six suitors for Parise are believed to the Devils, Red Wings, Penguins, Wild, Flyers and Kings, although out of that group the Kings are a big longshot. Multiple NHL sources I spoke with tonight believe the Penguins and Wild are the favorites to sign Parise.
Also out of that group, the Penguins, Red Wings, Wild, and Flyers have also made offers to Ryan Suter in the hopes of signing both as a combo package, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported on NHL tonight.
The Penguins pursuit of Suter at least from a numbers standpoint is believed to be much less aggressive than Parise and there’s been much less talks with Suter’s camp than Parise’s camp to this point. Like Parise, no decision from Suter is coming tonight. Suter is commanding a 12-13 year deal and has received two offers of $100 + million, an NHL source says. The offers are believed to be from the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers, while the Minnesota Wild have also made a big time offer.
The buzz on Suter is that the Wild and Red Wings have emerged as the favorites to sign him but as of late tonight Pittsburgh hasn’t been informed that they are eliminated, sources said. However, the sweepstakes are expected to come down to Detroit, Minnesota and Nashville, an NHL source said just after 11:00 p.m. Word this afternoon I got is that the Penguins were “spooked” by Suter’s demands of years and upfront money he is commanding and barring an unforeseen development in the morning, he’s not likely to sign with the Penguins.
Suter is holding up Matt Carle from signing as some teams who are chasing Suter also have Carle very much on their radar as their Plan B.
Once Suter starts informing teams that are no longer in the mix, it should have a domino effect on Carle and Bryce Salvador who is the best available defenseman after Suter and Carle, now that Jason Garrison has signed a 6 year – $27.6 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks. “I think everyone is waiting for those dominoes, Suter, Parise, Carle to fall, ” Salvador’s agent Carlos Sosa told Inside Pittsburgh Sports.com. Salvador is sorting through his options after receiving interest from up to ten teams today. The Penguins I can confirm did look into Garrison who has a booming shot from the point and ties to Penguin scout Randy Sexton. To this point they haven’t turned their attention to Salvador.
Some mid-tier defenseman cashed in today with Filip Kuba signing a 2 year – $8 million deal with Florida, Brian Allen receiving a 3 year – $10.5 million deal from Anaheim and Sami Salo getting $7.5 million over two years from Tampa Bay.
NOTES: The Penguins announced this evening that the team has signed forward Warren Peters to a one year deal, two-way contract that is worth $600,000 at the NHL level. The 6-foot, 201-pound Peters appeared 58 games with Minnesota last season, tallying one goal and five points, including a minus-15 rating. Peters had 70 hits in 58 games and averaged 10:35 of ice time per game. The 29 year old had 7 goals and 11 points in 20 games for the Houston Aero’s of the American Hockey League…….Winger Steve Sullivan has two firm offers on the table but doesn’t expect to make a decision until tomorrow when Zach Parise makes a decision as Sullivan doesn’t want to close the door on Pittsburgh just yet, an NHL source says. The Penguins have not made an offer to Sullivan……The Penguins made veteran forward Ryan Craig a two-way contract offer but Craig is exploring the market to see if better NHL opportunities are out there. Craig has not ruled out a return to Pittsburgh.