Ray Shero made his first splash in free agency signing defenseman Mark Eaton of Nashville. Eaton 6ft2 218, 29yrs old has played the last five years for Nashville Predators, signed a two yr deal worth 1.6 million per season. Eaton only recorded 3 goals last season but that is not the reason the Penguins signed him. Eaton does the little things like block shots and clear the front of the net effectively and this signing could spell the end to Josef Melichar’s Penguin career. What a shame.
DePaoli’s take: This is not a surprise signing as Shero said he would take his time through free agency and not overspend for anybody. The Penguins were after Jay McKee a more established defenseman who got 4 million per year. Eaton is a similar type of defenseman and Shero got him for 1.6 million per. Sounds like a bargain to me. Ray Shero also announced that former Montreal Canadians GM Andre Savard has been added to the coaching staff. This is another solid move because I’ve never seen a team like the Penguins last season who only had two coaches on the bench.
Rumors and my input …
For the past week Ray Shero has mentioned that there may a trade in the works with a team that needs to cut payroll. No mention of who it may be with but keep a eye on the Tampa Bay Lightning, New Jersey Devils as possible suitors. The New Jersey Devils are already over the cap with the signing of Elias and Colin White. One problem with that is their two best forwards Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta are RFA. One of them may be on the move and if i’m Ray Shero i take a gamble and offer Gionta a contract in the 4-5 million per and Devils won’t be able to match it. Just a thought.
There has been rumors circulating that defenseman Brendin Witt of the Nashville Predators has been offered a contract from the Penguins in the 2 million a yr range but he is seeking 3mill per. Yanic Perreault is also a possibility to be joining the Penguins very soon. Reports out of Russia are the Penguins have also offered Morozov a two year deal worth 1.8 yr 1 and 2.1 yr 2. No word on if he will accept the offer.