— If Shane Doan has eliminated the Penguins off his shortlist, his camp hasn’t informed the Penguins. Agent Terry Bross continues to reiterate to GM Ray Shero that the Penguins remain an alternative destination under consideration outside of Phoenix (if Greg Jamison’s bid to close the sale falls through), a club source said on Monday afternoon. Doan putting pen on a new four year deal with the Coyotes is just a formality but not until the sale to Jamison becomes official. Doan is not going to take any chances on things suddenly falling through again……The Rangers continue to be regarded as Doan’s clear No. 2 option after Phoenix but Doan has a lot of money on the table elsewhere, most notably from the Buffalo Sabres who have offered Doan a massive four year deal pushing $30 million.
— Some buzz among scouts coming out of last week’s Canada – Russia series has centered around Washington Capitals first round pick Tom Wilson (6-4, 208) who went scoreless in the four games but caught a lot of evaluators attention. Wilson’s high-end speed and physical style on the forecheck at his size made him a disruptive force at times and I had one evaluator in attendance for the two games in Halifax tell me that Wilson should have been a top-10 pick in his opinion and would not have had a problem with Pittsburgh selecting Wilson at No. 8, when asked, despite higher ranked players being there. He’s one of those players that some scouts just love, while others feel his offensive potential could be limited, which is why he was regarded by many as a player who went where he should have at No. 16. Overall, I love what the Capitals did in the 2012 draft nabbing great value picks with Filip Forsberg at No. 11 and Wilson at No. 16.
— Wrote about Pens sixth round pick Anton Zlobin a bit last week during the Canada – Russia series and I’ve asked around about him more and the consensus is that his compete level really seems to have stood out among scouts. The way he battled and showed attention to details in the series is what NHL teams wanted to see out of him at a consistent level all last season in the Q and his lack of compete level is why he dropped to the sixth round.
— The Philadelphia Flyers continue to lock up their core upfront, agreeing to a six year, $28.5 million deal with winger Scott Hartnell. The 30 year old Hartnell had 37 goals and 30 assists in 82 games with the Flyers in 2011-12. He also added three goals and five assists in 11 playoff games. The Flyers last week gave Wayne Simmonds a six year, $23.850 million deal and now have eight players signed through at least the 2015-2016 season. The Penguins by comparison have only two players signed through at least 2015-2016 in Sidney Crosby and James Neal.
Although it is unlikely to be agreed upon, the NHL is proposing a max limit on contracts of five years, so the Flyers are smart to be taking care of business now under the current CBA. Meanwhile, the Penguins have no candidates entering the final years of their deal who warrant long-term deals of more than two years.
Among the notable players entering the final years of their contacts include Tyler Kennedy, 26, Pascal Dupuis, 33, and Matt Cooke, 33.
Cooke turns 34 in September and at his age, there’s not a lot of reason to open extension talks with him and the team is likely to let him just play out the season and evaluate his situation next summer. Dupuis had a career year in 2011-2012, and after seeking a three year deal last summer, Dupuis deserves an extension and there’s been talk that the Penguins might consider extending him for one more season but you could make an argument that the best case scenario is to let Dupuis play out of the season and evaluate his situation afterwards. That is normally Shero’s philsophy with players in their mid-30’s.
As for Tyler Kennedy, he’s a restricted free agent following 2012-2013 season and there’s no need to consider an extension at this point.