PENGUINS TO OPEN TALKS WITH KUNITZ?
Penguins GM Ray Shero has always shown an unwillingness for the most part to offer three to four deals to players entering their mid-30’s, a perfect example of that was Sergei Gonchar following the 2009-2010 season. With Pascal Dupuis, 34, seeking a three to four year deal from the team, management also has Chris Kunitz in mind when it comes to the Dupuis negotiations, sources tell Inside Pittsburgh Sports.
Kunitz, 33, turns 34 in September and is entering the final year of a 2 year – $7.45 million contract. I’m hearing the Penguins have discussed internally of what going three to four years at around $3.5 – $4 million per season for Dupuis will have on Chris Kunitz as the team doesn’t want to set a precedent for talks with Kunitz.
The Penguins are unlikely to offer Dupuis more than $3.25 – $3.5 million or go beyond three years.
The team intends to open preliminary talks with Kunitz agent Ben Hankinson of Octagon Sports this summer.
Kunitz who has played the best hockey of his career the last two years,had 22 goals and 52 points in a lockout shortened 48 game season. He’s a player, though, that plays such a hard style that his body could break down at anytime which has any extension of over two years at $3.75 – $4 million per season being a risk for the team.
*Agent Don Meehan tells Inside Pittsburgh Sports that he has no discussions with the Penguins about Jarome Iginla since the season ended. “None at all,” Meehan said. The Penguins are expected to reach out to Meehan in the coming days but Iginla is prepared to hit the open market.
*Word is the Penguins would be willing to offer Kris Letang a full no trade clause on a new deal of five years or less. Letang prefers an 8 year deal and full no trade clause but is open to a deal in the five to six year range, an NHL source says.