Third line center Rob Niedermayer is on the Pens radar but nothing is imminent at this time. Niedermayer has reportedly drawn interest from up to six teams and is still exploring all of his options.
Pittsburgh has expressed serious interest but talks are just in the preliminary stages.
“Yes, very prelim right now, ” Kevin Epp the agent for Niedermayer told Inside Pittsburgh Sports via text message this afternoon, when asked if talks are still in the preliminary stages.
The Pens pursuit of Niedermayer, others has been a clear sign that the Penguins fully intend to move Evgeni Malkin or Jordan Staal to wing next season. Indications are Malkin will be the one making the switch and has no problems with a potential move to wing.
Jordan Staal will be entering his 5th NHL season and now is the time where he appears ready to take the next step offensively. Staal is coming off his third 20+ goal season in his career and has already established himself as one of the top two-way centerman in the game.
“In four years, Jordan Staal has developed into one of the top two way centerman in the NHL, Paul Krepelka, the agent for Jordan Staal told Inside Pittsburgh Sports.com.
“He is a shutdown centerman as evidenced by his being a Selke Finalist. The best way to describe him is that you win Cups with players like Jordan Staal.”
“As he continues to mature as a player, you will see him become a more prolific scorer in the years to come, ” Krepelka said.
The Penguins are not only looking for Staal to play a top-6 role, they are also looking for Staal to improve his ability on the power play and become a force in front of the net.
Head coach Dan Bylsma who appeared on the Tim Benz show (105.9 WXDX FM) last week echoed those sentiments.
Bylsma mentioned on the show that the team gave Staal tapes to view this summer and wants to see him play a “Dan Cleary” type of role on the power play.
Crosby, Staal, Malkin, and Kunitz all figure to play top-2 line roles next season and there is some optimism inside the organization that top prospect Eric Tangradi will be able to step in and play a top-6 role.