Team exploring all options
Max Talbot under going surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder did not come as a surprise for the organization as Talbot played through the injury for months.
Fans who aren’t behind the scenes would have never known as Talbot scored 8 goals, 13 points in 24 playoff games including the game winning goal in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.
With Talbot likely out until mid-November, Bill Guerin nearing age 39, and other questions regarding their top 6 wingers, there are some concerns in league circles that Pittsburgh could be in the same situation they were last year.
Ray Shero who learned under David Poile, will not make any rush judgements and sign a winger on the open market just because the team needs to fill a hole.
At this point, the only winger Pittsburgh has had serious discussions with is Petr Sykora but Sykora is more interested in looking at other options before moving forward to a new contract with the Penguins.
Shero has been active in trade talks and while he will likely remain active leading up to camp, there are no deals on the front burner for the Penguins.
The growing consensus in the organization is that the Penguins will replace Talbot internally, atleast until they see what plays out in training camp.
The name that gains the most buzz is
prospect Luca Caputi. Other than Eric Tangradi, Caputi has the potential to be a top-6 winger but he is no sure bet.
Scouts inside the organization believe he needs more time in the minors.
What Pittsburgh wants to see from Caputi is to have a strong training camp and then spend a month or two in Wilkes Barre, before being called up.
The Talbot injury likely won’t rush Caputi’s timetable to the NHL.
Tim Wallace, Paul Bissonnette and Dustin Jeffrey will battle for a roster spot but none of the three players are top-6 forwards.
If the Penguins stand pat until training camp, that leaves Tyler Kennedy and Pascal Dupuis as players that who will be asked to step up.