After losing out on center Rob Niedermayer today, the Penguins options in free agency at the center position are now unclear.
The team is looking to add a forward in the $1 million range and the team’s pursuit of Niedermayer was a sign that management is eyeing a veteran third line center presence.
One player currently not on the Pens radar is former Penguins center Dominic Moore. As of 1:00 p.m. this afternoon, the Penguins have had zero contact with Larry Kelly the agent for Dominic Moore, a league source confirmed to Inside Pittsburgh Sports.
The Penguins not having interest in Moore is somewhat of a surprise. Moore, 29, made a salary of $1.1 million last season and is a versatile third line center who skates very well, kills penalties, and is strong on face-offs.
His skating ability makes him a good fit in Dan Bylsma’s uptempo-system.
There is also word that Moore’s camp see’s Pittsburgh as an ideal fit but for now that interest doesn’t appear mutual.
Moore had 10 goals – 18 assists last season, including four goals in the post-season for the Montreal Canadiens.
He signed a one year deal with the Florida Panthers last off-season. The GM of the Panthers at the time was Randy Sexton who is now a member of the Penguins scouting staff.
Losing out on Niedermayer could be a blessing for the Penguins. Scouts I’ve spoken with just didn’t see the potential signing as a good fit other than Niedermayer being a character guy and this isn’t 2006 anymore.
Other free agent centers who could fit into the Penguins cap situation include Jeff Halpern, John Madden and Ryan Johnson.
We learned on Monday that Mike Luit the agent for Halpern has approached the Penguins about his client signing here but for now there hasn’t been a follow up from Pittsburgh’s end.
At this time we have not been able to confirm whether the Penguins have any interest in John Madden or Vancouver’s Ryan Johnson.
Bill Zito the agent for John Madden would neither confirm nor deny if there has been any contact from Pittsburgh. Zito said Madden is “patiently” exploring his options.
Meanwhile, the Penguins are believed to have discussed the possibility of making a play for Mike Modano but the team has yet to engage in any kind of real discussions. Reports indicate Modano will play in Detroit or retire.
A Pens’ source says it’s not going to happen.