The Pittsburgh Penguins have had quite a boring off-season when it comes to the free agent market, but that could be a very good thing, just ask Marc-Andre Fleury. Ray Shero bolstered the defense by signing Zbynek Michalek, and former Devil, Paul Martin. The question is still there, however, who will be playing alongside Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
That seemed to be answered with a late signing of Mike Comrie to a one year deal making a measly $500,000. Comrie’s agent said that he gave him a list of teams that he would be willing to play for and to talk to those teams to see who was interested in his services. He wants to win, and he will have a great chance of fulfilling his wish to win a Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh with two of the best players in the NHL, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Comrie is expected to fight for time on the top two lines, while Malkin is expected to slide over to right wing alongside Jordan Staal who will man the 2nd line center duties.
[adinserter block=”2″]Many speculated that Paul Kariya was on his way to the steel city, but that fell through because of a nagging neck injury that will cause Kariya to miss all of the 2010-2011 NHL season. Fan favorite Bill Geurin was told the Penguins will not need his services this year and that the Penguins plan on using younger guys such as, Eric Tangradi, Nick Johnson, Dustin Jeffrey and Chris Conner throughout training camp to see who will make the team come October.
A very surprising move was the signing of the tough Aaron Asham from the hated rival Philadelphia Flyers. He and Matt Cooke don’t exactly get butterflies when they see each other. Asham is quoted saying, “I’ve got no respect for him,” Asham told the media at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. “You wish a guy had a little more class, but that’s every game with him. You think, ‘You bite somebody, (so) you have to fight back,’ but not this guy. He’s a chicken.” It will be interesting to see how the relationship between the two will be throughout the season, but only time will tell. Bad relations between teammates only seem to arise when a team is losing, but I don’t think this team will have that problem.
[adinserter block=”1″]As a die-hard Penguins fan I expect 45+ wins for them this year. With the improved defense and chip on their shoulder from a tough defeat in game 7 of the NHL Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Montreal Canadiens expect Sid and company to have a very explosive offense while Orpik and the gang will hold the blue line down for Fleury to well, flourish this year. My player to watch this season will be Evgeni Malkin. His most successful season was when he played on the right side. He likes it over there and when he gets open his blazing wrist shot rarely misses. I expect him to surpass 90 points this season, possibly getting passed 100 points with his goal scoring ability.
Anything can happen. With a new arena, the Consol Energy Center, a huge Penguins vs. Capitals game at Heinz Field for the Winter Classic and a new season ahead of them, watch out for the Pittsburgh Penguins this year. Let’s Go Pens!