By Ross Simon on April 29, 2014
The Pittsburgh Penguins have around million in cap space for this free agency period. These are five guys they should target.
After watching Marc-Andre Fleury fall apart enough times that we ought to be calling him James Reimer, the Penguins need to go out and get a backup goaltender they can count on if Fleury turns into a sieve mid-Cup run. Martin Brodeur is the perfect solution. Only willing to sign with a contender, he can be had for around $ 1.5 million or less for one season.
Benoit Pouliot is the odd man out right now on the New York Rangers. Although he is on the second power play unit, he has fallen out of favor with head coach Alain Vigneault. That makes Pouliot the perfect target for the Penguins. The Pens don't need Pouliot to do anything other than be a scrappy player and score goals. Pouliot can be had for $ 2 million per season over three years, a significant discount from what you'd have to pay Jussi Jokinen
Although Anton Stralman doesn't get the credit for the Rangers stout defense like Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonough or Mark Staal, Stralman deserves it. The Penguins will be in all likelihood unable to keep Brooks Orpik and Matt Nishkanen, as both will want raises, so Stralman is the perfect replacement. The fact that you're taking him from a Metropolitan division opponent makes it all the sweeter.
Steve Downie is a perfect candidate for Pittsburgh. In the same way as Benoit Pouliot, Downie hasn't been able to get the real ice time and touches he deserves since the emergence of Wayne Simmonds. He can be had for under $ 3 million per season.
Thomas Vanek and the Pittsburgh Penguins go together like peas and carrots. Vanek's name was floated as a possible trade deadline acquisition for the Penguins this March, but instead the Montreal Canadiens were able to grab him. Although Vanek would be expensive, probably in the $ 7 or 8 million per season for five years range, he would absolutely be worth it. Vanek is a player who can bring a Cup to Pittsburgh.
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