With Parise and Suter apparently out of the picture, what is our next move?
I was excited that we cleared out cap room via draft day trades so that we could be players in free agency...I had visions of Parise on Crosby's wing rivaling what Neal does on Malkin's wing, as well as a potential Suter-Letang top defensive pairing...but former Penguin employees Chuck Fletcher and Mike Yeo swooped in from Minnesota to take that dream away. Now, instead of being significantly better than we were last season, it now looks like we have taken a step back.
Brandon Sutter will be solid as our 3rd centerman (but he's still no Jordan Staal) and the other pieces that we got back in the deal (Dumoulin and Pouliot) will not be contributing to our NHL squad this year (Pouliot will play in Portland of the WHL next year, and I expect Dumoulin to start out in Wilkes-Barre of the AHL after turning pro following his junior season at B.C.). Nobody we got back in the Michalek trade will contribute in the NHL this season either. Tanner Glass will replace Asham, but we don't have anyone to replace Sullivan's contributions last season.
At this point, Malkin has Kunitz and Neal, Sutter has Cooke and Kennedy, Adams has Glass and Vitale, and Crosby has Dupuis and who-the-hell-knows. I suppose at this point, you could move Kennedy up with Crosby and Dupuis, move Vitale up with Sutter and Cooke, and insert Dustin Jeffery with Adams and Glass, but that's a step back in my mind. Crosby NEEDS a legit winger. It's time to trade in some of those assets that we have been building up via trade and the draft recently. It's time to call Anaheim about Bobby Ryan.