Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Penguins Down to 29

The Penguins also seem to be out to make my sheet look bad, as they have cut another one of my rookies from my prospects box. Eric Tangradi was included in a group of 13 players either sent down to the minors or back to juniors. Tangradi was acquired from Anaheim at the deadline, which also brought Chris Kunitz to town, and looked pretty good on a line with Sidney Crosby and Kunitz. Well, that dream has ended a little early... for now.

Most of the other cuts were to be expected, especially with some of the depth that the Penguins have at most positions.

Evgeni MalkinKris LetangMarc-Andre Fleury
Sidney CrosbyAlex GoligoskiBrent Johnson
Chris KunitzSergei GoncharJohn Curry
Jordan StaalBrooks Orpik
Bill GuerinMark Eaton
Ruslan FedotenkoJay McKee
Tyler KennedyBen Lovejoy
Matt CookeNate Guenin
Pascal DupuisDeryk Engelland
Maxime Talbot

Chris Conner

Mike Rupp

Craig Adams

Erik Godard

Paul Bissonnette

Mark Letestu

Ryan Bayda**

The 29 players left on the roster does include one professional tryout player, Ryan Bayda, who has done well at Penguins camp and will likely get another look or two before his fate is ultimately decided. Maxime Talbot is still out until November, so his spot is technically up-for-grabs for the time being.

If you've been keeping up with the preseason notes, you'll see Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin already checking in, plus a few other names. It looks like the best players are ready to be the best again this year.

Salary CapWith 28 players signed (Bayda still PTO), their salary cap number is actually very reasonable. The Pens have 16 forwards, 9 defense & 3 goalies on the list at an approximate cap hit of $57.7 million, just $900,000 over the cap ceiling with cuts still to be made. Talbot's cap hit will be discounted, as he'll be missing more than 10 games, in all likelihood, so it gets a little bit better there. When it's all said and done, the Penguins could easily be buyers for another Cup run in the Spring.

There are a few names on here that will likely impress greatly this season. Look for Tyler Kennedy (pictured above) and Chris Conner to put on a show with the Penguins this season. With some players retiring and moving away by free agency in the off-season, look for Alex Goligoski to really make the jump as one of the top four defenders on the team.

This is looking like a sharp team again in Pittsburgh.

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