Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game Four

Pens GM aims to strike deal with Sutter by next week

Depth was one of the biggest knocks on the 2013-14 Pittsburgh Penguins, so it’s no surprise that’s been a focus during this offseason (maybe even to the detriment of their higher-end). Such a change of pace might help to explain why they’re taking some time to reach a deal with Brandon Sutter.

On the bright side, new GM Jim Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that a deal might come to fruition next week.

“The best way to characterize the process is it’s moving in the right direction,” Rutherford said. “I would suspect by next week we might be able to get something done.”

Sutter, 25, received a $2.7 million salary and generated a $2.067 million cap hit in his most recent season. In a way, the more relevant contract might be someone else’s; Marcel Goc can play a very comparable role  and he carries a team-friendly $1.2 million cap hit.

Obviously, Sutter is five years younger, yet that also makes him an RFA. Term is actually where things get interesting; back in July, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Sutter wants a one-year deal so he can hit the market as a UFA next summer while Rutherford would prefer a longer one.

Will it be a bridge deal that compromises a year or two of UFA status for Sutter? Might he take less for the chance at a bigger pay day later? The Penguins currently have about $4.23 million in cap space and would likely want to retain some wiggle room during the season, so it could be an interesting situation to watch.

Here are the 10 oldest players to play a game this season

Jaromir Jagr
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This isn’t breaking news or anything. We just thought you’d like to know that three of the NHL’s 10 oldest players (who’ve played at least one game this season) are members of the Florida Panthers.

Oh, and the Panthers’ starting goalie? He’s the oldest starter in the league. (Scroll down.)

Here’s the list of skaters, topped by 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr:


Yet another veteran Panther, 36-year-old defenseman Brian Campbell, ranks 17th on the list.

Granted, the above list does not include 39-year-old Patrik Elias (who’s hurt) or 39-year-old Eric Boulton (who just re-signed with the Isles). As soon as those two play, Thornton will get pushed out of the top 10.

Now here’s the list of goalies who’ve started at least one game this season, topped by 36-year-old Roberto Luongo:


For the record, Luongo isn’t the oldest goalie under contract. That would be Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, who’s 37.

Related: Can Florida’s old guys hang on while the young guys get better?

Hamburglar (groin) returns, Sens demote O’Connor

Andrew Hammond
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Matt O'Connor‘s time in the Canadian capital was brief, but still noteworthy.

O’Connor, the losing netminder in Sunday’s “Battle of the Backups” against Montreal — Habs No. 2 Mike Condon got the win — has been sent down to AHL Binghamton to pave the way for Andrew Hammond‘s return from a groin injury, per the Sun.

The Hamburglar has been out since the preseason, but his return is earlier than expected.

He was originally supposed to miss the first two weeks, yet now sounds as though he’ll play one of Ottawa’s two games on an upcoming road trip through Columbus and Pittsburgh.

It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.