After trading away Jordan Staal and Zbynek Michalek during the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Pittsburgh Penguins suddenly had enough cap space to go after Zach Parise or Ryan Suter. The only problem is that neither player was willing to sign with Pittsburgh.
“You needed one of these guys to come back and say, ‘Pittsburgh is the place we want to play,’ and then work out the details from there,” Penguins GM Ray Shero said, according to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We never got to that point.”
Based on Pierre LeBrun’s information, it sounds like Parise and Suter didn’t even come close to signing with the Penguins. Parise ultimately decided between the New Jersey Devils and Minnesota Wild, while Suter’s final three choices were the Wild, Detroit Red Wings, and Nashville Predators.
Shero wouldn’t go into detail about the contracts presented to Suter and Parise, but he insists they were “very strong offers.”
It’s unfortunate for Penguins fans, but of all the teams that seriously pursued Parise and Suter, they’re probably in the best position. Ideally, they still want a top-tier winger to play alongside Sidney Crosby and to that end they might even attempt to acquire Rick Nash.
Still, finding the James Neal to Crosby’s Evgeni Malkin is a luxury that the Penguins are attempting to indulge in because they have the cap space to do so. Either way, they have a star-studded offense and a fair amount of depth. There’s no question that they would benefit from adding a top-six winger, but they are already a contender.