Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero seems intent on making some big moves this offseason.
After making noise by trading one of the best two-way centers in the NHL in Jordan Staal last night to the Carolina Hurricanes, Shero wound up with two first-round selections, which he used to bolster the Pens' defensive depth by drafting both Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta.
Now, it appears as though Shero may not be done.
Report: The Pittsburgh Penguins are actively pursuing the rights to Nashville Predators D-man Ryan Suter. - thesco.re/LI5kjT
— The Score (@theScore) June 23, 2012
These rumors were surely fueled by the announcement that Ray Shero had shipped veteran defenseman Zbynek Michalek (and his $4 million cap hit) to Phoenix for goalie prospect Marc Cheverie and the 81st overall pick in this year's draft (the Penguins would go on to draft Oskar Sundqvist with that pick) following last night's opening round of the draft.
To sum up Pittsburgh's moves, Shero managed to dump $8 million worth of cap space in Jordan Staal and Zbynek Michalek, bringing back prospects Brian Dumoulin and Marc Cheverie, draft picks and Brandon Sutter (whose cap hit totals less than $2.1 million).
Now, with over $14.5 million in cap space, Pittsburgh could be in a great position to acquire Suter's rights and sign the 27-year-old All-Star to a long-term deal at a considerable price.
Should Shero manage to pry Suter away from the apparent front-runner Detroit Red Wings, he will have instantly turned his Penguins squad into legitimate Stanley Cup contenders.
With plenty of defensive prospects in the Penguins' system as well (Derrick Pouliot, Simon Despres, Olli Maatta, Brian Dumoulin and Joe Morrow to name a few), Suter would provide top-notch mentorship going forward.
And imagine a power play consisting of Sidney Crosby, James Neal, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Ryan Suter. What a potent attack that would be!
It could be that thought that pushed Shero to get busy on Friday night and clear the necessary cap space to bring in a top-tier free agent like Ryan Suter.