NHL Free Agency: Why Pittsburgh Shouldn't Worry If It Can't Sign Parise or Suter

Adam RickertAnalyst IIJune 29, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 11:  Pascal Dupuis #9 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates his third period goal against the Boston Bruins during the game at Consol Energy Center on March 11, 2012 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Penguins defeated the Bruins 5-2.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

With the trades of Jordan Staal and Zbynek Michalek, it appears that the Pittsburgh Penguins are clearing up cap space to make a big move in free agency. Whether that move will be signing Ryan Suter, Zach Parise or someone else, is up to GM Ray Shero.

However, there is the possibility that Sunday could roll around and Parise and Suter will be packing their bags for another city.

Not to worry Steel City.

You still have one of the league's best teams, and your GM has already signed someone who will, although you may not know it right now, drastically improve your team.

His name is Tomas Vokoun.

Vokoun is a veteran goalie who was the Washington Capitals' starter last year before being hurt just before the playoffs. Pittsburgh traded for him and signed him to be their backup goalie a few weeks ago.

Vokoun is the perfect fit for the Penguins because their not-so-impressive goals against numbers were the reason for their downfall in 2012.

Brent Johnson was a decent backup, but Vokoun is many shades better and is good enough to be a starter for about more than half of the league's teams.

Having Vokoun as a backup could not only propel Fleury to play more like his pre-2012 form but also would be a decent replacement if Fleury does not improve from last year.

On another note, if the Penguins don't end up signing one of the two most highly coveted free agents, there are also many more options on the market that could improve the team. Some good names on the market for the Penguins are P.A. Parenteau, Bryan Allen and Jaroslav Spacek.

Even though Zach Parise and Ryan Suter would make the Penguins a better team, they are already one of the league's elite teams as it is, and fans should not have any reason to panic if they cannot sign either.