The Penguins have done well by signing Steve Sullivan to a one-year, $1.5 million dollar contract. The versatile winger should be able to contribute 20 goals on whatever line that he is placed on, especially if the top-three centers (Crosby, Malkin and Staal) stay healthy.
Sullivan seems like the kind of quality signing who will perform well under pressure, works hard and will really help the Pens this year.
He probably signed a one-year deal thinking that the Penguins give him the best chance to win a Stanley Cup. This is certainly true because the Penguins will probably improve on their finish from last season and lock down the number one or two seed in the playoffs.
Having a great two-way player like Sullivan will really help the Pens round out their roster after losing Talbot and failing to sign Jagr (which may not even turn out to be that big of a deal). Sullivan will have no problem improving on the 10 goals that he scored last season.
Sullivan has scored 20 or more goals seven times in his NHL career and should have no problem returning to that production next season.
James Neal will be counted on to improve upon his last season as well. He simply should have performed better (1 goal, 5 assists in 20 games) after his trade from the Stars last season.
He has scored 20 goals three times in his career and should be expected to go for 25-30 this next season. I think Neal is ready and capable of proving himself this next season.
The Penguins have two pieces in Sullivan and Neal that will prove useful if they run into injury problems or just need to take some of the opposing defense's attention off their star centers.
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