Preparing for Free Agency 7/1

Sunday, July 1, 2012
Will any of the other Penguins players from last years team re-sign like Thiessen?

Penguins sign forward Riley Holzapfel to a one-year, two-way deal. The former 2nd round pick in 2006 split last season between the St. John's IceCaps and Syracuse Crunch of the AHL, posting a total of 16 goals and 21 assists in 57 games. That is a good depth signing down the middle for the AHL Penguins, especially with the news that Ben Street just signed with the Calgary Flames.

The Penguins announced that they have re-signed enforcer Steve MacIntyre to a two-year, two-way deal worth $625,000 at the NHL level. And with that, I give you what most people remember MacIntyre for last season.

Penguins sign goaltender Jeff Zatkoff to a two-year, two-way deal that pays him $525,000 at the NHL level. His AHL salary is $105,000. Great addition for the WBS Penguins as he is coming off an AHL all-star year where he won 21 games with the Manchester Monarchs. With Thiessen and Zatkoff signed, the AHL Penguins have two solid goaltenders for 2012-13.

Stay right here for all the latest on what the Penguins and relevant teams do today in Day One of the Free Agent Frenzy. I'll be live blogging this afternoon and into the evening! First reactions on the Twitter side. Follow us @H_P_Hockey if you aren't already!

It's almost that time of the year where hockey fans approach the day with some sense of anticipation. The calendar turns to July which means that the free agent frenzy begins. For the diehards, the 2012-13 season started last weekend in Pittsburgh at the NHL Draft. A quick recap with the help of some knowledgable writers with regards to prospects after the jump.

  • The Penguins made some important trades, sending forward Jordan Staal to Carolina for forward Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and their first round pick (8th overall).
  • They also traded Zbynek Michalek to Phoenix for defensive prospect Harrison Ruopp, goaltender Marc Cheverie and their 3rd round pick.
  • With two first round picks, the Pens continued their stockpiling of blue line prospects selecting  Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta. Here's a look at the rest of the picks:
    • F Teddy Blueger (52nd overall)
    • C Oskar Sundqvist (81st overall)
    • F Mattia Marcantuoni (92nd overall)
    • G Sean Magurie (113th overall)
    • Clark Seymour (143rd overall) 
    • F Anton Zlobin (173rd overall)
    • For information on these new Pens prospects, take a look here.
Last Monday marked the deadline for teams to submit qualifying offers on their restricted free agents (RFA). The Penguins qualified defensemen Robert Bortuzzo, Alex Grant, Matt Niskanen, Carl Sneep, and Brian Strait They also qualified forwards Eric Tangradi and Keven Veilleux.

RFA's the Penguins didn't submit an offer to make sense. Those included Cal O’Reilly, Mattias Modig, Alexandre Picard, Casey Pierro-Zabotel and Boris Valabik. Of those, there are reports that the Penguins and O'Reilly could come to terms after July 1st.

Here's a look at the WBS roster as it stands right now:

Forwards: Beau Bennett, Tom Kuhnhackl, Brian Gibbons, Paul Thompson, Zach Sill, Keven Veilleux, Nick Petersen, Dominik Uher and Adam Payerl.

Defensemen: Joe Morrow, Alex Grant, Brian Dumoulin, Carl Sneep, Phillip Samuelsson and Reid McNeill.

Goalies: Brad Thiessen and Patrick Killeen.

At first glance it's easy to say that the AHL Penguins need a couple scoring forwards in the middle.  O also think the Pens could use at least one veteran forward and defenseman (Ryan Craig and Joey Mormina?). Might be wise to add a backup goalie too unless the Pens think Patrick Killeen is ready for the #2 role in the AHL.

Stay tuned I will update and live blog all relevant moves! It all begins in an hour (12 p.m. EST)


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