PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – There seemed to be a number of varying opinions on the new direction Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford is taking his team just one day into NHL free agency, but the reviews from a national standpoint seem to be rather promising.
First up is ESPN’s NHL Columnist Scott Burnside who looked at the deals that will help teams, and the deals that will hurt teams. The Penguins landed in the “deals that will help teams” category with their signing of defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. Burnside wrote about how perfect of a fit the two are for each other. Interestingly, under the “Deals that should have come with a detonator” category is where you can find the 5-year $27.5 million deal the Washington Capitals gave to former Penguin Brooks Orpik.
Next up is Yahoo! Sports NHL Writer Nick Cotsonika. Cotsonika looked at the winners and losers on a team level, and again we find the Penguins getting a positive review. Just like Burnside, Cotsonika praised the signing of Ehrhoff by the Pens liking the terms of the deal as well as what he can bring to the table, particularly on the power play.
Finally, we have Sportsnet’s Gare Joyce who gave his winners and losers on both the team and player level. Joyce takes a different approach from what we’ve seen above as he rates Jim Rutherford as one of the big winners. What Joyce particularly likes about Rutherford’s first free agent period with the Pens is that he was able to work around somewhat of a muddled salary cap.
Meanwhile, Rutherford joined The FAN Morning Show to talk about the direction he sees his team headed through the rest of free agency.
Rutherford admits that his team is a work in progress and may have some holes, but there will be more chances to fill those outside of the first few days of free agency.
Stay tuned to 93-7 The FAN for continuing coverage of the Penguins offseason.