Pens Lose Giant, Humorously Oafish Defenseman; Add Giant, Humorously Oafish Forward

The Penguins unsurprisingly watched Hal Gill sign with the Montreal Canadiens today for two years, $4.5 million — a price a bit too step for the Pens’ cap situation, which will likely put them on the market for a bargain-basement comeback-type Mark Eaton-ish stay-at-home defenseman should they end up losing out on Rob Scuderi too (an increasingly likely situation, claims ESPN’s Burnside/LeBrun blog). They’ll likely wait a bit longer into the free agency period then audition giant dudes to see who’s best at accidentally deflecting the puck past Fleury.

The Penguins’ only signing of the day was the addition of 6’5″ ex-Devils winger Mike Rupp, who signed for 2 years, $1.65 million. I anecdotally remember Rupp as a giant forward who Jersey occassionally threw on the power play and would score annoying goals against the Penguins, but in his last three seasons with the Devils, he’s only notched seasons of 6, 3, and 3 goals (with a total of 2 power play points). He’s 29, and only has 27 goals in 335 career games, with a career high mark of 6 (twice!) I hesitate to believe there’s even the slightest bit of untapped scoring potential in this player; he looks to be a straight-up fourth liner, with a best-case scenario as an occasional second power play get-to-the-net type guy. Not a terrible depth move, but not much to get excited about.

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