Culled from many sources and sorting through the rumors, here's where we're at...
``Marian Hossa won't decide on a team tonight. His closest suitors are believed to be Edmonton (who's rumored to have offered the most money), Montreal and Vancouver (who are both hoping on Mats Sundin) and Pittsburgh. It seems like Montreal and Vancouver may drag their feet since Sundin is in no hurry. No doubt Edmonton has offered more money than Pittsburgh, but they are way out there in the Western Conference and haven't exactly been a steady locale. Chicago (by signing Huet and Campbell), New Jersey (by signing Rolston, Salvador, Holik and Pandolfo) and the Rangers (by getting Redden and Rozsival) all were previous destinations that seem to be out of the running.
``Brooks Orpik supposedly has been offered more money by any number of teams (San Jose, NYR, Buffalo, Atlanta, LA). Anything can happen and it seems like the Pens are still very interested in retaining him and he obviously hasn't jumped ship to the first team that came a-calling so stay tuned.
``A lot of whispers are rolling around about Jaromir Jagr (!!!) and Markus Naslund. We see these guys as being contingency plans if Hossa signs somewhere else. But never under-estimate the ties between Mario Lemieux and Jagr.
``Someone named Jeff Finger (who's played 94 career NHL games) got $3.5 million and Michal Rozsival got $5 million. That just goes to show the craziness of the UFA market for defensemen and why Orpik's still on the market.
``Reports are Evgeni Malkin is about to sign almost the exact same contract that Sidney Crosby signed last year ($8.7 a year for five years). If so, this is a great thing for the Pens. Either/both could have demanded up to the maximum ($11.34 million this year) and both would have probably been obliged. But the both ponied up in the July as soon as possible--unlike Washington's Alex Ovechkin who waited until his last entry level season was nearly half over....As we've pointed out, that's a total savings for the Pens will be at least $5.28 million this year, which will only keep rising with the salary cap.
``The Pens didn't make any sexy signings today, but the combined $2.4 million they spent (on Mark Eaton and Pascal Dupuis) are the savvy kind of deals that provide of depth and set the stage for success later on in the year. Believe that.
See you tomorrow when the Penguins will (hopefully) fill some skill winger positions...Whether that means Naslund, Hossa, Jagr or Huselius we will see.