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Butler, PA • United States • 28 Years Old • Male
Undoubtedly, the Pittsburgh Penguins, as they sit right now, have a pretty formidable team. However, after reviewing their current roster, there is still room to improve their team by adding either a top-6 forward or an upgrade on the blue line.

Ray Shero's first option could be to add player already in the system to the regular roster to fill these two holes. At forward, the only real NHL ready candidate is winger Eric Tangradi. At 6'4" 221 lbs, the 23-year-old prototypical power-forward has performed at a high level in a top-6 role in his career. In his final season with the OHL's Bellevue Bulls, Tangradi recorded 38 goals and 50 assists in 55 games, and in his two seasons with the baby Pens, he's racked up 35 goals and 37 assists in 107 games. On defense, the options are a little more plentiful. Top candidates include Simon Depres, Brian Strait, Pittsburgh native Dylan Reese, and Boston College product Brian Dumoulin, acquired in the Jordan Staal trade.

The second option for Shero is to add a piece via trade. While a trade for Anaheim's Bobby Ryan or Columbus' Rick Nash is still a possibility, I'm not convinced the Pens could give up the pieces necessary to bring in either of those players and be in a better situation because of it. While a trade isn't out of the question, I've learned never to doubt Ray Shero's ability to pull off unthinkable trades after the James Neal and Marian Hossa deals, it seams unlikely to me.

The final option is to add a player via free agency. After looking over the list of available UFAs, here are my top 10 players that could help the Pens if the price is right:

10. Nik Hagman -F, 31 years old (2011-12 stats: 71GP 9G 14A -7) -- Although Hagman has had a few sub-par seasons, he did post three consecutive 20 goal seasons from 2006-09 with Stars and Maple Leafs. Perhaps playing alongside Sidney Crosby could rejuvenate his career.

9. Carlo Colaiacovo -D, 29 years old (2011-12 stats: 64GP 2G 17A +7) -- Colaiacovo had a nice season with the Blues and could provide the Pens with a solid bottom-6 defensemen and point presence on the 2nd powerplay unit.

8. Kyle Wellwood -F, 29 years old (2011-12 stats: 77GP 18G 29A +3) -- Wellwood had a nice season with the Jets in 2011-12, and the versatile forward could be nice fit on the Crosby/Dupuis line.

7. Mark Flood -D, 28 years old (2011-12 stats: 33GP 3G 4A -1) -- Flood emerged with the Jets played well in a limited role. He could be an inexpensive option to try on the blue line.

6. Scott Hannan -D, 32 years old (2011-12 stats: 78GP 2G 10A -10) -- Hannan, a physical stay-at-home defense, could be a nice fit with the Penguins stable of offensively minded blue-liners.

5. Brett Clark -D, 35 years old (2011-12 stats: 82GP 2G 13A -26) -- Although Clark had a down year with the under-achieving Lightning, his durability has never been question. He's played in at least 57 games in each of his last 7 NHL seasons. Perhaps a change of scenery could help Clark return to form in 2012-13.

4. Alex Semin - F, 28 years old (2011-12 stats: 77GP 21G 33A +9) -- Character is an issue for this former 40 goal scorer, but if the price is right, this uber-talented winger could find a home in Pittsburgh.

3. Matt Gilroy -D, 28 years old (2011-12 stats: 67GP 3G 17A +2) -- The 2009 Hobey Baker Award Winner had breakout season with the Sens. He could be a positive addition to the Pens powerplay and in top-4 defensive role.

2. Jamie Langenbrunner -F, 36 years old (2011-12 stats: 70GP 6G 18A +7) -- This former Stanley Cup champ had a productive season with the St. Louis Blues, and although it seems likely that he'll re-up with the Blues in 2012, he could provide the Pens and Sidney Crosby a veteran presence in their top 6.

1. Shane Doan -F, 36 years old (2011-12 stats: 79GP 22G 28A -8) -- If the situation in Phoenix is not resolved soon, Doan could be on the move. A gritty, determined power forward, Doan could provide the same kind of spark Bill Guerin gave the Pens in '09 should he choose to leave the Coyotes.

Here's my list...what do you think??
July 10, 2012 10:01 AM ET | Delete
The pens really needed a #2 or #3 D-man. There arn't any available after carle and suter signed. barring a trade, pens need to go with their young up'n'comers. speaking of comers, no no no to semin, pens need solid people in their locker room, not sticky/slimy ones. forward list not bad, 'cept #2... 6g, 18a in 70gp? not exactly the most productive... he would be ok for a third/4th role.. maybe if the pens can;t get someone and promote tk... but they really. really need doan.
July 10, 2012 10:34 AM ET | Delete
Carlo Colaiacovo is the only one I definitely wouldn't want. It's not that he doesn't have talent, he certainly does, but he hasn't been able to be healthy. They could take a risk on him and see how things go because of the cap room they have, but I'm not sure he's a fit. Everyone else is interesting. Great write up!
July 10, 2012 12:48 PM ET | Delete
Thanks for the feedback!! Doan certainly is the best option out there. I tend to agree with you with Semin, but if the price is right, they might take the risk. As far as defense is concerned, I'm not overly excited about any of these guys. Barring a trade nobody's talking about yet, the Pens best option might be to promote from within and see what Despres or Dumoulin can do with big minutes.
July 10, 2012 3:04 PM ET | Delete
you do -not- want gilroy.This coming from a sens fan, he was nothing but a liability.We traded for him at the deadline and rarely played him in a major capacity after that, he is nothing more than a number 7 or maybe a number 6.
July 10, 2012 8:25 PM ET | Delete
Anyone would be better playing with Crosby
July 10, 2012 8:26 PM ET | Delete
Anyone would be better playing with Crosby
July 11, 2012 12:03 AM ET | Delete
i think joe morrow could make team out of camp and depres as options for defense theyre still not top 4 though
July 11, 2012 12:09 AM ET | Delete
I think the should give Hannan or Wellwood a try at 1 year deals.
July 11, 2012 2:56 PM ET | Delete
I would put Hannan above Gilroy and Clark.
July 11, 2012 8:22 PM ET | Delete
Hoping the Pens don't waste prospects on Nash. We need to keep the young D core and develop. UFA is the only way to go that way we can keep the core group and sign Geno and Letang when it's time to pay them.
July 11, 2012 8:25 PM ET | Delete
Please dump Paul Martin's albatross of a salary and I don't care what else happens. We are strong the way we are now without another top 6 forward for Sid. TK gets promoted to Crosby/Dupuis line and that's it.
July 12, 2012 7:11 AM ET | Delete
I wouldn't consider Matt Gilroy as having a breakout season for the Senators with 3 goals and 17 assists. And I wouldn't consider him as being a top 4 defensemen even on the Penquins blue line.
July 12, 2012 8:29 AM ET | Delete
I agree with dumping Martin.I don't think Kennedy is a good fit on Crosby's line.Why didn't we keep Sullivan ?
July 14, 2012 11:41 AM ET | Delete
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