Here’s a quick look at the Penguins contract situation for the 2017-18 season, with some notes to follow:
LW: HAGELIN, GUENTZEL, S. WILSON, DI PAULI, SIMON, ASTON-REESE, JOSEPHS (AHL)
C: MALKIN, CROSBY, ROWNEY, BLUEGER
RW: KESSEL, HORNQVIST, RUST, KUHNHACKL, SPRONG
D: LETANG, MAATTA, COLE, PROW, BENGTSSON, TAYLOR
G: FLEURY, MURRAY, JARRY, MAGUIRE
RFA: SHEARY, ARCHIBALD, SCHULTZ, DUMOULIN, POULIOT, SUNDQVIST, CORRADO, DEA, PERCY, ERIXON
NHL UFA: BONINO, CULLEN, KUNITZ, SESTITO, DALEY, HAINSEY, STREIT, RUHWEDEL, GAUNCE, G. WILSON, WARSOFSKY, PORTER
AHL UFA: KOSTOPOULOS, WEBSTER, HILBRICH, DESMITH, KRAUSE, GILL, GOERS, MCGRATH, BURTON, HAGGERTY
— Just a gut feeling, but I think Casey DeSmith re-signs and gets a chance to be the Penguins starter next season (assuming Tristan Jarry ends up in Pittsburgh) while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton works Sean Maguire into the mix.
— Last year, I didn’t think Tom Kostopoulos was coming back. He did, and he led the team in points at age 38. This year… I get the feeling he’ll be back again. He’s played in 70+ games in three straight seasons and he spoke on Monday about his desire to win a Calder Cup.
— Tom Sestito would like to come back and the Penguins should listen to him. He wasn’t 100-percent healthy for this year’s playoff run, but he’s relentlessly entertaining and able to put up points at the AHL level.
— I don’t see any reason for Patrick McGrath not to be back. When Sestito’s around the Shavertown native’s playing time drops, but I think he showed enough this season to warrant another go-around.
— A scout told me the other day that he felt like David Warsofsky was the best defenseman in the AHL this season. I can’t say I disagree with him. Sure feels like Warsofsky just needs an extended chance at the next level.