Penguins general manager Shero pleased with roster
Penguins general manager Ray Shero's fingers are crossed that training camp will begin, as scheduled, on Sept. 21.
If this does happen — the NHL and NHL Players' Association will need to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement — Shero isn't afraid to enter the season with his current lineup.
“You're never totally satisfied with your roster,” Shero said. “I really liked our roster last year. Then you saw what happened in the playoffs.”
The Penguins, though, view last season's six-game loss in the first round of the playoffs as an aberration more than a troubling sign that the roster needed an overhaul. As evidenced by a quiet summer, Shero has made it clear that he believes in this team.
He signed free-agent forward Tanner Glass and acquired center Brandon Sutter, a prospect and a draft pick for center Jordan Staal in a trade Shero called “a necessity,” further evidence that Staal never intended on signing an extension with the Penguins.
Still, Shero is pleased.
“I like this team a lot,” Shero said. “You're always looking for ways to get better, but I'm comfortable with what we have right now.”
Shero is not against adding to the Penguins' current roster, but nothing is imminent. With the NHL only 19 days away from a possible lockout, Shero acknowledged that an ordinarily quiet time of year has become downright stagnant.
And while he may still add to his team's roster, don't expect coveted free-agent forward Shane Doan to join the Penguins.
The Penguins have made Doan an offer, but his intentions are becoming clear.
“We have interest in Shane Doan,” Shero said. “He's a good hockey player. There are a lot of teams that are interested, and we're one of them. We talked on July 1. We have kept in touch. But he has made it clear that he wants to stay in Phoenix. He's played his whole career there. You have to respect a guy who wants to stay with the only team he's ever played for.”
Given the uncertainty of the CBA — and the unknown figure for future salary caps — making a significant move now isn't in the cards for Shero.
“Two years ago, I took into account with certain moves that the CBA was up in two years,” he said. “Last year, I knew it was up in one year, and that played a role. Well, now the CBA expires next month. It's something that's always on your mind.”
One facet of a possible work stoppage, however, is far from Shero's mind.
He realizes that many of his players are likely to play overseas should the NHL endure a significant work stoppage. But he doesn't want to talk about it.
“Let's cross that bridge when we come to it,” Shero said. “On Sept. 21, I want to be seeing my team together for training camp.”
Josh Yohe is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.