Pens negotiations advancing with Cooke, Dupuis
Pascal Dupuis and Matt Cooke have emerged as top priorities for the Penguins.
General manager Ray Shero continued to negotiate with representatives for both wingers Tuesday.
Dupuis and Cooke, each 34, are among seven Penguins players set to become unrestricted free agents July 5.
Shero is trying to prevent both players from hitting the market.
Length of a deal is more important to Cooke than money, and he was told by the Penguins during the regular season a three-year contract was unlikely.
Also, as is the case with Dupuis, Cooke seeks a modified movement clause that would give him some control over where the Penguins could trade him.
“There is mutual interest by both parties to strike a deal, and we are reviewing some concepts to keep Matt in Pittsburgh,” agent Pat Morris said.
Cooke counted $1.8 million against the salary cap on his last contract. His signing, in June 2010, marked the only time Shero has given a player 30 or older a deal of more than two years.
Dupuis counted $1.5 million against the cap on his last contract. He has emerged as captain Sidney Crosby's preferred top-line right winger, scoring 45 goals the past two seasons.
Dupuis is projected to command a term of at least four years and an annual salary at between $3 million and $4 million as a free agent.
His agent, Allan Walsh, and Shero have been talking since June 17.
Four Penguins players, including forward Harry Zolnierczyk, who was acquired from Anaheim in exchange for defenseman Alex Grant on Monday, are slated to become restricted free agents. The Penguins will retain their rights by extending qualifying offers before the July 2 deadline.
Offers will be extended to right winger Tyler Kennedy, forward Dustin Jeffrey and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo.
The labor contract places limitations on the qualifying offers. Kennedy would retain his salary ($2 million), while raises would be due to Jeffrey ($660,000) and Bortuzzo ($577,500).
The labor contract also limits term and salary for veteran players such as defenseman Kris Letang, who is set to enter the final year of a contract that counts $3.5 million against the salary cap.
Letang's agent, Kent Hughes, and Shero spoke last Wednesday about a potential new contract for Letang, but parameters for a deal were not discussed.
Talks had not resumed as of Tuesday.
Letang, 26, has not identified term or salary expectations. He has expressed a desire to work out a long-term contract but has also grown increasingly skeptical that the Penguins view him as an elite NHL defenseman.
He led all defensemen in points-per-game last season — the third consecutive year he has increased his production in that category.
Rob Rossi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @RobRossi_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- New Penguins coach to meet with Malkin
- Penguins assistant Martin gets new job title
- Pens hope to reach long-term deal with Brandon Sutter
- Q&A: New coach Johnston feeling at home with Penguins
- Hollidaysburg native Lafferty relishing his chance with Penguins