With Spaling locked up, Penguins turn attention to signing Sutter
The Penguins are almost out of salary cap space with an important free agent still unsigned.
General manager Jim Rutherford isn't concerned.
Rutherford agreed to terms with restricted free agent Nick Spaling on a two-year, $4.4 million contract Thursday. Spaling's presumed linemate — center Brandon Sutter, a restricted free agent — remains unsigned, but Rutherford believes a deal will be completed soon.
“The process is moving in the right direction with Brandon,” Rutherford said. “In the very near future, we'll be able to get a deal done.”
The Penguins have approximately $4.2 million of salary cap room remaining.
Rutherford is confident Sutter wants to play for the Penguins this season and into the future.
“I've never had any indication from him that he doesn't want to,” Rutherford said.
The Penguins would prefer to give Sutter a long-term contract because he is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He would possibly become a hot commodity on the open market, something the Penguins would prefer to prevent.
“It has to be something that makes sense for both sides,” Rutherford said. “He's one year away from being unrestricted, so when you're in these situations, it can get a little more difficult for both sides to work things out. I feel pretty confident we will get something done.”
Rutherford isn't concerned about the salary cap space remaining in terms of signing Sutter.
“My only concern is having enough wiggle room with cap space as the season goes on,” he said.
Spaling, who came to the Penguins in the James Neal trade in June, was an unrestricted free agent and was hours away from an arbitration hearing when the sides agreed to the deal. The Penguins love his versatility, as the projected third-liner can play all three forward positions and kill penalties.
He scored a career-high 13 goals last season.
“He's a very useful player,” Rutherford said. “I've liked him quite a bit for a few years now.”
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.