Shero has room to be player in market

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The NHL draft is over.

The offseason which, only a few days ago, figured to be pretty uneventful, is just getting started.

"A lot can happen over the next 10 days," Penguins general manager Ray Shero said Saturday.

The process begins this week, when the Penguins decide whether to try to re-sign restricted free agents such as Steve Sullivan, Arron Asham and Richard Park, and the front office figures out whether to try to upgrade its roster through trades, free-agent signings or both.

"Whether it's free agency or trade, we'll take a look," Shero said. "If it makes sense, we'll look into it."

The Penguins are in the market for a defenseman to play along Kris Letang on the top pairing and, as usual, seem to be interested in goal-scoring wingers.

Ryan Suter of Nashville and New Jersey's Zach Parise are the potential unrestricted free agents who would best fill those roles, but numerous teams are expected to make pitches for both.

The Penguins, who traded center Jordan Staal and defenseman Zbynek Michalek Friday, are expected to deal at least one more defenseman this summer. Asked to identify players he would not consider trading, Shero said he had "a few," but named only centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

The bottom line: Shero has the salary-cap space -- and the inclination -- to aggressively move to alter his lineup this summer.

"We've acquired some pretty good players and we've acquired some cap space, so we'll sit down next week as a staff and see what direction we're going to go," he said. "We're a little bit different right now than we were a few days ago."


First Published June 24, 2012 12:00 AM


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