Penguins continue search for top-six forward
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Penguins coach Dan Bylsma offered a host of possibilities for plugging the missing top-six forward, namely a winger for Sidney Crosby or, less likely, for Evgeni Malkin.
The team lost winger Steve Sullivan, who signed as a free agent with Phoenix, and missed out on the sweepstakes for free agent Zach Parise, who signed with Minnesota.
Bylsma, speaking Tuesday on the first day of development camp, mentioned in-house possibilities such as Tyler Kennedy, who has played mostly a third-line role, or younger players Eric Tangradi and Beau Bennett.
Or maybe the team will add a winger through free agency or a trade.
"Could we possibly look at [adding] a player in a top-six role? We certainly could," Bylsma said.
The two remaining unrestricted free agents who might fit best are Shane Doan, the Phoenix captain who has heard from the Penguins and has interest in them and several clubs, according to his agent, Terry Bross; and Alexander Semin, who has not re-signed with Washington.
Of Doan, Bylsma said, "There are certain attributes to having him on our team in that top-six role -- big-body guy, a strong power winger.
Of the Capitals forward, he said, "Alexander Semin has scored 40 goals in this league and is a dangerous player."
Semin also has some baggage.
He has been criticized for inconsistency, and there also has been some bad blood with the Penguins.
In a 2008 interview with a Russian reporter, Semin asked, "What's so special about [Crosby]?"
After a Feb. 7, 2011, game at Verizon Center, Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said Semin embellished to draw a high-sticking penalty, called Semin "a baby" and added, "I've got zero respect for the kid."
Bylsma dismissed those things as being part of a rivalry.
"You always have strong feelings about opponents you play against, battle against," Bylsma said.
"They have very little to do with whether they're good players or whether they can be on your team."
First Published July 11, 2012 12:00 am