We've grouped these three players together because we can't see any of them returning to the Penguins next season. While you should never say never, if Evgeni Malkin lines up between Ponikarovsky and Fedotenko again this season, something has gone horribly wrong during the summer.
Poni's stats above look decent at a glance, but only two of those goals and seven of those assists came as a member of the Penguins. During the playoffs he managed only one goal and four assists. That's not the kind of production Ray Shero was hoping for when he sent Luca Caputi to the Leafs in March. If Poni had played well with Malkin down the stretch the Pens would want him back. Unfortunately he didn't, so he'll be calling another city home. Soon Pittsburgh will forget all about the Ponikarovsky experiment, at least until Luca Caputi scores a back-breaking goal against the Pens in a big game versus Toronto.
Ruslan Fedotenko didn't have a good year. We've already discussed this. We're not sure how much Feds has left, or how much more he cares. Fedotenko could revitalize his career with another team or he could end up in the KHL. We have no idea.
Jay McKee came to the Penguins to win the Stanley Cup. He was bought out by the St. Louis Blues and responded by taking a cap-friendly salary with the defending champs. His salary won't be nearly as cap-friendly next year. In 2008-2009 his cap hit was $4 million dollars. The Blues paid Jay McKee more money last year than the Penguins did. Expect him to head to a destination where he makes more money and receives more ice time.
And that's it! Yes, technically Dan Hamhuis is a free agent on the Penguins, but we've already talked about him.
Big day tomorrow. Get some rest.
Next time: July 1st!