Madden Monday: Penguins fans 'will be amazed by how much they stand pat'

Jul. 12—Now that the 2021 Stanley Cup has been awarded to the Tampa Bay Lightning, it's time for Pittsburgh Penguins fans to focus on what moves their team may make in the offseason.

Or according to our Mark Madden, what moves they won't make.

"I think we'll be amazed by how much they stand pat," Madden said during this week's "Madden Monday" podcast. "You can always do something. But I think they are going to stand pat."

With 19 contracts committed toward 2021-22 — and just $3.2 million of salary-cap space — only the Lightning are in a tougher salary cap position. So what general manager Ron Hextall can do may be limited, unless they make a big salary-for-salary deal.

However, one perceived need is getting a veteran goalie to buffer against a concern that Tristan Jarry can't rebound from his disastrous playoff performance this spring.

A name that has come up from time to time is Arizona Coyotes free agent Antti Raanta. As Pro Hockey Talk pointed out over the weekend, a lot of Coyotes could be plucked by other teams on the free-agent or trade markets this summer.

This year, Raanta was just 5-5-2 with a .905 save percentage and a 3.36 goals against average. But the year before he was 15-14-3 with a .921 save percentage and a 2.63 goals against average.

Of Raanta, PHT's James O'Brien said the Coyotes were "hoping a consistently great backup could progress to become a standout No.1 goalie. With a strong .921 save percentage over four seasons with the Coyotes, he's technically stopped pucks at that level. The problem is that he's rarely been healthy enough to even flirt with the workhorse status one associates with a top goalie."

O'Brien added that Raanta could be a worthwhile "buy low" candidate, saying, "Some of that boils down to due diligence. If your people think that Raanta can at least play often enough to be a '1B' goalie, you could arm yourself with enviable goaltending depth at a nice value."

Madden insisted Raanta would be a worthwhile acquisition.

"I'd like to see him come in and compete for the No. 1 job," Madden said. "He couldn't play worse than Jarry did in the playoffs."

At what price though? Raanta made $4.25 million last year.

One fantasy some Penguins fans have is swinging a deal with the Anaheim Ducks to bring Whitehall's John Gibson back to Pittsburgh. But Madden says that's a long shot.

"Even though (the Ducks) stink, they want to keep him because he keeps them respectable. He can keep them afloat," Madden said.

Plus, Gibson has a $6.4 million tag through 2027.

Also in the podcast, Madden talks about Tampa winning the Cup for a second straight year. He agrees with my stance that the notion of putting an asterisk on the victories because of coronavirus circumstances is unfair.

Plus, we talk about the state of the Pirates at the All-Star break, recent criticisms of the Steelers, the Euro2020 soccer match between England and Italy, and Mark's visit to Vegas for the Conor McGregor versus Dustin Poirier fight.


Listen: Tim Benz and Mark Madden talk about possible offseason moves for Penguins

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.