Over at Puck Rakers, a Blue Jackets blog at the Columbus Dispatch, Aaron Portzline is reporting that the Pittsburgh Penguins have made a 7-year, $50 million contract offer to keep unrestricted free agent in the fold.
If a Blue Jackets blog seems to be an odd place to serve as a source for Penguins news, think again. Reportedly, if Hossa does sign, the Penguins would immediately deal the negotiating rights to unrestricted free agent Ryan Malone to the Blue Jakcets. As you might expect, with Hossa demanding that much coin, keeping Malone, as tough as he might be, becomes something of a luxury. With Minnesota reportedly considering Malone, the Blue Jackets seem ready to part with a player or a pick in order to have an exclusive negotiating window with Malone before the free agent signing period begins July 1.
Something tells me that Pittsburgh GM has decided that the Penguins have a short window to shoot at a title and he might as well take advantage of it now. Though one has to wonder: If Hossa is worth more than $7 million per season, what will Evgeni Malkin demand at the end of next season, and how in the world can Pittsburgh stay competitive with three players accounting for somewhere around $25 million in cap space per season?
Another interesting rumor from Portzline: The BJs are also reportedly interested in Sharks captain Patrick Marleau, who has been ticketed out of town for salary cap considerations.