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Joe Starkey: Marc-Andre Fleury should already be a Penguin again

Joe Starkey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Hockey

PITTSBURGH — What am I missing here?

The Penguins need a goalie, and the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, who happens to be a civic treasure in Western Pennsylvania, was just made available for ... let me double-check this ... nothing.

So why isn't he here already?

Why didn't the Penguins jump on Marc-Andre Fleury when Vegas put him up for sale and spend the $7 million for one season? Jim Rutherford would have snatched him up in five seconds and left a tip. The Penguins could have figured out the money part later. They just spent $5.25 million on Brock McGinn, Evan Rodrigues, Taylor Fedun and ... let me double-check this ... Dominik Simon when free agency opened Wednesday.

Timeout here for a Simon rant. What is the fascination with this guy? I realize he'll only cost $750,000 if he plays in the NHL (less in the minors), but that's $750,000 that could have been better spent.

Simon went from doing very little here to doing even less in Calgary, where he played 11 games and literally put up zeroes across the board. He might as well have been a ghost. No points. No assists. No penalty minutes. He did manage four shots. So yes, by all means, bring him back.

 

I wish him luck. I really do. He seems like a nice man. But Simon says, "Cut the cord already!"

As for McGinn, I appreciate a quality penalty killer as much as anyone. He's a good player. But if the Penguins do not upgrade in goal, every other move is pointless. If this was their big offseason move, underwhelming would be too light a word to describe it.

Apologies here, but if the Penguins use McGinn in one of those promotions where a player visits somebody's house to hand out season-tickets, he's so unrecognizable he might get the door shut in his face. (Note to Penguins front office: DO NOT send Dominik Simon on one of those missions.)

Literally nothing else matters if the goaltending issue isn't solved. We saw graphic evidence of such in the Islanders series, where the Penguins carried the territorial play only to see Tristan Jarry experience a Chernobyl-level meltdown.

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