In all the whirlwind surrounding whom the Penguins will sign in free-agency, combined with the re-signing of many players from last year, one signing has been put to the bottom of the radar. That is the signing of enforcer Eric Godard.
His signing comes as an attempt to fill the skates of Georges Laraque, who recently signed with the Montreal Canadiens. The 6’4″, 218 pound winger comes to the Penguins from Calgary with little proven in the NHL other than he has a knack for finding the penalty box.
The 28-year-old enforcer has recorded 481 penalty minutes in only 200 career games. The kid shows promise in his fighting ability. In what I’ve seen he works the jersey grab/jab technique while waiting for the right time to hit with a cross or an uppercut.
As a winger, he doesn’t provide much offense. In five NHL seasons, Godard has produced only eight points (3 G, 5 A). Also, he has had trouble showing the consistency needed to be a regular in the league (yahoo.com)
In the 2006-2007 season, Godard was assigned to Calgary’s AHL affiliate in Omaha three different times. Health has also been an issue in his career.
Godard’s upside is that he has been known to get under the skin of opponents and has found familiar foes in the Western Conference. The hopes likely are that Godard will provide the team with the power missed by Laraque and the instigator lost in Jarkko Ruutu (signed with Ottowa).
Pittsburgh can take confidence in that he is coming off his longest and most consistent NHL season to date. His 74 games played and 171 penalty minutes are both career highs. Also, he experienced a six-game series loss to San Jose.
His signing, combined with Miroslav Satan’s addition, rounds out the right wing position along with Petr Sykora and Tyler Kennedy.