Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes his side will need to keep improving to hold off the chasing pack next season after lifting the Premier League trophy.The Reds clinched the title last month, but finally got their hands on the silverware after a 5-3 win over Chelsea on Wednesday.Chelsea have already strengthened ahead of next season with the signings of a long-term Liverpool target Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech. “Chelsea is such a talented team, we had to bring everything on the pitch tonight. Man Utd, Man City [will contend], there are no guarantees for anything, but we will try.”Liverpool also beat Chelsea to lift the UEFA Super Cup at the start of the season to go with the Premier League, Champions League and Club World Cup and Klopp admitted he will take time for a special moment after an incredible run of success.”We are champions of England, Europe and the world. We won four trophies, really big ones, so I couldn’t be more proud,” he added.”I’m usually not a person who needs pictures but I will have a picture with all four trophies because it doesn’t happen often, so we should.”Jordan Henderson had the honor of becoming the first Liverpool player to lift the Premier League trophy and the Reds’ captain believes the manner of victory over a Chelsea side, who needed a result to confirm their place in the Champions League next season, bodes well for what can be achieved next season.”It’s been a journey and to finish it off like this is really special,” said Henderson.”After this, next season is going to be a big challenge for us. But I thought tonight we showed the mentality to come and perform again and get the result we did.” Klopp also expects Manchester City and Manchester United to bolster their squads.But the German believes there is still improvement for his players to make despite becoming English, European and world champions over the past 14 months.”We should not stop, we have internal challenges to improve,” said Klopp.”We have the chance to make another step, but we have to because the others will not sleep. Topics :
Tanev, 27, is a versatile, energetic checking-line forward with a decent offensive touch. He should be a good depth addition to the Penguins and his annual average salary ($3.5 million) isn’t bad. The problem, however, is the contract term.Locking up a third liner to a six-year deal rarely happens in today’s salary-cap world. It also creates another conundrum for the Penguins: Restricted free agents Marcus Pettersson, Zach Aston-Reese and Teddy Blueger require new contracts, but Rutherford has a little over $1.5-million in cap space remaining. Another cost-cutting deal is necessary. MORE: Full list of free-agent signings and the best available playersHere’s a look at the best and worst signings from the opening day of the 2019 free-agent period:The BestNashville Predators sign Matt DucheneAfter finishing last season with the league’s worst power play and one of the lowest offenses (19th overall), the Predators required more scoring punch. Kyle Turris’ struggles also spotlighted their need for a reliable second-line center. Signing Duchene to a seven-year, $56-million contract addressed both issues.Duchene, 28, just completed a career-best 31-goal season split between the Ottawa Senators and Columbus Blue Jackets. He was also among the Jackets’ leading scorers in this year’s postseason, with 10 points in as many games.Some observers projected Duchene would received over $9 million annually on the open market. The Preds got him for $1 million less per season.Dallas Stars sign Joe PavelskiPavelski spent his entire NHL career (13 years) with the San Jose Sharks. Their big investment last month in Erik Karlsson left them with little room to re-sign the 34-year-old forward. San Jose’s loss was the Stars’ gain, with Dallas inking the former Sharks captain to a to a three-year, $21-million contract.Coming off a 38-goal performance, Pavelski proved he still has lots left in the tank. He brings invaluable scoring depth and experienced leadership to the Stars roster.While the $7-million annual salary-cap hit seems a bit high for player of his age, it’s off-set by the reasonable three-year term. If Pavelski maintains a 30-goal pace, this should be a worthwhile investment.Chicago Blackhawks sign Robin LehnerThe New York Islanders passing up re-signing Lehner baffled hockey fans. The 27-year-old goaltender enjoyed a career-best performance in 2018-19, winning the Masterton Trophy and becoming a finalist for the Vezina Trophy. He backstopped the Isles into the playoffs and an opening-round sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins.Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman wasted little time snapping him up on a one-year, $5-million contract. With long-time starter Corey Crawford hampered by injuries and a year away from UFA status, the Blackhawks needed help between the pipes.Lehner becomes an affordable insurance option if Crawford is sidelined again this season. If he plays well enough, he could earn a lucrative long-term extension from the Blackhawks.The WorstNew York Islanders sign Semyon VarlamovSoon after the Blackhawks inked Lehner, the Islanders announced they signed Varlamov to a four-year, $20-million contract. With 213 wins, a 2.68 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage, the 31-year-old has solid career stats. However, this could prove a risky move.During his tenure with the Colorado Avalanche, Varlamov was plagued by groin and knee injuries. Inconsistency also cost him the starter’s role last season to Philipp Grubauer.Playing for Isles goalie guru Mitch Korn could improve Varlamov’s performance. Sharing the workload with Thomas Greiss might also alleviate the injury concerns. Varlamov could also mentor promising Russian netminder Ilya Sorokin down the road. Nevertheless, the decision to pass on a younger, healthier Vezina finalist for a brittle veteran may one day haunt the Isles.Minnesota Wild sign Mats ZuccarelloThroughout last season, Wild GM Paul Fenton made moves to bring more skilled youth into his aging lineup. However, his signing of Zuccarello to a five-year, $30-million deal was a step in the opposite direction.Zuccarello is a skilled, speedy right wing with five 49-plus point seasons on his resume. Despite a difficult final season with the New York Rangers and suffering a broken arm following a trade to the Dallas Stars, he tied with Tyler Seguin as the Stars’ leading postseason scorer.However, Zuccarello turns 32 in September. He’ll be pushing 37 when this deal with the Wild is completed. As he ages he’ll have difficulty maintaining a 49-point pace. It’s too much money invested for too long in an aging talent.Pittsburgh Penguins sign Brandon TanevPenguins GM Jim Rutherford has spent the off-season shedding salary. He shipped Phil Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes and Olli Maatta to the Chicago Blackhawks in cost-cutting deals. However, signing Tanev to a six-year, $21-million contract raised eyebrows around the league. The annual July 1 start to the NHL free-agent period always produces a frenzy of contract signings, and this year was no different.Some teams made some good moves to shore up their rosters, while others made additions that could be considered risky — or even downright bad.