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SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 07:46 PM
No Score. Good Job. Finish killing the penalty next period.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 07:58 PM
Need to start the 2nd Period Strong by scoring a goal. LET'S GO PENS!

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 08:03 PM
Time to start the 2nd Period. LET'S GO PENS!

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 08:05 PM
DAMN IT! WTF HAPPEND.

83-Steelers-43
04-19-2007, 08:06 PM
Ottawa: Takes advantage of PP chances.

Pittsburgh: Does not.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 08:07 PM
Come on guys regroup and score.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 08:07 PM
Ottawa: Takes advantage of PP chances.

Pittsburgh: Does not.

This is as proven as the stats are.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 08:08 PM
COME ON PENS! SCORE HERE!

83-Steelers-43
04-19-2007, 08:09 PM
Fleury = The only reason why it is not 3-0 Sens right now.

83-Steelers-43
04-19-2007, 08:10 PM
Pens PP AGAIN.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 08:11 PM
Hell, my main concern was Fleury heading into these playoffs. He's the only reason why we are playing a game right now. This score should be 3-0 Sens right now.

And another thing. The Offense is scaring me right now. It's a case of I don't know what is going on.


Come on. CAPITALIZE ON THE POWER PLAY!!!!

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 08:12 PM
What the heck is going with the offense. They know we need to score. Let's see them DO IT!

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 08:13 PM
COME ON! QUIT SCREWING AROUND WITH POWER PLAYS.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 08:14 PM
WTF ARE THEY DOING.

83-Steelers-43
04-19-2007, 08:15 PM
The Senators actually BROKE OUT of their zone while we were on the PP and it ended up a 3 on 2. They failed on that chance. Our PP ran out of time and they came back and scored on another 3 on 2 chance.

2-0 Sens with a Sens PP coming on up. PATHETIC.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 08:15 PM
My advice to Therrien, call everyone over to the bench and yell with every last fiber of his voice he has. This team is ****ING IT UP.

tony hipchest
04-19-2007, 08:16 PM
give up a goal. commit a penalty in w/in 30 seconds. seems like the story of this series. :dang:

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 08:17 PM
Kill the power play. DON'T SCREW AROUND. THIS ISN'T THE TIME.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 08:20 PM
GOOD JOB. KILLED THE PENALTY. NOW SCORE DAMN IT!

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 08:25 PM
Come on guys SCORE!

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 08:27 PM
8-2 now on shots on goal and we're trailing that stat 16-11. BLAH

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 08:37 PM
:wtf:

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 08:39 PM
:banging: :banging: :banging: :m16: :m16: :dualies: :dualies: :rocket: :rocket: :ak47: :ak47: :chair: :chair: :chair: :bash: :bash: :upyours: :upyours:

That is all.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 08:56 PM
We're hurt. Ottawa has been trying to kill us all game. But we're not going to back to from a challenge. We're going to stand together as a team and comeback in the 3rd Period and WIN as a team.

LET'S GO PENGUINS!

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 09:00 PM
What the heck happend to CAPITALIZATION. Maybe we haven't heard of that.


Ok time to score on the power play and mess with Emery's confidence

and one more thing Ottawa fans, quit BITCHING, you're up by 3.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 09:01 PM
Lack of common sense.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 09:02 PM
and there goes another opportunity.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 09:03 PM
Put something on the board and make ottawa pay for it.

83-Steelers-43
04-19-2007, 09:03 PM
Pens PP has had chance after chance after chance on the PP.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 09:04 PM
got to break the 0 for 14 PP slump.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 09:04 PM
Pens PP has had chance after chance after chance on the PP.

and have had 0.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 09:05 PM
Once again. Empty handed on the Power Play.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 09:07 PM
4 on 4.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 09:09 PM
Someone wake up the offense. NOW.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 09:11 PM
Mario I can tell is frustrated from the shot they showed of him in his suite.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 09:13 PM
Get the puck out of there.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 09:17 PM
Again, stop booing Ottawa. You're up by enough.

PisnNapalm
04-19-2007, 09:20 PM
Shazbot I just saw the score!

:(

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 09:21 PM
Shazbot I just saw the score!

:(

an idea of how ticked some of us are such as yours truely.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 09:23 PM
We got score at least something.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 09:25 PM
Could someone freeze Emery's hand with anti save.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 09:32 PM
Biggest F I can give this team. They Failed tonight.

fugawzi
04-19-2007, 09:33 PM
damn...the Penguins got handled by the Senators. It was a good year for the 'Pens' though, they did better than most expected.

X-Terminator
04-19-2007, 09:40 PM
Well, that's it folks - we're done. I know everyone's frustrated right now, but hey - Ottawa was the better team and they showed it all series long. There shouldn't be one Penguin in that locker room nor one single fan who should have their heads down - they had a wonderful season, a totally unexpected season, and there will be much better days ahead for everyone.

Thank you Penguins for a great season, and see you next year! You made us all proud! :cheers:

PisnNapalm
04-19-2007, 10:06 PM
SHAZBOT!

That is all.

SteelCityMan786
04-19-2007, 10:09 PM
Well, that's it folks - we're done. I know everyone's frustrated right now, but hey - Ottawa was the better team and they showed it all series long. There shouldn't be one Penguin in that locker room nor one single fan who should have their heads down - they had a wonderful season, a totally unexpected season, and there will be much better days ahead for everyone.

Thank you Penguins for a great season, and see you next year! You made us all proud! :cheers:

Couldn't agree more with you brother. I'm frustrated as hell that it had to go down like this. But unfortunately that's how the cookie crumbles.


This was definantly one hell of a season. We gave a lot of teams a run for their money. Now, we will rest, regroup and get ready to make everyone

EXPERIENCE THE EVOLUTION

AGAIN IN THE 2007-2008 SEASON.

PisnNapalm
04-19-2007, 10:21 PM
Dammit... Now I need a Ho Ho.

Edman
04-19-2007, 10:31 PM
The Penguins were just too inexperienced and where easily handled by the more experienced Senators. Plus, it was the playoffs where the game is much faster and the pressure is higher. Lots of good comes from this. This is a young Penguins team with loads of talent, and this is only the beginning. Hold your heads up, guys. The Pens greatly exceeded our expectations this year, and we should at least should be proud of them for that. And best of all, they're staying in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers draft is in a couple days. Then there's...Pirate Baseball...oy. Gonna be a long summer...

X-Terminator
04-20-2007, 12:11 AM
Cook: Playoff experience eventually will lead to success

Friday, April 20, 2007
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

OTTAWA -- This goes back to the start of the series, back to when the young Penguins actually believed they were going to be something more than road kill under the wheels of the Ottawa Senators.

"We're here to win and we're going to give everything we have to win," coach Michel Therrien said. "Sixteen teams hope to win the Stanley Cup. We hope, too. But ... "

Yes, there was a but.

A very telling but, as it turned out.

"But we understand it's a process," Therrien said.

If the Penguins didn't realize it then, they surely do now that their season is done, the mercy killing coming in a 3-0 Senators win last night in Game 5 at Scotiabank Place.

Don't underestimate the importance of that when the Penguins do a better job competing in the playoffs next April, when they maybe win a Cup or two in the seasons ahead during the Sidney Crosby era.

"Going through this," winger Mark Recchi said, "will make every player in here better."

There's no doubt the Penguins -- 16 of whom were playing in their first NHL playoff series -- learned a lot during the eight days the Senators spent schooling them. The painful lesson started at the beginning of Game 1 when the Senators stormed them for two goals in the first seven minutes on their way to a ridiculously easy 6-3 win.

Welcome to the playoffs, fellas!

"Everybody put their finger on the experience factor coming in, but we shrugged it off," Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "We had so much energy and so much resiliency. We were thinking that would maybe put the experience factor under the carpet, but ... "

There's another of those blasted buts.

"But that's not the way it works in playoff hockey," Orpik said.

Or, as goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury put it:

"I think we learned that it takes a lot to win. It's not going to happen with just one or two guys. Everybody's got to show up every night."

Still, it hurt, hurt very badly. The Penguins didn't just make the playoffs for the first time in six years, they came in flying after a totally unexpected 105-point season. They never imagined the Senators would be so much better. Better five on five. Infinitely better on defense. And, in the only real surprise in the series, better on the power play.

Somehow, it seemed appropriate that the Penguins wasted not one, but two, five-on-three advantages in the first period last night and finished 0 for 6 on the power play. That unit had gone 0 for 9 on home ice in the losses in Games 3 and 4, hadn't it? That's why when Senators defenseman Anton Volchenkov went to the penalty box early in the second period, you couldn't help but think his team had the Penguins right where it wanted them.

The Penguins managed just one measly shot on that power play and probably were feeling a bit sorry for themselves as it ended when defenseman Sergei Gonchar gave away the puck in the neutral zone. That led to a breakaway and goal by Senators winger Antoine Vermette and an overwhelming 2-0 lead. All that was left was the celebration that went long into the morning.

Penguins management knew coming in the team was going to have experience issues even if the players didn't want to face it. It knew the team was woefully short on defense after its top two pairings. And it knew the lack of a big-time scoring winger to play on Crosby's line could be a huge problem. Those final two problems must be addressed by general manager Ray Shero in the offseason.

But neither Shero nor Therrien could have guessed the power play would be so lame. There's just too much top-end talent for it to be so ineffective.

"It really let us down," Recchi said.

If anything good came from the series, it was the play of Fleury. He came in with the reputation of coming up short in big games, thanks to some tough performances in minor-league and international competition. But he was brilliant against the Senators even though his final numbers won't reflect it. He might not have been the best player in the series, but he was the Penguins' best player.

"By far," Orpik said. "Without him, the scores of these games would have been a lot more lopsided."

You want something to feel good about on this rotten morning?

Fleury will be better for this experience.

So will Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal ...

"This team is going to compete for the Stanley Cup for a long time and Sid is going to lead the way," Recchi said.

Crosby will realize that one day. So will Fleury and the others.

But not last night.

The wounds still were too deep, too fresh.

Part of the process, you know?

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07110/779642-87.stm

X-Terminator
04-20-2007, 12:14 AM
Pens' youth isn't served

Sidney Crosby: 'It was a disappointing end, but I think we exceeded a lot of people's expectations'

Friday, April 20, 2007
By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

OTTAWA -- At one point, forward Evgeni Malkin's whereabouts were unknown after he slipped away from his Russian team in Europe.

At one point, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was on the verge of a demotion to the minor leagues after a shaky stretch in training camp.

At one point, forward Jordan Staal seemed to have one skate out the door on his way back to junior hockey.

At no point did anyone doubt Sidney Crosby, though, and the Penguins' second-year center established himself as arguably the best player in the NHL by capturing the league scoring title with 120 points and becoming the youngest to do so at 19.

Whether it was Crosby's season or coach Michel Therrien's guidance in his first full season or the convergence of many elements, the Penguins put together a turnaround that, in hindsight, probably will trump the disappointment of their loss to Ottawa in the first round of the playoffs.

The Senators sent the playoff-inexperienced Penguins home by beating them, 3-0, last night at Scotiabank Place in Game 5 of their first-round series.

"We had a good regular season," Crosby said after the game. "It was a disappointing end, but I think we exceeded a lot of people's expectations."

After finishing second-to-last in the NHL last season with 58 points, the Penguins set the bar for 2006-07 at making the playoffs. They not only reached the postseason for the first time since 2001, but also showed the fourth-best improvement over one season in NHL history, soaring to 105 points to earn the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. It was the second-most points in team history.

That was just two points off the Atlantic Division lead and eight points behind league points leaders Buffalo and Detroit.

"The turnaround we had is impressive," Crosby said. "It says a lot about the guys and the organization."

They did it largely on the backs of their youngest players.

Malkin, 20, turned up in Los Angeles last summer, then turned it up after signing with the Penguins. He led all rookies with 33 goals and 85 points.

Fleury, 22, settled in as the starting goalie and won 40 games, second-most in franchise history.

Staal, barely 18 at the start of the season, not only made the team but played like a veteran, taking regular shifts at even strength and on the top penalty-killing unit. He led the league with seven short-handed goals and with a 22.1 shooting percentage. He had 29 goals and 42 points and led the team with a plus-minus rating of plus-16.

They were three of five emerging young players who spent their first full season in the NHL -- the others being wingers Colby Armstrong and Michel Ouellet -- and among nine regulars who are 25 or younger.

"We had a lot of rookies this year, and they got better," Therrien said. "They played with a lot of passion."

That dovetailed with several veterans, most notably forwards Mark Recchi, 39, and Gary Roberts, 40, and defenseman Sergei Gonchar, 33. Roberts was acquired at the NHL trade deadline.

"Gary Roberts, what a team guy. What a warrior. I can't say enough about him," Armstrong said. "We had great leaders all year long, big leaders."

Even with the promise the team showed through the first four months of the season, making the playoffs was an iffy proposition until the Penguins ran off a 14-0-2 stretch that started in early January and turned a daunting March schedule into a 12-3-2 month that pushed them into the postseason -- perhaps for the first time in a long run.

"There's nothing to be ashamed of," Therrien said. "You look at the big picture, it's a huge step."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07110/779632-61.stm

X-Terminator
04-20-2007, 12:20 AM
Penguins Notebook: Murray tries to put bull's-eye on Roberts

Friday, April 20, 2007
By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

OTTAWA -- Gary Roberts was Ottawa's primary target as the NHL trade deadline approached, but the Senators lost out when Florida ended up dealing him to the Penguins.

Roberts turned up in the Senators' sights again after Game 4 of their opening-round playoff series against the Penguins, this time when Ottawa coach Bryan Murray said the officials were allowing Roberts to get away with some illegal hits, like checking players when they did not have the puck and had not touched it.

Murray's charge was not without merit -- a number of apparent infractions by both teams had gone unpunished to that point of the series --but his Penguins counterpart, Michel Therrien, suggested Murray's real intent was to affect on how referees Bill McCreary and Eric Furlatt handled Game 5 last night at Scotiabank Place.

"I think Bryan Murray is trying to influence the referees," Therrien said. "It's pretty simple. We all know that. But I'm assuming the referees will not be influenced by the comments on Gary Roberts. They're smarter than that."

Lineup changes

Two forwards who lost their places in the lineup earlier in the series were back in uniform for Game 5.

Right winger Georges Laraque, a healthy scratch for the previous three games, replaced Ronald Petrovicky on the fourth line and Erik Christensen, who sat out Game 4 after going scoreless in the first three, replaced Nils Ekman. The Penguins' other healthy scratches were forward Chris Thorburn and defensemen Alain Nasreddine and Joel Kwiatkowski.

Unbalanced scoring

Although goalie Ray Emery was Ottawa's biggest question mark going into the series, the Penguins did very little to test him during most of the first four games. They generated an average of just 22.5 shots and, consequently, had few second-shot opportunities on rebounds. Part of the problem is that most of their defensemen rarely put the puck on net; Rob Scuderi and Josef Melichar, for example, combined for one shot during Games 1-4.

"I haven't heard a coach say 'Don't shoot the puck on net. Don't get the rebound,' " Therrien said. "I haven't heard that. We have to get the puck on net. If there's a rebound there, pick up the rebound."

Perhaps it was no surprise, then, that three forwards ---- Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal and Roberts -- accounted for eight of the Penguins' 10 goals going into the game last night. Offensive diversity is critical in the playoffs, and the Penguins had not been getting it.

"We need more contributions, especially from our forwards," Therrien said.

He then chuckled while pointing out that the Penguins' two youngest forwards, along with their oldest, had provided nearly all their scoring.

"Guys in their 20s and 30s haven't chipped in," he said. "We need more contributions, there's no doubt. We wish they'd score some goals."

The Senators, got goals from 10 players in the first four games.

"They've gotten scoring from everybody in this series," Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton said. "That's unfortunate for us."

It was only morning

Although the Penguins seemed a bit more subdued than usual on the ice during their game-day skate, players and staff members believed the team's mood was upbeat.

"I liked the mood out there," Crosby said. "I thought guys were relaxed."

Therrien said the mindset was "loose, but focused," although he cautioned against reading too much it.

"You never know in the morning," he said.

Booing no bother to Crosby

Ottawa fans have gotten in the habit of booing Crosby any time he touches the puck, but it never seems to faze him much. Fact is, he professes that he is pretty much oblivious to it because he is so focused on his work.

"I remember playing in Philly the first couple of times, I can remember hearing them then," Crosby said. "But, since then, you don't hear at all. Especially now, your mind is on playing."

He shrugged off jeers from the crowd as " part of the challenge of playing on the road," and assistant coach Mike Yeo agreed that Crosby takes such treatment in stride.

"He doesn't let [booing] rattle him," Yeo said.

"He's a big-game player. He's a character guy. Obviously, everything's elevated as far as the pressure and the spotlight on him in the playoffs. For him to still be focused on his game and the way he's supposed to play, the way he's successful, says a lot about him."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07110/779648-61.stm

X-Terminator
04-20-2007, 12:23 AM
Ottawa Notebook: Eaves remains out with head injury

Friday, April 20, 2007
By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

OTTAWA -- Senators winger Patrick Eaves missed his second consecutive game last night as a result of the hit he absorbed from Penguins winger Colby Armstrong in Game 3 of the teams' first-round playoff series.

Eaves has not resumed skating.

"He was feeling much better [yesterday] anyway, but he's still a little ways from being able to go on the ice and do anything," Ottawa coach Bryan Murray said. "He feels a little more normal than he had. He doesn't have to take anything for his headaches now."

Eaves was knocked unconscious and left the ice on a stretcher but did not go to a hospital. He and the team have described the result as a head injury but are not saying it was a concussion.

Power switch

Murray made a switch on his power-play personnel during the course of the series, replacing Tom Preissing on one point with another defenseman, Wade Redden.

Asked why, Murray deadpanned, "The media. They were criticizing him so much I thought I'd better get him off of there."

Then his real answer:

"Wade is real intelligent and with [opposite point man] Joe Corvo shooting the puck the way he does at the top, Wade, being a left-handed shot playing the right side, gives a few more options than maybe Tom does. And when we make a play down on the power-play attack, I thought we were too one-sided in the early games where everything went to [Jason] Spezza. I want the puck to be shared on the other side, make them shift their [penalty-killing] box a little more often than they had to do in the early games."

Lack of penalties

A big part of Penguins veteran Gary Roberts' game is to bash and get under the skin of opponents. It has been working.

Murray, who after Game 4 expressed displeasure with the lack of penalties called after Roberts made "three runs at a couple of our guys when they didn't even have the puck," denied that his beef was about Ottawa getting 13 penalties, including eight in the third period, compared with nine against the Penguins that game.

Still, Murray, in his regular meeting with series officiating supervisor E.J. McGuire after Game 4, brought up some hits by the Penguins, Roberts in particular.

"I just happened to be sitting watching some highlights -- or lowlights, whatever the case may be -- of [Game 4] and there were a couple of real vicious hits on [Anton] Volchenkov in particular, head-first into the boards when he didn't have the puck. That could have done great damage. [Ronald] Petrovicky ran [Wade] Redden one time," Murray said. "Wade was trying to come down and keep the puck in play. He had never touched the puck.

"So I just made that point. I don't mind the penalties that are called in a game. If we get five in a row, we get five in a row. But I do think that if there are other things happening in the game, there are times that they have to recognize it."

[B]Instant checking line

Murray doesn't regularly use what could specifically be called a checking line. In this series, he has been matching his top line -- right winger Daniel Alfredsson, center Jason Spezza and left winger Dany Heatley -- against the Penguins' top line centered by Sidney Crosby.

It wouldn't be difficult for Murray to come up with a checking line.

He would just continue to turn to his captain, Alfredsson.

"During the year, time after time, if I wanted a checking line, I flipped him on with [Mike] Fisher or [Chris] Kelly or whoever it might be and it became a checking line," Murray said.

Slap shots

Only five healthy skaters sat out what was an optional morning skate for the Senators. One of those who participated was Heatley. He skipped practice Wednesday, sparking speculation that he is still feeling the effects of an ankle injury from a month ago. ... Ottawa has called up six players from its Binghamton minor-league team -- goaltenders Kelly Guard and Jeff Glass, defenseman Tomas Kudelka and forwards Josh Hennessey, Jeff Heerema and Danny Bois. All practiced separately before the morning skate and were scratches for the game. ... Other scratches besides Eaves were defenseman Lawrence Nycholat and winger Brian McGrattan.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07110/779645-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
04-20-2007, 05:44 AM
Excellent season and hats off to Mario Lemieux, Ray Shero the Penguins organization as a whole.

On that note, IMO it's time to give up on Malone. Melichar needs to hit the road and I wouldn't exactly shed a tear if Scuderi joined him. The Ekman experiment should be buried and forgotten. Bring up Letang. Going out and grabbing a good stay at home defenseman and a legimate goal scorer to play along side Sid should be our top two priorities.

The offseason will be very interesting to watch this year. I have complete faith in Ray Shero when it comes to grabbing the pieces needed in order for this team to make another cup run next year.

Once again, thanks for adding to my Penguin memories this year and the ride was a blast and one I will never forget. We will live to fight another day but I believe the next time around the tables will be turned.

83-Steelers-43
04-20-2007, 05:56 AM
What we've learned about Crosby, Penguins
By Scott Burnside
ESPN.com
Archive

OTTAWA -- The big myth about the Pittsburgh Penguins is that whatever happened in the playoffs was gravy. Somehow, playing their way into the playoffs with a startling 105-point regular season, a season after finishing 29th overall, would be satisfaction enough.

Funny how the gaunt, drawn faces of the Penguins players put the lie to that theory -- at least for the moment.

In the wake of their 3-0 loss Thursday night that ended their playoff run after five games, it was hard to find players who were looking beyond anything but the disappointment of the moment.

"I know a lot of our writers and media have been saying that, win or lose, we've made such a great improvement during the season. I know in our locker room that wasn't the attitude and mentality," Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said Thursday night. "I know, going into this series, what we did in the regular season was way back in the backs of our minds."

Still, there is an almost universal consensus that in order to learn how to win, a team must first drink the bitter poison of losing. There is likewise an almost universal consensus that this team of emerging young stars will be back with a vengeance.

"It was a big turnaround. There's no doubt that we'll be proud of the way we prepared for this season and really came together," said 19-year-old sensation Sidney Crosby. "The playoffs, obviously, it's tough. Maybe it's something that needs to happen for us to win."

"I think those young kids got a lot of experience from that," added coach Michel Therrien. "There's nothing to be ashamed from our season. I think looking at the big picture, it's a great season for this franchise. It's a huge step.

"I'm really proud of that group of young men. They accomplished something pretty big this year."

So, what did we learn about Crosby and the rest of this talented young team? What did he learn through the experience? Let us count the ways.

1. First, stop the presses, but the kid's pretty good
OK, so you think that's a no-brainer for the NHL's leading scorer. But don't forget, he's only 19. For five straight games, he got more than a healthy dose of the Senators' top two defensemen, Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov, and still managed to lead the Penguins with five points.

"It wasn't like there weren't chances," Crosby said. "I'm not going to sit here and say they didn't do a good job, because they did. But the competitive side of me says that I had my chances, too."

Playing with a bevy of different wingers, Crosby still managed to create a significant number of scoring chances over the five games.

"I wouldn't say he's been awe-inspiring, but I'd say he's been very good," former NHLer and Pittsburgh Penguins television analyst Bob Errey said.

Added Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson: "He plays really well. Obviously, you do pay attention when he's on the ice all the time. He's one heck of a player, no question."

2. Rough and tumble?
For the most part, Crosby recognized and managed to avoid the nightly attempts by Phillips and Volchenkov to force him into the middle of the ice, where they could physically contain him. That said, Crosby was physically challenged at every turn by the Senators, whether it was the defensive duo or the Alfredsson forward unit that played against Crosby for most of the series.

Despite the aggressive play, Crosby didn't change his game. Relying on his incredible low center of gravity and leg strength, Crosby took the rough stuff and still made play after play.

"He played well. Played really well. [He] works hard. That's Sidney Crosby. He's a guy who works, he battles, he had some chances," Therrien said.

3. Focus, focus, focus
It's been Crosby's hallmark since he first became a household name in the hockey world in his early teens. Yet, the playoffs are something entirely different. Every day for the past nine days, Crosby would trek off to a podium where he answered questions from a significant media contingent while his teammates had the luxury of doing interviews at their dressing room stalls, or in hallways, or not at all.

Yet, in spite of playing in his first NHL playoff series, a series that took him to his native Canada where interest in the series was enormous, Crosby stayed on task. He had a couple of disallowed goals that might have changed the course of the series, but he didn't go off the rails.

"He's got a great ability to put the past in the past," Errey said.

''I think Sidney Crosby will probably get lots of chances in his career to win a championship," added Ottawa coach Bryan Murray. "He's that kind of player. He'll take a lot of guys along with him. He'll help them a lot more than they'll help him, I can guarantee you that.''

4. Would you like some cheese with that whine?
A member of the Senators organization told ESPN.com early in the series that he thought Crosby should have been born during The Great Depression, "because then he'd have known what it was to have had something to really whine about. It's embarrassing."

Harsh? Perhaps. But after being seen carping to on-ice officials on a regular basis in the front half of the series, Crosby abruptly began to hold his tongue. A source said he had heard Crosby's landlord, Mario Lemieux, suggested Crosby tone down his contact with officials. Maybe Crosby figured it out on his own.

Regardless, whatever prompted the change, it was an important step in Crosby's education. NHL officials have said Crosby was much less prone to complaining during the regular season than in his rookie season. The fact he learned to leave it alone in the playoffs is another sign of his incredible faculty for the nuances of the game.

The rest of the Penguins? Here are a couple of things this series revealed:

1. Malkin's struggles
As good as rookie-of-the-year-in-waiting Evgeni Malkin was during the regular season, he couldn't quite figure out the ramped-up pace of the playoffs. He chipped in four assists, but didn't score. When the Penguins desperately needed scoring depth over the last two games and managed just one goal, it might have been nice for the 33-goal man to contribute. The reasons for the drop-off: the high level of play and likely fatigue as Malkin was used to playing fewer games in the Russian Elite League.

2. Staal is 'scary' good
Jordan Staal, at 18, looks anything but a teenager. A member of the ubiquitous Staal clan of Thunder Bay, Ontario, he tied the team scoring lead with three goals, killed penalties and generally played like a seasoned pro. Therrien suggested it was "scary" how good Staal is. A pretty apt description.

3. Defensive depth
One Eastern Conference scout said there was no way the Penguins could advance with their defensive shortcomings. And while they weren't horrific, Game 5 revealed the team's lack of depth. Turnovers killed the team and the blue line chipped in just two goals in the series. Expect GM Ray Shero to be mining the free-agent market for some defensive help in the offseason.

Fleury holds his own
Marc-Andre Fleury has come a long way in a relatively short period of time. Some forget his play was so inconsistent, he wasn't the starter in the AHL playoffs the last couple of seasons. Yet, in his first NHL playoff series, Fleury more than held his own. In Game 5, with the Senators threatening to blow open the game in the second and third periods, Fleury was especially strong. A good sign for the future.

Therrien shows his mettle
There were more than a few eyebrows raised when Therrien was kept on by the Penguins despite the arrival of Shero. Whether Therrien will ultimately be Shero's guy over the long term remains to be seen, but he acquitted himself admirably in this series. Unafraid to speak the truth, either about his team's obvious nervousness or the need to get more from players like Malkin, Therrien also worked his bench like a maniac. Lacking the depth the Senators possess, he shuffled lines in an effort to find some magic. It didn't quite work out, but that is not an indictment of Therrien's coaching prowess.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/playoffs2007/columns/story?columnist=burnside_scott&id=2843691

HometownGal
04-20-2007, 09:18 AM
I'm very, very proud of what our Pens accomplished this season. This is a team, if its nucleus can be kept together, is going to only get better in the coming years and definitely be a force to be reckoned with.

Thanks guys for the great season and can't wait to see you again in the fall! :cheers:

LETS GO PENS! :banana:

Counselor
04-20-2007, 09:58 AM
Hats off to our Penguins! :thumbsup: What a great season you gave us.

I know the disappointment is there, but there is not a doubt in my mind you will be back in the playoffs and winning series for many years to come--and thankfully you'll be right here in Pittsburgh! :cheers:

83-Steelers-43
04-21-2007, 07:41 AM
Recchi says losses will help long term
Calls 1st-round series great learning process
Saturday, April 21, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Mark Recchi has been through the Stanley Cup playoffs 12 times and has ended them with a victory only twice.

That's better than most guys do -- very few earn more than one championship ring -- but he still knows an awful lot about what it is like to lose in the postseason. About how experiencing the sting of defeat helps to make success even sweeter if, or when, it arrives.

Consequently, Recchi had a perspective few of his teammates could share in the wake of the Penguins' 3-0 season-ending loss to Ottawa Thursday in Game 5 of their opening-round playoff series.

Many people, inside the organization and out, know where they expect the Penguins to be in a few years; Recchi understands the kind of things they will go through on the way there. And how, brief as the team's first playoff appearance since 2001 was, it will be beneficial to their development.

"This is a great learning process for us," he said. "The guys will remember this feeling for the summer, and for next year when the playoffs start. Next year, it's not going to be so foreign to them."

The Senators know all about failures and frustrations during the playoffs; they became the NHL's poster boys for such things during the past decade.

In Round 1, however, Ottawa was focused, disciplined and efficient with few lapses and fewer letdowns.

"They played good, from the first minute of the first game," goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. "They always played hard."

Penguins coach Michel Therrien described the Senators as "a good hockey team that has a chance to win the Stanley Cup," and part of the reason for that -- beyond Ottawa's obvious skill level and depth -- is that the Senators were relentless.

That's a staple of any successful playoff team, but the Penguins didn't seem to fully appreciate it until they saw it first-hand.

"You have to stay focused, you have to be consistent," center Sidney Crosby said. "Unfortunately, we learned that the hard way."

Ottawa built its game plan around containing Crosby, who finished his first NHL playoff series with five points. That was a team high and not a bad debut, especially under the circumstances.

By now, though, excellence is expected of Crosby; it's what the Penguins got from some other players during Round 1 that should encourage the front office. And, in some cases, concern it.

Among the high points:

Marc-Andre Fleury. He won't show up on any Conn Smythe trophy ballots in June, his personal stats -- a 3.76 goals-against average and .880 save percentage -- were pedestrian, and he made a few gaffes, but, most important, he shed the rap that he unravels in high-stakes games.

Jordan Staal. An 18-year-old who continued to play with the poise of a veteran twice his age.

Gary Roberts. He accounted for 24 of the Penguins' 137 hits in the series, and a large percentage of the memorable ones. Toss in his two goals and two assists, and Roberts, 40, was far more of a force than most teammates 15 years his junior.

Some of the most disappointing performances in Round 1 came from:

Evgeni Malkin. The grueling NHL schedule obviously took a toll, and he wasn't able to elevate his game when the circumstances demanded it.

The many wingers who failed to score. Roberts was the only natural winger to get a puck past Senators goalie Ray Emery.

Sergei Gonchar. Early in the series, Therrien called him the Penguins' best defenseman. If he still felt that way after Game 5, it says more about how Therrien's defensemen -- especially on the top two pairings -- performed than about anything Gonchar did.

The power play. Going 0 for 15 in the final three games pretty much guaranteed the Penguins' season would end early. Ottawa's penalty-killing is good, but not that good.

Ryan Malone. He killed penalties well with Staal, but didn't have a point and tied Ryan Whitney for the worst plus-minus on the team, minus-4.

Georges Laraque. He dressed for the first and last game of the series, but was no more visible then than he was in Games 2, 3 and 4.

Those factors, along with a few others, make the case that having the series go five games was just about right.

So, Ottawa gets to continue chasing the title that has eluded it for so long, while the Penguins shift their attention to learning how what they've been through can help them prepare for where they want to be.

"We had a really good year, a really good group of guys in that dressing room who wanted to win," center Maxime Talbot said. "Down the road, the season we had will definitely be a valuable experience."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07111/779940-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
04-21-2007, 07:42 AM
Penguins' playoff loss doesn't taint season
By Karen Price
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, April 21, 2007

After Thursday's series-ending, Game 5 loss to the Ottawa Senators, there were a lot of what-ifs? going around the Penguins' dressing room.

What if they weren't so intimidated at the start of the series?

What if they didn't have such a bad second period in Game 3?

What if they'd scored at least one power play goal in the last three games of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series?

The players may well ask themselves those questions for the next five months until training camp opens to usher in the 2007-08 season.

But the next time the playoffs come around - and based on what the team accomplished this season, the playoffs should be an annual affair - the Penguins will likely have more answers than questions.

"The playoffs were tough, but maybe it's something that needed to happen for us to learn," Sidney Crosby said after Thursday's loss.

Almost seven months to the day, the Penguins were at West Point Military Academy going through a battery of rigorous, even grueling exercises designed to help them bond and come together as a team.

It was hard work, first-year general manager Ray Shero observed from the sidelines, but getting out of last place in the NHL wasn't going to be a picnic, either.

The Penguins not only got out of last place but finished fifth in the Eastern Conference and 10th in the NHL.

The 47-point improvement over their 2005-06 points total was the fourth-greatest, single-season turnaround in NHL history.

"There's nothing to be ashamed about from our season," coach Michel Therrien said. "You look at the big picture, it was a great season for this franchise. It was a huge step.

"I'm optimistic about the future. We learned through the course of the season about our team, about the character of our players. I'm really proud of that group of young men. They accomplished something pretty big this year."

Over the course of the season, the Penguins developed a reputation as a group that wouldn't go away easily.

They were 6-20-4 when trailing after two periods but 13-4-2 when tied after two and 16-11 in overtime. The 27 overtime games played (including shootouts) were the most of any team in the NHL.

Twenty-two of their final 29 games were decided by one goal, and the Penguins were 16-4-2 in those games.

But in the playoffs, the Penguins dropped the first game, 6-3, won the second game, 4-3, lost both games at Mellon Arena and, finally, lost in Game 5, 3-0, when they faced elimination for the first time in the series.

Crosby said that one of the greatest lessons the players learned about the playoffs was that you have to stay focused and you have to be consistent.

"Unfortunately, we learned that the hard way," Crosby said. "We had a lapse in the second period of Game 3 and that's something we have to learn from. I think even throughout the series we learned that, but unfortunately that's one game that you're down there.

"A lot of things happen in a playoff series. Ours was only five games, but a lot of things happened. You just have to make sure you stay positive, stay even keel."

It was the Penguins' first trip to the playoffs since 2001, and 13-of-20 skaters plus goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury were there for the first time.

"They're really going to learn a lot from this," said Mark Recchi, who has two Stanley Cups and led the team in postseason experience with 135 games going into the series. "I just think this is going to make us a better hockey club in the future and make every player in here better. ... If we keep progressing as a team like this, we're going to be contenders for the Stanley Cup for a long time."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_503829.html

83-Steelers-43
04-21-2007, 07:43 AM
Pens never had a season like this — for many reasons

By The Associated Press
Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Pittsburgh Penguins crammed a decade's worth of improvement and uncertainty, progress and hope, accomplishment and anticipation into a single 6 1/2 -month season unlike any other in their 40-year history.

But what most encourages their fans is that there may be more to come, even after a season that saw Sidney Crosby become the NHL's youngest scoring champion at age 19 and the Penguins make the playoffs after the fourth-best turnaround in league history.

It will happen in Pittsburgh, too, not Kansas City or Las Vegas or Portland, following protracted but successful negotiations to build the Penguins a new home to replace 46-year-old Mellon Arena. That deal took eight years and the franchise's near departure to accomplish.

"This is a great day for hockey," co-owner Mario Lemieux said after the arena negotiations were successfully concluded with state and local leaders March 14.

Great day? The entire season would be difficult to top, unless the Penguins had somehow won the Stanley Cup.

Given their remarkable assemblage of young talent, one that may be the NHL's best since Wayne Gretzky's early days in Edmonton, there is considerable speculation around the league they may soon be ready to accomplish that.

A season after winning 22 games, finishing last in their division for a fourth straight season and placing 29th in the 30-team overall standings, the Penguins won 47 games and ended with 105 points. It was the second-best total in their history, and they barely missed going from worst to first, losing out on the Atlantic Division title by three points.

Their first-round playoff elimination in five games by Ottawa, disappointing to the franchise but not unexpected given the Senators' vast edge in experience, may prove to be only a slight detour on their road to a championship.

"I think looking at the big picture it's a great season for this franchise, it's a huge step and we're optimistic about the future," coach Michel Therrien said after a 3-0, Game 5 loss in Ottawa on Thursday. "We learned over the course of the season about our team, about the character of our players."

All this from a team that, going into the season, would have settled for sneaking into the playoffs as the eighth and final qualifier.

"It's disappointing and upsetting," defenseman Ryan Whitney said of the Penguins' short stay in the playoffs. "But it's good to have been there, and now we know what it is all about. ... We're a team that could go far (next season)."

Especially given how far they've come since October.

Therrien himself began the season with an uncertain future, given the hiring of new general manager Ray Shero last year, and as late as January was rumored to be in danger of being fired. By April, he was a strong contender for NHL coach of the year.

Jordan Staal, only 18, went from being the No. 2 draft pick in June to a 29-goal scorer and one of the league's best penalty killers — all during a season he was expected to spend in junior hockey. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury transformed himself from a promising but unreliable goalie who won only 17 games combined his first two NHL seasons into a 40-game winner.

Evgeni Malkin sneaked away from his Russian team in August, made his way to the United States and had a breakthrough 85-point season. Even a goal-less playoff run didn't dim all he achieved as the possible rookie of the year.

Sergei Gonchar, written off early last season as a $25 million signing failure by former GM Craig Patrick, was the second-leading scorer among NHL defensemen and a key to one of the league's best power plays.

Crosby? All he did at 19 was the become the youngest scoring champion in any major American pro sports league with 120 points and, given the Penguins' turnaround, possibly the league's MVP.

"I think there's no doubt that we can be proud of the way we prepared for this season and really came together," Crosby said. "The playoffs obviously were tough but maybe it's something that needed to happen for us to learn."

Almost forgotten amid the season-long stream of news is that Lemieux, exasperated after years of failing to gain an arena deal, was within days of selling the team to Canadian businessman Jim Balsillie. The deal fell apart in December only when Balsillie balked at a league-mandated provision he not move the franchise under almost any circumstance.

And something to look for next fall, besides Shero possibly adding another top-line forward and a defenseman? (The Penguins have money to spend under the salary cap.)

How about making it Crosby, with a C? Look for him to become one of the league's youngest captains at age 20. Another note to ponder for 2007-08: Lemieux, though with an older cast surrounding him than Crosby does, won the Stanley Cup in only his second trip to the postseason.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_503817.html

83-Steelers-43
04-21-2007, 07:44 AM
Crosby doesn't wilt in playoff spotlight

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, April 21, 2007

OTTAWA

His first experience with the NHL's postseason was more brief than it was brilliant, but while Sidney Crosby didn't dominate against the Ottawa Senators, he certainly didn't disappoint.

The record will show that the NHL's leading scorer failed to register a point in the series' final two games, that his three goals merely matched rather than surpassed the total posted by Senators third-line center Chris Kelly, and that Crosby's team was dispatched in five at-times one-sided games, mostly because the power-play unit Crosby commands failed miserably in its final 15 chances.

That's one way to look at it.

Another is to recognize that Crosby took to the playoffs as if he'd been in the league for 19 years rather than alive that long, that he led the Penguins with five points and finished just one behind the series' leading scorer, Daniel Alfredsson, and that Crosby did it all under suffocating pressure and intense scrutiny.

The hockey world was watching closely.

Crosby responded by acquitting himself in a manner that confirmed what Penguins fans already knew: He's already perhaps the NHL's best player, and that whether he is or not he's just getting started.

"He played well," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "He played really well. He works hard; that's Sidney Crosby."

His signature moment was the third-period goal he scored that won Game 2. Crosby was on the ice against the defensive pairing of Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov, as he seemingly was all series.

That individual matchup went the Senators' way more often than not; the scoreboard said so.

Still, Crosby wasn't finished battling even late Thursday night in the aftermath of Game 5.

"They played well," Crosby said of Phillips and Volchenkov. "They're a tough pairing, but I think I was still able to create things. It wasn't like there weren't chances. I'm not going to sit here and say they didn't do a good job because they did, but I think the competitive side of me says I had my chances, too."

He'll have more, and the hockey world knows it, which is why the disappointment of the quick exit will fade faster than the Penguins probably suspect.

Crosby may have been educated to an extent in this series, but he wasn't rattled.

He showed up and he was heard from.

Crosby didn't pull a Barry Bonds.

And when the Penguins get him a little more help on the wing ...

Perhaps that's what he and Therrien were discussing when they shared a private moment in the bowels of Scotiabank Place, as Therrien was leaving the podium and Crosby once again was taking center stage.

"That's between me and him," Therrien said.

As Crosby spoke, it was difficult to differentiate his demeanor from what he had displayed Thursday morning following the morning skate.

The kid is that unflappable.

And he made it clear he has unfinished business.

"We had two games where I think we were trying to get our feet wet, and we got caught watching," Crosby said. "That's not going to happen again because we know what it's like now."

The rest of the NHL has been notified.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_503833.html

LarryNJ
04-21-2007, 07:51 AM
I love the "Crosby didn't pull a Barry Bonds" quote! Thank god for that!

83-Steelers-43
04-21-2007, 08:49 AM
I love the "Crosby didn't pull a Barry Bonds" quote! Thank god for that!

Yeah I got a nice chuckle out of that this morning. It's amazing how this 19 year old handles himself during interviews. Getting grilled by both the Canadian (more so) and the American media before and after games is not the most comfortable situation to be in as a 19 year old in the NHL.

Between some of the most idiotic and repetitive questions ever asked to dealing with "certain" media blowhards just waiting for you to slip so they can jump on you like a pack of wolves has to be difficult/stressing to some degree. But I guess that's the price you pay for being the greatest hockey player in the NHL (IMO).

83-Steelers-43
04-21-2007, 02:27 PM
Crosby's broken left foot on the mend
Will skip championship games in Moscow to speed healing
Saturday, April 21, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins center Sidney Crosby played the last several weeks of the season with a broken left foot and will skip the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships that begin next week in Moscow to give the bone a chance to heal.

Crosby also said today that he and his representatives might talk to the Penguins about negotiating a long-term contract this summer, a year before his entry contract expires. That would stop him from becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2008.

Crosby was injured when he blocked a shot. He did not miss any games and, at 19, became the youngest player to win the NHL scoring title with 120 points.

"The first two weeks were pretty sore, but after that it started to heal, so it got a little better," Crosby said today as the players cleaned out their lockers following a first-round loss to Ottawa in the playoffs.

"When we got to the playoffs, it was sore, but it wasn't grueling or anything. ... It just needs time."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07111/780038-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
04-21-2007, 03:12 PM
Played on a broken foot......unreal. It didn't show. Other athletes would be out for weeks or use it as an excuse. Not Sir Sid.

Also, good to hear they plan on talking contract. Free agency and Sidney Crosby should not even be placed in the same sentence. Get him signed.

Jeremy
04-21-2007, 05:17 PM
Crosby's broken left foot on the mend
Will skip championship games in Moscow to speed healing
Saturday, April 21, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins center Sidney Crosby played the last several weeks of the season with a broken left foot and will skip the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships that begin next week in Moscow to give the bone a chance to heal.

Crosby also said today that he and his representatives might talk to the Penguins about negotiating a long-term contract this summer, a year before his entry contract expires. That would stop him from becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2008.

Crosby was injured when he blocked a shot. He did not miss any games and, at 19, became the youngest player to win the NHL scoring title with 120 points.

"The first two weeks were pretty sore, but after that it started to heal, so it got a little better," Crosby said today as the players cleaned out their lockers following a first-round loss to Ottawa in the playoffs.

"When we got to the playoffs, it was sore, but it wasn't grueling or anything. ... It just needs time."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07111/780038-61.stm

If he wants to stay in Pittsburgh, he'll get it done.

X-Terminator
04-21-2007, 06:23 PM
That story is incorrect - Crosby would be a restricted free agent after next season, not unrestricted. He won't be eligible for unrestricted free agency until he's played 7 years in the league, or be 27, whichever comes first (obviously the former would apply in his case). The Penguins must extend him a qualifying offer that's at least 105% of his current salary in order to retain negotiating rights - which obviously they would do - and they would have the right to take him to arbitration if he doesn't sign the offer. So the Penguins pretty much hold all of the cards here, though obviously they would be very wise to sign him to a long-term deal this summer to avoid any potential contract issues after next season, and also lock him up for the lowest possible cost in terms of the maximum yearly salary a player can earn.

Go here (http://proicehockey.about.com/od/thenewnhl/a/salary_cap_expl_2.htm) for more on restricted free agency and other aspects of the CBA.

X-Terminator
04-21-2007, 09:52 PM
Since we're officially in the off-season and in need of some entertainment, I thought I'd post this - it's a great line brawl from the 88-89 season vs. Quebec. Some familiar names from the past get involved, including John Cullen, Randy Cunneyworth and Gord Dineen for the Pens and Joe Sakic from the Nords. Enjoy!

HPYqyZlfzfY

83-Steelers-43
04-22-2007, 10:18 AM
Penguins Analysis: Major holes must be filled on defense, at wing
Sunday, April 22, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A 15- or 20-point improvement would have been nice. Proof the franchise had been stabilized and was moving forward.

Flirting with .500? Possible, but not likely.

Being a factor in the playoff race, maybe even grabbing a bottom seed? Only the hopelessly optimistic would dare to dream it.

But the 2006-07 Penguins didn't settle for exceeding expectations; they added 47 points to their total -- the fourth-biggest spike in league history -- and earned the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference.

That their first-round series against Ottawa lasted only five games was disappointing, mostly because of all the Penguins had accomplished earlier, but does not detract from the progress made during the past year. The Penguins did so much, so quickly, that their biggest challenges next season will be to keep their goals realistic -- some components needed to be a championship-caliber club still are missing -- while not regressing.

General manager Ray Shero is charged with acquiring the pieces -- a goal-scoring winger or two and at least one solid defenseman, for starters -- the Penguins need. Or at least as many as his budget will allow.

Shero's personnel moves his first year on the job had mixed results -- trades to add the likes of Nils Ekman and Georges Laraque did not work out as planned -- but he modernized the Penguins' front-office and scouting operations, and those moves should have a long-term payoff.

Shero clearly grasps the realities of team-building in the salary-cap era; his ability to blend that knowledge with sound talent judgments will have a huge impact on what the Penguins can hope to achieve in 2007-08.

Michel Therrien, meanwhile, reinforced his reputation as a teacher and developer of young talent, and is a worthy candidate for coach of the year. He not only introduced the structure and accountability the Penguins lacked, but has matured as a strategist and in his dealings with players.

Therrien's mandate now is to show that he's the right guy to oversee the Penguins' evolution into true contenders, that he can do more than lay a foundation.

Goaltending

Last fall, Marc-Andre Fleury was in serious danger of starting the season in the American Hockey League. Management opted to keep him here, and Fleury responded with a breakthrough year.

Although Fleury is becoming more technically sound, no longer relying on reflexes and athleticism, he must continue to improve in areas such as rebound control and puckhandling. There is ample time for him to get better, though. Fleury, the youngest No. 1 goaltender in this spring's playoffs, won't turn 23 until late November.

His goaltending partner, Jocelyn Thibault, is an unrestricted free agent, but the Penguins should try to re-sign him. Thibault finally is over the effects of two major hip surgeries and not only played well down the stretch, but works well with Fleury. What's more, the Penguins don't have a qualified replacement.

Forwards

The Penguins came out of training camp with an obvious need for a couple of goal-scoring wingers to take advantage of the playmaking abilities of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

That void has not been filled and, because there are none in the organization, Shero will have little choice but to pursue one or two via trades or free agency.

Although Gary Roberts isn't a big-time goal-scorer, his physical play and intangibles were big factors in the Penguins' strong finish, and he was one of the few to have a strong series against the Senators.

He's an unrestricted free agent, and the Penguins might be a long shot to retain him, because Roberts apparently would like to be closer to a daughter who attends school in Toronto, but they should push hard to do it. Even if it means offering a two-year contract to a guy who turns 41 May 23.

Two other unrestricted free agents, Mark Recchi and high-energy winger Ronald Petrovicky, should return, too, although Recchi should have a reduced workload and Petrovicky might be reluctant to stay with a team that frequently scratched him after Laraque arrived.

Crosby, Malkin and Jordan Staal are the Penguins' core forwards, but other young players grew into blue-collar roles this season. Colby Armstrong is a ferocious forechecker and hitter, and Maxime Talbot is a tenacious two-way contributor and penalty-killer.

Although young forwards such as Erik Christensen and Michel Ouellet would benefit from gaining consistency, 27-year-old Ryan Malone is proof that it doesn't always happen. Management has to decide whether Malone will play to his potential with regularity or simply tease his bosses with it.

Defensemen

If Shero would base his decisions on the defense corps solely on the Ottawa series, he might opt for a clearance sale because no one from that group distinguished himself. Just another reason to figure that Kristopher Letang has a spot in the opening-night lineup.

Sergei Gonchar is as close as the Penguins get to a No. 1 defenseman, at least for now, but is far too inconsistent and a notch below the game's top performers at his position. Gonchar's frequent partner, Mark Eaton, was sensational before dislocating a wrist Nov. 4. Whether that was an aberration is not clear because Eaton never was the same after that injury.

The Penguins' other top pairing featured two young guys with radically different styles, but one key quality in common: Both improved significantly this season, and should continue to get better.

Brooks Orpik is the most physical presence on their blue line and is learning when and how to hit most effectively.

Ryan Whitney isn't hard-wired to play that way, but has excellent offensive talents and could overtake Gonchar as the Penguins' top-point producer on defense next season. His defensive work has gotten better, but he can -- and must -- continue to improve.

With Letang the only prospect ready to compete for a place here, the Penguins should seriously consider re-signing unrestricted free agents Josef Melichar and Rob Scuderi. Both are popular lightning rods for criticism and are Nos. 6 or 7 defensemen at this level, but recognize their limitations and play within them.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07112/780117-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
04-22-2007, 10:19 AM
Staying put an option for Roberts and Recchi
Sunday, April 22, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Wingers Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts, relative old-timers in the NHL at 39 and 40, respectively, are set to become unrestricted free agents. As the Penguins cleaned out their lockers and said goodbye yesterday, Recchi and Roberts shared the same questions about whether they will return to the team next season.

Roberts, who had 13 points in 19 regular-season games, four points in five games in the playoffs and played with tenacity after being acquired at the February trade deadline, called re-signing "an option I'm looking at."

"I really enjoyed myself. It's a real good group of guys who I think are going to be stars for a long time."

Roberts and Recchi are waiting to gauge interest from the Penguins. Recchi was more straightforward about his desire to re-sign.

"They know I want to stay here," said Recchi, who had 68 points this season and four points in five playoff games, but just two goals and six assists in the last 23 regular-season games.

"At some point, they're going to make a decision whether I'm going to be here or Gary's going to be here and whether four or five other free agents are going to be here. I think there's a big need for veteran leadership, guys who can still compete and still play."

Roberts and Recchi are among 10 unrestricted free agents. The others are backup goaltender Jocelyn Thibault, forwards Ronald Petrovicky and Nils Ekman, and defensemen Josef Melichar, Rob Scuderi, Alain Nasreddine, Joel Kwiatkowski and Eric Cairns. The Penguins also will need to extend qualifying offers to six restricted free agents -- defenseman Ryan Whitney and forwards Colby Armstrong, Maxime Talbot, Michel Ouellet, Erik Christensen and Chris Thorburn -- to keep them from becoming unrestricted free agents.

At least five Penguins are heading to Moscow in the next few days to play in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships.

Forward Jordan Staal, who had 29 goals and led the NHL with seven short-handed goals and a 22.1 shooting percent as an 18-year-old rookie, will represent Team Canada, joining his older brother, Eric, of Carolina.

Rookie forward Evgeni Malkin and defenseman Sergei Gonchar will be playing for host Russia. Forward Jarkko Ruutu will join Finland's squad, and forward Ronald Petrovicky will join Slovakia's team. Whitney is iffy for Team USA because he faces possible surgery for a wrist injury that caused increasing pain during the season.

While players such as Whitney, who had 77 points and whose breakout passes drove the Penguins' transition game, would seem to be a priority for the Penguins, Recchi and Roberts are awaiting a read on their situation.

"I think we'd both like to come back," said Recchi, who made $2.280 million this season and is willing to sign a one-year deal. "Guys like myself and Gary are willing to do whatever it takes to win a championship, whether you have reduced roles or whatever the coaching staff wants."

Roberts, who made $2.25 million, hopes to play at least two more seasons in the NHL. The Penguins might have a difficult time signing him if he gets a workable offer from Toronto, where his daughter has one more year of high school, but Roberts wouldn't rule out anything.

"Pittsburgh's not that far away from Toronto," he said.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07112/780119-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
04-22-2007, 10:19 AM
Boy, between yesterday's article dealing with the Steelers and today's article dealing with the Penguins I find it amazing Bob made it this far in life. With all the positivity this guy spews it's no wonder he hasn't taken the Fort Pitt Bridge yet.

I guess I can always find positivity in the his Pirate articles. Afterall, they are the ones who won a championship in 2005 and made one hell of a playoff run last year, it's understandable. Leave it up to this clown to rain on a parade.

Smizik: Expectations for Penguins might be unrealistic
Duplicating this season will be major challenge for players and team as a whole
Sunday, April 22, 2007

By Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins' recently completed season was so stunning in its success that losing in five games in the first round of the playoffs could dim its luster.

What a season it was:

Sidney Crosby became a teenage scoring champion and established himself as the best player in the NHL.

Evgeni Malkin led all first-year players in scoring, has the look of another superstar and is the leading candidate to win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.

Jordan Staal tied for second in goal-scoring among rookies and, at 18, looks to be another major building block of the future.

Sergei Gonchar was second among defensemen in scoring and, after a dismal start last season, is looking more and more like he's worth the $25 million the Penguins have invested in him.

The team accumulated 105 points, second most in franchise history, and its 47-point improvement was fourth best in league history.

It was a bonanza of excellence, which means, since this is Pittsburgh, the Penguins will be expected to not only do the same next season but perhaps a bit more. The Penguins have joined the Steelers and Pitt basketball in that very dangerous area of town known as the land of outrageous expectations.

Just as the Steelers and Bill Cowher and the Panthers and Jamie Dixon discovered, once things start to go good, they're only allowed to get better.

While it's true that no fans of local teams are more loyal than those of the Penguins and they are less likely to criticize, the fact remains the Penguins have established expectations they might not be able to meet.

Already, some people, media and fans alike, are suggesting this team, when the young players gain a bit more experience, has a chance to win not just one but several Stanley Cups. That's beyond outrageous.

It's true, the Penguins won two Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992, but those teams were thick with future Hall of Famers. From those teams, the following players are either in the Hall of Fame or will be: Mario Lemieux, Paul Coffey, Ron Francis, Jaromir Jagr, Larry Murphy, Joe Mullen, Bryan Trottier and Tom Barrasso.

It would not be shocking to pronounce Crosby as a future Hall of Famer, but there is no one else on this team worthy of that designation yet. More good to excellent players must be added before this team can talk about winning Cups. As skilled as the Penguins are, it was clear in the series against the Ottawa Senators, hardly a team of old-timers, they have a distance to travel.

But let's forget future Cups and concentrate on next season. The Penguins established such highs this season they might be difficult to duplicate. It's possible, for example, the team might accumulate 105 points, but no wise man would want to place a wager on that.

Even Crosby, whose magnificent season became all the more remarkable when it was announced yesterday he played the final month with a broken bone in his foot, admitted it might be difficult for the team to duplicate what it did this season.

"We're setting our standards high for next year," he said "and making sure that we don't just settle for hanging around maybe for the last playoff spot. Even though that might be possible it's such a competitive league.

"Who knows what's going to happen next year?"

This much we can tell Crosby about next year. If the team stumbles early or one of the players who excelled this season does not continue at that pace, people will want to know why and there will be criticism. Beyond doubt, Michel Therrien, even if he wins the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year, will be reviled if the Penguins fail to live up to expectations.

The Penguins were fortunate that most of their key players escaped serious injury this season. What happens if Crosby misses 10 games?

By his play in the few months he was with the team, Gary Roberts, who will be 41 next month, showed the team's significant need for a power forward. If the Penguins can't sign Roberts, who will be an unrestricted free agent, they need to acquire a similar type player.

Roberts was asked where the Penguins need to improve.

"I think we need to be more consistent defensively," he said. "I thought [Marc-Andre] Fleury was outstanding [in the playoffs], and we didn't play our best in front of him. To win in the playoffs, you need to be a little more desperate in your own end. And that's not just the defensemen, that's the whole team.

"I think we shrunk a little bit defensively in our own end, and you need to battle every night."

The future is exciting and highly promising. But to suggest there's a clear path to greatness is wrong. It's just not that easy.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07112/780120-194.stm

83-Steelers-43
04-22-2007, 10:20 AM
Upgrading defense a top priority for Pens

By Karen Price
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Penguins' catch-phrase/marketing slogan for the 2006-07 season was "Experience the Evolution."
It might not have been the most groundbreaking, but, boy, did it hit the nail on the head.

The front office overhaul, team culture makeover, maturation of a group of young and immensely talented players and solid coaching all led to the most successful season in years, and, as coach Michel Therrien said after his team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, it was a huge step.

Now, the pressure is on.

Expectations will be higher, and the Penguins won't be catching anyone by surprise in 2007-08. There's also nothing to suggest that the Eastern Conference will be any less competitive next season.

The Penguins will have to continue to improve, and it begins this offseason. Here are a few needs that should be addressed before training camp opens in September.

Nos. 3 and 4 defensemen

The Penguins need an upgrade here more than any other area. They have their top two defensive positions locked up with Sergei Gonchar, who despite a poor performance in the playoffs was the second-leading scorer among all defensemen in the regular season, and Ryan Whitney, who came into his own in his second year in the league. But, with all due respect to Mark Eaton and Brooks Orpik, the Penguins lack a strong middle pairing, such as what the Senators showed them with Anton Volchenkov and Chris Phillips going against the Sidney Crosby line and Wade Redden and Andrej Meszaros out against the second line. The Penguins should have Kristopher Letang with them next season, and his presence -- not to mention his right-handed shot -- will be welcomed. Alex Goligoski will get a good look in camp. But they need at least one more experienced defenseman who can move the puck. During the five playoff games against the Senators, the Penguins got only four shots on goal from defensemen not named Gonchar or Whitney, and none in the last two games.

A scoring winger

This is much less a priority than defense. True, guys like Colby Armstrong and Ryan Malone may not be your traditional top six forwards, and free-agent-to-be Mark Recchi is nearing the end of his career. But let's face it, the Penguins had the third-most goals of any team in the league this season, and scoring wingers are expensive. General manager Ray Shero didn't get into any bidding wars last summer, and he's not likely to this year, either, given the amount of money he's going to need to give to the young stars they already have. There were just two 50-goal scorers in the league this season, eight 40-goal scorers and 32 30-goal scorers. To believe that the Penguins are going to be able to afford even one of them who might be available is probably wishful thinking. Adding another 20-goal scorer is more realistic, and the good news is that Pittsburgh will likely be a destination of choice given their centermen and the possibility of a long playoff run.

A good faceoff man

The Penguins were last in the NHL in faceoff winning percentage in 2006-07 at 47 percent. Crosby (49.8 percent), Maxime Talbot (44.4 percent), Evgeni Malkin (43.3 percent) and Jordan Staal (37.1 percent) took the bulk of the draws, so perhaps it's an issue of age and experience. But the Penguins absolutely need to get someone who can win faceoffs more consistently and at critical junctures. In Game 4 against the Senators, the Penguins had three faceoffs in the Senators' end in the final 48 seconds of the game while trailing by one goal and Crosby lost all three. In the opening period of Game 5, facing elimination, the Penguins won only 35 percent of their draws and 42 percent in the game.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_504029.html

83-Steelers-43
04-22-2007, 10:21 AM
Notebook: Intensity level in playoffs surprises Pens' Malkin

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, April 22, 2007

The raised intensity of the NHL playoffs surprised Penguins rookie Evgeni Malkin, a teammate said Saturday.

"He was tired ... he didn't know what to expect in the playoffs. He was surprised a bit how much the tempo was higher compared to the regular season," defenseman Sergei Gonchar said of Malkin. "He told me that when he was playing in Russia there was not such a big difference in terms of intensity and tempo. He said all that stuff did not change as much during the playoffs there as it does here."

Malkin was held without a goal in the Penguins' five-game loss to the Ottawa Senators in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal playoff series. He recorded four assists.

Counting the postseason, Malkin, a front-runner to win the Calder Trophy that is awarded to the NHL's top rookie, scored only four goals over the final two months -- a span of 31 games.

Conversely, Malkin scored 13 of his 33 regular-season goals over his first 20 games.

"He has never played such a long season as one in the NHL," Gonchar said. "It's tough for any young player, especially one who had such a good start."

Malkin will get little rest during the offseason. He and Gonchar are scheduled to leave today for Russia to represent their host country at the International Ice Hockey Federation world championship.

Malkin will stay with the Russian club however long it lasts in the tournament. After that, he will remain in Russia to reconnect with family and friends, and train there with Gonchar, the veteran defenseman said.

"He misses his friends and family," Gonchar said. "(Returning to Russia) will be good for him."

Say goodbye?

Veteran forwards Gary Roberts and Mark Recchi said they plan on playing in the NHL next season.

Whether they return to the Penguins is a decision in the hands of general manager Ray Shero, who did not meet with reporters yesterday as he and coach Michel Therrien conducted exit interviews with players.

Roberts and Recchi each will become unrestricted free agents July 1, meaning they can sign with a team of their choosing during the offseason on or after that date.

"I had a real fun time here," Roberts said. "The guys made me feel like I was here all season. ... Obviously, (staying in Pittsburgh) is an option I'm looking at."

The close proximity of Pittsburgh to Toronto might play in the Penguins' favor, if Shero opts to pursue re-signing Roberts, 40, who was acquired at the trade deadline from Florida for promising defenseman Noah Welch.

Roberts' daughter is entering her final year of school in Toronto, and he prefers to play somewhere in close proximity.

One of the reasons he waived a no-trade clause with Florida to join the Penguins is because of the relatively short distance between Toronto and Pittsburgh, Roberts said.

Roberts scored seven goals in 19 games with the Penguins. He totaled 20 for the season and scored two goals and recorded four points in the playoffs.

Recchi, 39, wishes to stay in Pittsburgh, too -- and not just because he makes it his full-time home.

After scoring 24 goals and recording 68 points in his third tour with the Penguins, Recchi would like to reap the rewards he believes the team is about to achieve.

"I want to win another championship, and I want to be part of this group right here, because this group is real close to doing something special," Recchi said. "If they want me back, I'm willing to accept whatever role I'd be given. I'd be willing to do whatever they want."

Recchi, however, downplayed the possibility of giving the Penguins a "hometown discount."

"I know there are some teams out there that need veteran leadership," Recchi said. "But this is where I want to play. Hopefully, we can work something out. Obviously, I love it here."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_504010.html

83-Steelers-43
04-22-2007, 10:22 AM
Penguins need upgrades

By Joe Starkey
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, April 22, 2007

The decisive nature of the Penguins' playoff defeat left no room for what ifs.
It wasn't about a lucky bounce or two. It was a bludgeoning, a five-game spanking that exposed the team's glaring weaknesses. The Penguins were able to camouflage their flaws during the regular season, thanks mostly to their high-end talent, but couldn't find cover when the Ottawa Senators rolled in.

This team needs serious upgrades if it expects to challenge for the Stanley Cup next season. Increased experience won't be enough.

It's nice that so many people expect a run of multiple Cups to begin as early as next season, but it's not that easy. Take a look around the Eastern Conference, where the Senators, for one, aren't going anywhere. Ottawa has the NHL's third-youngest team (average age: 27.3 years), just behind the Penguins.

Luckily for the Penguins, general manager Ray Shero resisted the urge to make a big splash in his initial foray into free agency last summer. His restraint put the franchise in position to make just such a splash this summer.

Obviously, the Penguins need a goal scorer or two. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are waiting on some wings.

Bill Guerin or Chris Drury, a center who could easily play wing, could be among a multitude of possibilities. Another name that springs to mind is ex-Penguins winger Alexei Morozov, who'd look mighty nice next to Malkin.

Morozov, 30, has produced three consecutive productive seasons in the Russian Elite League and has a game that lends itself to the new-world NHL. His agent, Jay Grossman, said Friday that Morozov wants to play in the NHL next season and has instructed Grossman to gauge teams' interest.

In case you watched the Ottawa series with blinders on, the Penguins also need help on defense. Top prospect Kris Letang should be ready to step in. He'll add his immense offensive talent -- and a much-needed right-handed shot -- to the blue line.

Throw in an abrasive, shut-down type -- pending unrestricted free agent Andy Sutton would fit the bill -- and the Penguins would be in business.

Shero's budget will increase, but he'll be handicapped by the fact that free agents are seeking lengthier deals these days. Any long-term deals must be weighed against the fact that the contracts for all of the Penguins' young stars expire over the next few years and will need to be renewed and considerably sweetened.

The kids will command big money, starting with Sidney Crosby, who could be signed to a long-term deal as early as this summer, even though he has a year left on his three-year rookie contract. The Penguins are eligible to begin negotiations July 1.

Meantime, coach Michel Therrien has one year left on his contract. The Penguins almost have to sign him to an extension. It wouldn't look good to turn the possible Jack Adams Award winner into a lame duck by making him enter the final year of his contract without a deal in place.

That often becomes a bad situation, because it can undercut a coach's authority. Just ask Kevin Constantine.

The obvious solution would be to give Therrien a slight raise on his $600,000 salary with, say, a two-year extension.

That way, if things don't work out, a coaching change wouldn't exactly bankrupt the franchise.

Therrien, by the way, did a tremendous job in the regular season but did not distinguish himself in the playoffs. The Penguins' power play -- their only real hope in the series -- was predictable and lame in the final three games.

Where were the adjustments? Where was the element of surprise?

On top of that, it was disappointing to see Jordan Staal sitting on the bench during the two early 5-on-3 situations in Game 5 (the second one was only 14 seconds, but the Penguins won a faceoff and had possession in the Senators' zone). Staal thrived in those situations during the regular season.

Staal wasn't even on the second power play. He logged only 46 seconds of power-play time in Game 5. Hard to figure -- but Therrien still had a terrific season, as did the Penguins.

And a repeat won't be nearly good enough.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_503939.html

SteelCityMan786
04-22-2007, 10:39 AM
Upgrading defense a top priority for Pens

By Karen Price
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Penguins' catch-phrase/marketing slogan for the 2006-07 season was "Experience the Evolution."
It might not have been the most groundbreaking, but, boy, did it hit the nail on the head.

The front office overhaul, team culture makeover, maturation of a group of young and immensely talented players and solid coaching all led to the most successful season in years, and, as coach Michel Therrien said after his team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, it was a huge step.

Now, the pressure is on.

Expectations will be higher, and the Penguins won't be catching anyone by surprise in 2007-08. There's also nothing to suggest that the Eastern Conference will be any less competitive next season.

The Penguins will have to continue to improve, and it begins this offseason. Here are a few needs that should be addressed before training camp opens in September.

Nos. 3 and 4 defensemen

The Penguins need an upgrade here more than any other area. They have their top two defensive positions locked up with Sergei Gonchar, who despite a poor performance in the playoffs was the second-leading scorer among all defensemen in the regular season, and Ryan Whitney, who came into his own in his second year in the league. But, with all due respect to Mark Eaton and Brooks Orpik, the Penguins lack a strong middle pairing, such as what the Senators showed them with Anton Volchenkov and Chris Phillips going against the Sidney Crosby line and Wade Redden and Andrej Meszaros out against the second line. The Penguins should have Kristopher Letang with them next season, and his presence -- not to mention his right-handed shot -- will be welcomed. Alex Goligoski will get a good look in camp. But they need at least one more experienced defenseman who can move the puck. During the five playoff games against the Senators, the Penguins got only four shots on goal from defensemen not named Gonchar or Whitney, and none in the last two games.

A scoring winger

This is much less a priority than defense. True, guys like Colby Armstrong and Ryan Malone may not be your traditional top six forwards, and free-agent-to-be Mark Recchi is nearing the end of his career. But let's face it, the Penguins had the third-most goals of any team in the league this season, and scoring wingers are expensive. General manager Ray Shero didn't get into any bidding wars last summer, and he's not likely to this year, either, given the amount of money he's going to need to give to the young stars they already have. There were just two 50-goal scorers in the league this season, eight 40-goal scorers and 32 30-goal scorers. To believe that the Penguins are going to be able to afford even one of them who might be available is probably wishful thinking. Adding another 20-goal scorer is more realistic, and the good news is that Pittsburgh will likely be a destination of choice given their centermen and the possibility of a long playoff run.

A good faceoff man

The Penguins were last in the NHL in faceoff winning percentage in 2006-07 at 47 percent. Crosby (49.8 percent), Maxime Talbot (44.4 percent), Evgeni Malkin (43.3 percent) and Jordan Staal (37.1 percent) took the bulk of the draws, so perhaps it's an issue of age and experience. But the Penguins absolutely need to get someone who can win faceoffs more consistently and at critical junctures. In Game 4 against the Senators, the Penguins had three faceoffs in the Senators' end in the final 48 seconds of the game while trailing by one goal and Crosby lost all three. In the opening period of Game 5, facing elimination, the Penguins won only 35 percent of their draws and 42 percent in the game.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_504029.html

Defensemen are definantly needed. We have a couple in Gonchar and LaRaque. So right there that's a start. But, we still need a couple more.

83-Steelers-43
04-22-2007, 10:43 AM
Defensemen are definantly needed. We have a couple in Gonchar and LaRaque. So right there that's a start. But, we still need a couple more.

Laraque is a forward. But I think Gonchar, Whitney and Eaton are the definite locks for defense. IMO, the rest are possible trade bait. Maybe throw one in on a nice little package deal with Ryan Malone in the offseason?

I'm not stating everybody on defense minus Gonchar, Whitney and Eaton will be gone, but I feel they are possible trade bait.

SteelCityMan786
04-22-2007, 10:46 AM
Laraque is a forward. But I think Gonchar, Whitney and Eaton are the definite locks for defense.

Brain Fart took effect there for me 83. Thanks for the memory refresher. I guess big losses take awhile for me to recover from.

X-Terminator
04-23-2007, 02:22 AM
Rooney, Cash, Crosby honored at Dapper Dan Dinner

Monday, April 23, 2007
By Colin Dunlap, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Excerpts:

... the Penguins' Sidney Crosby earned Sportsman of the Year honors

Crosby's remarks were simple, an ode to a city that has rallied around him and a view toward what can be accomplished in a Penguins future that was in doubt just a few months ago.

"Hopefully," said Crosby, the youngest Sportsman of the Year Award winner ever, "we can bring you, the fans, a Stanley Cup."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07113/780284-61.stm

Congratulations, Sid! An honor well-earned and well-deserved! :cheers:

X-Terminator
04-23-2007, 02:57 AM
Here is an unofficial list of NHL free-agents-to-be this summer. Some very intriguing names on this list, and quite a few that the Penguins should definitely take a long look at. On D, Andy Sutton of the Thrashers, Craig Rivet and Scott Hannan of the Sharks, Bryan Rafalski of the Devils and Tom Preissing of the Senators would be worth serious looks, IMO. Even a guy like Cory Sarich of the Lightning wouldn't be a bad choice as a 5th or 6th D-man. At wing, Chris Drury of the Sabres (who could and has played wing), Jason Blake and Ryan Smyth of the Isles, Brendan Shanahan of the Rangers and Bill Guerin of the Sharks are available. They should definitely target either Blake or Smyth - preferably Smyth - because I don't see the Isles keeping both of them unless they can find a way to dump Alexei Yashin's contract. Same thing for Chris Drury - the Sabres likely will not be able to afford both him and Daniel Briere, especially with Thomas Vanek likely to get a pretty significant raise next season. Smyth and Drury would be excellent fits for this team, IMO. And if they want someone for the 3rd/4th line with some grit, who isn't afraid to drop the gloves to protect his teammates and can pop in the odd goal, they should take a look at Ian Laperriere of the Avs - even more so if they don't plan on bringing back Georges Laraque and/or Mark Recchi.

Link: http://www.geocities.com/floridapanthers2000/free2007.html

Preacher
04-23-2007, 03:37 AM
Well...

I hate to tell you all this...

but my team is still in it...


GO CANUCKS.... well... they way they have been choking... maybe not for long..


but GO CANUCKS!!! LOL...

Sorry, I could never be a Pens fan... I REALLY didn't like Mario (don't touch me) lemieux as a player... though I understand he has done a good job in teh FO.

Now, if I live in Pitt... I could route for them... just as long they didn't play against the Canucks...

In the same way that I always routed for the Seattle Seahawks...as long as they didn't play the Steelers.

yeah, I knew about a month ahead of time that I was going to have to see Seattle and Pitt play.. I was ticked... I kept routing against Seattle so that I didn't have to route against them in thier only SB.

Ohwell...

And let me call the end of this post............:offtopic:

Its late.. and I am rambling!!! LOL

X-Terminator
04-23-2007, 05:59 AM
Well...

I hate to tell you all this...

but my team is still in it...


GO CANUCKS.... well... they way they have been choking... maybe not for long..


but GO CANUCKS!!! LOL...

Sorry, I could never be a Pens fan... I REALLY didn't like Mario (don't touch me) lemieux as a player... though I understand he has done a good job in teh FO.

Now, if I live in Pitt... I could route for them... just as long they didn't play against the Canucks...

In the same way that I always routed for the Seattle Seahawks...as long as they didn't play the Steelers.

yeah, I knew about a month ahead of time that I was going to have to see Seattle and Pitt play.. I was ticked... I kept routing against Seattle so that I didn't have to route against them in thier only SB.

Ohwell...

And let me call the end of this post............:offtopic:

Its late.. and I am rambling!!! LOL

Well, I could counter your subtle swipe at the great Mario Lemieux with the fact that your team has two of the biggest pansies in the league in the Sedin "Sisters"...but I won't :flap:

Seriously though, that's fine - I understand that many Steelers fans are fans of other non-Pittsburgh teams (we've had a Leafs fan and Devils fan post here). I don't have anything against the Canucks and wouldn't mind it if they did win the Cup - it would avenge their loss to the Rangers in 1994 (well, I could hate them for that, I suppose - LOL).

83-Steelers-43
04-23-2007, 08:25 AM
Good luck to your team Preacher.

Preacher
04-23-2007, 07:20 PM
Well, I could counter your subtle swipe at the great Mario Lemieux with the fact that your team has two of the biggest pansies in the league in the Sedin "Sisters"...but I won't :flap:

Seriously though, that's fine - I understand that many Steelers fans are fans of other non-Pittsburgh teams (we've had a Leafs fan and Devils fan post here). I don't have anything against the Canucks and wouldn't mind it if they did win the Cup - it would avenge their loss to the Rangers in 1994 (well, I could hate them for that, I suppose - LOL).

LOL... yeah... my wife is a BIG Rangers fan... so that was a bad loss...

And more to the point.. I just always thought a six foot plus 200 plus pound hockey player should know how to take a hit... and give a few...

But that is my bias.. being a west-coast based hockey person...

Preacher
04-23-2007, 07:21 PM
Good luck to your team Preacher.

Thanks...

but they seem to be tanking it after going up 3-1!!

ARGHHHHHHHH

83-Steelers-43
04-23-2007, 07:42 PM
but they seem to be tanking it after going up 3-1!!

Since I'm a Modano fan, I'll just keep quiet.......:wink02:

Preacher
04-23-2007, 08:25 PM
Since I'm a Modano fan, I'll just keep quiet.......:wink02:


:sofunny::sofunny:

Well.. I guess your crying out...

GO MINNESOTA GO!!!!


Yeah... oldschool

Petesburgh66
04-23-2007, 11:01 PM
I REALLY didn't like Mario (don't touch me) lemieux as a player... though I understand he has done a good job in teh FO.

Don't touch me? Mario was a marked man. How do you explain Mario's back problems. At least Mario dropped the gloves when he had to

http://youtube.com/watch?v=-V9G_mWG-9U

unlike the Great Chicken. Help me Semenko, help me Messier, help me McSorley. You couldn't sneeze around 99.

And I am pulling for the Canucks....since the Flames are now gone.

Petesburgh66
04-23-2007, 11:07 PM
They should definitely target either Blake or Smyth - preferably Smyth

I wouldn't touch Ryan Smyth with a ten foot pole in this salary cap system. He wasn't the big impact player that the Isles wanted. And plus with his past style of play in Edmonton, his body is breaking down quicker than the average NHL player. It happened with Wendel Clark (same type of player with less fights). You may get another year or two from him but not worth it if you sign him for 5 years.

What about Kovalev back to the Pens? Montreal wants to get rid of him and his salary. I would be shocked if he was still with the Habs for the upcoming season. Too much bad blood in the dressing room with him around.

Preacher
04-23-2007, 11:12 PM
Don't touch me? Mario was a marked man. How do you explain Mario's back problems. At least Mario dropped the gloves when he had to

http://youtube.com/watch?v=-V9G_mWG-9U

unlike the Great Chicken. Help me Semenko, help me Messier, help me McSorley. You couldn't sneeze around 99.

And I am pulling for the Canucks....since the Flames are now gone.

I never heard Gretzky complain about "Clutching and Grabbing"

Mario whined and cried because he couldn't skate from end to end without being touched.

Gretzky was small... he needed an enforcer to skate with him. The lead scorer often did.

I would have no problem with Mario if he did the same... but his whining just about killed me. (Realize, I was a defensemen... and always found the whole clutch and grab whine from forwards childish and a bit funny).


However, I will say this about mario... Any man that comes back from cancer to once again play professional sports is a stud... I take nothing away from him in that...

Just his whining about the whole clutch and grab killed me.. YOUR A BIG MAN.. PLAY LIKE ONE!!

Preacher
04-23-2007, 11:13 PM
I wouldn't touch Ryan Smyth with a ten foot pole in this salary cap system. He wasn't the big impact player that the Isles wanted. And plus with his past style of play in Edmonton, his body is breaking down quicker than the average NHL player. It happened with Wendel Clark (same type of player with less fights). You may get another year or two from him but not worth it if you sign him for 5 years.

What about Kovalev back to the Pens? Montreal wants to get rid of him and his salary. I would be shocked if he was still with the Habs for the upcoming season. Too much bad blood in the dressing room with him around.

Hey PETES...


You watching the Vancouver game right now????

Petesburgh66
04-23-2007, 11:18 PM
Hey PETES...


You watching the Vancouver game right now????

Yup, I hope Linden's goal is the game winner. He is Mr. Canuck.

Preacher
04-23-2007, 11:19 PM
Yup, I hope Linden's goal is the game winner. He is Mr. Canuck.


No doubt.

I remember watching him and the Russian Rocket... they were exciting together....

but I don't think as exciting as Linden and the Sundin brothers...

Petesburgh66
04-23-2007, 11:26 PM
I never heard Gretzky complain about "Clutching and Grabbing"

Mario whined and cried because he couldn't skate from end to end without being touched.

Gretzky was small... he needed an enforcer to skate with him. The lead scorer often did.

I would have no problem with Mario if he did the same... but his whining just about killed me. (Realize, I was a defensemen... and always found the whole clutch and grab whine from forwards childish and a bit funny).


However, I will say this about mario... Any man that comes back from cancer to once again play professional sports is a stud... I take nothing away from him in that...

Just his whining about the whole clutch and grab killed me.. YOUR A BIG MAN.. PLAY LIKE ONE!!

Mario was right about the clutch and grab. He noticed this crap creeping into the game but people called him a whiner for it. It took the NHL almost 15 years to get it's head out of the sand and call the game it was suppose to be called. Obstruction was killing the sport. I could care less about slow defensive pilons. People want to watch superstar players play and not the big dumb Derian Hatcher's of the world.

Petesburgh66
04-23-2007, 11:32 PM
No doubt.

I remember watching him and the Russian Rocket... they were exciting together....

but I don't think as exciting as Linden and the Sundin brothers...

You mean the Sedins. Talk about disapearing in the playoffs when it matters.

And the Maple Leafs management should be all fired or shot. Instead of signing defensive liabilities like McCabe and Kubina, they should have gone hard after Luongo instead of the piece of crap Raycroft. Loo is the reason why Vancouver is still alive. He is proving to be big money in the playoffs.

Preacher
04-23-2007, 11:33 PM
Mario was right about the clutch and grab. He noticed this crap creeping into the game but people called him a whiner for it. It took the NHL almost 15 years to get it's head out of the sand and call the game it was suppose to be called. Obstruction was killing the sport. I could care less about slow defensive pilons. People want to watch superstar players play and not the big dumb Derian Hatcher's of the world.

I absolutely disagree...

mario and the comish are trying to turn this into basketball on ice... and it sucks...

I am watching a game WITH NO FLOW... there are SO MANY PENALTIES..

slashing... STICK ON STICK..

This isn't the hockey I knew or grew up with.. It really sucks compared to what it used to be.

The refs should swallow thier whistles in the playoffs... unless it takes away a scoring oportunity (sp) or is intentionally dangerous.

I miss Toe BLake, Gordy Howe Old Time Hockey!

It is time to "Put one the foil"

Preacher
04-23-2007, 11:35 PM
You mean the Sedins. Talk about disapearing in the playoffs when it matters.

And the Maple Leafs management should be all fired or shot. Instead of signing defensive liabilities like McCabe and Kubina, they should have gone hard after Luongo instead of the piece of crap Raycroft. Loo is the reason why Vancouver is still alive. He is proving to be big money in the playoffs.

LOL...

I take it your a leafs fan?


So would that make a mortal enemy of La' habitant?

PLEASE SAY YES!!

Petesburgh66
04-23-2007, 11:45 PM
The problem is that players are taught to play this clutch and grab style before they even get into CHL junior hockey. It's going to take a while before this gets filtered out of the sport.

And the reason why this isn't the hockey I grew up with in the 1980s was that there was no boring trap systems. Thank you NJ Devils for re-introducing this boring style of hockey back in the mid 1990s. Sigh. Perfect example, the Stars played that BS trap all night until they fell behind in the 3rd. Give a team a penalty for illegal D or something. They did this in baseketball until they brought back the zone D.

The Canuck are moving on. Good for them and the city.

Preacher
04-23-2007, 11:46 PM
Well...

with 2 open net goals...


I guess that is the game...



GO CANUCKS!!!!

Man... If they end up playing in the cup finals against the Rangers again... I am screwed...

Petesburgh66
04-23-2007, 11:55 PM
LOL...

I take it your a leafs fan?


So would that make a mortal enemy of La' habitant?

PLEASE SAY YES!!

God, I can't stand them and most of their fans. Luckly, the Hab fans I know are not as dumb as some of the ones I read online (aka we are going to win the cup and yet they have a team loaded with junk). But they have a right to look down at the Leafs with the number of cups won. But still, knocking their asses out of playoff contention was sweet.

And I see no hope in Leaf land in the next few years. An aging Swedish superstar, a salary capped load D, no scoring depth on the wings, a sieve for a goalie and no top prospects in the farm system. Yup, better get the paper bag. At least, I will get some joy in watching the Penguins as they will be the team to beat in the next few years. They just need to get some better stay at home D and a sniper or two on the wings.

Petesburgh66
04-23-2007, 11:59 PM
Well...

with 2 open net goals...


I guess that is the game...



GO CANUCKS!!!!

Man... If they end up playing in the cup finals against the Rangers again... I am screwed...

I don't see the Rangers getting by the Sabres. And if the Rangers make it the final, the NHL is rigged. No way they are better than the Sens, Devils or Sabres.

X-Terminator
04-24-2007, 12:10 AM
I absolutely disagree...

mario and the comish are trying to turn this into basketball on ice... and it sucks...

I am watching a game WITH NO FLOW... there are SO MANY PENALTIES..

slashing... STICK ON STICK..

This isn't the hockey I knew or grew up with.. It really sucks compared to what it used to be.

The refs should swallow thier whistles in the playoffs... unless it takes away a scoring oportunity (sp) or is intentionally dangerous.

I miss Toe BLake, Gordy Howe Old Time Hockey!

It is time to "Put one the foil"

You really think that's Mario's fault? If you want to blame anyone for the rules changes, you can blame two people - Brendan Shanahan and Gary Bettman. Plus, wasn't "Mr. Canuck" Trevor Linden the president of the NHLPA at the time these rules changes were bandied about and then implemented? Yes, Mario did complain about the clutching and grabbing. And you know what? He had every right to. You think games have no flow now? What about 10 years ago when you could pretty much do everything but literally undress a player without a penalty being called? You call THAT entertaining hockey? I don't! Now I will be the first one to tell you that the rules changes and all of the penalties associated with them is ridiculous. You get penalized just for putting a hand or a stick on a player without impeding his progress! Defensemen and goaltenders aren't allowed to do what they need to do to clear players out of the crease anymore, which leads to goaltenders being run over on a regular basis. Too many referees are "whistle-happy" and playing more than half the game on special teams isn't exactly the greatest hockey to watch. But to blame Mario for that is completely unfair, especially when many more players around the league (Markus Naslund being one of them, BTW) complained about the same damn thing. And if you really think Wayne Gretzky never complained about anything or complained about the clutching and grabbing, then you've really had your head in the sand for the past 20+ years, because he most certainly did - both as a player and as an owner/coach.

Sorry man, but you really got my dandruff up...

Petesburgh66
04-24-2007, 12:22 AM
Those rules changes were made by Competition Committee, which consisted of four NHL players (Rob Blake, Jarome Iginla of Calgary, Trevor Linden and Brendan Shanahan), four NHL GMs (Bob Gainey of Montreal, Kevin Lowe. David Poile and Don Waddell), one owner (sigh....Ed "my Philly teams suck" Snider) along with Colin Campbell.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=131130&hubname=

I think some of the rules with respect to obstruction need to be addressed. I have seen alot of cheap penalties given out the past two years. And even the two-ref system needs to be addressed. The ones that really bug me is when the ref located down ice makes a call, while the other ref is in front of the play and doesn't feel warrented to call a penalty. WTF.

As for running into goalies, I have always had the belief, you come out of your crease your are fair game. Goalies have a free credit card to do what they want. They know they can't be touched 99% of the time without getting a penalty in their favour.

Preacher
04-24-2007, 01:34 AM
You really think that's Mario's fault? If you want to blame anyone for the rules changes, you can blame two people - Brendan Shanahan and Gary Bettman. Plus, wasn't "Mr. Canuck" Trevor Linden the president of the NHLPA at the time these rules changes were bandied about and then implemented? Yes, Mario did complain about the clutching and grabbing. And you know what? He had every right to. You think games have no flow now? What about 10 years ago when you could pretty much do everything but literally undress a player without a penalty being called? You call THAT entertaining hockey? I don't! Now I will be the first one to tell you that the rules changes and all of the penalties associated with them is ridiculous. You get penalized just for putting a hand or a stick on a player without impeding his progress! Defensemen and goaltenders aren't allowed to do what they need to do to clear players out of the crease anymore, which leads to goaltenders being run over on a regular basis. Too many referees are "whistle-happy" and playing more than half the game on special teams isn't exactly the greatest hockey to watch. But to blame Mario for that is completely unfair, especially when many more players around the league (Markus Naslund being one of them, BTW) complained about the same damn thing. And if you really think Wayne Gretzky never complained about anything or complained about the clutching and grabbing, then you've really had your head in the sand for the past 20+ years, because he most certainly did - both as a player and as an owner/coach.

Sorry man, but you really got my dandruff up...

You really think that's Mario's fault? If you want to blame anyone for the rules changes, you can blame two people - Brendan Shanahan and Gary Bettman. Plus, wasn't "Mr. Canuck" Trevor Linden the president of the NHLPA at the time these rules changes were bandied about and then implemented? Yes, Mario did complain about the clutching and grabbing.

Yes... when the superstars complain... they turn the tide. And I dislike the fact that LInden was involved as well.

You think games have no flow now? What about 10 years ago when you could pretty much do everything but literally undress a player without a penalty being called? You call THAT entertaining hockey? I don't!

I do not watch hocky to be entertained... 10 years ago, hockey was MUCH better. The heart of hockey is not referee's and rule changes. It is not superstars looking pretty. The problem with the game is that there has been too many rule changes and too much involvement by others. If hockey was left alone to develop, it would have ended up much better then it is now. Let me explain.

Why was the Centerline put in? It was put in to slow down hockey. Rocket Richard and others were flying through center ice... So they instituted the two line pass rule. Then, a few years later, the center line allows for that same team (Montreal) to then institute the trapping game. Why? Because they figured out how to play within the new rules, and beat the system. A few years later, a team came along and opened up the game a different way.. the Oilers starting putting 5, 6, 7 points on the board at a time.., and not worrying about allowing 2, 3, 4 goals.

So then, the neutral zone trap came back, with tying up the players coming through the zone. How did that change hockey... easy, by goons becoming enforcers... fighters that can skate and score... But then, the league came in and tried to drive fighting out fo the game. As a result, clutching and grabbing was allowed to continue over the last few years....

however, ten years ago.. one fo the most exciting playoffs was ever played... 1994 (okay, 13 years ago). It was wide open... Rangers/Devils, Rangers Canucks, what series, so no, I don't agree at all with it not being entertaining. Matter of fact, I remember a big SI cover... WHY HOCKEY IS HOT... AND BASKETBALL IS NOT. What happend?? A stupid lockout.


Now I will be the first one to tell you that the rules changes and all of the penalties associated with them is ridiculous. You get penalized just for putting a hand or a stick on a player without impeding his progress! Defensemen and goaltenders aren't allowed to do what they need to do to clear players out of the crease anymore, which leads to goaltenders being run over on a regular basis. Too many referees are "whistle-happy" and playing more than half the game on special teams isn't exactly the greatest hockey to watch. But to blame Mario for that is completely unfair, especially when many more players around the league (Markus Naslund being one of them, BTW) complained about the same damn thing.

However, that is exactly what the forwards wanted... Gretzkey, Mario, etc... They got what they want. Don't forget, forwards get more press and more of a contract when they score more. So they want the rules to change for them.

Funny thing is, I think the two ref rule... is excellent. It makes the calls better.... I am all for calling penalties in situations were scoring situations are taken away.

And if you really think Wayne Gretzky never complained about anything or complained about the clutching and grabbing, then you've really had your head in the sand for the past 20+ years, because he most certainly did - both as a player and as an owner/coach.

My point was that mario played the physical game like he was 5-5 and a buck 30, He was big enough to power through... but decided to complain about it instead. now, I know I just played hockey in my youth... up through midget A's (and not that good of a team...), but I also know that most defensemen just laugh when guys like Mario play like 5-5 players. Actually... we used to target them even more.

You are right.. Gary Bettman is a BIG PROBLEM in hockey. I am a true traditionalist. I actually want the old names back. Smythe, norris, Comble conference, etc. And I am sick and tired of Basketball on ice.

However, please understand that your talking to someone who believes that the NFL putting in the instigator penalty to stop fights was one of the WORST things ever. I think the NHL needs more fights. And no, I am not kidding. the first hockey game EVER was never finished, because it was called on account of fighting. That type of hard core, physical, in your face, Throw a punch if the guy is holding on to you hockey is the best...

And that brings me full circle. YOU want to stop the clutching and grabbing... take away the instigator penalty for fighting. IF the guy grabs you... hit him in the head with a jab... when he turns around to you, drop the gloves and win teh fight. He won't grab next time.

But nope.. they can't do that. Instead, they change the rules, and what happens?? now the game is over-controlled, no flow... penalties up the wazzu... bad calls to "even out the game." Yep.. it has become basketball on ice...

So sad.

X-Terminator
04-24-2007, 05:02 AM
Yes... when the superstars complain... they turn the tide. And I dislike the fact that LInden was involved as well.

That's not always the case, and you explained it later when talking about the implementation of the red line and the two-line pass to slow down high-scoring teams/players. Remember the so-called "Edmonton rule" that kept teams at full-strength (5-on-5) after coincidental minors? That was done because the Oilers used to score at will in 4-on-4 situations, and the other teams couldn't keep up. All cases where the league tried to help out the defense through rule changes. BTW, I'm more disappointed in Shanahan being involved - here's a guy who built his reputation on being a hard-nosed player, transforming from a fighter early in his career into one of the top power-forwards of this generation...and ends up being the biggest champion of these rules changes. I lost some respect for him because of that.

I do not watch hocky to be entertained... 10 years ago, hockey was MUCH better. The heart of hockey is not referee's and rule changes. It is not superstars looking pretty. The problem with the game is that there has been too many rule changes and too much involvement by others. If hockey was left alone to develop, it would have ended up much better then it is now. Let me explain.

Why was the Centerline put in? It was put in to slow down hockey. Rocket Richard and others were flying through center ice... So they instituted the two line pass rule. Then, a few years later, the center line allows for that same team (Montreal) to then institute the trapping game. Why? Because they figured out how to play within the new rules, and beat the system. A few years later, a team came along and opened up the game a different way.. the Oilers starting putting 5, 6, 7 points on the board at a time.., and not worrying about allowing 2, 3, 4 goals.

So then, the neutral zone trap came back, with tying up the players coming through the zone. How did that change hockey... easy, by goons becoming enforcers... fighters that can skate and score... But then, the league came in and tried to drive fighting out fo the game. As a result, clutching and grabbing was allowed to continue over the last few years....

however, ten years ago.. one fo the most exciting playoffs was ever played... 1994 (okay, 13 years ago). It was wide open... Rangers/Devils, Rangers Canucks, what series, so no, I don't agree at all with it not being entertaining. Matter of fact, I remember a big SI cover... WHY HOCKEY IS HOT... AND BASKETBALL IS NOT. What happend?? A stupid lockout.

Well, I thought the point of watching any sport was to be entertained, but oh well...to each his own. I do agree with the majority of the rest of your comments here, though - clearly the game was MUCH better before the Devils revived the trap in 1995 (under Jacques Lemaire, who played for Montreal in the 70s when they used the system) and won the Cup, which led to other teams with lesser talent implementing the system. Think about it - do you really think the Florida Panthers would have made it all the way to the finals in 1997 if they didn't play the trap? Other than Pavel Bure, who did they have on that team who could have been considered even an above-average player? That team would have been blown out of the water in the 80s and early 90s with all of that average talent. The neutral zone trap made the game slow, boring and almost unwatchable, and gave crappy teams like the Panthers a chance to compete with the elite teams. As for the lockout, unfortunately the league was suffering for a few years before then - the lockout just finished the job.

However, that is exactly what the forwards wanted... Gretzkey, Mario, etc... They got what they want. Don't forget, forwards get more press and more of a contract when they score more. So they want the rules to change for them.

Goaltenders did the same thing when they wanted their crease expanded and used all of that oversized equipment from about 1995 until last season. And we've both already shown where the league changed rules to help the defense, so it isn't fair to only object when the offensive players want rules changed for them.

Funny thing is, I think the two ref rule... is excellent. It makes the calls better....

The two-ref system works only when both referees are on the same page. Most often this isn't the case, and the game turns into a huge mess. I prefer the single-ref system myself - the games had more flow and fewer penalties overall when there was just one ref, IMO of course.

I am all for calling penalties in situations were scoring situations are taken away.

So am I, and funny thing - so was Mario, Gretzky, Brett Hull, etc. But they get called "whiners" for daring to suggest such a thing.

My point was that mario played the physical game like he was 5-5 and a buck 30, He was big enough to power through... but decided to complain about it instead. now, I know I just played hockey in my youth... up through midget A's (and not that good of a team...), but I also know that most defensemen just laugh when guys like Mario play like 5-5 players. Actually... we used to target them even more.

No he didn't, but OK. I guess I was seeing things whenever he scored goals while having players draped all over him. Mario was never afraid to go in the corners or work behind the net, took MANY hits to make plays and dished out quite a few checks of his own. No, he wasn't the most physical player in the world, but he did not shy away from it.


You are right.. Gary Bettman is a BIG PROBLEM in hockey. I am a true traditionalist. I actually want the old names back. Smythe, norris, Comble conference, etc. And I am sick and tired of Basketball on ice.

However, please understand that your talking to someone who believes that the NFL putting in the instigator penalty to stop fights was one of the WORST things ever. I think the NHL needs more fights. And no, I am not kidding. the first hockey game EVER was never finished, because it was called on account of fighting. That type of hard core, physical, in your face, Throw a punch if the guy is holding on to you hockey is the best...

And that brings me full circle. YOU want to stop the clutching and grabbing... take away the instigator penalty for fighting. IF the guy grabs you... hit him in the head with a jab... when he turns around to you, drop the gloves and win teh fight. He won't grab next time.

But nope.. they can't do that. Instead, they change the rules, and what happens?? now the game is over-controlled, no flow... penalties up the wazzu... bad calls to "even out the game." Yep.. it has become basketball on ice...

So sad.

Father, I'm right there with you - I'm a traditionalist, and I too think that the league needs to do away with the instigator rule and return the sport to the way it used to be played. Not only would it bring back tough, hard-nosed, physical play, it would force cheap-shot artists like Darcy Tucker, Sean Avery, Jordin Tootoo and many others to man up and fight after they pull their stunts. Those guys thrive in the current environment because they know that the instigator rule punishes players who stand up for their teammates. All they have to do is turtle, and BAM - 7 minute PP for his team. It's disgusting, and it isn't at all what hockey should be. There is no question that the league needs more fighting, which leads to more accountability and respect among the players, which would ultimately lead to more room on the ice for the star players, which would then lead to a better and more marketable product on the ice.

:thmbdown: to the "new" NHL.

X-Terminator
04-24-2007, 06:18 AM
Well, so much for that free agent wish list...

Pens might not make big splash in free agency

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

San Jose's Bill Guerin would look good taking passes from Sidney Crosby next season.

For that matter, so would the New York Islanders' Ryan Smyth.

Certainly, Montreal's Sheldon Souray would upgrade the Penguins' defense.

After improving by 47 points and reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2001, the Penguins -- with their unrivaled core of young talent and, presumably, money to spend -- will prove a top destination this summer for unrestricted free agents such as Guerin, Smyth and Souray.

So goes popular speculation, anyway.

Who cares if general manager Ray Shero sounded Monday like a guy with a different plan for this offseason than the one that calls for him to break the bank in an effort to accelerate the Penguins' growth into a Stanley Cup contender?

"Everybody's expectations are these free agents are out there, but they're not signing for short-term deals at discount prices," Shero said. "And the one-year fix is not something we're looking at."

The Penguins, who Shero said spent around $34 million this past season, have some holes to fill. However, Shero might find some bargains to fill them, even if the NHL salary cap expands to $47 million for 2007-08.

For example, the chance to play alongside Crosby or Evgeni Malkin will no doubt be intriguing to unrestricted top-flight wingers. However, a skilled forward such as the Islanders' Jason Blake (40 goals in 2006-07) likely will command considerable money over a number of seasons.

Shero might not look to secure the services of costly, veteran free agents seeking long-term deals.

Maybe he cannot afford that luxury.

Consider: Shero is about to open talks with Crosby on a contract extension. He might start similar discussions next summer with Malkin and Jordan Staal. Defenseman Ryan Whitney, center Maxime Talbot and forwards Colby Armstrong and Michel Ouellet are restricted free agents this summer. Additionally, next season will mark the final year of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury's contract.

The young Penguins are about to become an expensive bunch to keep intact -- even if, as expected, Shero receives a go-ahead from ownership to increase payroll -- thanks to the promise of increased revenues from a new arena that should open in 2009.

Re-signing his own veterans, such as unrestricted free agents Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts, appears to be Shero's first priority. After that, a player such as Nashville's Scott Hartnell (22 goals this past season) seems a more realistic possibility than, say, Buffalo's Daniel Briere (32 goals).

"When I came here a year ago, it wasn't my expectation to be a player in the free-agent market the first couple of years," Shero said. "I never anticipated getting (high-priced) players to build this thing. My focus is ... to build this thing properly over the next few years. I want to build a franchise that is good over a period of time."

Adding offense is not necessarily a pressing concern for Shero, either. Despite their struggles to score in an opening-round playoff loss to Ottawa, the Penguins scored the NHL's third-most goals during the regular season (277).

Shero said the Penguins next season could look different than this year's team, but not drastically.

"I can't say 105 points was in my playbook, but now that we are there it is about keeping the core together and being good for a number of years," Shero said. "When I was hired last year, I talked about having vision, patience and a plan. I don't think that has changed."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_504233.html

X-Terminator
04-24-2007, 06:21 AM
Keep Mr. Roberts in the Pens' neighborhood

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The initial plan, if practicable, was to seek a goal-scoring forward in free agency to play with Sidney Crosby.

As it turns out, the Penguins gladly will settle for re-signing Gary Roberts.

He'll turn 41 on May 23, and his days of scoring 50, 40 or even 30 goals are likely behind him.

Still, if the Penguins can re-up Roberts, their most critical offseason question will have been answered no matter what line Roberts winds up skating on during his first full season with the team.

The alternative is a bigger-name, bigger-ticket free agent, the type that won't sign for the "short term" or the "short money" in general manager Ray Shero's estimation.

Those guys are a gamble. Remember Ziggy Palffy?

Roberts is a sure thing.

"I knew what we were getting on the ice," Shero said Monday at Mellon Arena during a season wrap-up media briefing. "I didn't know Gary Roberts as a person."

He does now.

The entire Penguins organization is aware of the Roberts legend, particularly the wide-eyed kids who watched in awe as he personified what the NHL playoffs are about during a first-round series with Ottawa.

Roberts was a one-man wrecking crew against the Senators. His performance left his new teammates thirsting for more of the passion, competitiveness and leadership Roberts oozes. And the GM who acquired him as an insurance policy at first has emerged convinced he got more than he bargained for in dispatching prospect Noah Welch to Florida on Feb. 27.

"I really felt that with the year the team had had, the progress we had made, the momentum we had had as an organization, it would have been really demoralizing to fall back and miss the playoffs," Shero said.

So, Shero's goal in landing Roberts was achieved once the Penguins qualified for the postseason.

Still, Roberts' work here is far from finished.

"Some guys already want to go see him for four or five days in the summertime to train with him," Shero said. "That wasn't the expectation. It certainly is a nice surprise."

Retaining Roberts' services before unrestricted free agency commences July 1 would be a nicer one.

Roberts' initial plan was to play for Ottawa or Toronto so he could be closer to his daughter, who is about to enter 12th grade in the Toronto area. But since being convinced by the Penguins to waive his no-trade clause and join them at the trade deadline, Roberts admittedly has been re-energized playing with the likes of Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal.

"He's open to coming back," Shero said. "I don't think that was really on his radar on trade day."

Roberts, who earned $2.25 million this season, will seek a multiyear deal.

Shero, due in Norfolk, Va., to scout the AHL Penguins this week, and in Moscow to work for Team USA at the World Championships next week, is eager to see if a contract that satisfies Roberts and the Penguins can be hammered out in a week or two.

"As I told him, I can work from Europe," Shero said.

A new deal for Roberts would be worth any accompanying roaming charges.

The Penguins have no greater offseason priority.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_504238.html

X-Terminator
04-24-2007, 06:22 AM
Pens to offer Therrien extension

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Coach Michel Therrien was part of the Penguins' package when Ray Shero was hired as general manager last May. Less than a year later, Therrien is seemingly Shero's guy.

Shero said Monday that he will speak with Therrien about a possible contract extension "over the next few days."

Therrien's current deal will expire after next season. He is set to earn $600,000.

"He has done a tremendous job ... he deserves a lot of the credit for where we ended up and the progress we made," Shero said of Therrien, who guided the Penguins to a 47-point turnaround this past season -- the fourth greatest improvement in NHL history.

"When I got hired, we really didn't even know each other. That trust issue is really huge in the relationship between a coach and general manager, and that has been really good this year.

"Mike is a very loyal person to his staff and the organization. He has a lot of the qualities I look for in a coach."

Since replacing Eddie Olczyk as coach Dec. 15, 2005, Therrien has guided the Penguins to a 61-53-19 record.

This past season, the Penguins went 47-24-11 and earned 105 points, which was the second-highest, single-season total in club history. The Penguins also snapped a six-year playoff drought.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_504241.html

X-Terminator
04-24-2007, 06:24 AM
Pens' Shero looking forward to Crosby contract talks

By The Tribune-Review
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

General manager Ray Shero said he anticipates "having a conversation" with representatives for star center Sidney Crosby on a long-term contract extension. Crosby, the NHL's scoring leader in only his second season, will play under the final year of his entry-level deal next season. A modification was made to the collective bargaining agreement that allows the Penguins and Crosby to begin negotiating an extension July 1.

? Evgeni Malkin will benefit from spending part off his offseason in Russia, Shero said. Malkin left Pittsburgh on Sunday and will represent his native country at the International Ice Hockey Federation world championships. He will then train alongside Penguins teammate Sergei Gonchar before returning to the United States in late July.

"He wants to get back home, go on vacation with his buddies -- he has got to be a normal, 20-year-old kid," Shero said. "It's a big year for the Russians, hosting the world championships. It will be a big thing for him to play in his country."

? The Penguins will solely operate their American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton next season, Shero said. This past season, the AHL Penguins were comprised of players from NHL organizations in Pittsburgh and Edmonton, even though Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is owned by the Penguins.

? The Penguins signed forward Aaron Boogaard to a three-year, entry-level contract. Boogaard was a sixth-round pick by the Minnesota Wild in 2004. He spent the past five seasons in the Western Hockey League, where he recorded 54 points and amassed 589 penalty minutes.

? Crosby's all-star jersey fetched $47,520 in an auction that raised money for Hockey Fights Cancer, which was founded in 1998 by the NHL and NHLPA.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_504244.html

83-Steelers-43
04-24-2007, 08:54 AM
Cook: Can Shero keep this going?
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

One by one, they proved themselves. Michel Therrien proved he can be a big-time hockey coach. Sidney Crosby proved he's the best player in the world. Marc-Andre Fleury proved he should be good enough one day to be a Stanley Cup-winning goaltender, that 1-4 record against the Ottawa Senators be damned. Evgeni Malkin proved he can adjust to the NHL in a big way, those five goalless games against the Senators notwithstanding. Jordan Staal proved he has more going than any 18-year-old hockey player on the planet.

Now, it's Ray Shero's turn.

We're about to find out just how good of a hockey manager he really is.

All indications are that Shero will be terrific. His first 11 months with the Penguins went better than anyone could have predicted. The proof is his young team's stunning 105-point season. More proof is the way he has brought the organization -- especially the scouting department -- into the 21st century. Looking at the Penguins now, it's hard to believe they were a franchise that didn't have Internet access for its coaches until Therrien took over late in '05.

More Shero innovations are on the way. Next week, he will be in Moscow to scout the world championships, a trip his predecessor, Craig Patrick, never made. In July, the Penguins will conduct their first conditioning camp for rookies. In early September, they will send a team of rookies to play a series of games against rookies from three other NHL clubs.

Those are small things, to be sure. But they could add up to something big for the Penguins down the road.

"I've always believed a manager's job is to give direction to the franchise," Shero said yesterday.

"My big thing coming in was change. 'We're going to change the culture here, change the expectations, change the professionalism. We're going to move this franchise forward.' "

Shero has been brilliant doing just that. But it's still too early to completely judge him. He gets an incomplete grade as a talent evaluator.

When Shero took the Penguins' job May 25, he talked about having "vision, patience and a plan." It quickly became clear that plan involved moving cautiously. One reason was the financial parameters imposed by the Lemieux ownership group. There was no promise of a lucrative new arena then. The last thing Shero wanted to do was jump deep into the free-agent pool and commit the franchise to a multiyear, multimillion-dollar deal with a player. Another reason was Shero wanted to evaluate the players he had. That's where patience came in.

Shero made some wise decisions. He didn't trade the No. 2 overall pick in the June entry draft -- despite having numerous chances -- because he loved Staal's potential. He brought back veteran winger Mark Recchi to provide leadership for his young players. He signed defenseman Mark Eaton, a pretty good player until a serious wrist injury.

But Shero also traded a No. 2 pick for winger Nils Ekman.

Shero gets the same mixed reviews for his conservative work at the February trade deadline. You get the feeling he really didn't want to do anything -- that he accurately realized the Penguins still were a bit short of being a serious Cup contender -- but that wouldn't have sent much of a message to his team, which had worked so hard to get into playoff contention. "I really felt it would have been demoralizing to fall back and miss the playoffs," he said.

Shero hit a home run by getting veteran winger Gary Roberts in a trade for young defenseman Noah Welch. That will be remembered as a great deal even if Welch becomes a top four defenseman and Roberts turns out to be a rent-a-player and moves on. Roberts had a tremendous impact in the dressing room.

But Shero also traded a third-round pick for winger Georges Laraque and a fourth-round pick for defenseman Joel Kwiatkowski.

Now, Shero is back at the plate again.

He used the same words -- "vision, patience and a plan" -- again yesterday. "I don't think a 105-point season changes that."

That was a bit disheartening to hear. So was Shero's response when asked if he will have more resources to use this offseason because the new arena is a done deal. "A little bit. But I still have to talk to management about that." And his response when asked about having a window to compete for a Cup with Crosby and the others. "I don't believe in windows. ... Players are going to come and go. They had Lemieux, Jagr and Francis here. They all left.

"I want to build a franchise that's going to be good for a period of time."

That's prudent strategy, no doubt.

But we don't have to like it, do we?

Here's hoping Shero and the Penguins are a lot more aggressive going after players this summer. They need a goal-scoring winger to play with Crosby despite Shero's assertion that "we scored plenty of goals this season." They need a banging winger to play on a line with Staal and Malkin. And they need at least one defenseman, probably two.

It doesn't make sense to wait with this group of young players. Strike now and take your shot. There is a window, contrary to what Shero said. It's hard to imagine him being able to keep Crosby, Fleury, Malkin and Staal together for the long term under the NHL salary cap. Beyond that, those young players really did prove plenty in this marvelous regular season. They also learned plenty about playoff hockey in the not-so-marvelous series against the Senators. They clearly believe a Cup is in their near future. Why shouldn't the rest of us believe it?

"My job would be a lot easier if we had improved from 58 to 75 points," Shero said, grinning, probably only half-teasing about the suddenly heavy expectations.

Shero can blame his players for messing that up.

They speeded up his plan dramatically.

Now, Shero must catch up and keep the thing moving.

How he does will determine how we judge him.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07114/780471-87.stm

Preacher
04-24-2007, 03:58 PM
Father, I'm right there with you - I'm a traditionalist, and I too think that the league needs to do away with the instigator rule and return the sport to the way it used to be played. Not only would it bring back tough, hard-nosed, physical play, it would force cheap-shot artists like Darcy Tucker, Sean Avery, Jordin Tootoo and many others to man up and fight after they pull their stunts. Those guys thrive in the current environment because they know that the instigator rule punishes players who stand up for their teammates. All they have to do is turtle, and BAM - 7 minute PP for his team. It's disgusting, and it isn't at all what hockey should be. There is no question that the league needs more fighting, which leads to more accountability and respect among the players, which would ultimately lead to more room on the ice for the star players, which would then lead to a better and more marketable product on the ice.

:thmbdown: to the "new" NHL.


You know...

It is hilarious how we take vastly different roads to the same conclusion!!

I think we are both seeing and quoting abuses of the system by players based on what we focus on. Like I said, i was a defensemen, and will always view the game that way. However, you are absolutely right.

If I cheap shot someone... or start clutching and grabbing... and then get faced up with a Hatcher or Probert... Guess what. I am going to think twice before doing it again. I always say it is like the pitcher throwing the fastball at the hitters back. It is an equalizer... bean balls are there to send a message to knock it off... fights are the same in hockey.

I think we in agreement more then we differ!!!

BTW.... You may be right about the single ref...

BTW..again... If fighting was brought back.... the trap would have ceased without any other rule changes... the trap was based on clutcing and grabbing through the neutral zone... A couple good shots to the head by a quick right hand would have solved that! And yeah, that is good old time hockey! Eddie Shore!

One last thing... I really like the shorter center ice... and taking the center line out.

In the end... when the playoffs are on... and it is 2-2 in teh bottom of the third period... Hockey should resemble one thing... Pond hockey that was played by thousands of kids all across northern north america... just at a much higher speed and skill level...

Oh yeah... and this last thing (you can tell I am a Baptist Preacher... I just keep talking... :blah:)

When I talk about scoring opp. I am talking about a clear shot to the net. A man HAS the puck... and ready to shoot... or a man has a clear shot to the net. By definition of how clutching and grabbing was played... That could not be what Gretzky and mario was talking about... cause those things were ALWAYS called... I just want to go BACK to those.

SteelCityMan786
04-24-2007, 06:48 PM
Pens to offer Therrien extension

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Coach Michel Therrien was part of the Penguins' package when Ray Shero was hired as general manager last May. Less than a year later, Therrien is seemingly Shero's guy.

Shero said Monday that he will speak with Therrien about a possible contract extension "over the next few days."

Therrien's current deal will expire after next season. He is set to earn $600,000.

"He has done a tremendous job ... he deserves a lot of the credit for where we ended up and the progress we made," Shero said of Therrien, who guided the Penguins to a 47-point turnaround this past season -- the fourth greatest improvement in NHL history.

"When I got hired, we really didn't even know each other. That trust issue is really huge in the relationship between a coach and general manager, and that has been really good this year.

"Mike is a very loyal person to his staff and the organization. He has a lot of the qualities I look for in a coach."

Since replacing Eddie Olczyk as coach Dec. 15, 2005, Therrien has guided the Penguins to a 61-53-19 record.

This past season, the Penguins went 47-24-11 and earned 105 points, which was the second-highest, single-season total in club history. The Penguins also snapped a six-year playoff drought.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_504241.html

I would have been shocked if they didn't offer an extension to Therrien.

83-Steelers-43
04-24-2007, 09:06 PM
I would have been shocked if they didn't offer an extension to Therrien.

Ummm yeah, that should be a no-brainer for the Pens FO.

X-Terminator
04-25-2007, 06:06 AM
Heart-to-heart talk with Pens

By Joe Starkey
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Penguins general manager Ray Shero and coach Michel Therrien already have conducted their exit interviews with players.

I wasn't invited.

If I had conducted the interviews, the conversations would have been short and, in some cases, not-so-sweet -- at least until I got beat up by Georges Laraque (and I would have been the only guy he's beaten up lately).

The following is a look at how my exit interviews would have begun. As a public service, I've included a single asterisk next to pending restricted free agents and a double-asterisk for pending unrestricted free agents:

Forwards

*Colby Armstrong: "Thank you for your heart. You'll always have a place on this team."

*Erik Christensen: "Your shootout skills make you a must-keep, but you really need to add some joy to your game. Believe in yourself -- and try taking Marilyn Manson out of your iPod."

Sidney Crosby. "Could we interest you in a 40-year contract? Yes, you'll be 59 by the time it expires, and hopefully, not still living with the Lemieuxs, but you'll give us more at that age than Nils Ekman did at 30. And we promise to get you a winger before your 25th birthday."

**Nils Ekman. "Have we met?"

Georges Laraque: "Drop your gloves already and a couple of pounds while you're at it."

Evgeni Malkin: "Take a vacation please, and remember: Hanging out with the Gonchars isn't the best way to learn English. Don't worry about the playoffs. We know you're going to be a star -- maybe a Hall of Famer."

Ryan Malone. "Didn't know if you'd show up. We appreciate your willingness, but you don't bring it every game. We're going to try to trade you."

*Michel Ouellet: "Don't listen to the fans. You had 19 goals, including 11 on the power play, in your first full NHL season. You're fine on the second line."

**Ronald Petrovicky: "You're leaving, I'm sure, because you know we're infatuated with Laraque. If it were my choice, you'd be staying and playing."

**Mark Recchi: "We want you back, but at a reduced rate and with a reduced role."

**Gary Roberts: "Please, Mr. Roberts, don't hurt me. And please stay. If it takes a two-year deal, so be it."

Jarkko Ruutu: "I'm afraid of you."

Jordan Staal: "You probably want to play your natural position (center), but we like you next to Malkin for now. And just think, you'll be able to have your first legal beer in training camp ... in 2009."

*Maxime Talbot: "We're still not sure if you're a third- or fourth-line guy, but we love your competitive fire."

Defense

Mark Eaton: "You'll be on our third pair with Kris Letang."

**Joel Kwiatkowski: "Kiwi, we hardly knew ye -- and we still don't know how to pronounce your name."

Sergei Gonchar: "Well, your only even-strength point of the playoffs came on that pass to Chris Kelly, and he doesn't play for us. We wish you had an extra gear for the postseason, but you were terrific in the regular season -- and with that contract, you're not going anywhere."

**Josef Melichar: "You were the lightning rod for our defensive issues. We're going to spare you -- and us -- from further pain."

**Alain Nasreddine: "Where have you been, and where are you going? We're not sure."

Brooks Orpik: "No reason yourself and Whitney can't grow old together."

**Rob Scuderi: "We'd like to re-sign you because you're a battler, but could you help us clean some of the puck marks from the glass on the right side of the rink? Maybe next year we'll let you play on your forehand."

*Ryan Whitney: "You're the first of our young stars with an expiring contract. Let's talk."

Goalies

Marc-Andre Fleury: "We understand you've been seeing Daniel Alfredsson slap shots in your sleep. A hypnotist might help. Honestly, we liked almost everything you did this season, especially the 40 wins. You need to work on rebound control and puck-handling."

**Jocelyn Thibault: "If somebody wants you as a starter, you should leave. ... So, you'll be staying? This isn't such a bad gig, you know."

Who to get

"Well, gentlemen, it's a strong class of unrestricted free agents. After listening to Mr. Shero on Monday, it doesn't sound as if we're going to land a five-star winger, but we should still take a look at Paul Kariya (imagine him with Crosby) because he's just quirky and secure enough to follow his heart instead of the money. Taking a step down, Scott Hartnell wouldn't look so bad, and Alexei Morozov is worth a call. On defense, Letang will take the point on the second power play, and Andy Sutton would make for a nifty shutdown guy, wouldn't he?

"I'll be on my cell phone if you need me."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_504417.html

X-Terminator
04-25-2007, 06:17 AM
Malkin goes home for IHF World Championships, rest, workouts

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

By Shelly Anderson
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin flew to Russia this week. It was not an insignificant event in his life.

Malkin had not been to his home country since August. His trip to play in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships in Moscow and then to catch up with family and friends comes after an eventful rookie season in the NHL that gave the 20-year-old insight on hockey and life.

In interviews with Penguins defenseman and fellow Russian Sergei Gonchar and with Malkin through Gonchar as interpreter, Malkin said he was looking forward to the world championships, but also to having a strong sophomore season with the Penguins.

"I'm very happy that I came over," said Malkin, the front-runner to collect the Calder Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year. "I really enjoyed my year here. Now I know what to expect next year.

"I really think I did the right thing when I came over here. At the same time, I know what to concentrate on this summer and how to prepare myself."

There was not much that could have prepared him for the route he took to North America.

The Penguins selected him second overall in the 2004 NHL entry draft, and both parties expressed a desire for him to join the club for the 2006-07 season.

Early last August, Malkin was pressured into signing a new contract with his hometown team, Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Russian Super League. After sneaking away from the team days later when it flew to Finland to train, he surfaced in Los Angeles. He faxed his resignation to Magnitogorsk and, after the two-week waiting period consistent with Russian labor law, came to Pittsburgh and signed a three-year entry contract.

Metallurg officials argued his contract with them was valid and that they were due large compensation. Malkin entered his first NHL training camp with the threat of a lawsuit hanging over him.

Things got rougher when, in a collision with teammate John LeClair during Malkin's preseason debut, Malkin got a dislocated left shoulder that kept him out of the first four regular-season games.

He began his NHL career with a six-game goals streak, totaling seven goals, 11 points in those games. He finished with 33 goals, 85 points to lead all rookies in scoring and rank 18th overall.

Eventually, Malkin's goal pace slowed to a crawl, with two in his final 14 regular-season games, none in the team's first-round playoff loss to Ottawa. He attributed that to fatigue. Beginning in fall 2005, he played in the Russian Super League, the World Junior Championships and the Olympics, had his odyssey to join the Penguins, started his NHL career and played in 78 regular-season games, five playoff games and the YoungStars game during All-Star week.

Along the way, Magnitogorsk's lawsuits got bounced. The team couldn't even get an injunction.

Malkin didn't expect that there would be hard feelings when he returned to Russia. After all, Magnitogorsk won the Super League title without him this season.

"I never thought they would have a problem," said Malkin, who was received warmly when he called the team to offer congratulations.

The timing for the worlds to be in Russia couldn't be better for Malkin.

"It's always nice to play in front of your own fans and your own crowd," he said. "That's why I agreed on it right away, and I'm happy to be going there."

Penguins general manager Ray Shero doesn't begrudge Malkin that, but he's eager for the young player to take a break.

"It's important for him to get back in his comfort zone a little bit," Shero said. "I wish he took three weeks off and went to Malibu and surfed or something.

"This guy's played so much hockey. But he wants to represent his country. He wants to get back home and go on vacation with his buddies. He's got to be a normal 20-year-old kid."

The Russians open play Friday against Denmark. Gonchar also will play for Russia.

Gonchar has been a rock for Malkin, acting as interpreter, landlord and something of an older brother.

English has been perhaps Malkin's biggest hurdle in making the transition to the NHL.

When Shero and coach Michel Therrien held exit interviews with the players Saturday, Shero summoned Malkin from the players' lounge when it was his turn.

"Geno," he said, using Malkin's English nickname and motioning the player to follow. "We're going to do this in English, so it won't take long."

Malkin, with a big grin, followed the general manager.

He understands a fair amount of English, but is reluctant to speak it, even with teammates. Asked about that through Gonchar, Malkin broke into laughter without having to hear the translation.

"I'll try to catch up," he said.

That might not be so easy while spending the offseason in his home country, where he said he is looking forward to relaxing following the worlds.

After Malkin spends time with family and friends in Russia -- and at the prison-themed restaurant he owns in Magnitogorsk -- he and Gonchar will start training for next season in July.

Shero expects Malkin, who played center as well as left winger, sometimes on the top line with center Sidney Crosby, to improve in several ways.

"He knows the expectation when he comes back next year for him to be a better player," Shero said, adding that he expects Malkin, 193 pounds, to further fill out his 6-foot-3 frame. "He wants to be a stronger player. He's going to grow into himself.

"Here's a guy who had over 30 goals as a 20-year-old and played wing for the first time in his life. So with the adjustment and what he went through to get over here, I think he had a tremendous year."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07115/780704-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
04-25-2007, 03:54 PM
Colby Armstrong added to Team Canada roster
Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins forward Colby Armstrong was added to Team Canada's roster for the IIHF World Championships which begin in Russia Friday.

The right winger had 12 goals, 22 points, 67 penalty minutes and was a plus-2 in 80 games for the Penguins this past season. He joins teammate Jordan Staal on the Canadian roster.

Other Penguins playing in the tournament include Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar (Russia), Jarkko Ruutu (Finland) and Ronald Petrovicky (Slovakia). Sidney Crosby received an invitation to play for Canada but declined due to a broken left foot.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07115/780892-100.stm

Preacher
04-25-2007, 04:30 PM
Colby Armstrong added to Team Canada roster
Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins forward Colby Armstrong was added to Team Canada's roster for the IIHF World Championships which begin in Russia Friday.

The right winger had 12 goals, 22 points, 67 penalty minutes and was a plus-2 in 80 games for the Penguins this past season. He joins teammate Jordan Staal on the Canadian roster.

Other Penguins playing in the tournament include Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar (Russia), Jarkko Ruutu (Finland) and Ronald Petrovicky (Slovakia). Sidney Crosby received an invitation to play for Canada but declined due to a broken left foot.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07115/780892-100.stm

That is a shame for you all in Pitt. that Crosby couldn't play. That kind of experience at that level is just as valuable as a deep Stanley Cup run... maybe more. I am sure glad however, that one of our young NHL stars can't make it because of an injury... rather than something stupid like being arrested!!!

83-Steelers-43
04-25-2007, 04:47 PM
While I'm sure he would love to play, I'm happy to see that he is not. Not just because of his broken foot, but because I feel Sid needs a rest and to take it easy.

SteelCityMan786
04-25-2007, 05:24 PM
While I'm sure he would love to play, I'm happy to see that he is not. Not just because of his broken foot, but because I feel Sid needs a rest and to take it easy.

Agree with you on that one brother.

Sid needs to just take it easy for awhile and relax.

83-Steelers-43
04-26-2007, 06:05 PM
Penguins' Whitney has wrist surgery
Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins defenseman Ryan Whitney had surgery on his left wrist yesterday after he experienced chronic and increasing pain during the season. He is expected to need six to eight weeks of rehabilitation and should be ready for the start of training camp. Whitney, 24, had 59 points to tie for sixth among NHL defensemen.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07116/781307-100.stm

83-Steelers-43
04-27-2007, 07:53 AM
Penguins Q&A with Dave Molinari
Friday, April 27, 2007

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Q: I am curious to know if the Pens losing the Ottawa series will mean the end for Michel Therrien. I know he did a great job with the team this year, but with Ray Shero not getting to name his own coach, then maybe this is his reason (for replacing the coach)?

Wayne Baranski, Jeannette

MOLINARI: A surprising number of Q&A readers have asked about Therrien's status; suffice to say, no one inside the organization is asking such questions. The only issue pertaining to Therrien's job security that will come up this summer is how aggressively he and the team will move to try to work out an extension before the final year of his current deal kicks in.

It's far from certain that he'll have a new contract before training camp opens, but it also isn't unusual for NHL coaches to complete one contract before negotiating its replacement. (Shero pointed out a few days ago that Senators coach Bryan Murray is working on a deal that's about to expire.)

While every tactical and personnel decision Therrien made during the Ottawa series -- during the entire season, for that matter -- is subject to second-guessing, he pushed a lot more correct buttons than wrong ones during the 2006-07 season. Coaching isn't the only reason the Penguins went from 58 points to 105 in one year, but Therrien's teaching and work behind the bench certainly played a significant role.

And while Shero inherited Therrien when he replaced Craig Patrick 11 months ago, the two have developed a strong mutual respect and good working relationship. There might come a time when Shero decides the Penguins need someone else to maintain, or accelerate, the team's development -- after all, just about every coach has a fairly limited shelf life -- but there's no reason to think he is anywhere near that point now. Nor should he be.

Q: Do you think there will be any problems with fans and coaches when Evgeni Malkin goes back to Russia? After all, he didn't leave on the best of terms.

Dan Meade, San Antonio Texas

MOLINARI: Malkin will be playing for his country when he competes in the world championships in Moscow, so chances are he won't get too much grief over the way he slipped away from his Super League team, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, during a trip to Finland last summer to make his way to the Penguins. Especially not if he and his teammates do well in the tournament.

However, it could be interesting if Malkin spends some time in Magnitogorsk, which also is his hometown. Some fans there undoubtedly felt betrayed by his departure, even though Malkin had made clear for years that he wanted to play in the NHL, and probably won't be afraid to express their feelings if they see him on the street.

Q: I remember Erik Christensen being the only player on the major-league roster eligible to play in the American Hockey League playoffs. Have the Penguins sent him to play in the Baby Pens' playoffs? If not, what could they possibly have to lose?

Vince Comunale, North Versailles

MOLINARI: Christensen is, in fact, headed to Wilkes-Barre this week, but strictly for personal reasons. He still has an apartment there, and has to tend to that and tie up some other loose ends before returning to Western Canada for the summer.

It would be easy to argue, either way, about the merits of having Christensen participate in the Calder Cup playoffs. Using him would give Christensen a chance to purge the frustration of being a non-factor in the Ottawa series -- to say nothing of a disappointing showing for the Baby Penguins last spring -- and adding a player with his skill certainly would add a dimension to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton offense.

Conversely, dropping him into the mix in the middle of a series -- especially when he had been in the NHL since November -- could have caused a few complications for coach Todd Richards, who would have had to reconfigure his forward lines to clear a spot for Christensen, then would have had to hope he could mesh almost immediately with his new linemates. And when a team is involved in a best-of-seven, there isn't much time to see how a personnel experiment will work out.

Q: Where do I kick in to help keep Gary Roberts? The guy is an absolute beast.

Robin Vida, New Vienna, Ohio

MOLINARI: Unfortunately for the Penguins, for whom re-signing Roberts should be a priority during this off-season, it's not simply a matter of coming up with the money to meet his fiscal demands, or even of finding a way to fit him in under the salary cap (or their self-imposed payroll limit, for that matter). Rather, the key variable in where Roberts plays next season apparently will be personal: He has a daughter in Toronto and would like to be as close to her as possible.

Playing in Toronto, Ottawa or Buffalo would get him closer to her than he is while playing for the Penguins, but how intense the interest those teams would have in signing Roberts -- and how adding him would affect their cap outlook -- is hard to say at this point. For all that Roberts brings to a team, with his play on the ice and commitment off it, some franchises might decide that giving a multiple-year contract to a guy who turns 41 May 23 doesn't mesh with their development blueprint.

Roberts has said all the right things about being willing to sign with the Penguins, and it's entirely possible that he feels that way. He clearly enjoyed the team, and the role he was given with it, during the two months he played here.

On the other hand, Roberts has been around long enough to realize that a player never can have too much leverage when negotiating a contract, and letting it be known that he'll seriously consider returning to the Penguins -- whether that's actually his preference, or nothing more than an option of last resort -- couldn't hurt him in any talks he'd have with other clubs if he doesn't agree to a new deal here before free agency begins July 1.

Q: How good of a prospect is Jonathan Filewich?

Joe Kelley, Cincinnati

MOLINARI: Filewich isn't a game-breaker -- the Penguins don't have a winger who could be described that way anywhere in their organization -- but blended good size (6 foot 2, 205 pounds), pretty fair hands and considerable toughness to score a team-high 30 goals for the Penguins' farm team in Wilkes-Barre this season.

Filewich is willing to absorb the abuse that goes with hanging around the other team's net in return for getting scoring chances, and has enough skill to capitalize on a healthy percentage of the deflections and rebounds made possible by his grit.

Filewich, by the way, got the overtime winner in Game 3 of Wilkes-Barre's first-round playoff series against Norfolk. The series is tied, 2-2, going into Game 5 tonight at the Scope in Norfolk. Game 6 and, if necessary, Game 7 will be in Wilkes-Barre.

Q: I would have loved to see the Penguins make it farther in the playoffs, but after everything else, it has been a great ride. No one ever expected what we got this year.

Jeff Wayne, Erie

MOLINARI: The Penguins can only hope that most of their fans share your big-picture perspective on the 2006-07 season and, really, that's a realistic and practical one. Not just because only those indulging in self-medication -- heavy self-medication -- would have dared to suggest last September that the Penguins would get anywhere near 105 points, but because the future of the franchise here was secured when financing for the city's new multi-purpose arena finally was worked out.

Losing to Ottawa in five games underscored some of the Penguins' shortcomings and needs, and it is incumbent on management to address those, but the team is closer to being a contender than anyone would have envisioned at this time a year ago, when Shero was assistant GM in Nashville, Malkin was playing in Russia and Jordan Staal was projected to go anywhere from second to fifth in the NHL draft -- and not even his mom would have dared to predict he'd score 29 goals as an 18-year-old.

There is, of course, no guarantee that the momentum the Penguins generated will carry over into 2007-08, and there's a very real danger of regressing after making a 47-point improvement. But the days when the only real suspense in their season was how the draft lottery would play out are over, at least for the foreseeable future, and the Penguins' success in coming years will be judged by how much they accomplish, not by how hard they try, or by how much they exceed expectations.

Q: Does the early exit from the playoffs diminish the chances of Therrien winning the Jack Adams Award or Sidney Crosby winning the Hart Trophy?

Bryan Ferro, Brownsville

MOLINARI: No, on both counts. Voting for those awards, and every other one the league gives out except the Conn Smythe (for playoff MVP), is supposed to be conducted between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs, and is based strictly on what a coach or player did during the regular season. Playoff performances -- good, bad or otherwise -- are not supposed to be considered and, unless someone is allowed to violate the deadline for submitting ballots to the accounting firm that tabulates the votes, cannot be.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07117/781282-125.stm

83-Steelers-43
04-29-2007, 10:43 AM
Pens compare favorably with remaining playoff teams

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Penguins had dropped two of three games to Ottawa in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal playoff series when feisty right wing Colby Armstrong assessed the difference between his club and the Senators.

"We have to chip in with some goals," Armstrong said of players such as himself, right wing Michel Ouellet, left wing Ryan Malone and centers Maxime Talbot and Erik Christensen.

During the regular season, those five players totaled 78 of the Penguins' 277 goals, or 28.2 percent.

None of those players scored against the Senators -- perhaps the surest explanation for the Penguins' postseason appearance lasting only slightly longer than a week.

"We did a lot of the little things: Getting to loose pucks, forechecking, finishing our hits," Armstrong said days after Ottawa eliminated the Penguins in five games. "We just didn't score. It's nice to do those little things, but you have to score, too."

After an early exit from the playoffs, the Penguins seemingly would benefit from a sniper capable of scoring 40 or 50 goals to play alongside league-leading scorer Sidney Crosby.

Such a skater might push them from playoff team to Cup contender, or so goes popular thought.

One problem: "Those guys aren't easy to find," general manager Ray Shero said. "And I'm not sure you need one to win the Stanley Cup. This league is all about balance, and I think we're pretty good in that department."

Of the eight teams remaining in the quest to win the Stanley Cup, only three have players who scored 40 or more goals during the regular season.

In terms of scoring depth, these Penguins compared favorably -- and in some cases fared better -- to the eight remaining teams in these playoffs. For example, 11 Penguins' players scored 10 or more goals, accounting for 82 percent of the club's offensive output.

Ottawa, with the second-rated offense during the regular season, has 11 players who scored 10 or more goals, which resulted in 81.3 percent of its offense.

The offenses of San Jose and Anaheim each amassed 258 goals during the regular season -- tied for sixth in the league. The Sharks got 81.4 percent of their offense from 11 players, where the same percentage of the Ducks' scoring came from nine.

"It has become a cliche, but it is true: The so-called role players have to step up in the playoffs," said Bill Clement, a Versus analyst and two-time Stanley Cup winner.

Such was the case for San Jose in Game 1 of its Western Conference semifinal against Detroit. The Sharks' two goals in that victory came from Matt Carle (11 regular-season goals) and Mike Grier (16).

"Depth is not just bodies," Clement said. "Teams that go far in the Stanley Cup playoffs almost always seem to have a marked advantage in depth."

The Penguins need look no further than Buffalo. The Sabres paced the league in goals with 308 during the regular season. They benefited from 43- and 37-goal scorers Thomas Vanek and Chris Drury, respectively.

Still, Buffalo received only 77.3 percent of its offense from nine players who scored 10 or more goals.

"In today's NHL, what has caught everybody's attention is how good teams are when they can roll four lines," Clement said. "Typically, teams have had to pull off the fourth line in the playoffs. But look at Buffalo, whose fourth line can roll with everybody. Carolina was the same way last season."

Penguins coach Michel Therrien rolled four lines during a regular season in which the Penguins scored more goals than every team except Buffalo and Ottawa. He employed the four-line approach in the playoffs, too.

The difference, as Clement noted, was that "nobody other than Crosby, (Jordan) Staal and (Gary) Roberts put the puck in the net."

The Penguins scored only 10 goals in their five games against Ottawa. Crosby and Staal, the team's first- and third-leading goal scorers during the regular season, scored three goals apiece. Roberts, who scored seven goals in 19 games with the Penguins during the regular season, added two playoff goals.

Evgeni Malkin, the team's second-best goal scorer during the regular season, could not beat Ottawa goaltender Ray Emery. Neither could fourth-leading goal scorer Mark Recchi.

"We needed to get contributions from more guys in the playoffs," Recchi said. "That is a lesson we learned the hard way."

The Penguins were in the playoffs for the first time since 2001. They dressed at least 12 players without previous postseason experience in every game.

Ottawa, conversely, is a veteran-laden team playing in its 10th consecutive postseason. Role players such as centers Chris Kelly and Mike Comrie, who combined for five goals against the Penguins in the opening round, held the experience advantage over the Penguins.

"The Penguins are already good and young. They'll appear to be better and deeper next year because of the experience," Clement said. "The toughest thing for a GM to do is develop a nucleus. The Penguins already have that.

"They've got the foundation. They're adding the little things that complete the house."

Clement, though, conceded that a top-flight scorer would help Crosby's room in the Penguins' house truly stand out.

Shero believes the Penguins' need for a top-shelf sniper might already occupy space on the roster. Malkin, for instance, scored 33 goals as a rookie. Staal tallied 29.

The Penguins had seven players who scored 15 or more regular-season goals -- one fewer player than the Sabres and as many as the Cup-winning Hurricanes.

"New Jersey has never had a 50-goal scorer, and the Devils have won three Stanley Cups since 1995," Clement said. "The thing is there isn't a definitive model for teams to win the Cup in terms of needing a big-time goal scorer.

"Actually, sometimes not having a 50-goal scorer is a product of having quality depth. Given the choice, a team is better off being deep than top-heavy. Pittsburgh has a chance to be great at the top and very good after that."

Shero said to keep one thing in mind: These Penguins arrived earlier than expected.

"Plus, I would like to think we are only going to get better," Shero said. "Across the board."

Spreading the wealth

Depth is a huge factor in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Each of the eight remaining teams employed four or more players who scored at least 20 goals in the regular season. A look at those clubs, their regular-season leading goal scorer, and how they compared to the Penguins:

Anaheim
Teemu Selanne (48 goals)
5 20-goal scorers

Buffalo
Thomas Vanek (43)
6 20-goal scorers

Detroit
Henrik Zetterberg (33)
4 20-goal scorers

New Jersey
Zach Parise (31)
4 20-goal scorers

New York Rangers
Jaromir Jagr (30)
5 20-goal scorers

Ottawa
Dany Heatley (50)
4 20-goal scorers

San Jose
Jonathan Cheechoo (37)
4 20-goal scorers

Vancouver
Daniel Sedin (36)
4 20-goal scorers

Penguins
Sidney Crosby (36)
4 20-goal scorers

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_505158.html

83-Steelers-43
04-30-2007, 05:07 PM
And rightfully so.......

The Hockey News salutes Penguins
Monday, April 30, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins did well in honors by The Hockey News for the 2006-07 season.

Sidney Crosby was named the NHL's Best Player, MVP and first-team all-star center. Crosby, 19, won the league scoring title with 120 points.

Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin was named the Best First-Year Player and a member of the all-rookie team. Forward Jordan Staal finished in the top five in the publication's ratings for Best First-Year Player and Top Penalty Killer.

Michel Therrien, who guided the Penguins to 105 points in his first full season with the Penguins, was named Best Coach.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07120/782245-100.stm

Buzz05
05-01-2007, 10:41 AM
I think its safe to say the Pens could be the face of the 'New' NHL very very soon

83-Steelers-43
05-01-2007, 10:47 AM
I think its safe to say the Pens could be the face of the 'New' NHL very very soon

A few correct decisions in the offseason and I believe that will be the case. I'm not asking nor am I expecting BIG name FA's or trades. Just the right pieces who can fit our system.

Something tells me some Penguin fans are expecting Shero to go out and grab a Paul Kariya type contract. I'm sure I will hear the complaints on the "Nightly Sports Call" or "Sports Beat" if that doesn't occur. :coffee:

Buzz05
05-01-2007, 11:54 AM
A few correct decisions in the offseason and I believe that will be the case. I'm not asking nor am I expecting BIG name FA's or trades. Just the right pieces who can fit our system.

Something tells me some Penguin fans are expecting Shero to go out and grab a Paul Kariya type contract. I'm sure I will hear the complaints on the "Nightly Sports Call" or "Sports Beat" if that doesn't occur. :coffee:

Honestly I hope we dont go get the big name FA. In all honesty I dont think we need it. We need Fluery to get better, the defense to get better and thats it. First and fore most though we need to resign Roberts and figure out whats up with LaRoque (sp?). But we dont need the big name, we need some key roll players. We already have the big names..those guys Crosby, Malkin, and Staal are big enough and throw in Recci...our core is set.

83-Steelers-43
05-01-2007, 12:04 PM
Numbers 3 and 4 defenseman, a winger for Sid and a faceoff specialist is what I would love to see this team grab in the offseason. After watching Recchi in his last 27-30 games of the year I'm not all that crazy about this team resigning him. IMO, he's done but I would not be the least bit surprised to see this team keep him around. I'm actually expecting it.

As for Laraque, there are other guys out there who we can replace him with. It's pretty obvious that Therrien was pissed at Laraque in the Sens series. Before that series I thought Laraque played well. But his actions (or lack of) in the Sens series pretty much turned me off. I'm starting to see why him and Gretz did not exactly see eye to eye.

Buzz05
05-01-2007, 12:09 PM
Numbers 3 and 4 defenseman, a winger for Sid and a faceoff specialist is what I would love to see this team grab in the offseason. After watching Recchi in his last 27-30 games of the year I'm not all that crazy about this team resigning him. IMO, he's done but I would not be the least bit surprised to see this team keep him around. I'm actually expecting it.

As for Laraque, there are other guys out there who we can replace him with. It's pretty obvious that Therrien was pissed at Laraque in the Sens series. Before that series I thought Laraque played well. But his actions (or lack of) in the Sens series pretty much turned me off. I'm starting to see why him and Gretz did not exactly see eye to eye.

I agree we do need the 3 and 4 defenseman along with a winger...but maybe not the big name FA. Look at NY..they blew all that money on high priced FAs and it got em the worst record in the league for a few years. I just hope the Pens FO keep doing what they are doing and not go for broke with the big name guy is all

83-Steelers-43
05-01-2007, 12:25 PM
I agree we do need the 3 and 4 defenseman along with a winger...but maybe not the big name FA. Look at NY..they blew all that money on high priced FAs and it got em the worst record in the league for a few years. I just hope the Pens FO keep doing what they are doing and not go for broke with the big name guy is all

I agree completely. You can also look at Nashville (or Philly for that matter) with Forsberg and Atlanta with Tkachuk.

83-Steelers-43
05-01-2007, 02:09 PM
Penguins among NHL awards finalists
Tuesday, May 01, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Penguins presence permeates the list of finalists for the NHL's 2006-07 awards, with center Sidney Crosby leading the way, the league announced today.

Crosby is one of three finalists for the Hart Trophy, given to the league's most valuable player, and a finalist for the Lester B. Pearson Award, which goes to the top player as voted by his peers.

Coach Michel Therrien is a finalist for the Jack Adams Award for the NHL's outstanding coach. Forwards Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal make up two of the three finalists for the Calder Trophy, given to the top rookie.

Crosby, 19, became the youngest athlete to win a scoring championship in major sports history, wrapping up the Art Ross trophy with 120 points. He is the youngest Hart Trophy finalist since Wayne Gretzky won his first at 19 in 1979-80. The other Hart finalists are goaltenders Martin Brodeur of New Jersey and Roberto Luongo of Vancouver.

Therrien, in his first full season with the Penguins, led the team to 47 wins, 105 points and a berth in the playoffs for the first time since 2001. The team's 47-point improvement over 2005-06 was the fourth-best turnaround in NHL history. The other Jack Adams finalists are Buffalo's Lindy Ruff and Vancouver's Alain Vigneault.

Malkin, 20, led all rookies in goals (33), assists (52), points (85) and power-play goals (16) after a summer in which he left his Russian Super League team under trying circumstances. He became the first NHL player in 89 years to get at least one goal in each of his first six games.

Staal, 18, led the NHL with seven shorthanded goals and a 22.1 shooting percentage. He had 33 goals, led the Penguins and was tied for second among rookies with a plus-minus rating of plus-16 and became the youngest NHL player to get a hat trick with three goals against his childhood home team, Toronto, Feb. 10.

The winners will be announced June 14.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07121/782469-100.stm

SteelCityMan786
05-04-2007, 05:02 PM
http://post-gazette.com/pg/07124/783194-125.stm


Penguins Q&A with Dave Molinari

83-Steelers-43
05-06-2007, 11:30 AM
Collier: Crosby ends up No. 5 on a readers' poll that picked world's most influential people
Sunday, May 06, 2007

By Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Time Magazine's reliably annoying list of the 100 most influential people in the world is on the newsstands, and, no, Sidney Crosby is not on it.

You might have heard otherwise, so let's get right to the confusion.

In a readers' poll, which I suspect absorbed input from maybe one actual Time reader for every 100,000 compulsive Internet poll responders, the 19-year-old emperor Penguin finished fifth, five spots above Bono and 92 spots above George W. Bush.

Way to go Sid.

And with a broken foot, no less.

The poll, however, had little to do with Time's cover story, for which the editors selected the 100 most influential people for 2007, none of whom were named Bono, Crosby, or even Bush.

Whereas the real Time 100 are ostensibly a carefully considered cultural cross-section of leaders and revolutionaries, builders and titans, artists and entertainers, scientists and thinkers, heroes and icons (these are all actual categories), the poll was a kind of parallel amusement on Time's part, partly to create interest, but more pointedly, I'm guessing, to see just how clueless the rest of us really are.

And way to go us.

Cuz we are stone clueless.

While the editors chose, for example, Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the Indian Congress party, Drew Gilpin Faust, the president of Harvard, and Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, the poll turned into a decidedly un-rhetorical question of "Who'll Stop the Rain?"

Rain topped the poll. You know Rain? No, not the reliable precipitant with the regionally acidic nature.

Rain, on the contrary, is South Korea's King of Pop. He got 470,000 votes, about 50 percent more than anyone else. Comedy Central mock-anchor Steven Colbert was second, American Idol mock-singer Sanjaya Malakar third, mocking comic Dane Cook fourth, and Sid the Kid, who might or might not be the most influential person inside the Penguins' locker room, was judged the fifth-most influential person in the world.

Of the top 10 in the readers' poll, only one, seventh-place finishing Richard Dawkins, made the editors' top 100, and that's probably because the poll responders were mistakenly pushing the candidacy of the former Family Feud host Richard Dawson ("Name something that owls regurgitate.") while the editors were anointing the evolutionary biologist who writes of Darwinian imperatives.

None of which is to suggest that, top-to-bottom, Time's list is all that more worthy than that of its polling audience.

To suggest, for good or ill, that Sasha Baron Cohen (Borat) and George Clooney are more influential in this world than Bush or Bono or Bill Gates is, frankly, Ludacris, and he wasn't included in either ranking.

Time's 100 further includes such dubious influence peddlers as Rosie O'Donnell, Queen Elizabeth II, Tina Fey, Brad Pitt, Brian Williams, and Chien-Ming Wang, who hasn't even been able to seriously influence the New York Yankees, let alone the planet at large.

But the appearance of Crosby within this discussion, even in the context of ever-galloping public cluelessness, merits some reflection on the growing power of Sid's aura.

Time selected only three athletes -- Wang, tennis great Roger Federer and Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy. But in the readers' poll, Crosby's conspicuousness is inescapable. Four other sports figures turned up in the top 100, each holding an edge of several tons of accomplishment on Sid, who won't be 20 until August. Federer, who finished nine spots behind Crosby at 14th, and Tiger Woods, who finished 54 spots lower at 59th, have won major championships habitually. Dungy is on top of the world with his first Super Bowl victory in a highly distinguished NFL coaching career, and David Beckham has people trying to bend it like him all over the world.

Yet Sid, with 1/100th the exposure, crushes them in the readers' poll.

It has something to do with the promise of youth, something to do with the marketing potential of youthful good looks, and certainly something to do with a crack Penguins PR machine that has somehow, at least in this case, made the Crosby brand bigger than Barack Obama (he finished 20th in the readers' poll).

But lest we be dismissive (who, us?), let's remember that Sid is also No. 5 here because there has rarely if ever been a 19-year-old with such an innate sense of what to say, how to say it, and, even more than that, of what leadership and focus and the conscientious application of giftedness ought to look like.

Were those Time's only prerequisites, he might have been No. 1.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07126/783862-150.stm

Buzz05
05-07-2007, 08:39 AM
But the appearance of Crosby within this discussion, even in the context of ever-galloping public cluelessness, merits some reflection on the growing power of Sid's aura.




And his aura is only going to grow in time

X-Terminator
05-08-2007, 06:08 AM
Pens' Malkin scores winning goal for Russia

By The Associated Press
Tuesday, May 8, 2007

MYTISCHI, Russia — Matthew Lombardi scored three goals Monday to give undefeated Canada a 6-3 victory over the United States and a top seeding entering the quarterfinals of hockey's world championships.

Canada next plays Switzerland. The Americans, who finished second in the qualifying round, play the tougher Finns.

In Moscow, Evgeni Malkin scored the winning goal and assisted on another as Russia remained undefeated with a 4-2 win over defending and Olympic champion Sweden. Russia, the other top seed in the quarters, will face the Czech Republic. Sweden will play Slovakia.

Canada's Jay McClement scored eight seconds into the game, but the International Ice Hockey Federation could not confirm if that was a championship record.

"It was huge for us. It set the tone," Lombardi said. "Basically, we started the game with a 1-0 lead."

Mike Cammalleri put Canada up 2-0 less than two minutes later, banging in a cross-crease pass from Eric Staal on the power play.

"It's the first time we scored first all tournament," McClement said. "Then the second goal kind of took the wind out of their sails."

Lombardi made it 3-0 at 12:48. Cammalleri scored his second less than a minute later, tipping in a slap shot from Dan Hamhuis.

Paul Stastny scored for the U.S. at 9:47 of the second, but Lombardi added his second with a slap shot from the top of the circle at 15:19. Lee Stempniak reduced the gap less than three minutes later, one-timing a perfect pass from Erik Johnson.

In the third period, the U.S. replaced the embattled goalie John Grahame with Jason Bacashihua.

Lombardi completed his hat trick at 11:58 in the final period. Stastny also scored for the U.S., at 13:42.

"Hopefully we'll meet again in a more meaningful game later on," Stempniak said.

Malkin scored on a slap shot from the high slot at 9:51 of the third period, beating Sweden goalie Erik Ersberg low on the stick side to put Russia up 3-2. Alexei Morozov put the game out of reach at 16:33 when he took a pass from Sergei Zinoviev and wristed a shot past Ersberg from the faceoff circle.

Alexander Steen tied it 2-2, picking up a loose puck in close and slipping it between the pads of Russian goalie Alexander Eremenko at 18:22 of the second period. Denis Grebeshkov gave Russia a 2-1 lead three minutes into the second period, stuffing in a rebound behind Ersberg.

Sweden took a 1-0 lead at 8:43 of the first period when Martin Thornberg beat Eremenko on the power play. Russia tied it in the 17th minute when Alexander Kharitonov split two Swedish defenders and was hauled down, giving Russia a penalty shot. Alexei Morozov lifted a backhand over the shoulder of Ersberg.

Earlier, with only tournament rankings at stake, Michael Wolf scored twice, including the winner, to lift Germany over Belarus 6-5 and improve his country's chances of an automatic berth for the 2010 Olympics. Germany was ninth at the worlds and Belarus 11th.

Denmark defeated Italy 5-2 in the final game for both teams. The Danes ended 10th and claimed their first top-10 finish since joining the top division in 2003. The Italians finished 12th.

This tournament and the 2008 worlds in Canada count toward Olympic qualification in Vancouver, following which the top nine teams in the IIHF rankings directly enter the Olympics. Those ranked 10th and worse will compete for the last three spots.

In the relegation round, Austria beat Ukraine 8-4, but both teams will still be relegated because of Norway's 7-4 win over Latvia. Norway and Latvia remain in the elite 16-team division for another season.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_506569.html

83-Steelers-43
05-09-2007, 08:39 AM
Recchi, Roberts talks due soon
Wednesday, May 09, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Agent Rick Curran said last night that he expects to discuss the status of veteran wingers Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts with Penguins general manager Ray Shero when Shero returns from the world championships.

"I got a call from Ray Shero in Moscow and we had a chance to chat," Curran said. "We agreed that we could talk when he returns."

Recchi, 39, signed a one-year contract last summer for his third stint with the Penguins. Roberts, who turns 41 later this month, was acquired at the February trade deadline. His contract also expired after this season.

Both players have said they would be interested in re-signing. Shero has said he hopes to resolve the matter well before free agency begins July 1.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07129/784420-61.stm

Buzz05
05-09-2007, 09:31 AM
Recchi I could do without. He was a good veteren on the team but he didnt really account for many points. Roberts was kind of the same way but I feel the young team needs a strong willed veteren. I would love for both to come back but if I had to chose one i would go with Roberts.

Counselor
05-09-2007, 01:07 PM
Recchi I could do without. He was a good veteren on the team but he didnt really account for many points. Roberts was kind of the same way but I feel the young team needs a strong willed veteren. I would love for both to come back but if I had to chose one i would go with Roberts.

They are both the kind of players who mean a lot in a locker room. Those two have lots of hustle I'd like to see them both back. Recchi was in a slump at the end of the season but he has a good start (as far as points). And roberts had several key goals in the playoffs.

HometownGal
05-09-2007, 02:28 PM
I'm for both Roberts and Recchi coming back next season, moreso Roberts. He is the tough, gritty veteran the Pens need on the ice and seemed to gel almost instantly with the team. As for Recchi - if he is signed for a helluva lot less than he got when he signed back on with the Pens, then I'm all for it. He simply is not worth $2,280,000 a season any longer, imho.

Buzz05
05-09-2007, 03:12 PM
I'm for both Roberts and Recchi coming back next season, moreso Roberts. He is the tough, gritty veteran the Pens need on the ice and seemed to gel almost instantly with the team. As for Recchi - if he is signed for a helluva lot less than he got when he signed back on with the Pens, then I'm all for it. He simply is not worth $2,280,000 a season any longer, imho.

I agree he is not worth it. But if only one had to stay I would say Roberts. Then again maybe we can swing something to get them both back. Veteran leadership is something that this young team still needs. It showed in the playoffs.

HometownGal
05-09-2007, 04:12 PM
Veteran leadership is something that this young team still needs. It showed in the playoffs.

You won't get an argument from me there. Most definitely. :thumbsup: I just don't feel that Recchi is worth that kind of cash at this point in his career - he's definitely a leader both on the ice and in the locker room, as well as a fan fave, but I believe he has become too inconsistent as far as scoring goes at this stage in his career.

SteelCityMan786
05-09-2007, 05:40 PM
bring back Roberts and Recchi. give a fair contract to em.

X-Terminator
05-09-2007, 07:53 PM
I'm for both Roberts and Recchi coming back next season, moreso Roberts. He is the tough, gritty veteran the Pens need on the ice and seemed to gel almost instantly with the team. As for Recchi - if he is signed for a helluva lot less than he got when he signed back on with the Pens, then I'm all for it. He simply is not worth $2,280,000 a season any longer, imho.

If Recchi insists on being paid that much, they should let him go, then take that money and maybe take a chance on Alexei Morozov or bring in Scott Hartnell if they aren't planning on bringing in an upper-tier FA forward. The only way Recchi stays is if he takes a substantial pay cut, preferably around $1.25 million on a 1-year deal. As for Roberts, I'd pretty much give him whatever he wants within reason - a 1 or 2 year deal worth about $1.5 million per season would be fair, IMO. Having his physical presence in the lineup will be huge for the Pens next season.

83-Steelers-43
05-10-2007, 09:42 AM
Recchi I could do without. He was a good veteren on the team but he didnt really account for many points. Roberts was kind of the same way but I feel the young team needs a strong willed veteren. I would love for both to come back but if I had to chose one i would go with Roberts.

Roberts was a very pleasant surprise last season. When the trade occured I was hoping for somebody a little younger but who could still net goals (Guerin). While I still wish we grabbed Guerin over Roberts, I'm all for the Penguins resigning Roberts at this point.

With Recchi, unless we intend to run with three scoring lines for next season with Crosby, Malkin and Staal all centering other offensive talents then I do not see where Recchi fits in under a reduced role. You can only really use him as a top 6 forward since he isn't that great in the defensive end or speedy enough for a checking role. I feel the guy is done and it showed for the last 30 games of the season.

Also, Roberts, Gonchar, Ruutu and Eaton are capable of providing that veteran leadership while actually contributing. I'm not exactly sure how many veteran's a team needs, but there are other fish out in sea who are able to play a full season of hockey while putting up points and provide veteran leadership. That's what FA's and trades are for. IMO, I don't think he's worth the money (no matter the price). No matter Buzz, eitherway I see the Penguins resigning Recchi. The guy is a fan favorite and a Lemieux buddy.

Buzz05
05-10-2007, 10:26 AM
Roberts was a very pleasant surprise last season. When the trade occured I was hoping for somebody a little younger but who could still net goals (Guerin). While I still wish we grabbed Guerin over Roberts, I'm all for the Penguins resigning Roberts at this point.

With Recchi, unless we intend to run with three scoring lines for next season with Crosby, Malkin and Staal all centering other offensive talents then I do not see where Recchi fits in under a reduced role. You can only really use him as a top 6 forward since he isn't that great in the defensive end or speedy enough for a checking role. I feel the guy is done and it showed for the last 30 games of the season.

Also, Roberts, Gonchar, Ruutu and Eaton are capable of providing that veteran leadership while actually contributing. I'm not exactly sure how many veteran's a team needs, but there are other fish out in sea who are able to play a full season of hockey while putting up points and provide veteran leadership. That's what FA's and trades are for. IMO, I don't think he's worth the money (no matter the price). No matter Buzz, eitherway I see the Penguins resigning Recchi. The guy is a fan favorite and a Lemieux buddy.

If Im not mistaken, doesnt Gonchar let Malkin live at his house? So I could see having him around to help with Malkin and his transition to the states and helping him with the day to day stuff. I mean Crosby lives with Mario. One player I can almost guarentee isnt resigned though is Laraque. He didnt produce at all in the playoffs and thats why they got him. Im not saying have Recchi is a bad thing, just maybe try to get him for a league minimum. I dont think he is worth the high dollar any more.

83-Steelers-43
05-10-2007, 11:51 AM
Im not saying have Recchi is a bad thing, just maybe try to get him for a league minimum. I dont think he is worth the high dollar any more.

If they really feel the "need" to resign Recchi, after witnessing his lack of production in the last 30 some games of the season I would hope this organization signs him cheap. If he doesn't like it, too bad. Then again, they gave the guy $2.28 to begin with, I wouldn't exactly be surprised if he receives another nice contract.

83-Steelers-43
05-10-2007, 12:39 PM
Baby Penguins pick up Letang
Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins' American Hockey League team is picking up a key reinforcement for the Calder Cup playoffs.

Defenseman Kristopher Letang, whose junior season ended Wednesday night, will join Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and will be available for Game 5 of the Baby Penguins' second-round series against Hershey tomorrow night.

Hershey leads the best-of-seven series, 3-1. The Baby Penguins staved off elimination with a 3-2 overtime victory Wednesday.

Letang began the 2006-07 season with the Penguins, then was returned to Val d'Or in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He is expected to make a strong bid for a job on the Penguins' defense this fall.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07130/784985-100.stm

SteelCityMan786
05-10-2007, 04:26 PM
Alright. Let's hope Letang gets the baby Pens back on track.

83-Steelers-43
05-10-2007, 05:48 PM
While it might be a little late for WBS/Scranton, it's good to see him get some experience up here with WBS/Scranton. Here's to hoping he performs well and comes out of the series injury free.

SteelCityMan786
05-12-2007, 10:54 AM
While it might be a little late for WBS/Scranton, it's good to see him get some experience up here with WBS/Scranton. Here's to hoping he performs well and comes out of the series injury free.

And can be in Pittsburgh next season.

83-Steelers-43
05-12-2007, 11:12 AM
And can be in Pittsburgh next season.

Sounds good to me. Along with a physical, defensive-defenseman via trade or FA.

83-Steelers-43
05-15-2007, 04:59 AM
They already screwed me over by making me pick which games I should attend and then they threatened to take my seats away. Once again, excellent PR. "You've been supporting this team for a long time. Here, we are going to stick your arse from section B all the way up to D or F section now. Take care.". Blah, I just ended up purchasing a full package. Good job Penguins FO. Way to treat the bandwagoners and newcomers (in general, not just this or last years crowd) over your faithful. :upyours:

Demand for Penguins' season tickets leads to changes
Some fans lose seat, others take upgrade
Tuesday, May 15, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A silent seat shuffle at Mellon Arena has sparked mixed emotions among the Penguins and their fans.

Many of those with partial-season ticket plans are being asked to move or upgrade, creating some discontent. The Penguins aren't thrilled about upsetting some of their fan base, but they are pleasantly surprised at the reason for the changes.

"Full-season ticket sales are up 60 percent over this past season," Penguins vice president of communications Tom McMillan said. "We haven't seen anything like this since the [Stanley] Cup years. We anticipated a spike. We didn't know it would be anything like this."

McMillan declined to give specific numbers of season tickets for last season or next.

He pegged the increase on the team's improvement -- the Penguins reached 105 points and the playoffs in 2006-07 -- and the emergence of top young players, especially NHL scoring champion Sidney Crosby.

Because of the increase in demand for the 43-game ticket plans (includes two exhibition games) for 2007-08, the team for the first time in years has had to fully enforce a long-standing policy of reserving most of the better seats for full-season ticket holders.

Many fans with partial-season ticket plans -- six-game, 12-game and half-season packages -- received letters last month telling them their seats were now available only for full-season tickets.

Jason Parzyck, 26, of South Park, has had a half-season plan the past two seasons. A year ago, he upgraded to a better location, from section D-6 to D-9. This year, he invested about $700 toward 2007-08 in unused playoff tickets and a deposit before he was informed of the seat shuffle.

"I was surprised after I put my money down that they can just boot you," Parzyck said.

After giving it some thought, Parzyck opted to upgrade to a full-season plan to remain in his seats. He doesn't have the time and can't afford to go to all those games, though.

"I'm going to have to sell some to co-workers and friends," he said. "I like going to Penguins games, but a full season is a lot. A half season was just enough."

Penguins employees who field calls about the changes aren't always greeted kindly.

"There are people who have expressed unhappiness," McMillan said. "We expected that. There are only 17,000 seats. But I think most people, even if they don't like it, understand it's a business decision."

McMillan said the upside is that the increased revenue will give general manager Ray Shero more flexibility to sign players.

Paul Carfang, 47, of Export, got a double dose of the team's business maneuvering.

He and his family had four seats in F-17 -- the end where the Penguins shoot twice -- on a half-season plan called Pick-20 the past three seasons. Those seats now are reserved for full-season plans, and the Pick-20 has been eliminated, meaning those who buy a half-season plan no longer can select the games they want.

The Penguins are choosing games for half-season plans so they can sell two of those plans for each designated seat, but McMillan said there will be desirable games in each set.

"If I can pick whatever 20 games I want, I can understand how that screws up their full-season tickets," Carfang said.

Carfang grew up in the area but moved away for a career in the Air Force. He bought his Pick-20 tickets when he returned. The Penguins phased out that plan after the 2004-05 lockout season but grandfathered in those already on the plan, McMillan said, because they showed loyalty when the team was down.

Carfang and his family ended up sticking with a half-season plan for next season and moving to F-3, the side of the arena where the Penguins shoot once, and will have to take the games the Penguins select.

"I'm [ticked] about it, but I'm not going to stop going to the games," Carfang said.

He considered trying to split a full-season package to remain in F-17.

"We talked with a couple of people who sat around us the last three years," Carfang said, but one couple wanted to upgrade to a full season and an elderly couple decided to move like the Carfangs. Besides, Carfang said, it might be difficult to decide who got what games if they split a full-season plan.

McMillan said the Penguins are trying to accommodate such splits and soon will be informing those with partial-season plans about ways to find partners to share a full-season plan, including separate billing.

McMillan downplayed the idea that loyal fans are being pushed aside for bandwagon types. He said a large part of the ticket surge is made up of fans with full-season plans wanting to increase their number of seats, upgrade from partial to full plans or upgrade to better seats.

"We haven't even started seating the new people yet," he said. "You take care of your current season-ticket holders first."

Of the newcomers, McMillan said they fall mostly into three categories: part of a younger, new generation of fans; other new fans caught up in the buzz; and some who are coming back after slipping away while the team struggled.

Sales are so brisk -- McMillan called it "a frenzy that started around Christmas" -- that the team might have to cut off full-season ticket sales at some point.

"We always want to have some partial plans for a lot of reasons -- a wider fan base, affordability, lifestyle for those who don't want to go to 43 games a season," McMillan said.

They just can't guarantee that those seats will be as good as they have been the past few years.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07135/786083-61.stm

SteelCityMan786
05-15-2007, 09:37 PM
I'd tell the Penguins to just do like the Steelers do, have a waiting list. Then mail to fans on the waiting list the first option of choosing games. But in the Penguins Case, leave a little for individual sales.

SteelCityMan786
05-15-2007, 09:40 PM
Sounds good to me. Along with a physical, defensive-defenseman via trade or FA.

Amen to that, if they can get some big name defensemen, we could be set to move on in the playoffs. If not to the stanley cup finals, maybe the semis and conference finals.

X-Terminator
05-15-2007, 10:07 PM
No f'ing comment on the season ticket article...

HometownGal
05-16-2007, 08:36 AM
Of the newcomers, McMillan said they fall mostly into three categories: part of a younger, new generation of fans; other new fans caught up in the buzz; and some who are coming back after slipping away while the team struggled.


In other words - BANDWAGONERS. :dang::dang: Why the need to sugarcoat it?

I'm not at all happy about this latest move by the Pens FO. Nice way to thank long-time partial season ticket holders. We're moving over 1 Section to D-6 and up 1 row to F, so it isn't going to be all that bad, but their reasoning behind doing this is what torques me off. :upyours:

83-Steelers-43
05-16-2007, 12:54 PM
I'd tell the Penguins to just do like the Steelers do, have a waiting list. Then mail to fans on the waiting list the first option of choosing games. But in the Penguins Case, leave a little for individual sales.

IMO, they should take care of their long-term season ticket holders first. Your not letting us pick which games we want to attend? Fine, I can deal with that even though I'm not the happiest camper. But at least let us keep our seats.

We are this organization's solid base. We are the people who you know showed up before you won two Stanley Cups and who showed up during that five year stretch when your team absolutely stunk. We realized the NHL market was unfair and when things changed (cap) we knew things were starting to look up. After that we realized that this team actually had a future and all it took was a little patience and understanding. We understood that and we gave you the patience and understanding. Your turning off your solid base, not a smart business move IMO.

The newly formed bandwagon from the last two years and the Johnny came lately's from years before should come second. The Penguins PR machine has always stunk. I wonder who in the **** they think were sitting in those seats in that pathetic five year stretch while watching this team have a fire sale on players?

SteelCityMan786
05-16-2007, 04:37 PM
IMO, they should take care of their long-term season ticket holders first. Your not letting us pick which games we want to attend? Fine, I can deal with that even though I'm not the happiest camper. But at least let us keep our seats.

We are this organization's solid base. We are the people who you know showed up before you won two Stanley Cups and who showed up during that five year stretch when your team absolutely stunk. We realized the NHL market was unfair and when things changed (cap) we knew things were starting to look up. After that we realized that this team actually had a future and all it took was a little patience and understanding. We understood that and we gave you the patience and understanding. Your turning off your solid base, not a smart business move IMO.

The newly formed bandwagon from the last two years and the Johnny came lately's from years before should come second. The Penguins PR machine has always stunk. I wonder who in the **** they think were sitting in those seats in that pathetic five year stretch while watching this team have a fire sale on players?

Countdown to new arena, 2 more seasons.

83-Steelers-43
05-17-2007, 07:37 AM
Countdown to new arena, 2 more seasons.

Amen to that.

X-Terminator
05-17-2007, 09:46 AM
In other words - BANDWAGONERS. :dang::dang: Why the need to sugarcoat it?

I'm not at all happy about this latest move by the Pens FO. Nice way to thank long-time partial season ticket holders. We're moving over 1 Section to D-6 and up 1 row to F, so it isn't going to be all that bad, but their reasoning behind doing this is what torques me off. :upyours:

There is no way in hell that the Penguins will be able to convince me that this wasn't done so that they can provide seats for the bandwagon a$$holes who put down their $200 deposits for season tickets after they realized we actually have a hockey team when they started winning regularly. Where the hell were they when the team was down and only drawing 11,000 fans a night? I know where I was - sitting right there watching them play and cheering them on, no matter how much they stunk, as any REAL FAN would do. It's bullshit, not to mention completely unfair, and I already let them know about it in the email "chat" I had with my sales rep, which you read. We got lucky that we only moved one section over and the seats really aren't that bad, but we shouldn't have had to move in the first place. This whole thing just makes me hate bandwagon fans even more.

All I know is that after this stroke of genius by the Pens' FO, we better not get screwed when the new arena opens.

83-Steelers-43
05-17-2007, 10:17 AM
"Full-season ticket sales are up 60 percent over this past season," Penguins vice president of communications Tom McMillan said. "We haven't seen anything like this since the [Stanley] Cup years. We anticipated a spike. We didn't know it would be anything like this."

Here's an idea....

The one's who jumped on the wagon after the two cups and after this past season should come next to last or last in the pecking order. What's the problem? The people who have had season tickets before those two cups should come first (get to keep your seats no matter what), then work your way down the wagon ladder. The one's who decided jump on the season/partial ticket list after those two cups, they come second. If you jumped on after this past season, too bad. Your dead last. That's your loss, take your medicine and STFU. Your late for the dance.

or....

We can continue to screw over the folks who have been pumping money into that organization before many even knew what a hockey puck looked like. Then after our first losing season when people are jumping off the wagon left and right in the "new era" you can wonder what happned to your solid base?

83-Steelers-43
05-18-2007, 08:17 AM
Penguins Q&A with Dave Molinari: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07138/786968-125.stm

Crushzilla
05-18-2007, 08:34 AM
The complications and conflicts surrounding the city's planned slots parlor, meanwhile, apparently will have very little, if any, impact on construction of the new arena.

That's all that really matters :smile:

83-Steelers-43
05-18-2007, 08:39 AM
That's Pompeani who's on channel six Crushzilla who does Steeler preseason games. He's horrible. Paul Steigerwald does Penguins hockey.

John Steigerwald does the Nightly Sports Call from time to time, The Showdown from time to time and he has his own radio show. He's leaving KDKA after this year. I'm hoping FSN Pittsburgh picks him up in order to replace Paul Alexander. They have shown high interest in John but he has stated that he wants to get off TV for a while. IMO, John Steigerwald is one of the very few in this city who tells it like it is (on the Pirates for example).

Whoops, nevermind, you edited your post...lol.

83-Steelers-43
05-18-2007, 12:38 PM
Sports Mailbag
Friday, May 18, 2007

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Loyal fans left to wonder what hit them

Now that the Penguins' future seems prosperous, it's time for the real fans -- those who bought season tickets during the losing seasons and endured the lockout season of 2004-05 -- to get spanked.

As half-season ticket holders of three seats in Section E , my wife and I were upset with the 53.8 percent increase in the price of our seats for next season. Then, on top of that, the Penguins notified us that if we wanted to keep our seats, we would have to purchase the full-season plan. The true fans. the ones who scream and cheer while wearing their Penguin jerseys, are going to be priced out.

So when the players wonder what happened to the arena's atmosphere, have them ask the people in the stands with their hands stuffed in their suit pockets. It happened in the '90s; it will happen again.

As for what I'll say to my 4-year-old son when he asks, "When is our next Penguins game?" I'll tell him it's when they start losing again.

BOB, NANCY and LOGAN MARNIK, Scott

Warm hearts, cold shoulder

I have been a Penguins half-season ticket holder for three years and was a frequent walk-up ticket purchaser in the '90s. I didn't complain when the Penguins raised prices by almost 50 percent on my seats for next season. However, in the club's version of eminent domain, I was forced to change my seats. It seems they have designated my seats as being in a full-season ticket holder only section.

As one of their lower level citizens, I could have moved to sections up in the rafters or on the ends of the arena. This is how the Penguins treat loyal fans who came to the games when they didn't have the new arena carrot to dangle or the exciting young team?

I can understand the price increase to an extent with the need to keep this good young team together. However, I am sure there are some others like me who can't afford full-season plans at the incredible new prices. I wanted to keep my partials as a birthday/Christmas present to my wife, and the Penguins were helpful in moving me to an area only two sections away.

However, Shelly Anderson's story ("Demand for Penguins' season tickets leads to changes," May 15) missed a few points and was slanted toward the team's point of view. Management wants you to believe all the demands for full season tickets is such a pleasant surprise to them and it forced them into enforcing this long-standing policy. What they and the writer fail to address is why Penguins fans are being moved in the first place and why their is an actual spike in full season ticket sales: Some fair-weather fans want tickets leading to guaranteed seats in the new building, and the Penguins are holding people hostage to increase their plans to a full season if they want to keep their current seats.

Let the bandwagon jumping begin. I love the Penguins and I am extremely glad they are staying. However, it seems that once the plans were finalized for the new arena, they are now trying to bury the lowly half-season ticket holders with the current building. The team shouldn't forget about people like us. Even though the Penguins came up with a workable solution for me, they -- like the Post Gazette -- missed the real issue: Some fans are still left out in the cold at the end of the day.

SAM PATTERSON , Carnegie

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07138/787038-139.stm

83-Steelers-43
05-22-2007, 08:30 AM
Pens' restricted free agents stand to gain

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ryan Whitney sits at home in Boston squeezing a hand-strengthening device. Video games remain off-limits due to surgery on his left wrist last month.

Since the Penguins' playoff run ended in Ottawa, Whitney has spent some time thinking about his future.

It seems bright.

He is 24 and coming off a season in which he finished sixth among NHL defenseman in scoring with 59 points.

Equally important: He is a Group 2 restricted free agent. Thus, he is free to sign any offer sheet that comes his way this offseason.

"I've heard rumors that there are offer sheets that might be thrown around," Whitney said. "In my case, I'm more than happy where I am. At the same time, you have to listen and think about your future. You just hope Pittsburgh would match it if an offer comes."

The Penguins probably would raise the stakes to keep Whitney -- even if a competitor offered him a considerable raise on his 2006-07 salary of $900,600.

"I can't speak for what other teams may do, but I do know that Ryan Whitney is a guy we want to keep -- hopefully long term," Penguins general manager Ray Shero said. "We've got plenty of payroll room next year. To me it's a nonfactor."

Shero will have to make decisions on nine players who are restricted free agents this summer. Whitney is one of a select few, along with centers Maxime Talbot and Erik Christensen, who are not eligible for arbitration.

Whitney, however, could test those waters after this upcoming season. The Penguins own his rights for only the next three years -- maybe less if a defensively deficient club with money to spend throws a crazy guaranteed salary offer his way this summer.

"Those are the rules we play by," Shero said.

The NHL's collective bargaining agreement allows competitors to target restricted free agents. Philadelphia signed Vancouver's Ryan Kesler to a $1.9 million offer sheet last offseason. The Canucks matched, but Kesler more than doubled his offer from them thanks to the Flyers' aggressive tactic.

The Flyers would have parted with only a second-round pick had the Canucks opted to let Kesler flee.

"The thing is, they (had) to be prepared to take him," Shero said of the Flyers' flirtation with Kesler. "They (had) to have the payroll and cap room to do it. We're dealing with a cap rule now, too. Teams have to have that in mind when they go after a Group 2.

"But there are plenty of Group 2 guys who are good players, and you could see where they might draw some serious interest."

Conceivably -- thought not likely, given cap constraints -- a division rival could make a serious play for Whitney simply to increase the Penguins' payroll. Such a move could influence how many young stars the Penguins could keep.

Kesler, a third-line forward, scored 10 goals and recorded 23 points during the 2005-06 season.

The value of Whitney is not known. But if another club made an offer between $2 million and $3 million, the Penguins would be forced with to either match it within seven days or part with a cornerstone player for only a first- and third-round pick.

The Penguins can re-sign Whitney to a long-term deal now. However, they likely won't go in that direction until after this coming season, because they can potentially retain his services at a relatively agreeable price for another year.

"With the new CBA, if you sign a guy to an offer sheet, you don't have to give up so much unless you are paying crazy money," Whitney said. "But if you can get a young player who is already established, it's kind of only throwing a draft pick or two out the window to get somebody on the upswing."

Note: The Penguins pick 20th in the opening round of the NHL entry draft in Columbus, June 22 and 23. Their other picks are 50th, 79th, 110th, 140th and 170th. The Penguins also will select somewhere from 117th and 120th, depending on where the Detroit Red Wings finish in the playoffs.

Decisions, decisions

As a Group 2 restricted free agent, defenseman Ryan Whitney is free to sign an offer sheet with another club this offseason. If he did so, the Penguins then would have to decide how much Whitney is worth to their future. Here's a look at the Penguins' nine restricted free agents and the compensation and whether they are eligible for arbitration.

Colby Armstrong, RW
Arbitration: Yes

Erik Christensen, C
Arbitration: No

Connor James, RW
Arbitration: Yes

Ryan Lannon, D
Arbitration: Yes

Michel Ouellet, RW
Arbitration: Yes

Andrew Penner, G
Arbitration: Yes

Maxime Talbot, C
Arbitration: No

Chris Thorburn, C
Arbitration: Yes

Ryan Whitney, D
Arbitration: No

Source: Pittsburgh Penguins


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Parting gifts
Here's a look at the compensatory draft picks a team receives if it chooses not to match an offer sheet:

$660,000 or below
Compensation: None

Over $660,000 to $1 million
Compensation: Third round

Over $1 million to $2 million
Compensation: Second round

Over $2 million to $3 million
Compensation: First and third round

Over $3 million to $4 million
Compensation: First, second and third round

Over $4 million to $5 million
Compensation: Two in first round, second and third round

Over $5 million
Compensation: Four in first round

Source: NHL collective bargaining agreement

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_508792.html

83-Steelers-43
05-22-2007, 08:31 AM
Talks with Pens' Recchi, Roberts in works

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Talks between the Penguins and veteran forwards Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts are expected to continue into next week as general manager Ray Shero attempts to sign either or both players before they become free agents July 1.

"I talked to their agent last week," Shero said of Recchi and Roberts, each of whom is represented by Rick Curran.

Shero said he met last Thursday with Recchi, who lives in Pittsburgh. Shero also said he expects to meet with Curran again this week.

"Hopefully, we'll find out where we are one way or the other pretty soon," Shero said.

Curran did not return phone calls Monday.

Recchi, 39, scored 24 goals and recorded 68 points in his third tour with the Penguins. An alternate captain, he signed with the Penguins as a free agent last offseason after winning the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Roberts, 40, was a trade-deadline acquisition by the Penguins during the regular season. He scored seven goals in 19 games with the Penguins and was a force in the playoffs with two goals in a five-game loss to the Ottawa Senators.

At a season-ending meeting, Roberts stated to Shero a desire to return next season. A possible sign in the Penguins' favor: Several of their younger players will train with Roberts this summer.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_508794.html

83-Steelers-43
05-22-2007, 08:32 AM
Pens' GM Shero proved himself with Staal pick

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The first collection of Penguins he generally managed was bounced from the playoffs in five frustrating games. But all things considered, Ray Shero can live with it.

"I guess every game that Ottawa wins we feel a little bit better about ourselves," Shero said Monday.

The Senators will play next for the Stanley Cup.

Shero has moved on to evaluation for the NHL draft, which is June 22-23 in Columbus, Ohio.

He was still the assistant GM in Nashville at this time a year ago (Shero officially was named to replace Craig Patrick on May 25). And he conducted his first Penguins draft with a scouting staff that was destined, for the most part, to be jettisoned.

In round one, second overall, Shero came up with Jordan Staal.

The brother of Carolina Hurricanes forward Eric Staal, Jordan was rated second among North American skaters in the final Central Scouting ratings. But he was no slam dunk.

The player selected just after Staal, Jonathan Toews, became the first Canadian-born player to win gold medals at the World Junior Championships and the World Championships in the same year this season. Toews has since joined the Blackhawks after a spectacular sophomore season at the University of North Dakota (18 goals and 46 points in 34 games) and is considered an eventual candidate for captain by Chicago GM Dale Tallon.

The player selected fifth overall in 2006, Phil Kessel, jumped immediately from the University of Minnesota to the Boston Bruins and recorded 11 goals and 29 points around a bout with testicular cancer.

And the player rated second among European skaters by Central Scouting, Michael Frolik, was a native of Kladno, Czech Republic, and nicknamed "The Baby Jagr."

So Shero had options.

But once Erik Johnson went first overall to St. Louis, Shero zeroed in.

"He was the guy that I had in my mind on going in," Shero said. "Jordan was a combination of too many things to pass up.

"We talked about his pedigree, his background, his brothers. That really didn't play into it too much, quite honestly. It was more I was drafting Jordan Staal, not his brothers."

Staal went on to score 29 goals, including an NHL-leading seven short-handed.

Shero anticipated none of that coming as quickly as it did, but he was smart enough to recognize a keeper when he saw one.

Had Shero instead rubber-stamped Staal's return to the OHL, Staal may have done nothing more significant in 2006-07 than join Toews as a World Junior Championships-winning Canadian. And the Penguins might not have sniffed the playoffs, let along be feeling better by the day about their elimination.

Shero's flexibility set a tone along the way of exceeding expectations.

He'll approach his first draft with his guys doing the scouting the same way, searching for characteristics more than a specific pedigree or position.

"I always look back at the 1999 draft, Ottawa got Martin Havlat at No. 25 or 26, that was an impact player, a guy with big upside that they took later in the first round," Shero said. "That's everybody's dream pick later in the first round."

Havlat went 26th to Ottawa in 1999.

The Penguins took Konstantin Koltsov 18th.

Shero isn't yet certain who his Havlat might be or who'll be available as potential candidates, but he knows what he's looking for.

Picking 20th instead of second isn't enough to alter an approach that works.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_508798.html

83-Steelers-43
05-22-2007, 09:38 AM
No Staals available

Shero said there won't be any crossover between his free agency moves or decisions this summer and who the Penguins want to draft.

So fans shouldn't get their hopes up that the Penguins, who have the No. 20 selection in the first round June 22, will draft a player who can come close to repeating what No. 2 overall pick Jordan Staal did last season.

Staal not only stuck with the Penguins as an 18-year-old, but he also scored 29 goals and led the NHL in short-handed goals and shooting percentage.

"The guy we're going to get at 20, or any of the guys we're going to get at this year's draft, are most likely not going to impact our team for a number of years," Shero said.

Shero and first-year director of amateur scouting Jay Heinbuck are sticking with the standard philosophy of getting the best available player regardless of position.

"It's no different than drafting Jordan Staal last year," Shero said. "Everybody said, 'You already have [Sidney] Crosby and [Evgeni] Malkin. Why would you take a center?' Well, we said good players want to play with good players, and Jordan certainly is a good player."

Staal spent much of his rookie season playing left wing.

Rewarding experience

Shero is part of the new advisory committee for USA Hockey and was in Moscow for the International Ice Hockey Federation for the recent world championships.

"It was very rewarding, very good to be a part of USA Hockey and the group, to be around guys like that, other managers, see a lot of different players, get to know them off the ice," Shero said. "I think it benefits me as a manager."

The United States advanced to the quarterfinals, where it lost to Finland, 5-4, in a shootout.

European vacation?

Shero isn't sure how he would feel if the Penguins were asked to participate in the Victoria Cup, a pre-training camp tournament in Europe beginning in September 2008 that would include the European Champions Cup winner, at least one other European team and an NHL club.

Eventually, organizers would like to have the Stanley Cup champion participate. In the meantime, it's conceivable the Penguins would be attractive because of stars such as Crosby, Malkin, Staal and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

"I don't know enough about it," Shero said. "I'm not sure how long you'd have to be over there. We'll wait and see."

Slap shots

Longtime Penguins play-by-play broadcaster Mike Lange, who moved from TV to radio last season, said he had no information on his status for next season. ... The Penguins, who lasted just five games in the playoffs, weren't the only ones to have trouble with the Senators, who have advanced to the Stanley Cup final. "I guess every game that Ottawa wins, we feel a little bit better about ourselves," Shero said. ... While he was in Moscow, Shero asked the agent for former Penguins forward Aleksey Morozov about his status, but Shero does not expect to see him back in a Pittsburgh uniform. "He has a year left on his contract over in Russia, which I believe he can get out of, but I'm not even sure because the agent didn't seem sure," Shero said. "I'm basically moving beyond that and moving forward. Too many question marks for me." ... The Penguins are holding youth hockey camps in June and August for children ages 5-17. Call 412-642-1329 or visit the youth hockey section at www.pittsburghpenguins.com.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07142/787948-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
05-22-2007, 06:58 PM
Crosby, Malkin win Sporting News awards
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In what is becoming a pattern, Penguins center Sidney Crosby was named Player of the Year by the Sporting News in a vote among league players.

Crosby, 19, who won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL scoring leader for 2006-07 with 120 points, received 110 of 210 votes from his peers. He also was named the magazine's All-Star center.

NHL players voted Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin the Sporting News Rookie of the Year. He garnered 121 of 210 votes after getting 85 points as a 20-year-old first-year NHL player.

The Penguins' Michel Therrien finished second to Nashville's Barry Trotz in Coach of the Year voting, which was a poll of league coaches.

Crosby earlier was named the top player by The Hockey News.

The NHL season awards will be announced during the league's annual soiree June 14 in Toronto. Crosby, Malkin and Therrien are finalists.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07142/788072-100.stm

83-Steelers-43
05-22-2007, 07:04 PM
Reminder: Tommorow at 6:30 on "Sportsbeat" Stan Savern will be interviewing Ray Shero.

SteelCityMan786
05-22-2007, 08:09 PM
Reminder: Tommorow at 6:30 on "Sportsbeat" Stan Savern will be interviewing Ray Shero.

I'll have to make sure I watch it after studying or if I need a break.

X-Terminator
05-24-2007, 02:19 AM
Recchi better not have been offered a cent more than 1.25 million. As for Roberts, whatever they offered him will be money well spent. The man is a warrior and a true leader in every sense of the word. Hell, I wouldn't even mind if they gave him the "C" for a year - that's how much I think of him.

Penguins make offers to Recchi, Roberts

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Penguins took the first significant step toward retaining veteran forwards Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts on Wednesday, extending each player contract offers to return next season.

Each player is represented by agent Rich Curran, who wouldn't discuss terms of either offer and said his clients haven't made any final decisions regarding their NHL futures.

"I'm not going to get into specifics of any discussions," Curran said.

General manger Ray Shero extended the respective offers to Recchi and Roberts just days after saying that he hoped to "find out where we are, one way or the other, pretty soon."

Shero has been talking to Curran for the past few weeks. Shero also met with Recchi, who lives in Pittsburgh, last Thursday.

Recchi, 39, scored 24 goals and recorded 68 points in his third tour of duty with the Penguins. An alternate captain, he signed with the Penguins as a free agent last offseason after winning the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Roberts, 40, was a trade-deadline acquisition last season. He scored seven goals in 19 games with the Penguins and was a force in the playoffs with two goals in a five-game loss to the Ottawa Senators.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_509245.html

83-Steelers-43
05-24-2007, 08:30 AM
"We talked for a while, but so far we haven't reached a conclusion that would work for both sides,"

And let the Recchi love fest begin. "Just sign him!", "He's the Recchin' ball!", "I still have my mullet from 1994!".

If he did not take the first offer, let him go and give the money to Roberts and FA/trade possibilities, there's our "verteran leadership" that many feel we need to overly stack up on year after year, even though we have others on the team who have been in the league for a significant amount of time.

SCM, did you catch the Shero interview last night on Savern? If you missed it, you did not exactly miss any earth shattering news for the most part. I was kind of hoping Stan would have interviewed Shero after the finals were over.

Buzz05
05-24-2007, 08:35 AM
I think they are trying to keep the team in tact as much as possible. Another year together and another year better. Look at the progress made from last year to this year. Hopefully they get that much better next year. The only vet I can say would be a bad sign would be LaRoque...he disappeared in the playoffs. Recchi I could see getting 1.25 but Roberts deserves the cash. He was a warrior in the playoffs and he is showing these kids how to play playoff hockey...physical.

83-Steelers-43
05-24-2007, 08:55 AM
The only vet I can say would be a bad sign would be LaRoque...he disappeared in the playoffs.

My point exactly about Recchi in the playoffs and add on 27 (give or take) regular season games before the playoffs even began.

83-Steelers-43
05-25-2007, 11:48 AM
Penguins sign free agent defenseman D'Aversa
Friday, May 25, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins today signed undrafted free agent defenseman Jonathan D'Aversa to a three-year NHL entry level contract.

Last season, his fourth with Sudbury of the Ontario Hockey League, D'Aversa, 21, had career highs in goals (13), assists (47) and points (60) and led his team with a plus-minus rating of plus-14. He was third in the OHL in scoring among defensemen.

In four seasons with the junior hockey Sudbury team, D'Aversa had 150 points in 259 games. He also has 31 points in 50 career playoff games. He has been selected for the OHL All-Star game the past two seasons.

D'Aversa, 6 feet 2, 200 pounds, last season was the defense partner of Marc Staal, younger brother of Penguins forward Jordan Staal.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07145/789044-100.stm

X-Terminator
05-25-2007, 12:20 PM
Depth for WBS, I would imagine. He's also a right-handed shooter, which certainly doesn't hurt his chances since the Pens have none at the NHL level right now. Seems like the Pens are stockpiling some nice, young D-man prospects with Kris Letang, Alex Goligoski, Micki DuPont and now D'Aversa.

83-Steelers-43
05-26-2007, 05:43 PM
Penguins sign free agent defenseman D'Aversa
Friday, May 25, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins today signed undrafted free agent defenseman Jonathan D'Aversa to a three-year NHL entry level contract.

Last season, his fourth with Sudbury of the Ontario Hockey League, D'Aversa, 21, had career highs in goals (13), assists (47) and points (60) and led his team with a plus-minus rating of plus-14. He was third in the OHL in scoring among defensemen.

In four seasons with the junior hockey Sudbury team, D'Aversa had 150 points in 259 games. He also has 31 points in 50 career playoff games. He has been selected for the OHL All-Star game the past two seasons.

D'Aversa, 6 feet 2, 200 pounds, last season was the defense partner of Marc Staal, younger brother of Penguins forward Jordan Staal.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07145/789044-100.stm

Well, Ray Shero stated that the Penguins would need to sign ML FA's to fill out WBS now that the Oiler prospects are no longer here.

I'm not going to kid myself. He's only 21, so it's possible that he could turn out to be something, but I'm sure that Shero didn't sign the guy thinking he'd become the next Lidstrom.

Shero was probably thinking something like this:

Carkner/Skolney: Career AHLers that could fill in on the bottom pairing in the big club in the event of an emergency but will never amount to much more.

D'Aversa: Career AHLer that with a few years experience, could fill in on the bottom pairing and could possibly amount to a fulltime bottom pairing defenseman in the NHL if all goes well.

D'Aversa simply has more upside than the alternatives, but the likelyhood of him becoming a second pairing defenseman isn't enough that anyone should get excited about it.

Similar signing as the Boogaard signing. Anyways...........next! :yawn:

SteelCityMan786
05-28-2007, 10:24 PM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_509839.html

Pens' Crosby among YMCA honorees

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, May 28, 2007

He is only 19. Remember his innocence.

After all, Sidney Crosby will not be a kid forever.

In fact, there is reason to believe that he has already become a man.

But don't take our word for it...

"That young. That good. He is scary," New York Rangers right wing Jaromir Jagr said of the youngest scoring champion in NHL history.

"He is everything that he was advertised to be," Ottawa Senators center Jason Spezza said of the player that totaled 200 points faster than even Wayne Gretzky.

"He is the best player in the world," New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur said of his fellow MVP finalist.

He is only 19. His best is yet to come.

Chances are this will not be his first Pittsburgh Tribune-Review City of Champions Achievement award. He will be among the honorees Thursday at the Downtown YMCA's 33rd annual Scholar Athlete Banquet at the Pittsburgh Hilton Hotel.

This past season, during which Crosby paced the NHL with 120 points and returned the Penguins to the playoffs, will be hard for him top.

Then again, as Spezza said, "There is not much he can't do."

Whatever did Pittsburgh do to deserve such a superstar?

"I'm the lucky one," Crosby said. "With the draft lottery (in 2005), I could have gone anywhere. I ended up here, and I could not have asked for a better place to play, to be."

Perhaps the Pittsburgh Penguins would not be had Crosby not arrived.

Far removed from its glory years of the early 1990s, the franchise has fallen upon hard times before winning what was billed as "The Crosby Sweepstakes" in the summer of 2005.

They had not reached the playoffs since 2001. Attendance had sagged to its lowest levels since before Mario Lemieux's debut in 1984. The two top prospects were a goaltender the team could not afford to keep on its NHL roster and a offensive dynamo it could not pry from his native Russia.

Oh, and the Penguins had no contractual obligation to remain in Pittsburgh beyond July 2007.

Every NHL team wanted Crosby, who no less an authority than Gretzky had dubbed "The Next One."

No NHL team needed him more than the Penguins.

"What Sidney means to this franchise... it's so much you really cannot put it into words," Penguins veteran winger Mark Recchi said. "He has picked up for Mario and become the face of this team."

Or, in the words of Brodeur: "Pittsburgh has always been a great hockey town, but it fell upon hard times towards the end of Mario's era. The Penguins were kind of on life support. But since Sidney, they have come back to life."

This past season, Crosby won the Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading point producer. The Penguins enjoyed the fourth greatest single-season improvement in league history and made the playoff for the first time in six years.

Oh, and thanks to a near record-number of sellout crowds at Mellon Arena during his two years in Pittsburgh, the Penguins have secured funding for a new arena that will not only keep them here, but also provide them the financial footing to possibly retain Crosby's services well into the next decade.

"It's been awesome," Crosby said of his two years in Pittsburgh.

He is only 19. It has only just begun.

X-Terminator
05-29-2007, 12:22 AM
I hope Sid decides to buy himself a nice, big house soon so that he can have room for all of the hardware he's going to pile up in the future. It is absolutely amazing what this kid has accomplished in such a short period of time, and the fact that he's only going to get better has to strike the fear of God into the rest of the league. We are truly blessed as fans to have Sid as the face of the franchise, and to once again have the best hockey player in the world right here in Pittsburgh.

83-Steelers-43
05-29-2007, 04:02 PM
Another depth signing, better get used to it......

Penguins sign winger
Tuesday, May 29, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins today signed right winger Tim Wallace to a two-year NHL entry level contract.

Wallace, 22, is a familiar face. After completing his college career at Notre Dame, he joined the Penguins after an amateur tryout last year and participated in rookie camp and, briefly, regular training camp.

He then split his first pro season between the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, where he had 14 points in 32 games, and its lower-level East Coast Hockey League team in Wheeling, where he had 17 points in 19 games.

Wallace, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound native of Anchorage, Alaska, set a Notre Dame record by playing in 153 consecutive games over his four seasons. He had 59 points over that stretch.

He is the second undrafted player signed in the past week as the Penguins add depth to their organization. They signed defenseman Jonathan D'Aversa on Friday.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07149/789816-100.stm

SteelCityMan786
05-29-2007, 04:37 PM
And let the Recchi love fest begin. "Just sign him!", "He's the Recchin' ball!", "I still have my mullet from 1994!".

If he did not take the first offer, let him go and give the money to Roberts and FA/trade possibilities, there's our "verteran leadership" that many feel we need to overly stack up on year after year, even though we have others on the team who have been in the league for a significant amount of time.

SCM, did you catch the Shero interview last night on Savern? If you missed it, you did not exactly miss any earth shattering news for the most part. I was kind of hoping Stan would have interviewed Shero after the finals were over.

I think I did miss the interview. I kind of expected just what to expect over the offseason news, nothing TOO big.

83-Steelers-43
05-30-2007, 12:13 AM
Pens' Recchi-Roberts talks 'positive'

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The agent for veteran forwards Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts said Tuesday his clients are not a package deal, despite each wishing to re-sign with the Penguins prior to the start of free agency July 1.

Rich Curran, who represents each player, described talks with Penguins general manager Ray Shero as "positive." However, he offered no additional specifics on negotiations.

"I'm optimistic that something will get done," Curran said. "We want to get something done before July 1. But I am also realistic enough to know that I have two clients to take into consideration, and (Shero) has to focus on a budget for his entire team."

Shero extended contract offers to Curran for each player last Wednesday. Terms of the offers are not known, but the Penguins are believed to have presented Recchi with a one-year deal.

Roberts, meanwhile, is mulling his offer with his family.

"What you have are players that want to come back to Pittsburgh ... if this situation in Pittsburgh is what they know," Curran said. "Right now, they are each trying to determine if Pittsburgh will be the right fit for them next year."

Note: The Penguins signed right wing Tim Wallace, 22, to a two-year, entry-level deal. He spent this past season between the club's American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and its East Coast Hockey League affiliate in Wheeling. Wallace scored once in 11 playoff games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after posting five goals and 14 points in 32 regular-season contests.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_510048.html

83-Steelers-43
05-30-2007, 10:31 PM
Congratulations Sid, you've earned it.....

Penguins make Crosby captain

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, May 31, 2007

One cannot spell Crosby without a "C." Sidney Crosby will finally get his Thursday.
In a move discussed within the organization since before Christmas, Crosby will be named captain of the Penguins at a noon news conference at Mellon Arena.

At 19 years and nine-plus months, Crosby will become the youngest captain in both team and National Hockey League history. Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier was named captain of the Lightning at 19 years, 11 months in 2000, but he was later stripped of the title.

Teammates expect Crosby to have a long reign as the Penguins' leader.

"I don't think it will be that much different than last year. The 'C' adds a little bit, but it's just a letter," defenseman Ryan Whitney said. "He's been a leader and will continue to be. This shows the rest of the league that he has completely arrived."
Crosby's arrival in the NHL for the 2005-06 season was met with unrivaled hype. Wayne Gretzky, dubbed "The Great One" because he owns virtually every NHL offensive record, labeled Crosby "The Next One."

This past season, Crosby bested Gretzky as the youngest player to surpass the career 200-point plateau. In two seasons, Crosby has scored 75 goals and recorded 222 points.

Crosby's league-best 120 points fueled a 47-point turnaround for the Penguins -- the fourth-best single-season improvement in league history. The Penguins earned their first playoff berth since 2001, and Crosby paced the Penguins in scoring during a five-game opening-round loss to the Ottawa Senators.

Crosby played the final month of the regular season and the playoffs with a broken foot.

"What more an example of leadership do you need?" Whitney said. "I've never seen somebody with such a passion for hockey."

In taking over the Penguins' captaincy, Crosby will join the ranks of past greats such as Mario Lemieux, Ron Francis and Ab McDonald, who first donned the "C" during the 1967-68 campaign.

Joining such company will cap a whirlwind two years for Crosby.

"It's weird. I don't think I really expected anything to go a certain way," Crosby said earlier this month. "It's only going to be my third year."

The Penguins have gone without a captain since Lemieux, the all-time leading scorer/team co-owner, retired Jan. 26, 2006, due to a heart condition. Crosby has served as an alternate captain since Michel Therrien replaced former coach Ed Olczyk on Dec. 15, 2005.

The captains

The following players have worn the "C" for the Penguins:

1967-68 Ab McDonald
1968-69 Keith McCreary*
1970-73 None
1973-77 Ron Schock
1977-78 Jean Pronovost
1978-81 Orest Kindrachuk
1981-84 Randy Carlyle
1984-86 Mike Bullard
1986-87 Bullard, Terry Ruskowski
1987-88 Dan Frawley, Mario Lemieux
1988-90 Lemieux
1990-91 Lemieux, Paul Coffey, John Cullen, Randy Hillier
1991-94 Lemieux
1994-95 Ron Francis
1995-97 Lemieux
1997-98 Francis
1998-01 Jaromir Jagr**
2001-04 Lemieux***
2005-06 Lemieux***
2006-07 None

* - McCreary was captain for 20 games.
** - Martin Straka wore the "C" for 10 games during Jagr's recovery from a thigh injury.
*** - Steve McKenna was captain one game -- against the Montreal Canadiens for the Hockey Fights Cancer Jersey Auction.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburgh...s/s_510245.html

X-Terminator
05-31-2007, 12:16 AM
It was only a matter of time. No question that the kid has earned the right to wear the "C". Congratulations Sid - you are a very worthy successor to Mario Lemieux.

Buzz05
05-31-2007, 08:31 AM
Thats awsome, I wouldnt want to see anyone else with the 'C' on his chest then Sid. Class act the whole way. Lemieux and Gretzky should be proud that he is taking the NHL into the next generation.

83-Steelers-43
05-31-2007, 08:39 AM
Thats awsome, I wouldnt want to see anyone else with the 'C' on his chest then Sid. Class act the whole way. Lemieux and Gretzky should be proud that he is taking the NHL into the next generation.

Amen to that. I'm 100% sure both "The Great One" and "Le Magnifique" are very proud of Sid and agree completely with the decision. Wayne highly praises the kid every chance he get's and it's pretty obvious what Lemieux thinks of Sid. I'm with you, I can't think of another player on that roster who deserves the "C" more than Sid. This officially is HIS team now.

:cheers:

83-Steelers-43
05-31-2007, 03:16 PM
Crosby installed as Penguins' captain; youngest in NHL
Thursday, May 31, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Center Sidney Crosby took some time before deciding to accept the role of Penguins captain.

Months, in fact.

During a news conference today at Mellon Arena to introduce Crosby as the youngest captain in National Hockey League history, he and general manager Ray Shero revealed that the team asked him in January, midway through the season, to take a promotion from one of three alternate captains to the team captain.

"I thought I needed some time to grow a little bit more," said Crosby, who talked with team management again after the season ended and agreed to accept the new role.

Crosby, who turns 20 in August, said he expects to continue to lead by example rather than change his style -- a style that already had made him the club's undisputed leader and one of the best players in the game. In 2006-07, his second as a pro, he won the NHL scoring title with 120 points and helped the Penguins reach 105 points and make the playoffs for the first time since 2001.

"I understand there's going to be a lot more responsibility on my shoulders with this, but I think I'm ready for it," Crosby said. "I couldn't be in a better situation with a team that has a mix of younger guys and older guys."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07151/790494-100.stm

X-Terminator
06-01-2007, 12:23 AM
Off-Season Game Plan: Penguins

Scott Cullen
5/31/2007 11:28:37 AM

A tremendous turnaround in 2006-2007 kept the Penguins in Pittsburgh and vaulted them into the playoffs.

Off-Season Game Plan looks at what steps could be next to take this team of young stars to the next plateau.

Mired in turmoil for much of the season, with a potential move hanging over the franchise, the Penguins didn't let it affect the on-ice product.

Veteran winger Mark Recchi evaulated his team this way after the first-round loss to the Senators, telling the Canadian Press, "If we keep progressing like this, we're going to be contending for Stanley Cups for a long time."

An explosive team of young scorers, the Penguins actually had three players under 21 -- Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal -- combine for 98 goals! The challenge going forward will be keeping these premier talents together, despite salary cap restrictions, but that's a long-term strategy.

In the more immediate future, the Penguins will need to focus their attention on defence, where a few more proven top four defencemen would make sense for a team that fancies itself a Cup contender.

Furthermore, if the Penguins are really going to aim high next season, they could also set their sites on a scoring winger or two to provide support for their absurdly talented trio of young centres.

"We're setting our standards high for next year," Crosby told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette following the season. "And making sure that we don't just settle for hanging around maybe for the last playoff spot. Even though that might be possible it's such a competitive league."

Whatever moves the Penguins make this summer, they could all pale in comparison to the potential signing of Crosby to a contract extension.

Sid the Kid, who is set to be named captain, will be a restricted free agent at the end of next season. Obviously, the Penguins would prefer to get Crosby signed before reaching the point at which every team in the league could bid for Sid's services.

By all rights, that contract extension will be pushing the league's maximum of 20% of the salary cap, which would set Crosby in the $9.6-million/season range if the salary cap moves up to $48-million as has been suggested.

Over the long haul, it might be difficult for the Penguins to keep all these young stars in the fold, but Crosby is the must-have of the group, the signing that would allow the Penguins more flexibility when it comes to the rest of the players on the roster.

Right now, the Penguins have room under the cap to operate (though bonuses for Crosby, Malkin and Staal could add another $6-million total next season), so the financial pressure will be primarily internal.

However, the prospect of losing some of their young talent in the not-too-distant future should encourage the Penguins to seize the moment and make the most of their current opportunity to contend with the best in the league.

As Crosby noted to the Post-Gazette, "Who knows what will happen next year?"

Seize the opportunity.


GM/COACH
Ray Shero/Michel Therrien

Returning Forwards

Player TSN.ca Rating Salary

Sidney Crosby 90.03 $850K
Evgeni Malkin 79.97 $984K
Jordan Staal 73.11 $850K
Ryan Malone 67.41 $1.45M
Georges Laraque 61.19 $1.3M
Jarkko Ruutu 58.94 $1.15M

Free Agent Forwards

Player TSN.ca Rating Class

Mark Recchi 73.87 UFA
Gary Roberts 71.03 UFA
Michel Ouellet 69.19 RFA
Eric Christensen 66.51 RFA
Colby Armstrong 65.44 RFA
Maxime Talbot 62.03 RFA
Nils Ekman 61.33 UFA
Ronald Petrovicky 59.74 UFA
Chris Thorburn 58.75 RFA

Top Prospects: Ryan Stone, Jonathan Filewich, Tyler Kennedy

An almost embarrassingly deep crop of young forwards makes the Penguins the envy of many organizations around the league and the group is led by the league's marquee attraction, Sidney Crosby.

The 19 year-old led the league with 120 points last season and should only get better as he finds the right complementary players to join him. While experienced veterans have been good to help acclimate Crosby to the league, it could be time to find some young scorers that can keep up with him.

Evgeni Malkin arrived from Russia with much fanfare, but he exceeded expectations with an 85-point rookie season. Big and physically gifted, Malkin will be an even greater force if he improves his conditioning to meet the rigorous physical demands of the NHL.

While Malkin exceeded expectations as a rookie, 18 year-old Jordan Staal obliterated any preconceived notions about his ability. A pre-season injury to Malkin may have helped keep Staal out of the Ontario Hockey League and then Staal's well-rounded game made it a no-brainer decision to keep him. His strong play at both ends of the rink makes him a terrific counter option to Crosby and Malkin.

Often a target of trade rumours, Ryan Malone could get moved this summer. He's a potential top-six forward, but doesn't seem to be a fit on the wing with the current group of Penguins.

A variety of second-tier young forwards also have shown that they can contribute.

Michel Ouellet doesn't have tremendous physical gifts, but his offensive instincts should warrant him playing on the second line.

Erik Christensen is a shootout ace, but he has to make a transition to the wing if he's actually going to get ample ice time to display his skills.

Colby Armstrong was a total disappointment last year. After registering 40 points in 47 games the year before, and showing a certain amount of chemistry with Crosby, Armstrong flopped last year, not scoring until his 23rd game of the season. He is actually a better fit on a two-way line, where his physical game can help create chances.

Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts could both be back next season, if the price is right, but they are 39 and 41, respectively, so their return would be a short-term fix rather than a long-term solution.

Among the Penguins' checking forward, Maxime Talbot was quite effective as an agitator who also chipped in 13 goals, while Jarkko Ruutu and Georges Laraque are among the best at their particular roles.

If the Penguins were going to hit the free agent market in search of scoring wingers, Paul Kariya and Scott Hartnell could be possible targets. If they really wanted to stir the pot, they could take a shot at restricted free agents like Buffalo's Tomas Vanek or Anaheim's Dustin Penner, both of whom would be huge upgrades on the wing.


Returning Defencemen

Player TSN.ca Rating Salary

Sergei Gonchar 79.21 $5.5M
Brooks Orpik 65.32 $1.08M
Mark Eaton 60.73 $1.6M

Free Agent Defencemen

Player TSN.ca Rating Class

Ryan Whitney 78.88 RFA
Alain Nasreddine 67.07 UFA
Josef Melichar 65.11 UFA
Robert Scuderi 63.44 UFA
Joel Kwiatkowski 58.87 UFA
Eric Cairns 58.74 UFA

Top Prospects: Kristopher Letang, Alex Goligoski, Ryan Lannon

Veteran Sergei Gonchar is frustrating at times because of his lack of consistency, but he's a terrific power play quarterback who can handle the puck and deliver a booming shot from the blueline. The Pens pay him the going rate for top-flight defencemen and get a fair return for their investment.

Ryan Whitney is Pittsburgh's other offensive weapon from the point. The 24 year-old continues to get better and the Penguins had better act quickly to get him signed this summer, since he could be a prime candidate for any team interested in prying him away as a restricted free agent.

Wrist and knee injuries conspired to cause Mark Eaton to miss 47 games, so his first season in Pittsburgh was hardly noteworthy. When healthy, he's a good shotblocking defenceman, though probably best suited to a spot on the third pair.

Brooks Orpik brings a physical element to the game and his willingness to commit to contact makes him a valuable component of this group, albeit in a limited role.

The rest of the Penguins' defence corps is headed for unrestricted free agency, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Josef Melichar isn't bad but, like the others, could easily be bumped aside for an upgrade.

One possible addition for next season could be Kristopher Letang, who started last season with the Penguins before returning to junior, where he scored 52 points in 40 games for Val-d'Or.

Aside from their own free agents, the Pens may want to pursue physical blueliners like Andy Sutton, Scott Hannan, Craig Rivet and Danny Markov, who can fit in the top four.

Returning Goaltenders

Player TSN.ca Rating Salary
Marc-Andre Fleury 73.16 $1.6M

Free Agent Goaltenders

Player TSN.ca Rating Class
Jocelyn Thibault 66.97 UFA

Top Prospects: Bobby Goepfert

There's something to be said for the progress that Marc-Andre Fleury is making, as he's increased his durability and improved his numbers across the board throughout his first three pro seasons. At the same time, Fleury is still just 22 years old, so it's not necessarily fair to expect him to be up to the task of backstopping a Stanley Cup contender. That day may come, but it might still be a few years away.

Jocelyn Thibault was a solid backup for the Penguins this season, so he might very well be welcomed back into that role. He also might attract interest around the league from teams in need of a veteran backup, which could leave the Penguins shopping for a new No. 2.

Some free agent options, if Thibault leaves, would include Mathieu Garon, David Aebischer and Kevin Weekes.

DRAFT
20th - Ryan McDonaugh, Jim O'Brien, Alex Plante

FREE AGENCY
The Penguins have approximately $16-million committed to salaries for next season.

Needs: two top six forwards, two top four defencemen

TRADE MARKET
Malone, Christensen

http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=209439&hubname=nhl

83-Steelers-43
06-01-2007, 07:18 AM
Crosby more than ready for 'C'

By Joe Starkey
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, June 1, 2007

The Kid officially became The Man on Thursday, though both were easy to spot at a news conference announcing Sidney Crosby as the Penguins' new captain.

The Kid finished modeling his new jersey, complete with a capital 'C,' and he handed it to his dad for safekeeping.

The Man handled the media crush with ease.

The Kid loves PlayStation and still lives with Mario Lemieux's family -- though he purchased a house in his hometown of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, last summer.

The Kid's a teenager -- two months shy of his 20th birthday -- which is why some who aren't close to the situation will question the wisdom of this move. A few months ago, NHL legend Mark Messier fell into that category.
Messier, during the All-Star break in Dallas, said he was wildly impressed with Crosby's character but cautioned against naming him captain anytime soon.

"I'm always leery about making kids that young assistant captains, even," Messier said. "Clearly, he is the leader of the team. But at the same point, you need to let him be a rookie, a child. You need to give him the opportunity to make mistakes.

"Being a captain or an assistant captain puts undue pressure on him."

Undue pressure? Crosby has been thriving in the face of it practically since birth.

See, in some ways, The Kid has always been The Man. His father reflected on that yesterday at Mellon Arena.

"He's just always been really mature," Troy Crosby said. "I think it's because a lot of his friends were a couple of years older, because of hockey, and I think some kids are just more mature than others. He was always focused and really knew what he wanted to do from a young age. He sacrificed a lot."

Still does.

You know as much if you watch the Penguins and see Crosby play every shift at warp speed. You know it, too, if you've seen coach Michel Therrien bar him from practice to avoid possible burnout.

Therrien spotted the born leader in Crosby the instant he replaced Eddie Olczyk midway through the 2005-06 season. Olczyk's instinct was to shelter Crosby. Therrien's instinct was to feature him -- burden him, even, because he knew The Man could handle it.

That's why Therrien immediately stripped respected veteran John LeClair of his assistant captain's role and gave it to Crosby.

Critics howled. Don Cherry, the cantankerous Canadian hockey analyst and former NHL coach, ripped Therrien and said of Crosby, "He's an 18-year-old kid."

But also an 18-year-old man, and one who would soon become the youngest scoring champion in NHL history.

Yesterday, the Penguins made Crosby the youngest captain in NHL history.

Crosby could have had the job before or during the season, but he turned it down twice, including 10 days after the All-Star Game.

"He told us, 'I don't think the time's right,' " general manager Ray Shero said. "That says a lot about him."

Ironic, isn't it?

In refusing such a prestigious job -- in demonstrating his ability to say no -- Crosby showed precisely the kind of maturity, courage and smarts the job requires.

The Kid was eager. The Man made him wait.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_510442.html

83-Steelers-43
06-01-2007, 07:42 AM
Crosby showed precisely the kind of maturity, courage and smarts the job requires.

Ain't that the truth? It was also reported that Sidney Crosby went up to Gonchar, Roberts and Recchi and asked for their approval before he accepted the captaincy. Two words, maturity and class.

If the world could only produce more modern day athletes with his same ilk maybe we wouldn't be hearing about athletes running off at the mouth, getting big heads and getting arrested on a regular basis?

Buzz05
06-01-2007, 08:34 AM
If the world could only produce more modern day athletes with his same ilk maybe we wouldn't be hearing about athletes running off at the mouth, getting big heads and getting arrested on a regular basis?

I agree 100%. Sid is the kind of athlete all young kids should hope to be like. Class, Maturity, enthusiasm for the game. The money and fame are there, but Sid doesnt show it. He is a class act all the way. Im proud he is a Penguin

X-Terminator
06-01-2007, 10:01 AM
I agree 100%. Sid is the kind of athlete all young kids should hope to be like. Class, Maturity, enthusiasm for the game. The money and fame are there, but Sid doesnt show it. He is a class act all the way. Im proud he is a Penguin

And yet, "The Man" still gets criticized. He's a whiner, a diver, a pansy, a sh*t stirrer who won't drop his gloves, etc. Those people, of course, are morons. They are also insanely jealous.

Sid is everything you could ever want in an athlete and person - and so much more. He is exactly the person that the NHL needs to market itself to the general public and generate interest in the sport after the lockout and subsequent ratings/attendance nosedive. It's about time those idiots realize that, and give him the respect he deserves.

83-Steelers-43
06-01-2007, 10:09 AM
I agree 100%. Sid is the kind of athlete all young kids should hope to be like. Class, Maturity, enthusiasm for the game. The money and fame are there, but Sid doesnt show it. He is a class act all the way. Im proud he is a Penguin

And instead the media focuses the majority of their time on the likes of Pacman Jones, Michael Vick, T.O. and Chris Henry. Scum.

ESPN site reported Sid got his "C".....that's the last you'll hear about him on that site until August. Until then it's Kobe, Vick, Jones, Henry, Bonds...etc. etc. :coffee:

Stlrs4Life
06-01-2007, 08:19 PM
Congrats Sid, well deserved!

83-Steelers-43
06-03-2007, 12:24 AM
Pens' Crosby caps week with another honor

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, June 3, 2007

No matter what Sidney Crosby goes on to accomplish in his NHL career, chances are he will never experience a week quite like this past one.

After being named as the youngest captain in NHL history on Thursday, Crosby was awarded the Art Ross Trophy in Ottawa on Saturday prior to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals between the Senators and the Anaheim Ducks.

Crosby, 19, is the youngest winner of the Art Ross Trophy, which is earned by leading the league in scoring during the regular season. Crosby totaled 120 points this past season.

"It's been a fun few days," Crosby said.

Henri Richard, the Montreal Canadiens legend and an 11-time Stanley Cup winner, presented the award to Crosby during a ceremony that also honored Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier with the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy (leading goal scorer).

Lecavalier, who had been the youngest captain in NHL history before Crosby, scored 52 goals in 2006-07.

"He's doing everything right, and he's just going to get better and better," Lecavalier said of Crosby. "I can't imagine how good he's going to be when he is 26 or 27 years old."

Despite finishing sixth in the league in scoring race as a rookie, Crosby said taking the title was not an objective heading into his sophomore season.

"You want to contribute and do well, help your team every night," Crosby said. "This is something that comes with hard work. If you worry about (the Art Ross Trophy) it's not going to come your way."

Also receiving awards yesterday were Minnesota Wild goaltenders Niklas Backstrom and Manny Fernandez. They won the William M. Jennings Trophy for helping the Wild allow a league-low 191 goals.

Crosby is a finalist for the Hart Trophy, awarded to the league's most valuable player, and the Lester B. Pearson Award, the MVP as voted by the players' association. Those and other NHL awards will be presented in Toronto on June 14.

The Penguins will be well represented at that event. Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal are finalists for the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie, and Michael Therrien is a candidate for the Jack Adams Award, which is presented to the league's top coach.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_510744.html

83-Steelers-43
06-03-2007, 12:29 AM
Penguins fire staffer, don't sign 2 '05 picks
Sunday, June 03, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins have severed ties to their strength and conditioning coach and two 2005 draft choices.

General manager Ray Shero confirmed yesterday that conditioning coach Stephane Dube has been fired. He declined to elaborate except to say that Dube "did nothing 'wrong.' "

Dube, a long-time associate of coach Michel Therrien who joined the Penguins when Therrien was brought in to replace Eddie Olczyk as coach in December 2005, could not be reached for comment. Shero described Therrien as being "supportive" of the move.

Shero said the search for Dube's successor will begin this week, but that there is no timetable for replacing him. The Penguins, he said, "just want to make sure we hopefully find the right fit."

Because two defensemen drafted two years ago -- Jean-Philippe Paquet and Tommi Leinonen -- were not signed by the June 1 deadline, they will return to the talent pool for the entry draft June 22-23 in Columbus.

Leinonen, the 125th player taken in 2005, did not have a point in 13 games with Karpat Oulu in Finland's SM-liiga this past season, but represented his country at the world junior championships.

Paquet, claimed with the 194th choice, split last season between Shawinigan and Baie-Comeau in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, putting up 13 goals and 41 assists in 69 games.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07154/791149-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
06-03-2007, 05:36 AM
Interesting decisions by Ray Shero. We didn't have a big injury or fitness issue this past season, seems an odd move unless it involves some sort of personality conflict.

On Paquet and Leinonen, while I'm a little suprised we decided not to pickup either of these two judging that we still have a WBS roster to fill out, this seems to be Shero's continuing process of cleaning out Patrick era prospects that he started last Summer.

SteelCityMan786
06-03-2007, 10:10 AM
Interesting decisions by Ray Shero. We didn't have a big injury or fitness issue this past season, seems an odd move unless it involves some sort of personality conflict.

On Paquet and Leinonen, while I'm a little suprised we decided not to pickup either of these two judging that we still have a WBS roster to fill out, this seems to be Shero's continuing process of cleaning out Patrick era prospects that he started last Summer.

Yeah it is interesting. What the heck is he thinking.

83-Steelers-43
06-03-2007, 10:56 AM
Yeah it is interesting. What the heck is he thinking.

Even though Shero stated that Dube "did nothing wrong", that doesn't mean he was doing things right. I'm guessing the firing occured because Shero wasn't happy with the way certain players (Malkin in particular) were coming along from a strength point of view. Maybe he wasn't happy with the programs Dube was assigning to certain players.

SteelCityMan786
06-08-2007, 05:50 PM
http://post-gazette.com/pg/07159/792399-125.stm

Penguins Q&A with Dave Molinari

83-Steelers-43
06-18-2007, 04:07 PM
Penguins' officials to meet with defenseman Goligoski
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, June 18, 2007

Penguins' officials, including general manager Ray Shero, will meet with prospect Alex Goligoski in Minnesota on Tuesday.

Goligoski, a 21-year-old right-handed shooting defenseman, was the club's second-round pick in the 2004 entry draft. He spent the past three seasons starring for the University of Minnesota, where he totaled 25 goals and 98 points.

Goligoski was a draft pick under former general manager Craig Patrick and has never met face-to-face with Shero, who replaced Patrick in May 2006. If Goligoski decides to forgo his final year of college eligibility he likely would play for the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton next season.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_513215.html

SteelCityMan786
06-18-2007, 04:12 PM
Alright, if he's worth signing, GET IT DONE!

83-Steelers-43
06-18-2007, 05:51 PM
I'm not exactly sure what this is all about. He still has another year of college and from the reports I have heard he is not ready for the NHL level. So should he give up college to go to WBS? We'll see what he thinks.

Goligoski is a smaller offensively gifted defenseman. He is very raw and needs to improve on all of his skills, namely his skating and strength, before he can be considered ready for the NHL. His assets include puck-handling, playmaking, and creativity. Some may compare him to a young, recent Coyote signee, Keith Ballard. That is a lofty comparison, but Goligoski possesses the necessary skills to fulfill this potential if he works very hard in the coming years.

Future

His skill with the puck makes him a valuable member of the Gopher power play, and is sure to earn more minutes in his sophomore campaign. His frame is still light, and he will need to bulk up over the next season or two before making the jump to the pro game.

This was a report made in March of this year so I'm not sure he could have made that much of an improvement over a three month span. I guess we shall see even though I don't see him making the big club this year.

SteelCityMan786
06-18-2007, 06:02 PM
Let him finish college. At least he has something to fall back on if this fails.

83-Steelers-43
06-18-2007, 06:13 PM
Let him finish college. At least he has something to fall back on if this fails.

From what I'm hearing, another year at the college level would help him out.

83-Steelers-43
06-18-2007, 07:28 PM
Just a heads up. Therrien will be interviewed on Sports Beat tomorrow night.

Preacher
06-18-2007, 08:35 PM
Interesting read on not picking up the two players...

Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, putting up 13 goals and 41 assists in 69 games.

However, I can understand. If that is all you can score in the Q league... You aint going to make it in the NHL.

If he was in the Western league... it (may) be a different story

SteelCityMan786
06-18-2007, 08:45 PM
Just a heads up. Therrien will be interviewed on Sports Beat tomorrow night.

Thanks for the word brother!

SteelCityMan786
06-19-2007, 04:36 PM
http://post-gazette.com/pg/07170/795392-100.stm

Penguins sign winger

Tuesday, June 19, 2007
By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins today signed right winger Connor James to a one-year contract.

James, 24, had 32 points, including 12 goals, last season with the Penguins' farm club in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He also had eight points in 11 American Hockey League playoff games.

James was a ninth-round draft pick by Los Angeles in 2002 and played in two NHL games in 2005-06. He first signed with the Penguins as a free agent last year.

The 5-foot-10, 190-pounder played on the University of Denver's 2004 NCAA championship team.

SteelCityMan786
06-19-2007, 06:31 PM
Therrien is on Sportsbeat Tonight.

83-Steelers-43
06-19-2007, 07:18 PM
Penguins retain scouting staff
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

With the NHL draft approaching Friday, the Penguins have secured their scouting staff for the next year.

They promoted Dan MacKinnon from a pro scout to director of professional scouting and extended the contracts of the professional and amateur scouting staff through the 2007-08 season.

Those scouts include pro scout Kevin Stevens, amateur scouts Brian Fitzgerald, Chuck Grillo, Jim Madigan, Wayne Meier, Darryl Plandowski and Matt Recchi, and European scouts Patrick Allvin and Robert Neuhauser.

Pro scout Bill O'Flaherty left the Penguins after one season to become director of pro scouting for the Florida Panthers.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07170/795409-100.stm

SteelCityMan786
06-19-2007, 08:50 PM
Penguins retain scouting staff
Tuesday, June 19, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

With the NHL draft approaching Friday, the Penguins have secured their scouting staff for the next year.

They promoted Dan MacKinnon from a pro scout to director of professional scouting and extended the contracts of the professional and amateur scouting staff through the 2007-08 season.

Those scouts include pro scout Kevin Stevens, amateur scouts Brian Fitzgerald, Chuck Grillo, Jim Madigan, Wayne Meier, Darryl Plandowski and Matt Recchi, and European scouts Patrick Allvin and Robert Neuhauser.

Pro scout Bill O'Flaherty left the Penguins after one season to become director of pro scouting for the Florida Panthers.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07170/795409-100.stm

Good Work.

I've liked what they've been doing. Hopefully another strong draft this week.

83-Steelers-43
06-20-2007, 08:13 AM
Pens' GM to meet with Roberts, Recchi's agent
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The agent for veteran forwards Gary Roberts and Mark Recchi plans to meet with Penguins general manager Ray Shero during the NHL Draft later this week.

"I spoke with Ray on Monday night and we discussed getting together in Columbus," Rich Curran said Tuesday. "That is likely what is going to happen."

Curran said that neither Roberts nor Recchi has reached terms with the Penguins for the 2007-08 season but that should not be taken as a negative sign -- despite Shero's stated objective to have each player signed by July 1, when they can become unrestricted free agents.

"At the moment, the intent is still to be able to put something together that works for both sides," Curran said. "If we get to July 1 and there is no deal on one or both (players), that just means the door is also open for other considerations.

"But the door in Pittsburgh will remain open after July 1."

Shero extended contract offers to both Roberts and Recchi in late May. Curran described talks with the Penguins as "on again/off again" since then.

Reports out of Canada have speculated that the Ottawa Senators could make a play for Roberts if the Penguins allow him to become a free agent. According to The Ottawa Sun, one reason former Senators general manager John Muckler was relieved of his duties Monday was due to his inability to acquire Roberts at the trade deadline.

The Penguins acquired Roberts from Florida for defenseman Noah Welch. Roberts, who turned 41 on May 23, scored seven goals in 19 regular-season games with the Penguins and tied for the team lead with three playoff goals.

Roberts waived a no-trade clause in his contract with the Panthers to join the Penguins. His daughter lives in Toronto, and Roberts has said proximity to her would be a factor in where he plays.

Recchi, 39, scored 24 goals and recorded 68 points in his third tour of duty with the Penguins. However, he totaled just eight points over his final 23 regular-season games and went without a goal in the playoffs.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_513395.html

X-Terminator
06-20-2007, 08:28 AM
I'm hoping they at least get Roberts signed before July 1, because if they allow him to become a FA and Ottawa makes a bid for him, they will likely pay more than the Penguins are offering, and he will be gone. I could care less as far as Recchi goes.

83-Steelers-43
06-20-2007, 08:33 AM
The Penguins today signed right winger Connor James to a one-year contract.

More depth for WBS. Next....

Buzz05
06-20-2007, 11:01 AM
I'm hoping they at least get Roberts signed before July 1, because if they allow him to become a FA and Ottawa makes a bid for him, they will likely pay more than the Penguins are offering, and he will be gone. I could care less as far as Recchi goes.

I have a feeling they will both be resigned. Roberts because he loves his roll on this team and playing with Syd. He said he wants to stay and Recchi will stay because the Pens will offer him a low ball contract and no one else will offer him anything...so he will have to resign.

SteelCityMan786
06-20-2007, 11:25 AM
I'm hoping they at least get Roberts signed before July 1, because if they allow him to become a FA and Ottawa makes a bid for him, they will likely pay more than the Penguins are offering, and he will be gone. I could care less as far as Recchi goes.

I'd really like to have both if the salary cap allows it. I think it will as well because both might be close to hanging up their skates to.

vader29
06-20-2007, 07:50 PM
I hope they resign both of them but Roberts would my priority if I could only sign one of them.

83-Steelers-43
06-20-2007, 07:52 PM
IMO, sign Roberts, forget Recchi and use the money in other areas where it's actually needed. But much like you Buzz I feel they will sign both simply because I believe nobody in the NHL wants Mark Recchi after his last 30 games/playoff disappearance/age.

83-Steelers-43
06-20-2007, 08:08 PM
Second Chance?The Senators missed out on Gary Roberts at the 2006-07 trade deadline, but will the East champs get another shot at the veteran forward? His hesitancy to take the Pens' new offer is reportedly giving Ottawa hope.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nhl/features/rumors?&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnhl %2ffeatures%2frumors

SteelCityMan786
06-20-2007, 08:41 PM
Second Chance?The Senators missed out on Gary Roberts at the 2006-07 trade deadline, but will the East champs get another shot at the veteran forward? His hesitancy to take the Pens' new offer is reportedly giving Ottawa hope.

http://insider.espn.go.com/nhl/features/rumors?&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fnhl %2ffeatures%2frumors

Come on Gary. SIGN THE PEGUINS DEAL!!!!

X-Terminator
06-20-2007, 08:54 PM
We of course don't know what he was offered by the Penguins, but if he's hesitant about signing it, I'm sure it's because of his family wanting him back in Ontario. Remember, he originally said prior to the trade deadline that he'd only waive his no-trade clause if he was being dealt to Toronto or Ottawa, but ultimately accepted the trade to the Pens. I'd be disappointed if he didn't take the offer and signed with Ottawa, but I would respect his decision to put his family's interests first.

SteelCityMan786
06-20-2007, 09:20 PM
We of course don't know what he was offered by the Penguins, but if he's hesitant about signing it, I'm sure it's because of his family wanting him back in Ontario. Remember, he originally said prior to the trade deadline that he'd only waive his no-trade clause if he was being dealt to Toronto or Ottawa, but ultimately accepted the trade to the Pens. I'd be disappointed if he didn't take the offer and signed with Ottawa, but I would respect his decision to put his family's interests first.

After all, family comes first.

83-Steelers-43
06-20-2007, 09:32 PM
Come on Gary. SIGN THE PEGUINS DEAL!!!!

When the first article came out (I believe last month) hinting that both Recchi and Roberts turned down the first deal I started to get a little nervous. At this point, I'm very nervous with this team overpaying for Mark Recchi. I just hope the Penguins F.O. has the sense to tell Recchi to hit the road and good luck getting the same deal from one of the other 29 teams if he is in fact holding out for more money.

Gary Roberts I'm not nearly as concerned about. I think we will get a deal done at a fair price. Eitherway I think he will stay here for two more seasons and hang up the skates and retire. It's not as if the guy is playing hockey in L.A., Somalia or Anaheim. Pittsburgh is only a five and half hour drive to North York. It's not extremely bad. Bottomline in my opinion, pay the man a nice price and he will stay. Hell, if we are going to pay good money to any of our over-the-hill vets I would rather it be Roberts than Recchi.

I guess we shall see in the upcoming days or weeks.

SteelCityMan786
06-20-2007, 09:36 PM
When the first article came out (I believe last month) hinting that both Recchi and Roberts turned down the first deal I started to get a little nervous. At this point, I'm very nervous with this team overpaying for Mark Recchi. I just hope the Penguins F.O. has the sense to tell Recchi to hit the road and good luck getting the same deal from one of the other 29 teams if he is in fact holding out for more money.

Gary Roberts I'm not nearly as concerned about. I think we will get a deal done at a fair price. Eitherway I think he will stay here for two more seasons and hang up the skates and retire. It's not as if the guy is playing hockey in L.A., Somalia or Anaheim. Pittsburgh is only a five and half hour drive to North York. It's not extremely bad. Bottomline in my opinion, pay the man a nice price and he will stay. Hell, if we are going to pay good money to any of our over-the-hill vets I would rather it be Roberts than Recchi.

I guess we shall see in the upcoming days or weeks.

The team does need to keep in mind that Sidney's Contract is almost up. Also, Evgeni, Jordan, and Fleury are also coming up on ends of their contracts.

SteelCityMan786
06-20-2007, 09:58 PM
One more reason I don't post on the Penguins Message Board. People have stated they don't want crosby anymore. The Penguins NEED TO KEEP HIM! He's part of our future.

SteelCityMan786
06-20-2007, 10:04 PM
http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=319789

Heinbuck, Scouts Look Forward To Draft

Joe Sager | pittsburghpenguins.com
Jun 19, 2007, 1:46 PM EDT

This year?s NHL Entry Draft will be the Penguins? second under General Manager Ray Shero.

However, it?s the first for Shero?s scouting staff.

Shero took over as Penguins Executive Vice President/General Manager on May 25 last year. With the 2006 NHL Entry Draft about one month away, he did not have time to assemble his own scouting staff. Instead, he worked with those already in place and the Penguins? top selection ? Jordan Staal ? paid immediate dividends in 2006-07.

Following the draft, Shero assembled his own scouting staff in Pittsburgh, led by Jay Heinbuck, the team?s Director of Amateur Scouting.

?I was hired last July and it?s been an interesting ride since,? Heinbuck said. ?It was a hectic beginning, but we put it all together and hired a staff that has been a very good one. Things worked very well this year for us. The excitement of the year was phenomenal because the team just kept getting better and better and better. It?s been an exciting year.?

Prior to joining the Penguins, Heinbuck worked for the New York Islanders as their United States Head Amateur Scout for four years. He oversaw amateur scouting efforts inside the U.S. and also scouted in Canada and Europe during his time with the Islanders.

However, he was elated to get the opportunity in Pittsburgh to oversee the amateur scouting staff.

?Speaking with Ray last summer, when he offered me the position, I was very excited. Everybody knew the last couple of years that Pittsburgh is an up and coming organization,? he said. ?That?s exciting in that respect, but it?s also great to work for someone like Ray. I have known him a long time and I know he is a very sharp, smart and detailed person. He treats people right, so I knew I was going to be in a good spot.?

Once Heinbuck was hired, he, Shero and Assistant General Manager Chuck Fletcher set about compiling an amateur scouting staff in the couple months leading up to training camp. They retained scouts Chuck Grillo and Matt Recchi and brought in Brian Fitzgerald, Jim Madigan, Wayne Meier, and Darryl Plandowski, in addition to European scouts Patrik Allvin and Robert Neuhauser.

?Last season, there were about four or five general manager changes. So, after the draft, unfortunately for scouts, there were some scouts looking to catch on with other teams,? Heinbuck said. ?There were some quality scouts available. We ended up keeping Chuck Grillo and Matt Recchi on the staff because we didn?t want to turn everybody over. That was a little bit of continuity and those two have worked out well for us.?

Before joining the Penguins, Heinbuck knew there were many talented players in the organization ? he saw most of them himself.

?If you?re a scout for any team, you get to know players. You know what other teams have. That?s part of our jobs, too. Even though we?re amateur scouts, when we?re at amateur games, we?re still ranking other players that are drafted by other organizations and giving them a rating, too, because their names always come up in trades,? he said. ?The core group of players here is at such an age that it?s going to be enjoyable to try to build around. The whole outlook in the organization, whether you?re in the scouting business or not, you have high expectations and I think there are some legitimate expectations with the group we have. Ray Shero and Chuck Fletcher don?t miss many details. They have been so on top of things in trying to create this culture here and they have been great to work for. It?s exciting.?

The Penguins face an unfamiliar situation at the NHL Entry Draft in Columbus. Instead of picking in the top five ? as they have done the past five years ? the Penguins will have to wait until No. 20 to make their selection Friday night ? a direct result of their successful campaign in 2006-07.

?It?s the good and the bad. You don?t get those high picks anymore, but that means you?ve had team success, which is the ultimate goal,? Heinbuck said. ?It makes your selection a little more difficult, there?s no doubt about that. It?s an easier pick in the top five than it is at No. 20. But, that?s our job ? to try to find a player in that mix of guys who didn?t get the notoriety of the high pick all year, so we have to sort that our and find who we think is going to be a good player down the road.?

Heinbuck says the team?s philosophy will remain the same ? take the top player available.

?I don?t know if it changes your philosophy because you?re always trying to get that best player. We don?t look at that core group and see we have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal center and say we just can?t draft a center,? he said. ?Because if that guy comes along in our draft and he?s a centerman and he?s next on our list, he?s the guy we take. In retrospect, if he?s your best asset, he is going to have the most value in a trade, if you make one. That?s our philosophy. Not once in our meetings, when two players were close, did position determine who was higher. It?s not like that.?

In addition to his scouting experience, Heinbuck spent 10 years as an assistant coach at St. Lawrence University. He was the program?s primary recruiter and helped the Saints to ECAC championships in 2000 and 2001 and NCAA tournament appearances in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

?It was an exciting time. At the time I came to the program, St. Lawrence did not have full scholarships to give. They were a financial aid school. We were always up against it a little bit because we?d recruit these kids, but they?d have to pay to come to St. Lawrence. If they were very good, they were getting full rides to go somewhere else. We lost some battles there. But, my fifth or sixth year there, we got full scholarships and put together some very strong teams that went to the NCAA tournament three years in a row and won our league and the ECAC two years in a row and went to the Frozen Four once. That?s probably what led to me getting my first job with the Islanders. They were looking for someone to head up all of the United States for them. My name was put forward and I got the job,? he said. ?People always ask me if I miss the coaching aspect. I did at first a little bit because you have that team aspect and you?re around the guys. I look back at it now and realize it was the right choice. I think coaching has helped me in this job because part of my coaching in college is scouting and recruiting, too.?

And, with the Penguins, he feels like he?s part of a new team.

?We look at ourselves as a team and you get that camaraderie. That?s why you get a few of us together at some major games or major tournaments. You are going about your business and talk about the players you saw, but it?s also fun,? he said. ?There?s more to it than fun, though, because it?s our livelihood. We take it seriously at the same time. The better we do, the better the team does and the better for our job security.?

The Penguins scouting team is eager for the NHL Entry Draft.

?I am looking forward to it,? Heinbuck said. ?As a group, this is our first draft together and we?re all looking forward to it.?

X-Terminator
06-21-2007, 09:51 AM
Can it be? No more Josef Melichar stinking up the ice next season? WOOHOO!!!! :banana: :chicken:

NHL Draft: Recchi, Roberts talks hit key stage
Some roster moves await their decision

Thursday, June 21, 2007
By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- General manager Ray Shero figures he will have a pretty good idea within the next few days about whether Gary Roberts and Mark Recchi will return to the Penguins next season.

It already is clear, however, that a number of their unrestricted free agents-to-be do not have a place in Shero's plans.

The Penguins apparently will not offer contracts to forwards Nils Ekman and Ronald Petrovicky and defensemen Eric Cairns and Joel Kwiatkowski, all of whom will go on the open market July 1.

They seem to have varying degrees of interest in retaining goalie Jocelyn Thibault and defensemen Rob Scuderi, Alain Nasreddine and Josef Melichar, although it is entirely possible none will be back.

The Penguins have until Monday to extend qualifying offers to their restricted free agents, thus securing the ability to match any offer those players receive from another team or to receive compensation if they decline to match.

Shero said yesterday the Penguins already "have qualified most of our guys," but that "we've held back on a couple, for a couple of reasons." He declined to specify which players have not been qualified and added that "we're not 100 percent sure yet" whether more offers will be tendered.

One variable in some cases could be how the Recchi and Roberts situations play out. Shero said he hoped to meet with their agent, Rick Curran, last night or today, and that a resolution, one way or the other, seems to be near.

"I think it's at the stage where it's either going to come together or not," he said. "We have interest. They have interest. We'll see if it comes together in the next day or two.

"From both sides, I think it's that time. We'll see in the next couple of days, where we are."

The outcome of the talks with Roberts and Recchi could influence not only whether some of the Penguins' restricted free agents receive a qualifying offer, but how Shero approaches free agency when it begins July 1.

"If it doesn't happen with these guys, we'll go to Plan B or Plan C or whatever the case may be," he said.

While cautioning that developments between now and July 1 will have an impact on his plans, Shero gave the distinct impression that upgrading his defense corps is shaping up as his primary objective, even though the Penguins also could use a capable goal-scorer or two to play alongside centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

"We'll probably be looking for more of a ... veteran guy who can play with [rookie Kristopher] Letang," he said. "It's hard to say we're going to get a top-two guy to play with [Sergei] Gonchar, unless you're spending $4 million or $5 million dollars and giving [a long-term deal].

"Ideally, [the way] to better our defense is to solidify the top six. Seven, basically. And realistically, eight and nine. What we're going to try to do is solidify our group, and adding a Letang is part of the progression."

He added that, "ideally, we'd find a guy who can play on the top two lines," but pointed out that finances will be factored into any decision the Penguins make as will the outcome of the Roberts and Recchi negotiations.

"If Recchi and Roberts don't come back, those are two holes that we're going to need to fill," he said. "We might look internally first.

"I'm not sure where [Jonathan] Filewich or [Ryan] Stone or [Tyler] Kennedy is going to be [in terms of being NHL ready]. If Recchi and Roberts do come back, it fills two holes and maybe gives us an asset or two to do something."

On other matters, Shero said:

- The Penguins' budget for players in 2006-07 will be "more than last year," when it crept into the mid-30s by the end of the season, but did not cite a specific figure.

- Negotiations on a contract extension for Crosby will not necessarily begin July 1 because "we'll be on to other things, and, hopefully, he'll be out doing some fun stuff." Crosby has one year remaining on his entry-level contract.

- The Penguins will not rule out trying to fill some personnel holes via trades, but that "nothing real serious" is being discussed at the moment.

- Philadelphia general manager Paul Holmgren was "playing within the rules" when he acquired the rights to negotiate with free-agents-to-be Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell from Nashville, then signed both. "They did what they deemed was appropriate for Philadelphia," he said. "Whether that makes it tougher for anybody [to sign free agents], hey, that's the league, and we're in it."

NHL Draft

When: 7:30 p.m. tomorrow; 10 a.m. Saturday.

Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio.

TV: Versus will show Round 1.

Radio: WBGG-AM (970) will cover the entire draft.

Penguins: Select No. 20 in the first round.

http://www.pittsburghpostgazette.com/pg/07172/795908-61.stm

HometownGal
06-21-2007, 10:36 AM
They seem to have varying degrees of interest in retaining goalie Jocelyn Thibault and defensemen Rob Scuderi, Alain Nasreddine and Josef Melichar, although it is entirely possible none will be back.


Varying degrees of interest? I hope Shero loses interest in Melichar fast and in a hurry. He should have been given the boot before the start of last season. :dang: I wouldn't mind the Pens keeping Scuderi, Nazzy and Thibault.

SAY NO TO MELICHAR - the biggest waste of a pair of skates on the face of the earth.

83-Steelers-43
06-21-2007, 10:37 AM
Pens' Shero also evaluating NHL draft's top talent for USA Hockey

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ray Shero knows he has no chance to draft this year's Jordan Staal and gladly would settle for 2007's Martin Havlat during the first round of the NHL entry draft Friday in Columbus, Ohio.

The Penguins are selecting 20th, not second, in the first round, so a Staal complement is out of the question.

Shero admittedly would be thrilled if he could merely replicate Ottawa's success when it selected Havlat 26th in 1999 -- Shero's personal late-first round standard.

That's not to suggest Shero won't be interested in where the best players are headed.

In addition to serving as the Pens' general manager, Shero is a member of USA Hockey's new advisory board.

The group, which includes fellow NHL general managers Brian Burke (Anaheim), David Poile (Nashville) and Don Waddell (Atlanta), was formed by USA Hockey in February to help select the best possible team for the 2007 IIHF World Championship tournament in Russia. It also wants to continue refining the player evaluation process in advance of the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.

The problem for North American teams at the Worlds is the tournament is usually played in Europe, and interest in participating after a long NHL season isn't as much as it would be for an Olympics. There's also the matter of players being unavailable because of their participation in the NHL playoffs.

Canada overcame those hurdles and struck gold. The U.S. is endeavoring to make those hurdles less of a problem next time.

"Guys that get invited, we expect them to play if they want to be considered for the Olympic team in 2010," Shero said.

The good news for Shero is that there soon will be more worthy U.S. players available.

A record 10 American players were selected in the first round of last year's draft -- including defenseman Erik Johnson, who went first overall to St. Louis -- up from a record eight in 2005.

And of the 30 North American skaters given first-round grades in NHL Central Scouting's final evaluations, 13 are U.S. players, as are nine of the top 20 North American goaltenders.

"I think the USA talent pool is doing so much better than it was," Shero said. "California and Florida, 10 years ago, it was absurd to think there were players coming from those areas. Now, it's a reality."

Here's another: 83 Canadians and 60 Americans where drafted in 2006. The disparity in 1996 was 140-29.

The Chicago Blackhawks reportedly have narrowed the choices for first overall pick this year to Kyle Turris, Patrick Kane and James van Riemsdyk. Kane is from Buffalo, N.Y., and van Riemsdyk is from Middletown, N.J.

Shero will be keeping his eye on those guys, even though they'll be taken long before 20th overall.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_513592.html

83-Steelers-43
06-21-2007, 10:40 AM
One-on-one with Pens' scout Jay Heinbuck
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, June 21, 2007

Talk about lofty standards: Each of the Penguins' previous seven first-round draft picks contributed to the club's surprising success this past season.

Their past nine picks have reached the NHL with the Penguins -- some notably, such as league scoring leader Sidney Crosby (2005), and others not so much, such as Konstantin Kotlsov (1999). So, all first-year head amateur scout Jay Heinbuck has to do Friday and Saturday at the 2007 NHL Draft in Columbus is find another stud to go along with the likes of Jordan Staal (2006), Evgeni Malkin (2004), Marc-Andre Fleury (2003) and Ryan Whitney (2002).

Oh, and he has to find that stud with a much lower first-round pick -- 20th overall -- than the Penguins have enjoyed in any of the last five drafts.

Question: Is there an NHL-caliber prospect to be had with the 20th overall pick?

Answer: Once you get below a certain number of picks in this draft, there start to be some questions marks, but our hope is that at No. 20 there is a player that will still be a good NHL player at some point. We knew coming into this season that with this draft class, if we were to pick beyond a certain number fairly early, there would be some question marks. There are less than 20 guys we are 100-percent sure will play in the NHL. We don't have 20 names that we think will make it.

Q: How does this draft class rank in terms of depth?

A: Overall, teams are probably a little surprised that into the other rounds there are some guys that are going to be prospects. Still, I would not say this is a deep draft. There have been other years where you might be able to get a 100-percent NHL player with the 15th pick, and a guy that might play a lot of years. We still feel we can find that guy at 20, but there are some teams around 15 that wish they were picking a lot higher.

Q: Most scouting reports suggest there are five to seven top-flight talents in this draft. Is that an accurate assessment?

A: There is a grouping of players that, once you get beyond them, there isn't a whole lot of difference. In past years that might be a bigger grouping. I would say that between five and seven is a good number to use. There are a handful of guys that are at the top, and they will go with one of the top picks.

Q: Is there a chance a top-rated prospect could slide in the first round -- possibly far enough to benefit the Penguins?

A: It could happen. Once you get past early in the first round, you see names come out of left field. Everybody sees things differently. We need some help to get a top-rated player. We need some things to go right and names to be inserted above us so that the grouping keeps bumping down toward us. But it would not shock me, too. One thing I have learned about an NHL draft: Anything can and often does happen.

Q: When evaluating a prospect what do you look for most in determining his professional future?

A: In a word -- upside. When you are picking 20th, you are not going to get a Jordan Staal that will come in and play immediately at the NHL level. I want to project what guy has a best chance in four or five years to have a direct impact on the team.

Q: Anybody particular in mind?

A: Not that I would say.

Q: How will the format of this draft, with the first round Friday and the rest of the rounds Saturday, impact the selection process?

A: Nobody knows yet because this is the first time we have done things like this. But it should give us time to regroup. You can focus on that first night, the first pick, and then you can regroup that night and formulate a new plan of attack for the rest of the rounds on the second day. It is going to be new to every scouting staff, but I would like to think we are well prepared to make use of that extra night.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_513589.html

SteelCityMan786
06-21-2007, 11:40 AM
Varying degrees of interest? I hope Shero loses interest in Melichar fast and in a hurry. He should have been given the boot before the start of last season. :dang: I wouldn't mind the Pens keeping Scuderi, Nazzy and Thibault.

SAY NO TO MELICHAR - the biggest waste of a pair of skates on the face of the earth.

I can't form a big opinion on Melichar.

Thibault it may not hurt to keep him on considering a couple games he played weren't too shabby.

X-Terminator
06-21-2007, 11:52 AM
Varying degrees of interest? I hope Shero loses interest in Melichar fast and in a hurry. He should have been given the boot before the start of last season. :dang: I wouldn't mind the Pens keeping Scuderi, Nazzy and Thibault.

SAY NO TO MELICHAR - the biggest waste of a pair of skates on the face of the earth.

Oh I'm sure they will say no to him - they can find someone better than him even if it's just to add depth. I know I got tired of seeing goal after goal scored the past 2 seasons with him just standing around looking like an idiot. There are still some good names out there, such as Scott Hannan and Andy Sutton who would be great additions to the blue line on one of the top 2 pairings, and perhaps a guy like Cory Sarich for the 3rd pairing if they decide to trade Brooks Orpik. If they keep anyone from the above group, it will be Scuderi and maybe Thibault, though I would understand if they decided to let him go since they have Nolan Schaefer and Andrew Penner waiting in the wings.

83-Steelers-43
06-21-2007, 12:07 PM
I can't form a big opinion on Melichar.

Thibault it may not hurt to keep him on considering a couple games he played weren't too shabby.

I'd keep Melichar over Nasreddine and Scuderi. Obviously not my choice for the top four, but I wouldn't mind keeping him around. For the record, I'm not the biggest fan of Melichar in the world, but I don't feel he's nearly as bad as many make him out to be. There were times last season where he made me rip out my hair, along with other defenseman on our roster.

This site ranks the players by the quality of opponents they face. Obviously, the higher they are ranked, the tougher opponents they have faced. When Melichar went down with an injury last season he dropped to #16. But that's still sixth among defensemen and first among the Pens (Gonchar's not far behind, which speaks volumes of his play as well).

http://www.behindthenet.ca/qual_comp.html

There's the website.

I would love to see us keep Thibault but I believe it's going to cost us and that's going on the assumption that he even wants to stay here and remain a backup. IMO, Thibault is better suited for a backup role but if he feels he can hang as a starter more power to him and I wish him the best. He worked well with Fleury and was a class act.

SteelCityMan786
06-21-2007, 01:31 PM
I would love to see us keep Thibault but I believe it's going to cost us and that's going on the assumption that he even wants to stay here and remain a backup. IMO, Thibault is better suited for a backup role but if he feels he can hang as a starter more power to him and I wish him the best. He worked well with Fleury and was a class act.

That's my only fear with Thibault. The price to keep him. how he played in the 05-06 season made me start to wish they picked up Khahbiboulin over him. Yet last year is starting to change my mind.

HometownGal
06-22-2007, 08:54 AM
Oh I'm sure they will say no to him - they can find someone better than him even if it's just to add depth. I know I got tired of seeing goal after goal scored the past 2 seasons with him just standing around looking like an idiot. There are still some good names out there, such as Scott Hannan and Andy Sutton who would be great additions to the blue line on one of the top 2 pairings, and perhaps a guy like Cory Sarich for the 3rd pairing if they decide to trade Brooks Orpik. If they keep anyone from the above group, it will be Scuderi and maybe Thibault, though I would understand if they decided to let him go since they have Nolan Schaefer and Andrew Penner waiting in the wings.

AMEN!!!! :thumbsup: I sure wouldn't mind seeing Andy Sutton in a Pens uniform or Cory Sarich.

I really hope they can re-sign Thibault He is quite a good back-up to Fleury and played well in that role last season. I don't know what kind of money he wants, but at this stage in his career, if he doesn't get it here, he'll go looking somewhere else and I don't blame him.

SteelCityMan786
06-22-2007, 12:36 PM
AMEN!!!! :thumbsup: I sure wouldn't mind seeing Andy Sutton in a Pens uniform or Cory Sarich.

I really hope they can re-sign Thibault He is quite a good back-up to Fleury and played well in that role last season. I don't know what kind of money he wants, but at this stage in his career, if he doesn't get it here, he'll go looking somewhere else and I don't blame him.

agreed. You won't find a better back up then Thibault.

X-Terminator
06-22-2007, 02:52 PM
Woohoo! Roberts is a Pen for one more season! :jammin: $2.5 million is a little more than I thought he'd get, but I have no doubt that he'll earn every single penny. But Recchi...ugh. He isn't worth anything near $2 million, but at least he will have to earn the full amount via incentive clauses.


Penguins re-sign Roberts, Recchi

Bob McKenzie

6/22/2007 2:35:14 PM

Veteran forwards Gary Roberts and Mark Recchi have agreed to terms on one-year contracts with the Pittsburgh Penguins, sources tell TSN.

Both players were scheduled to become free agents on July 1.

Amid reports that both the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs would pursue Roberts heavily, Roberts agreed to a deal worth $2.5 million.

Recchi's deal is worth $2 million against the salary cap and includes bonus provisions to get to that amount.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=211557&hubname=

HometownGal
06-22-2007, 03:31 PM
Woohoo! Roberts is a Pen for one more season! :jammin: $2.5 million is a little more than I thought he'd get, but I have no doubt that he'll earn every single penny. But Recchi...ugh. He isn't worth anything near $2 million, but at least he will have to earn the full amount via incentive clauses.


Penguins re-sign Roberts, Recchi

Bob McKenzie

6/22/2007 2:35:14 PM

Veteran forwards Gary Roberts and Mark Recchi have agreed to terms on one-year contracts with the Pittsburgh Penguins, sources tell TSN.

Both players were scheduled to become free agents on July 1.

Amid reports that both the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs would pursue Roberts heavily, Roberts agreed to a deal worth $2.5 million.

Recchi's deal is worth $2 million against the salary cap and includes bonus provisions to get to that amount.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=211557&hubname=

:banana::banana::banana:

Excellent!!! I feel Roberts is well worth the 2.5 mil - he gives 150% every time he is out on the ice. Recchi has bonus provisions inserted into his contract - good move by Shero. Make him earn that $2 mil.

SteelCityMan786
06-22-2007, 04:13 PM
Alright good job Ray.

83-Steelers-43
06-22-2007, 04:37 PM
Nice job Ray, 2.5 is a little steep but I would rather see him get that cash instead of Recchi. No wonder he didn't go to Ottawa. :cash:cash:cash

Completely against the Recchi signing. The incentive deal cushions the idiocy to a degree. But hey, it also helps Recchi to save face for later in the season...pffhh.

83-Steelers-43
06-22-2007, 04:40 PM
Penguins have started discussions with defenseman Ryan Whitney
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, June 22, 2007

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Penguins have started discussions with defenseman Ryan Whitney on a possible long-term deal.

The talks are in preliminary stages and no deal is imminent, though the Penguins are believed to have made locking up Whitney a priority this summer.

Whitney, whose 59 points ranked sixth among NHL defensemen this past season, can become a restricted free agent on July 1. Under such a scenario, Whitney would be free to sign an offer sheet with another team and the Penguins would then be forced to match those terms or part with Whitney for compensation picks dependent on his new salary.

Whitney, 24, was the club's first-round pick (fifth overall) in the 2002 entry draft. He has spent most of the past two seasons with Pittsburgh, totaling 97 points in 149 games.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_513947.html

SteelCityMan786
06-22-2007, 04:52 PM
Penguins have started discussions with defenseman Ryan Whitney
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, June 22, 2007

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Penguins have started discussions with defenseman Ryan Whitney on a possible long-term deal.

The talks are in preliminary stages and no deal is imminent, though the Penguins are believed to have made locking up Whitney a priority this summer.

Whitney, whose 59 points ranked sixth among NHL defensemen this past season, can become a restricted free agent on July 1. Under such a scenario, Whitney would be free to sign an offer sheet with another team and the Penguins would then be forced to match those terms or part with Whitney for compensation picks dependent on his new salary.

Whitney, 24, was the club's first-round pick (fifth overall) in the 2002 entry draft. He has spent most of the past two seasons with Pittsburgh, totaling 97 points in 149 games.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_513947.html

Alright, let's get Whitney signed now.

83-Steelers-43
06-22-2007, 05:01 PM
I would definately like to see us sign Whitney for the long haul. Stepped up his game big time last season. Offensively and defensively.

SteelCityMan786
06-22-2007, 05:07 PM
I would definately like to see us sign Whitney for the long haul. Stepped up his game big time last season. Offensively and defensively.

Not to mention, I'm really believing that his best days of his carrier are still to come.

83-Steelers-43
06-22-2007, 05:09 PM
Not to mention, I'm really believing that his best days of his carrier are still to come.

Being only 24 and seeing how his game came along last season I would have to agree.

83-Steelers-43
06-22-2007, 07:01 PM
IMO, a 3rd seems like a good return for Thorburn, he wasn't a sure thing to be back next year and to get a 3rd rounder is good work on Shero's part.

Penguins Trade Thorburn to Atlanta
Joe Sager | pittsburghpenguins.com Pittsburgh Penguins Jun 22, 2007, 6:42 PM EDT

The Pittsburgh Penguins dealt Chris Thorburn to the Atlanta Thrashers. Atlanta sent its third-round choice (78th overall) in this year’s NHL Entry Draft in exchange for the forward, who had five points (3+2) in 39 games last season.

http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=322890

vader29
06-22-2007, 07:04 PM
Great news with the Roberts signing and Recchi also with the incentive based contract.

X-Terminator
06-22-2007, 07:41 PM
Getting a 3rd round pick for Thorburn is a steal, IMO. Good job by Ray Shero there.

SteelCityMan786
06-22-2007, 07:52 PM
Getting a 3rd round pick for Thorburn is a steal, IMO. Good job by Ray Shero there.

He's a good GM for a reason.

83-Steelers-43
06-22-2007, 08:01 PM
SCM, a reminder. Stan Savern will be talking some Penguins hockey with Paul Steigerwald this upcoming Monday. :dancing: