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SteelCityMan786
06-22-2007, 07:04 PM
SCM, a reminder. Stan Savern will be talking some Penguins hockey with Paul Steigerwald this upcoming Monday. :dancing:

Thanks 83.

83-Steelers-43
06-22-2007, 07:28 PM
Rumors.........

I've just been told that Kovalev will either end up in Pittsburgh or Washington. The Edmonton Oilers have their sights set on Sergei Gonchar and Joni Pitkanen. Penguins are still not looking to trade Gonchar. Ryan Malone will be traded. MTL, COL, CLB, EDM and Nashville have jumped to the fore front as teams that have possible interest. Eric Christensen and Colby Armstrong could be moved to help the blue line. Jarkko Ruutu is a surprising name to pop up in the rumor mill this morning. Somehow he was linked to Chicago but don't think it has any legitimacy. The Penguins have no intentions of trading Laraque. Ryan Stone could be included into any deal as it looks like there is not a place for him on the roster. The Penguins and Ryan Whitney are in talks about a long term deal reports Rob Rossi.

Once again, these are just rumors, take them for what they are worth or don't take them at all.

SteelCityMan786
06-22-2007, 07:48 PM
Rumors.........

I've just been told that Kovalev will either end up in Pittsburgh or Washington. The Edmonton Oilers have their sights set on Sergei Gonchar and Joni Pitkanen. Penguins are still not looking to trade Gonchar. Ryan Malone will be traded. MTL, COL, CLB, EDM and Nashville have jumped to the fore front as teams that have possible interest. Eric Christensen and Colby Armstrong could be moved to help the blue line. Jarkko Ruutu is a surprising name to pop up in the rumor mill this morning. Somehow he was linked to Chicago but don't think it has any legitimacy. The Penguins have no intentions of trading Laraque. Ryan Stone could be included into any deal as it looks like there is not a place for him on the roster. The Penguins and Ryan Whitney are in talks about a long term deal reports Rob Rossi.

Once again, these are just rumors, take them for what they are worth or don't take them at all.

Good to know what could go down though man.

SteelCityMan786
06-22-2007, 08:36 PM
http://post-gazette.com/pg/07173/796524-61.stm

Penguins tap Angelo Esposito in first-round NHL draft

Friday, June 22, 2007
By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Penguins selected center Angelo Esposito with their first-round choice in the NHL Entry draft at Nationwide Arena tonight.

Esposito, who was taken 20th overall, had 27 goals and 52 assists in 60 games with Quebec in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season. He is 6 foot 1, 180 pounds and was ranked No. 8 among North American forwards and defensemen by NHL Central Scouting after being first in the mid-season ratings.

He is regarded as one of the most skilled players in the Class of 2007, but his intangibles were called into question during the past season after he had been anointed a popular choice to be the first player taken this year.

Shortly before the draft began, the Penguins traded forward Chris Thorburn, who will be a restricted free agent July 1, to Atlanta for a third-round draft choice, the 78th overall.

Thorburn, claimed on waivers from Buffalo last fall, had three goals, two assists and 69 penalty minutes in 39 games with the Penguins in 2006-07.

Rounds 2-7 of the draft will be conducted tomorrow.

SteelCityMan786
06-22-2007, 10:19 PM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/breaking/s_514022.html

Penguins select Esposito with 20th pick of NHL draft
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, June 22, 2007

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Penguins selected left-handed center Angelo Esposito with the 20th pick in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft, Friday night.

Esposito, from Quebec of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, was the top-ranked mid-term player by the NHL's central scouting bureau before what independent scouting service Red Line Report called a "perplexing fall from grace." He was viewed as the consensus top choice coming into the season.

Esposito scored 27 goals and recorded 79 points in 60 games with Quebec.

Each of the previous six first-round picks were on the roster this past season. They included: Jordan Staal (2006), Sidney Crosby (2005), Evgeni Malkin (2004), Marc-Andre Fleury (2003), Ryan Whitney (2002) and Colby Armstrong (2001).

83-Steelers-43
06-23-2007, 06:24 AM
Some comments from both Shero and Esposito....

Shero: "We had him very high on our list," general manager Ray Shero said. "So much so that we didn't have a name tag for him" -- We thought he would be gone earlier -- especially at 15, 16 or 17, but made sure he wasn't there for the club picking 21st."

"There was so much pressure and expectation on him this season," Shero said. "Coming into our situation is going to be good for him because he will be out of the limelight that is cast upon some of other guys."

Shero would not go so far as to predict a roster spot for Esposito this year. However, at the close of the first round, he was smiling like a man who had successfully pulled off a grand heist.

"I hope so," Shero said.

Shero said "we're not sure" and that "we don't really care" why Esposito's stock plummeted,

"I really believe that coming into the environment, with the team we have and a lot of guys to take that pressure off him ... he'll be like a Jordan Staal, able to fly under the radar a bit and be able to settle in,"

Esposito: "I am not disappointed at all," Esposito said. "In fact, I have never been happier ... I could not say this before the draft, but the Penguins were always a team I could see myself playing for when I was growing up.".

"It's over now, and I'm looking forward to the future," he said. It's going to be a good challenge for me," he said. "We'll see what happens in training camp. I can't look too far ahead.".

"I'm working hard this summer," said Esposito, whose workout partners include Tampa Bay center Vincent Lecavalier. "My goal is to play in the NHL next year. "But, obviously, if it doesn't happen and I have to wait a year or so, I wouldn't be upset."

83-Steelers-43
06-23-2007, 11:40 AM
Penguins Acquire Tim Brent From Anaheim
Pittsburgh Penguins Jun 23, 2007, 12:32 PM EDT

The Pittsburgh Penguins have traded Stephen Dixon to Anaheim for Tim Brent.

http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=322985

83-Steelers-43
06-23-2007, 11:44 AM
With the 51st Selection in the 2007 Entry Draft the Pittsburgh Penguins Select......

Kevin Veilleux
Team: Victoriaville (QMJHL)

Pos: Centre
Shoots: R
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 202 lbs.
Born: 6/27/1989
From: Saint-Renee, QC

RANKINGS
TSN: 55
CSB: 33
NAISS: 47
RLR: 52
THN: 20

From NHL Central Scouting: A skilled forward with very good size. Handles the puck well and has the ability to make pinpoint passes in traffic. Has good top-end speed and a hard shot. Needs to learn to use his size to his advantage and get more physical. Needs to improve his first step quickness. Completed his second season with the Tigers posting 55 points (20-35-55). Participated in the CHL Top Prospects game adding one goal for Team White. Played the first game of the Canada-Russia Challenge two-game series with Team QMJHL posting three points (1-2-3). Named as a forward for Team Canada at the Under-18 World Championships in April 2007.

Hockey Profile: Completed his second season with the Tigers posting 55 points (20-35-55)… participated in the CHL Top Prospects game adding one goal for Team White… played the first game of the Canada-Russia Challenge two-game series with Team QMJHL posting three points (1-2-3)… named as a forward for Team Canada at the Under-18 World Championships in April 2007.

Personal Profile: Nickname is Adel… wears #44 in memory of Jonathan Delisle a fourth round Montreal Draft pick in 1995… credits his parents for having the most influence on his career… outside of hockey he admires golfer Tiger Woods the most… most memorable hockey game watched: the fight filled game, known as the “Brawl in Hockeytown", between the Detroit Red Wings and the Colorado Avalanche in their last match-up of the 1996-97 regular season in which the Red.

83-Steelers-43
06-23-2007, 11:44 AM
With the 78th Selection in the 2007 Entry Draft the Pittsburgh Penguins Select......

Robert Bortuzzo

Kitchener • OHL
6'3", 196 lbs.
Defense
shoots right
Born: March 18, 1989 in Thunder Bay, Ontario

Final Ranking: 48 • Mid-Term Ranking: 100 • North American Skater

Central Scouting Report: A stay-at-home defenseman who plays his best when he keeps it simple and makes the safe play… battles hard and willing to block shots as well as take a hit… reads the play well and reacts ccordingly… needs to improve his footwork and needs to be more consistent with the puck in traffic.

Personal Profile: Nicknames are Bert or Bort… patterns his game after his favorite player, Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom – “best offensive defenseman and a great leader”… admires his father and credits him for having the most influence on his career… if he could invite any three people to dinner he would choose: Bobby Orr – “best defenseman ever", Lance Armstrong and former NHLer Bob Probert – “for their great stories”… most memorable hockey experience: semifinals of the Royal Bank Championship… most memorable hockey game watched: Canada’s seventh round shootout victory win over Team USA in the 2007 World Junior Championships semi-final game… favorites include: Detroit Red Wings (NHL team), “shot five hole” (shootout move), Ping Pong and NHL 2007 (video games), Seinfeld (TV show), Dumb & Dumber (movie), John Depp (actor).

83-Steelers-43
06-23-2007, 11:45 AM
With the 80th Selection in the 2007 Entry Draft the Pittsburgh Penguins Select......

Casey Pierro-Zabotel

Merritt • BCHL
6'1", 205 lbs.
Center, shoots left
Born: November 8, 1988 in Ashcroft, British Columbia


Final Ranking: 75 • Mid-Term Ranking: 87 • North American Skater

Central Scouting Report: A skilled forward with good stickhandling skills… uses his long reach to his advantage and protects the puck well… has good vision and can make passes through traffic… has a strong stride… needs to improve his defensive coverage and commitment to a two-way game.

Hockey Profile: Was named as the BCHL Interior Conference Most Valuable player in 2007 after leading his conference in scoring with 116 points (51-65116) in 55 games… captured gold with Team Canada West at the World Junior A hallenge in 2006 – was second in tournament scoring with nine points (3-6-9), including a goal in the 4-3 gold medal-winning game… was selected to participate in the CJAHL Prospects in game in 2006 for Team West and was also a member of Team Coastal in the 2007 BCHL All-Star Show Case… had 55 points (20-35-55) in 60 games with Merritt in 2005-06.

Personal Profile: Nickname is Zabby… if he had the chance to invite anyone to dinner he would choose: Wayne Gretzky, Steve Yzerman and Mario Lemieux – “they are all good hockey players and good leaders”… most memorable hockey game played: Provincial Championship game “because it was for everything”… most memorable hockey game watched: seeing Canada win gold at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City… outside of hockey admires Greg Kozoris for all that he has taught him… patterns his game after Joe Thornton – “he’s big and good with the puck”… names his parents as having had the most influence on his career – “they did everything for me to play hockey”… putting the right side of his gear on first is part of his pre-game superstitions… favorites include: Colorado Avalanche (NHL team), Joe Sakic (NHL player), “deke backhand” (shootout move),

83-Steelers-43
06-23-2007, 11:46 AM
With the 111th Selection in the 2007 Entry Draft the Pittsburgh Penguins Select......

Luca Caputi

Mississauga • OHL
6'2", 184 lbs. Left wing, shoots left
Born: October 1, 1988 in Toronto, Ontario

Final Ranking: 62 • Mid-Term Ranking: 98 • North American Skater

Central Scouting Report: A power forward with good size… has good strength and finishes his checks hard… has a great work ethic and is tenacious on the fore-check… drives to the net hard… needs to improve his acceleration and mobility… needs to be better with the puck in traffic.

Personal Profile: Nicknames are Coorka (given to him by Mississauga teammate Oskar Osala) or Luca… admires his parents for their support throughout his life and credits his dad for having the most influence on his career… patterns his game after Todd Bertuzzi –"he’s a great all-around player”… most memorable hockey game played: his first OHL game “because of the anxiety leading up to it”… most memorable hockey game watched: 1995 Game #7 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings – “if you watched it, you would know!”… if he could invite any three people to dinner he would choose: Richard Simmons, Jessica Simpson and Queen’s lead singer Freddy Mercury… favorites include: “fake shot, low blocker” (shootout move), Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL team), Sidney Crosby (NHL player), Prison Break and Everybody Loves Raymond (TV shows), The Departed (movie), Mark Wahlberg (actor), Benny Benassi (musician), NHL 2007 and Madden 2007 (video games).

83-Steelers-43
06-23-2007, 11:46 AM
With the 118th Selection in the 2007 Entry Draft the Pittsburgh Penguins Select......

Alex Grant

Defence
1/20/1989
Antigonish, NS
CA
6' 2"
185
QMJHL
SAINT JOHN

Scouting Report: The No. 1 overall selection in the 2005 QMJHL Draft completed his second campaign with the Sea Dogs in second place among the club’s blueliners in scoring (68 GP, 12-20-32, -32). He also finished third on the team with 108 penalty minutes… has excellent offensive instincts and a very projectable frame (6-2, 185 pounds)… needs more work on his skating and defensive-zone coverage… must also learn when--and especially when not--to jump up into the play, as well as cut down on critical mistakes that lead directly to goals against…

83-Steelers-43
06-23-2007, 11:47 AM
With the 141st Selection in the 2007 Entry Draft the Pittsburgh Penguins Select......

Jake Muzzin

Defencemen
WOODSTOCK, ON CA
6'2''
206 lbs
Slt Snt. Marie


Profile: Huge shot, very physical ultra aggressive; downright mean at times;, feet are getting much better, thick kid, very strong physically, improving dramatically, looking to carry the puck more, physically man-handles guys, becoming poised and confident, fast rising; jumps into offense smartly; great gaps; erases opponents; needs work on puck poise; throws very good breakout pass; needs to work on separation better; still raw and needs lots of time and refinement but great combination of size/strength/aggression

Sportsnet Profile: The biggest wild-card on our OHL list. Was the Hounds' first rounder in '05 and was rated 12th that year by Red Line Junior, but missed the entire 2005-06 OHL campaign with a back injury. If he can return to his 2004 pre-injury form he could be a beast. Big and strong with good mobility for a man his size, though could stand to work on his first-step quickness. Plays a mean and tough style, always looks for the rub-out. Rocket for a point shot, though he needs to work on a quicker release and getting it low and on net more consistently. Boom or bust potential.

SteelCityMan786
06-23-2007, 11:56 AM
I think I'm liking these draft picks. Come on Shero. Keep it rollin!!!!

83-Steelers-43
06-23-2007, 12:15 PM
Info on Tim Brent:

Tim Brent

Position: Center
Shoots: Right
Height: 6-0
Weight: 188
Birthdate: 1984-03-19
Hometown, State: Cambridge, Canada
Acquired: Drafted 75th overall (3rd round) in the 2004 Entry Draft

Prospect Grade: 6.0 B

History

Brent was the Major’s first pick in the 2000 OHL draft out of Cambridge Jr. B and the 2nd pick overall. The Cambridge native was the captain of Canada's gold medal-winning U-17 squad at the Six Nations Cup in the Czech Republic. In the 2002-03 playoffs, Brent became the Major's all-time playoff goals and assists leader. Named to the OHL Eastern Conference All-Star team (02-03), Named Major's Top Faceoff man and Scholastic Player of the Year (02-03).

Named Team Captain of Team OHL in the RE/MAX Canada/Russia Challenge in 2003. Named OHL player of the week for the week ending on Nov. 9

Originally selected 37th overall (2nd round) in the 2002 Entry Draft. After not reaching a contract agreement with Anaheim, Brent re-entered the draft for the 2004 Entry Draft and was selected again by Anaheim.

Talent Analysis

Brent is a player of average size, but above average talent. He plays a great two-way game with decent speed and some grit to it. He often surprises defenders with his ability to pounch on turnovers and his determination to put it in the net. He's an elusive puck carrier and an excellent stickhandler with soft hands and the ability to get control of a pass very quickly. He is excellent in the faceoff circle and pays attention to the defensive end of things as well.
Brent still needs to gain more strength and he could also gain more speed as well. After that, all he needs is some pro experience.

Future

Brent continues to get better and better. Though his professional debut is probably something he would rather forget. Brent's gritty all-weather game will someday be the pivot of the Ducks third line, but that won't be for at least a couple more seasons. Plenty of ice time and keeping healthy will go a long way towards bringing his offensive output in line with his defensive contributions.

http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/tim_brent

Pro Career: http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/players/3111

SteelCityMan786
06-23-2007, 12:21 PM
Brent might just be depth for Wheeling or SWB.

83-Steelers-43
06-23-2007, 12:53 PM
With the 171st and their final Selection in the 2007 Entry Draft the Pittsburgh Penguins Select......

Dustin Jeffrey

2/27/1988
Sarnia, ON CA
6' 1.25"
205
OHL SAULT STE. MARIE
Centre

Scouting Report: In his third OHL campaign, he tied for 12th in league scoring with 92 points in 68 games. He also led the Greyhounds with 58 assists… a strong playmaking center with goal-scoring acumen, he was passed over entirely in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft… has the size (6-1, 205 pounds) NHL teams love from the center position…

SteelCityMan786
06-23-2007, 12:55 PM
With the 171st and their final Selection in the 2007 Entry Draft the Pittsburgh Penguins Select......

Dustin Jeffrey

2/27/1988
Sarnia, ON CA
6' 1.25"
205
OHL SAULT STE. MARIE
Centre

Scouting Report: In his third OHL campaign, he tied for 12th in league scoring with 92 points in 68 games. He also led the Greyhounds with 58 assists? a strong playmaking center with goal-scoring acumen, he was passed over entirely in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft? has the size (6-1, 205 pounds) NHL teams love from the center position?

I'm thinking this is depth at SWB. The Pens have a lot of Center depth already. So, I have good reason to believe that this is for the Baby Pens.

83-Steelers-43
06-23-2007, 12:55 PM
This has been a big draft for us.........literally.

6'1" - 180
6'4" - 202
6'3" - 196
6'1" - 205
6'2" - 184
6'2" - 185
6'2" - 206
6'1" - 205

Also all Canadians. We are definetly looking at the Ducks model.

SteelCityMan786
06-23-2007, 12:57 PM
This has been a big draft for us.........literally.

6'1" - 180
6'4" - 202
6'3" - 196
6'1" - 205
6'2" - 184
6'2" - 185
6'2" - 206
6'1" - 205

Also all Canadians. We are definetly looking at the Ducks model.

Canada alert: If you want a hometown hero, take them when you have the chance. We gladly welcome Esposito to the City Of Pittsburgh


Great size pick ups by Ray.

X-Terminator
06-23-2007, 09:32 PM
Looks like a solid draft for the Pens - picked up some good value for their draft position, especially grabbing Esposito in the first round, and got a few guys with some grit and toughness, two things you can never have enough of. Hopefully a few of them will pan out and be able to contribute to the big club down the road.

Now that the draft is over, it's on to free agency. I'm really looking forward to seeing what the Pens will do and who they will bring in.

SteelCityMan786
06-23-2007, 09:36 PM
Looks like a solid draft for the Pens - picked up some good value for their draft position, especially grabbing Esposito in the first round, and got a few guys with some grit and toughness, two things you can never have enough of. Hopefully a few of them will pan out and be able to contribute to the big club down the road.

Now that the draft is over, it's on to free agency. I'm really looking forward to seeing what the Pens will do and who they will bring in.

Same here brother.

This has been great for the Penguins to pick up these draft picks. I'm looking forward to seeing what's to come this year in FA.

SteelCityMan786
06-23-2007, 11:46 PM
http://post-gazette.com/pg/07175/796762-61.stm

Draft Day: Penguins come up big with 7 choices

Sunday, June 24, 2007
By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Penguins selected seven players on the second day of the NHL entry draft, and all have something that distinguishes him from the rest.

One speaks no English.

Another plans to pursue a business degree at Michigan Tech.

A third isn't listed in an online database that appears to include just about anyone who ever played a game of organized hockey.

But everyone whose rights the Penguins claimed at Nationwide Arena yesterday shares at least three traits: None are European. None are expected to challenge for work in the NHL for at least a couple of years. And, most important, all are 6 foot 1 or taller.

And the latter, at least, is not entirely a coincidence.

"Obviously, you're drafting talent, you're drafting hockey sense, you're drafting character," assistant general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "But all things being equal, you take the bigger guy if you can get him.

"That was a point of emphasis for our scouts. and we got some big kids. There's no question."

The Penguins' second-day selections, which include two players in both the third and fourth rounds and none in the seventh, were:

Keven Veilleux, a 6-foot-4, 202-pound center from Victoriaville (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League).

Robert Bortuzzo, a 6-3, 196-pound defenseman from Kitchener (Ontario Hockey League).

Casey Pierro-Zabotel, a 6-1 205-pound center from Merritt (British Columbia Junior Hockey League).

Luca Caputi, a 6-2, 184-pound left winger from Mississauga (OHL).

Alex Grant, a 6-2, 185-pound defenseman from Saint John (QMJHL).

Jake Muzzin, a 6-2, 206-pound defenseman from Sault Ste. Marie (OHL).

Dustin Jeffrey, a 6-1, 205-pound center from Sault Ste. Marie (OHL).

Most, if not all, of the draftees are expected to participate in the Penguins' rookie camp that begins Tuesday, but management doesn't expect to see any of them in town on a full-time basis for at least a couple of years.

"The progression is going to be going back to junior, or going to college," general manager Ray Shero said. "That's perfect. It buys some time."

Veilleux, who had 20 goals and 35 assists in 70 games, speaks only French, so assistant coach Andre Savard was pressed into service as a translator for his post-selection interviews.

He said that Veilleux often is told that his style resembles that of Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf, although Veilleux declined to predict when he might be ready to join Getzlaf at this level.

"He wants to improve his skating [acceleration]" Savard said.

Veilleux dropped from 16th in NHL Central Scouting's midseason rankings of North American forwards and defensemen to 33rd in the final ratings.

The only other Penguins draftee on hand to hear his name called yesterday was Pierro-Zabotel, who played Tier II hockey in British Columbia rather than major junior so that he could preserve his eligibility to play at Michigan Tech.

Pierro-Zabotel, 75th in Central Scouting's final rankings, professed that he "didn't really have high expectations going into the draft." Nonetheless, he likened his game to that of Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom, who makes a living absorbing punishment in front of opposing nets.

Although Muzzin has a history of serious back trouble that caused him to sit out the 2005-06 season, that doesn't explain why he didn't make it into the online database.

Of course, what really matters is that he is large enough that the Penguins weren't going to overlook him. Especially not in a year when coming up big carried so much weight with their scouts.

"I like the fact that we added some guys with size," Shero said. "At the same time, it wasn't a situation where, if there was a 5-foot-9 guy and a 6-foot-2 guy, we took the 6-foot-2 guy just because of size. Our scouts liked them. They happened to be big."

83-Steelers-43
06-24-2007, 06:19 AM
Pens' draft about securing depth
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, June 24, 2007

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Penguins were minutes from making the 141st pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday when first-year head amateur scout Jay Heinbuck started to feel uneasy.

What if, he thought, one of three teams picking ahead of Pittsburgh in the fifth round knew what he knew?

If those teams did know, their actions did not indicate as much, which allowed Heinbuck and the Penguins to grab left-handed defenseman Jake Muzzin.

Who?

Oh, just another potential steal for the Penguins, who on Friday swiped skilled center Angelo Esposito, previously the top-rated prospect by the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau.

The snagging of Esposito had Penguins fans flooding Internet message boards with enthusiasm not normally reserved for a 20th overall pick. The team's Web-savvy faithful probably will not afford similar sentiment to Heinbuck's choice of Muzzin.

Perhaps they should.

"He is a kid that two years ago, when he was drafted into the Ontario Hockey League, was talked about being a potential first-round pick in this draft," Heinbuck said of Muzzin, considered in 2005 the No. 12 junior prospect by independent scouting service Red Line Report.

"But going into the 2005 season he had a disc problem in his back. He tried to get through that by rehabbing. It did not work out for him. He had surgery in March 2006, and because of that could not do much. So he could not train in the summer of 2005 because he had a bad back and could not train again in the summer of 2006 because he was coming off surgery.

"So this season he had to work his way back into the lineup (for Sault Ste. Marie). He was at the bottom of eight or nine defensemen, but he worked his way into the top four by the end of this last season and will be in the top two or three next season."

Heinbuck paused, and not just to catch his breath.

"Look, he was the 10th overall pick a couple of years ago," Heinbuck said. "I had him in the back of my mind for the last two months. I was worried because he played really well in the playoffs. Thank goodness he was still there for us in the fifth round."

To be sure, Heinbuck was pleased with the results of his first draft with the Penguins -- and not just because he can foresee at least two of his selections one day playing in the NHL.

One of those players could prove to be second-round pick Keven Veilleux, a right-handed center/right wing who scored 20 goals for Victoriaville of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this past season.

"He is just a raw kid that did not know how good he can be," Heinbuck said of Veilleux. "He has some real offensive tools -- great hands and some jump to his step."

The Penguins went for the big guys on the draft's second day. Veilleux is listed at 6-foot-4 and 202 pounds. Third-round choices Robert Bortuzzo, a right-handed defenseman, and Casey Pierro-Zabotel, a left-handed center, are 6-3/196 and 6-1/205, respectively. Two 6-2, 180-plus picks were snagged in the fourth round with left-handed left winger Luca Caputi and right-handed defenseman Alex Grant.

Even the Penguins' final pick, left-handed center Dustin Jeffrey (a teammate of Muzzin at Sault Ste. Marie), is 6-1 and 205 pounds.

"We never had discussions to actively go with a bigger guy, that is just the way it worked out," general manager Ray Shero said. "All things being equal we will go in that direction if we can."

Shero said this draft, his second with the Penguins, was about securing down-the-road depth for an organization that had seven former first-round picks on its roster this past season.

"I like the fact that when you look at our depth chart we now certainly have some players that will compete for jobs one day," Shero said.

Note: Beaver's C.J. Severyn was chosen in the seventh round with the 186th pick by Calgary. A product of the United States National Program, Severyn was one of 63 Americans selected, which represented the highest percentage of Americans (30) in draft history.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_514114.html

HometownGal
06-24-2007, 08:03 PM
Rumors.........

I've just been told that Kovalev will either end up in Pittsburgh or Washington. The Edmonton Oilers have their sights set on Sergei Gonchar and Joni Pitkanen. Penguins are still not looking to trade Gonchar. Ryan Malone will be traded. MTL, COL, CLB, EDM and Nashville have jumped to the fore front as teams that have possible interest. Eric Christensen and Colby Armstrong could be moved to help the blue line. Jarkko Ruutu is a surprising name to pop up in the rumor mill this morning. Somehow he was linked to Chicago but don't think it has any legitimacy. The Penguins have no intentions of trading Laraque. Ryan Stone could be included into any deal as it looks like there is not a place for him on the roster. The Penguins and Ryan Whitney are in talks about a long term deal reports Rob Rossi.

Once again, these are just rumors, take them for what they are worth or don't take them at all.

I know it has to be coincidence, but every time I buy a particular player's shirt, they either leave for F/A or are traded - LOL! :dang::dang:

I hope these are just rumors. We need Gonch on the PP and Ruutu for his ability to irritate an opponent enough to be sent to the sin bin.

Hey - does anyone know if our top draft pick is related to Phil and Tony Esposito?

SteelCityMan786
06-24-2007, 08:07 PM
I know it has to be coincidence, but every time I buy a particular player's shirt, they either leave for F/A or are traded - LOL! :dang::dang:

I hope these are just rumors. We need Gonch on the PP and Ruutu for his ability to irritate an opponent enough to be sent to the sin bin.

Hey - does anyone know if our top draft pick is related to Phil and Tony Esposito?

To the best of my knowledge, no.

X-Terminator
06-24-2007, 08:57 PM
I know it has to be coincidence, but every time I buy a particular player's shirt, they either leave for F/A or are traded - LOL! :dang::dang:

I hope these are just rumors. We need Gonch on the PP and Ruutu for his ability to irritate an opponent enough to be sent to the sin bin.

Hey - does anyone know if our top draft pick is related to Phil and Tony Esposito?

I seriously doubt that Gonchar and Ruutu will be traded - that was the first I'd heard either name mentioned in trade rumors. I'm not saying it can't happen, but I'd be shocked if they were. Unless they received a good, young D-man in return for Gonchar, they'd be weakening the very D corps they've made a priority to upgrade. The names that consistently pop up in trade talk are Ryan Malone and Brooks Orpik, and I suspect that one or both will be dealt at some point.

No, Angelo Esposito is not related to either Phil or Tony, though obviously it would be cool if he was!

SteelCityMan786
06-24-2007, 09:04 PM
I seriously doubt that Gonchar and Ruutu will be traded - that was the first I'd heard either name mentioned in trade rumors. I'm not saying it can't happen, but I'd be shocked if they were. Unless they received a good, young D-man in return for Gonchar, they'd be weakening the very D corps they've made a priority to upgrade. The names that consistently pop up in trade talk are Ryan Malone and Brooks Orpik, and I suspect that one or both will be dealt at some point.

No, Angelo Esposito is not related to either Phil or Tony, though obviously it would be cool if he was!

I'm having a feeling Orpik and Malone have better chances of geting traded then Sergei and Jarcho. Don't know why though.

83-Steelers-43
06-24-2007, 11:02 PM
NHL GMs: Esposito 'perfect' for Penguins
Monday, June 25, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Little more than a week earlier, Anaheim general manager Brian Burke had watched his team win the Stanley Cup.

Now, a full 18 picks into the NHL entry draft, he had an opportunity to claim a player touted as one of the most gifted in the Class of 2007. Who, less than 12 months earlier, had been a near-consensus choice as the top prospect available this year.

Angelo Esposito was sitting there, and there was nothing to prevent Burke from adding him to the Ducks' impressive collection of young talent.

Except that he liked a kid named Logan MacMillan more.

But he did not pass on Esposito, Burke said the next day, because he had any grave concerns about him, or worries about whether Esposito can develop into a significant contributor in the NHL.

"What we project as needs for us, he didn't fit the profile," Burke said. "We have a guy like that in our 1-hole at center in Andy McDonald, and we've drafted some other guys who are more like that."

The Penguins have some highly skilled young centers, too -- probably more than any other club, actually -- but that didn't dissuade them from taking Esposito at No. 20.

And it wasn't a terribly difficult decision. The Penguins were one of several teams that had him in their top 10 -- Tampa Bay GM Jay Feaster confirmed that the Lightning did, too -- and they started to develop a particularly keen interest after 14 or 15 clubs passed on Esposito.

"It was interesting to watch, to say the least," assistant GM Chuck Fletcher said.

So is the way Esposito, no worse than a top-three pick on most teams' lists last summer, skidded all the way past the middle of the opening round. Not that anyone could offer a cheap-and-easy explanation for the way his stock plunged.

"Sometimes, it's expectations," Fletcher said. "Sometimes, these kids are put on a pedestal at a young age and proclaimed to be this and that.

"After a while, you start looking for faults instead of for what they do well. The more you see a young player, the more you pick him apart. All these players have faults."

In Esposito's case, scouts from other clubs, speaking on condition of anonymity, cited several perceived flaws: That his passion and intensity are sporadic. That he doesn't always work effectively with his linemates (although all acknowledged how well he meshed with Alexander Radulov, his junior teammate in Quebec). That the skating so often cited as one of his greatest strengths actually is overrated.

GMs disputed that Esposito's intangibles are an issue -- "No one ever questioned those things with us," Burke said -- but it seems to be almost universally accepted that he would prefer to not have the pressure of being his team's go-to guy.

With young, high-profile teammates such as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal, that shouldn't be a factor with the Penguins.

"We don't need him to come in and be a franchise player," Fletcher said. "We just need him to come in and be a hockey player. So I think it's a very good fit for him."

That the Penguins would stake out such a position isn't surprising, but their perspective seems to be a pretty common one around the league.

"It might be a perfect situation for him," New Jersey GM Lou Lamoriello said. "There's nothing wrong with that. As long as you've got that innate desire and that confidence -- and he's got that -- he's fine.

"He's a good pick, especially with Pittsburgh's talent situation. He really is."

"I think it's a great value pick," Feaster said. "I really do, just from where he was on our own list. You know what? I have to believe that when he gets in there and he's playing with Sid and Malkin, he's going to make great music with those guys."

Esposito's point total fell from 98 in 2005-06, when his junior team in Quebec won the Memorial Cup, to 79 last season, after the Remparts graduated a number of key players, including Radulov.

"He dropped off a little in production, but the God-given talent and speed and size that made him successful last year are still there," Fletcher said.

Couple that skill level with the Penguins' personnel situation, Lamoriello said, and Esposito should thrive.

"He has talent, God-given talent," he said. "Certain things, you can't teach. With the people he's going to be surrounded with, with the character young kids you have there, it's just going to pull him in."

If so, Penguins GM Ray Shero might eventually be credited with one of the most shrewd draft choices in franchise history.

"You have to be good and you have to be lucky in this business," Nashville GM David Poile said. "And Ray's got both going right now."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07176/796919-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
06-25-2007, 09:34 AM
Video clips of draft day interviews with a few of our picks.....

Esposito: http://mfile.akamai.com/33433/wmv/nhl.download.akamai.com/33433/downloads/video/draftday1_2007_700k.wmv

Veilleux: http://mfile.akamai.com/33433/wmv/nhl.download.akamai.com/33433/downloads/video/070623veilleuxpress700k.wmv

Casey Pierro-Zabotel: http://mfile.akamai.com/33433/wmv/nhl.download.akamai.com/33433/downloads/video/070623zabotelpress700k.wmv

SteelCityMan786
06-25-2007, 09:59 AM
Real Nice Interview with Esposito.

83-Steelers-43
06-25-2007, 11:25 AM
Another rumor.....

20. Michael Nylander- NY Rangers, Calgary, Pittsburgh, Ottawa, Philadelphia
Could be Calgary's backup plan for Smyth. May be a case that he is more valuable to the NY Rangers and Jagr in particular than anywhere else. Could be Flyer's plan C if no Gomez or Briere.

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=8212

X-Terminator
06-25-2007, 11:57 AM
Oh God, I don't want that soft-as-tissue-paper floater on my team. Let someone else take on that bloated salary and disappearing act when the chips are down. Besides, he isn't a goal scorer, he is a distributor and NOT what the Penguins need up front.

83-Steelers-43
06-25-2007, 12:02 PM
Seems like a very good idea, never hurts to get the kids thinking more about fitness........

Penguins Set To Open Rookie Conditioning Camp
Joe Sager | pittsburghpenguins.com Jun 25, 2007, 10:13 AM EDT

Pittsburgh Penguins training camp is almost three months away.

But, the organization’s up-and-coming players are getting a jump start this week as 32 Penguins prospects will take part in a summer conditioning camp in Pittsburgh.

The camp, which runs from Tuesday until Monday, July 2, features a variety of activities for the prospects, including medical/fitness testing, power skating sessions, a sports psychology seminar and a nutrition seminar, as well off-ice training at Mellon Arena and on-ice sessions at Southpointe.

In addition, select prospects are scheduled to assist at the Penguins’ Youth Scrimmage Camp on Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. at the Ice Castle in Castle Shannon.

“I think it is a great thing. We’ll have a lot of the kids we drafted going. It’s all part of the development – getting these kids integrated into what it’s like to be a professional athlete and a player and see what Pittsburgh is all about and to experience some competition,” Penguins General Manager Ray Shero said. “I think it’s going to be really good for us.”

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Jonathan Filewich, Tyler Kennedy and Ryan Stone; top prospects Kris Letang and goaltender David Brown as well as seven of this year’s NHL Entry Draft choices are among those who will take part in the camp.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach Todd Richards and assistant coach Dan Bylsma will run the camp in Pittsburgh.

“When I was in Nashville with Todd, he helped run the conditioning camp and was very involved and very detail-oriented,” Shero said. “I think he and Dan are going to do a great job and they are excited about it.”

CAMP ROSTER

Paul Bissonnette
Aaron Boogaard
Robert Bortuzzo
David Brown
Luca Caputi
Tim Crowder
Jonathan D’Aversa
Angelo Esposito
Jonathan Filewich
Michael Gergen
Brian Gifford
Alex Grant
Brian Ihnacak
Dustin Jeffrey
Joe Jensen
Chad Johnson
Nick Johnson
Tyler Kennedy
Kris Letang
Mark Letestu
Ben Lovejoy
Kurtis McLean
Jake Muzzin
Kyle Rank
Johannes Salmonsson
Timo Seppanen
Carl Sneep
Ryan Stone
Brian Strait
Keven Veilleux
Joe Vitale
Tim Wallace

http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=323064

SteelCityMan786
06-25-2007, 12:10 PM
Seems like a very good idea, never hurts to get the kids thinking more about fitness........

Penguins Set To Open Rookie Conditioning Camp
Joe Sager | pittsburghpenguins.com Jun 25, 2007, 10:13 AM EDT

Pittsburgh Penguins training camp is almost three months away.

But, the organization?s up-and-coming players are getting a jump start this week as 32 Penguins prospects will take part in a summer conditioning camp in Pittsburgh.

The camp, which runs from Tuesday until Monday, July 2, features a variety of activities for the prospects, including medical/fitness testing, power skating sessions, a sports psychology seminar and a nutrition seminar, as well off-ice training at Mellon Arena and on-ice sessions at Southpointe.

In addition, select prospects are scheduled to assist at the Penguins? Youth Scrimmage Camp on Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. at the Ice Castle in Castle Shannon.

?I think it is a great thing. We?ll have a lot of the kids we drafted going. It?s all part of the development ? getting these kids integrated into what it?s like to be a professional athlete and a player and see what Pittsburgh is all about and to experience some competition,? Penguins General Manager Ray Shero said. ?I think it?s going to be really good for us.?

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton?s Jonathan Filewich, Tyler Kennedy and Ryan Stone; top prospects Kris Letang and goaltender David Brown as well as seven of this year?s NHL Entry Draft choices are among those who will take part in the camp.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach Todd Richards and assistant coach Dan Bylsma will run the camp in Pittsburgh.

?When I was in Nashville with Todd, he helped run the conditioning camp and was very involved and very detail-oriented,? Shero said. ?I think he and Dan are going to do a great job and they are excited about it.?

CAMP ROSTER

Paul Bissonnette
Aaron Boogaard
Robert Bortuzzo
David Brown
Luca Caputi
Tim Crowder
Jonathan D?Aversa
Angelo Esposito
Jonathan Filewich
Michael Gergen
Brian Gifford
Alex Grant
Brian Ihnacak
Dustin Jeffrey
Joe Jensen
Chad Johnson
Nick Johnson
Tyler Kennedy
Kris Letang
Mark Letestu
Ben Lovejoy
Kurtis McLean
Jake Muzzin
Kyle Rank
Johannes Salmonsson
Timo Seppanen
Carl Sneep
Ryan Stone
Brian Strait
Keven Veilleux
Joe Vitale
Tim Wallace

http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=323064

I like the idea, especially since that can give us an idea of where everyone will be come next October.

83-Steelers-43
06-25-2007, 12:15 PM
I'm having a feeling Orpik and Malone have better chances of geting traded then Sergei and Jarcho. Don't know why though.

I've also heard Christensen's name pop up a few times. If we do decide to trade him I believe some team will get a nice weapon at center on a second or possible first line. Judging that we are stacked at center and the fact that I do not believe Shero/Therrien were happy with his transition to wing I wouldn't be surprised to see him traded. At this point he's the only one that we might actually get something for (packaged) other than a 3rd or 4th liner. IMO, Malone, Christensen, Orpik and Omelette are all possible trade candidates. The only ones who I would shed a tear over is Christensen and Orpik to a degree.

I've heard Gonchar's name pop up on a few occasions (local sports shows and radio shows) but I don't see anybody picking up his contract let alone giving us something fair in return. IMO, Gonchar is staying. I want nothing to do with Kovalev even though some fans are screaming for his return. IMO, his best days are behind him. Seems to me it's a case of some fans in this city not being able to let go of the past. Not surprising in certain circles. I've also heard Morozov's name pop up. If we could sign the guy only on nights we play the Devils I have no problem. Besides those games, Russia can keep him.

SteelCityMan786
06-25-2007, 12:22 PM
I've also heard Christensen's name pop up a few times. If we do decide to trade him I believe some team will get a nice weapon at center on a second or possible first line. Judging that we are stacked at center and the fact that I do not believe Shero/Therrien were happy with his transition to wing I wouldn't be surprised to see him traded. At this point he's the only one that we might actually get something for (packaged) other than a 3rd or 4th liner. IMO, Malone, Christensen, Orpik and Omelette are all possible trade candidates. The only ones who I would shed a tear over is Christensen and Orpik to a degree.

I've heard Gonchar's name pop up on a few occasions (local sports shows and radio shows) but I don't see anybody picking up his contract let alone giving us something fair in return. IMO, Gonchar is staying. I want nothing to do with Kovalev even though some fans are screaming for his return. IMO, his best days are behind him. Seems to me it's a case of some fans in this city not being able to let go of the past. Not surprising in certain circles. I've also heard Morozov's name pop up. If we could sign the guy only on nights we play the Devils I have no problem.

I under no circumstances(except if we're over the cap, or if means keeping Sid, Evgeni, Jordan and Marc together, then I'll consider) want to let go of Christensen. He's been a heck of a player. I like what he can do in the shootout.

83-Steelers-43
06-25-2007, 12:27 PM
Like I said these are just rumors, but that's the fun of the NHL offseason in my opinion. Plus, I find it hard to talk Pirates baseball after the month of May because we are normally out of 'it' by then and Steelers football has been pretty quiet minus the Hoke signing. Training Camp please come. So......why not? It's all in fun. Doesn't hurt anybody...lol.

SteelCityMan786
06-25-2007, 12:37 PM
Like I said these are just rumors, but that's the fun of the NHL offseason in my opinion. Plus, I find it hard to talk Pirates baseball after the month of May because we are normally out of 'it' by then and Steelers football has been pretty quiet minus the Hoke signing. Training Camp please come. So......why not? It's all in fun. Doesn't hurt anybody...lol.

It is hard to believe we're in it still. Even with our record.

X-Terminator
06-25-2007, 01:06 PM
I under no circumstances(except if we're over the cap, or if means keeping Sid, Evgeni, Jordan and Marc together, then I'll consider) want to let go of Christensen. He's been a heck of a player. I like what he can do in the shootout.

But if by trading him, the Pens can get a player or two who would be upgrades at need positions, would you be against it? In this case, they'd be dealing from a position of strength with a player who has the potential to be a perennial 30-35 goal scorer. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a little bit in order to take a step forward.

SteelCityMan786
06-25-2007, 01:08 PM
But if by trading him, the Pens can get a player or two who would be upgrades at need positions, would you be against it? In this case, they'd be dealing from a position of strength with a player who has the potential to be a perennial 30-35 goal scorer. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a little bit in order to take a step forward.

Hmmmm, point well taken. I guess I wouldn't.

83-Steelers-43
06-25-2007, 04:39 PM
Whoops, scratch Omelette off my list as trade bait on the last page. I forgot he was a FA and apparently he's not a priority for the Penguins going by this article. And on that note, smart moves Ray, smart moves........

Penguins make free-agent offers
Monday, June 25, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins today extended qualifying offers to five of their restricted free agents -- forwards Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Maxime Talbot and newly acquired Tim Brent, defenseman Ryan Whitney, and minor-league defenseman Ryan Lannon.

Those players can accept those offers or opt for arbitration.

The team did not extend such offers to forward Michel Ouellet and minor-league goaltender Andrew Penner, and those two will become unrestricted free agents Sunday.

Ouellet, 25, had 19 goals and 48 points in 73 games last season, his first full winter in the NHL. He was the team's fourth-round draft pick in 2000.

Penner, who signed as a free agent a year ago, split the season between the Penguins farm clubs in Wheeling and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, going a combined 23-12-2.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07176/797041-100.stm

SteelCityMan786
06-25-2007, 04:52 PM
Oh darn it, I wanted to see Oulett stay.

83-Steelers-43
06-25-2007, 04:53 PM
Oh darn it, I wanted to see Oulett stay.

Apparently Ray and the rest of the gang doesn't....lol.

SteelCityMan786
06-25-2007, 04:55 PM
Apparently Ray and the rest of the gang doesn't....lol.

Yeah well, maybe we can get someone of his talent only 3 times better.

83-Steelers-43
06-25-2007, 04:56 PM
Yeah well, maybe we can get someone of his talent only 3 times better.

Personally, I don't think it will be all that difficult to put it mildly and politely. :wink02:

SteelCityMan786
06-25-2007, 04:57 PM
Personally, I don't think it will be all that difficult to put it mildly and politely. :wink02:

:toofunny:

83-Steelers-43
06-25-2007, 05:12 PM
A moment of silence for Michel "AKA Omelette AKA Caveman" Ouellet.

In remembrance 2000-2007

Q8Tiz6INF7I

SteelCityMan786
06-25-2007, 05:13 PM
Wow, aren't you nice 83? :rofl:

83-Steelers-43
06-25-2007, 05:19 PM
Wow, aren't you nice 83? :rofl:

I know. Secretly I love him. I have a shrine in my closet. Now very time I see the Geico caveman commercials on TV I'm going to have a mental breakdown.

SteelCityMan786
06-25-2007, 05:26 PM
I know. Secretly I love him. I have a shrine in my closet. Now very time I see the Geico caveman commercials on TV I'm going to have a mental breakdown.

:sofunny::sofunny::sofunny:

83-Steelers-43
06-25-2007, 05:28 PM
On a serious note, hopefully we will be able to retain all of the players we gave offers to. Would love to see that.

83-Steelers-43
06-25-2007, 05:30 PM
Also, Steiggy reminder on Stan Savern right now.

SteelCityMan786
06-25-2007, 05:31 PM
Also, Steiggy reminder on Stan Savern right now.

It's turned on right now!

83-Steelers-43
06-25-2007, 05:54 PM
Good interview for the most part. I don't agree with Steigy about Recchi, but he's pulling for Paul Kariya coming here which I would absolutely love at the right price.

SteelCityMan786
06-25-2007, 05:57 PM
Good interview for the most part. I don't agree with Steigy about Recchi, but he's pulling for Paul Kariya coming here which I would absolutely love at the right price.

I certainly want Kariya if the price is right.

83-Steelers-43
06-25-2007, 05:58 PM
I certainly want Kariya if the price is right.

You never know with Shero. He wheeled the guy in at Nashville and now Shero has Malkin, Staal and Crosby as pawns to dangle in front of his face. Maybe Kariya would come here for a small cut in pay?

Work your magic Ray.

SteelCityMan786
06-25-2007, 06:01 PM
You never know with Shero. He wheeled the guy in at Nashville and now Shero has Malkin, Staal and Crosby as pawns to dangle in front of his face. Maybe Kariya would come here for a small cut in pay?

Work your magic Ray.

:iagree: it's worked before. Who says it won't again.

83-Steelers-43
06-26-2007, 07:42 AM
Ron Cook: Roberts' signing sends a signal
Roberts' return a positive sign for Penguins
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

We could examine the pitiful Pirates and general manager Dave Littlefield's ridiculous contentions that their fundamentals are better and that the team really isn't far off from being a contender, but where's the fun in that? Why waste precious time on the hopeless? On such a beautiful summer morning, why be negative when there's something so positive going on in our little corner of the sports world?

The Penguins.

Specifically, the Gary Roberts and Mark Recchi signings last week.

It's great that Recchi is coming back for another season, even if it will be in a diminished role. The man knows how to win. Remember how Bryan Trottier was an important part of the Penguins' Stanley Cup teams in the early '90s? He was a future hall of famer nearing the end of his career and served a valuable purpose as a third- or fourth-line player. That's Recchi on the Penguins next season. A championship team needs a Recchi.

Certainly, a championship club needs a Roberts.

That signing was significant in many ways, none more so than what it said about the Penguins and the direction they are going. Ottawa was expected to make a big push for Roberts when free agency begins Sunday. He decided to stay with the Penguins because he liked their chances of winning the Cup better. The Senators played in the final last season.

Roberts also agreed to a one-year deal even though he probably could have received two years from Ottawa or another team. At 41, he knows that second season isn't promised to him. He's worried about winning now. He thinks the Penguins give him the best opportunity.

If Roberts believes that strongly, it makes it a lot easier for the rest of us to believe. Remember, he is a guy who had to be talked into waiving his no-trade clause to come to Pittsburgh last season by Mario Lemieux. Now, they can't lure him away.

Everyone makes a big deal of the leadership Roberts provides to a young team, and rightfully so. Sidney Crosby thought so much of him and Recchi that he called both last month to make sure they were OK with him becoming, at 19, the youngest captain in NHL history. That's respect.

It's hard to imagine a better role model for young players than Roberts. His workout regime is legendary, to the degree that many of the Penguins made sure to get his cell phone number at the end of the season so they could make arrangements to join him this summer to train. Crosby spent a couple of days with him in Toronto earlier this month.

But it's not so much Crosby, who also is maniacal about his conditioning, whom Roberts will help the most. It's the Malkins and the Staals, the Whitneys and the Orpiks. Seeing how Roberts trains and what it has meant to his career has to rub off.

But don't underestimate Roberts' contributions on the ice. He won't score 40 goals again, but he still can get in front of the net and cause chaos and pick up deflection and rebound goals. He also remains one of the NHL's most punishing hitters. The lasting image of the Penguins' series playoff loss to the Senators last season was him drilling defenseman Anton Volchenkov into the boards late in Game 5. Not many players would have delivered that hit with not just the game out of hand, but the series and season only seconds from ending.

"Just sending a message for next year," Penguins defenseman Ryan Whitney noted that night, awe in his voice.

The Roberts and Recchi signings assure general manager Ray Shero of a successful offseason, although his work isn't finished. When free agency begins, he will be looking to get a goal-scoring winger to play with Crosby and to upgrade his defense.

Shero is expected to proceed as the Steelers do and avoid the big free-agent deals. He has said he expects most of the Penguins' improvement to come from within as their young players continue to grow. He also doesn't want to do a five- or six-year deal with a player and be wrong, and have it hurt the team's chances of keeping, say, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal down the road.

That doesn't mean Shero won't be able to find a 25-goal scorer whom Crosby can turn into a 35-goal man. But as much as that goal-scorer would be nice, a tough defenseman is a much greater need. The Penguins scored 277 goals last season, third-most in the league. They can live with that total again. But they need to do better than Josef Melichar and Rob Scuderi on defense. Young Kristopher Letang, who brings a much-needed right-handed shot, is expected to take one of those spots, but he hardly seems like enough.

Shero has plenty to offer free agents even if it isn't big dollars or a lot of years. He has Crosby and the team's other great young talent, first and foremost. And now, fortunately, he has Roberts and his strong belief that wondrous things are just ahead for the franchise.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07177/797134-87.stm

83-Steelers-43
06-26-2007, 12:40 PM
http://forums.steelersfever.com/showthread.php?t=11164&page=255

83-Steelers-43
06-27-2007, 06:16 AM
Esposito impresses at Pens' conditioning camp
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

As expected, Angelo Esposito was the main attraction, as 28 Penguins' prospects arrived in Pittsburgh on Tuesday for a weeklong conditioning camp.

Esposito, a left-handed center who most scouts agree possesses elite-level skills, landed in the lap of the Penguins as the 20th overall pick in the entry draft last Friday in Columbus, Ohio.

His stock plummeted from that of a consensus top pick prior to last season.

Esposito offered a confident grin when asked if he planned to make fools of the clubs that passed on him, including his previously beloved Montreal Canadians.

"Falling in the draft was a little bit disappointing, but ending up here was better than going somewhere else," Esposito said. "I'm happy to be here, but I guess I will have to prove some people wrong."

His first workout wearing a jersey with the Skating Penguin crest suggested Esposito might be ready to prove a lot of people wrong.

His quick feet, for which he was praised by International Scouting Services' Dennis MacInnis, were on full display during an afternoon session of on-ice drills at Southpointe.

Esposito says his speed is his greatest weapon. It showed yesterday, especially on the occasions when he stopped abruptly at center ice and instantly shifted into full-throttle gear during a three-skater break exercise.

As one Penguins official correctly assessed: "Angelo's wheels are scary."

Then again, Konstantin Koltsov could skate swiftly, too.

But Esposito's nifty backhand score on a breakaway test and, more impressive, his numerous, crisp cross-ice feeds throughout the workout suggested an offensive arsenal that was beyond a player such as Koltsov.

"He is a top-talent skater ... though, he can be the whole package, too," first-year Penguins head amateur scout Jay Heinbuck said of Esposito at the draft. "(Esposito) creates opportunities with his speed, and he is skilled enough to make something of those opportunities."

Johannes Salmonsson arrived in town, hoping to make the most of the opportunity to impress an organization that drafted him 61st overall in 2004.

Then, as is perceived to be the case with Esposito now, the Penguins were thought to have stolen an top-notch, NHL-caliber talent with such a low pick.

However, the club is still waiting on Salmonsson, a left-handed winger who will play a second consecutive season in the Swedish Elite League, where he tallied eight goals in 45 games last season.

Injuries to his right shoulder and lower back were the reasons Salmonsson was available to the Penguins so low in the 2004 draft.

Salmonsson claims he's now fully healthy. So, perhaps his skills -- never a question, especially his passing -- can win over the Penguins' front office.

He senses that time is ticking for him to prove himself.

"This is a big year, because after it, (Pittsburgh) does not own my rights anymore," said Salmonsson, who added that he hasn't talked with team officials about what's expected of him this coming season.

"You could say it is time for me to make an impression, starting this week."

Notes: Defensemen Kris Letang, Alex Grant and Robert Bortuzzo and right wing Tim Crowder won't arrive in Pittsburgh until later this week. Bortuzzo and Grant were third and fourth-round picks, respectively, at the draft last weekend. Letang, a right-handed defenseman, is considered a strong candidate to play in the NHL this season. ... Georges Laraque will be in Pittsburgh today to see Penguins doctors about a possible shoulder injury. Team officials won't comment until after he sees a physician.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/highschool/baseball/s_514564.html

83-Steelers-43
06-27-2007, 06:17 AM
Penguins happy to get a player like Esposito
By The Associated Press
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Pittsburgh Penguins supposedly couldn't get a possible impact player, not in this draft. Not drafting No. 20, a pick so low it usually yields a prospect who requires years of development.
So why was first-rounder Angelo Esposito talking Tuesday of possibly playing this season with these Penguins, who already have some of the NHL's best young scoring talent in Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal?

The Penguins, bad enough for so many years to get a run of early and exceptional draft picks, perhaps got a little bit lucky this time when Esposito fell to them.

Esposito, who led his Quebec Remparts junior team to the Memorial Cup championship at age 17 in 2006, was the top-rated North American prospect by the NHL's scouting bureau as late as February. Going into the draft, he was No. 8.

But as the draft unfolded Friday night, Esposito became one of those players who keeps falling and falling, for no apparent reason — much like Brady Quinn in this NFL draft and Dan Marino in 1982. Finally, he tumbled to the one team that seemed to least need youthful skills like his.

"Falling in the draft was a little bit disappointing, but now that I'm here it's better than going somewhere else," Esposito said Tuesday. "I'm happy to be here and, at the same time, maybe prove a few people wrong."

Including his own beloved Montreal Canadiens, who passed on him at No. 12 to take American defenseman Ryan McDonagh. The Canadiens and 18 other teams apparently felt Esposito was a little too self centered, didn't progress as much as anticipated and didn't always play with passion last season.

"We lost a lot of good players, and maybe when the season started I was thinking too much about the draft and too much about myself," said Esposito, who is no relation to former NHL stars Phil and Tony Esposito. "But I learned throughout the season how to play on a team."

A team like this one, perhaps?

The Penguins already have three potential top-line natural centers in Crosby, the NHL player of the year; Malkin, the rookie of the year and Staal, an all-rookie forward at age 18.

But Esposito was too fast, too skilled, too tempting for Pittsburgh to pass up, even if coach Michel Therrien must be creative in figuring out how to play them all together. Not that general manager Ray Shero seems overly worried.

"Good players like to play with good players," he said.

Esposito, who turned 18 in February, was used on a wing at times by his junior coach, Patrick Roy. Being so heavily scouted made him feel as if everyone in the arena was watching only him, and it was a bit disconcerting at times.

"What I've learned is it's opinions, and whether the opinions are good or bad doesn't matter because it's what you do on the ice," Esposito said. "Something I've considered is that, now that I know what team I'm going to be on, I can just go out and play my game and not worry about the 2,000 eyes on you."

That might have benefited Staal last season. Rather than being the No. 2 draft pick, he was simply another good young forward on a team with a growing number of them.

"I think he'll, like a Jordan Staal, fly under the radar a bit and be able to settle in and be around some good young players," Shero said of Esposito. "I think it will be good for him."

That No. 7 Esposito wore in juniors may be available to Esposito sooner than later. Forward Michel Ouellet wore it last season, but the Penguins didn't tender him a contract offer.

Gary Roberts was No. 7 with Toronto, but wore No. 10 the last few seasons with Florida and Pittsburgh — something Esposito didn't realize.

"Maybe I'll get that number some day," he said.

Right now, another number is on his mind, and it's not the 66 goals or 177 points he has in 117 games in juniors.

"My goal is to play in the NHL at 18," said Esposito, who must play in Pittsburgh next season or go back to his junior team. "We'll see what happens. I want to work hard and try to make this team at 18."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/highschool/baseball/s_514557.html

83-Steelers-43
06-27-2007, 06:19 AM
Penguins Rookie Minicamp: 3 forwards know it's their time to step up
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

For some, such as first-round pick Angelo Esposito and others from the 2007 draft, the opening of the Penguins' rookie conditioning camp yesterday was a chance to see the city, learn their way around Mellon Arena, meet some of the team's other prospects and skate as a member of the organization for the first time.

For a few, though, the surroundings already are familiar. They have been through Penguins training camp, know the coaches from the team's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton affiliate who are running the conditioning camp.

For them -- particularly forwards Jonathan Filewich, Ryan Stone and Tyler Kennedy -- this is a time to make a move, not just shake hands.

"There's an opportunity right now," Stone said. "I just want to do everything I can to make good on it."

Stone (second round, 2003), Filewich (third round, 2003) and Kennedy (fourth round, 2004) are part of the latest wave of homegrown talent who have been playing in Wilkes-Barre, waiting for a shot to come up and join the Penguins like some of their American Hockey League teammates from the past couple of seasons have gotten.

"A couple of us had good years last year, showed that we can play at the pro level," said Kennedy, a right winger who had 37 points in 40 games in his first AHL season. "We have a chance now to earn a spot."

Filewich, a right winger who had 30 goals, 56 points in 80 games in his second season with the Baby Penguins, would seem to be the best candidate of the three to stick with the Penguins out of regular training camp in September or to get one of the first call-ups next season.

"The guys here, me, Stone, Kennedy, we did have pretty good seasons in the AHL," Filewich said. "We just hope to get our shot to stay here. We know we can do it. It's just getting the opportunity and taking full advantage of it."

Filewich's opportunity seemed to grow earlier this week when the Penguins did not extend a qualifying offer to winger Michel Ouellet, who will become an unrestricted free agent Sunday.

"It was a shock to me because he scored 19 goals last year," Filewich said. "He's a right winger. That's my position, and that's where I want to be next year. I think I can fill those shoes, but I'm not going to put any pressure on myself."

Filewich, Kennedy and Stone watched some of their former teammates go through the process of working their way onto the Penguins' roster and learned a lot from a couple who struggled some with the transition.

Filewich and Kennedy pointed to forward Erik Christensen, whose confidence wavered as he was promoted and demoted over the past two seasons before he finally stuck for good and finished in the top 10 in Penguins scoring.

"I've seen what he's gone through mentally and physically," Filewich said. "It's tough, but he stuck with it, and now look where he is."

Stone's example is winger Colby Armstrong, who, despite being a first-round draft pick in 2001, spent a season after the draft in junior hockey and three-plus seasons with Wilkes-Barre before he became a Penguins regular.

"He just stuck with it," said Stone, who seven goals, 33 points in 41 games with the Baby Penguins. "He was positive. Now he's getting his chance and he's playing great. The same thing with a bunch of guys. They come up here and they stay up here."

Stone and Kennedy had their 2006-07 season shortened by injury.

Stone missed two months after November surgery to repair ligament damage in his left wrist. He puts himself at 80 percent to 90 percent with no pain when he plays and said he should be back to normal by the end of the summer. Kennedy developed a sports hernia in February and expects to be fully recovered by the end of this conditioning camp.

All three will be pushing for promotions during this and regular training camp. If it doesn't happen for the start of the season, they'll be waiting for the call during the season.

Filewich knows what that's like. He was a candidate to be called up when the Penguins lost players to injury last season.

"I felt that I maybe could have had a shot last year, but I didn't want to think about it too much," he said. "You'll drive yourself crazy if you think about that too much."

NOTES -- Enforcer Georges Laraque will meet this week with team doctors for a possible injured shoulder, according to The Hockey News. ... Defensemen Kris Letang and Robert Bortuzzo and forward Tim Crowder had other commitments yesterday and are expected to join the camp today or tomorrow. ... Some of the campers will be at Ice Castle in Castle Shannon today helping out with the Penguins' youth camp. ... The group will skate at Southpointe again tomorrow and Saturday.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07178/797440-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
06-27-2007, 06:20 AM
Penguins' Talbot wins a shot at $10 million
Earns spot in poker's World Series in July
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The NHL hasn't landed in Las Vegas yet, but Penguins forward Maxime Talbot is headed there hoping for riches.

Talbot has won his way into the main event of the World Series of Poker, a tournament that draws several thousand players, usually has a $10,000 entry fee and could make the winner $10 million or more.

It starts July 6.

"Everybody's asking me about that," Talbot said when he stopped by the Mellon Arena locker room while it was buzzing with the first day of conditioning camp for prospects.

"I'm kind of nervous. It's a different kind of competition. I don't know how well it's going to go, but I'm pretty excited."

Talbot, who earlier this week was given a qualifying offer that will prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent, said the Penguins don't have to worry; he won't retire from hockey if he strikes gold.

"I'll be signing here with a minimum salary and having fun playing," he said.

Talbot has recruited family members to play so he can practice.

He figures, because it didn't cost him anything to enter, he has nothing to lose.

"I'm going to be really aggressive," he said.

Although Talbot is an expressive and outgoing guy, he claims to be good at bluffing.

And he has the pat answer for questions about his skill at poker.

"Actually, I'm pretty bad."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07178/797378-61.stm

SteelCityMan786
06-27-2007, 07:37 AM
Nice to see that Espo is showing he was worth drafting.

No need for use of a translator with this guy. If we get another French or even an Italian player, we can have him serve as their translator because I heard last night he's fluent in both languages in addition to English.

83-Steelers-43
06-27-2007, 09:59 AM
More rumors from "The Buzz" and "Eklund".....

I am also hearing the Penguins may make the most "major" trade in the next week to bring in a young stud defenseman.

* Free Agency Rumors
* The Penguins top targets when free agency begins will be San Jose Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan and Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny Markov.
* Defenseman Andy Sutton of Atlanta is plan B
* Robert Lang to Pittsburgh? It might not be a after thought after all. www.Insidehockey.com predicts Lang to sign in Pittsburgh. I can't see this happening but i can confirm Langs wishlist of teams include the Penguins and the Rangers. The KLS line will be reborned ( Staal -Lang - Kovalev).
* Latest news
* Nashville Predators defenseman Marek Zidlicky is on the trading block.
* The Penguins are not in the sweepstakes for Blackhawks young defenseman Brent Seabrook. I have been told that the only way Seabrook is moved is for a top flight center. Seabrook could be part of a Brad Richards or Patrick Marleau trade to Chicago.
* Trade Rumors:
* The Chicago Blackhawks have interest in Jarko Ruutu
* The St. Louis Blues have serious interest in Colby Armstrong. Blues defenseman Barret Jackman is on the trading block.
* The latest on Kovalev, is a deal is not dead The Ryan Malone for Kovy could jump start again. The Penguins, Washington and a unknown third team are all interested. Both teams are taking a wait and see approach. If the Habs trade for or sign a big name player, look fo Kovy to be back on the block. The Caps appear to the front runners to land Kovy and seem willing to offer more assets than the Penguins do at the moment.

It has been confirmed that the Pittsburgh Penguins are in ongoing talks with the Calgary Flames about defenseman Robin Regher. I have been told that the likely players involved in the trade talks are Robin Regher to Pittsburgh for Ryan Malone and Brooks Orpik. More players could be involved but Colby Armstrong or Eric Christensen are not apart of it as of right now. If the Penguins are able to finalize this deal they most likely will have to include a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick or another role player.......The Flames reportedly would prefer to send Regher to the Eastern Conference. The Anaheim Ducks could get into the running if Scott Niedermayer retires. The NYR, COL, EDM, Atlanta Thrashers are also expected to join the Regher sweepstakes.

SteelCityMan786
06-27-2007, 10:27 AM
Hmmmmmm. Seems pretty interesting those rumors.

X-Terminator
06-27-2007, 12:37 PM
I'd probably wet myself if the Pens landed Robyn Regehr and one of Barret Jackman/Scott Hannan. Talk about upgrading the defense!

Just say NO to Robert Lang! If he wants to play for the Czech National Team in New York, he can go right ahead.

And as far as Kovy goes, if the Canadiens don't accept Malone straight up for him, then let the Caps overpay for him. We already have one washed-up forward on the team in Mark Recchi anyway.

83-Steelers-43
06-27-2007, 02:50 PM
Hmmmmmm. Seems pretty interesting those rumors.

Some of them are mouth watering for sure.

Scott Hannan I would love to have on the blueline. Very underrated in my opinion. Markov wouldn't be bad either. No thanks to Sutton. I'm tired of picking up 32 year old players. I would rather see us grab a long term younger defenseman. If we are going old, I would rather see us grab Guerin if anybody.

No thanks to Lang or Kovalev. IMO they are both past their primes. Some fans need to get over it and move on. Let it go. We will survive if we don't bring back over the hill, washed up former Penguins. Trust me.

Seabrook would be great to have but I believe we would have to send a guy by the name of Staal or Malkin to Chicago in order for that trade go through.

As for the Blackhawks wanting Ruutu. While I would like to hear what they are willing to give up for him, I really wouldn't be depressed for the remainder of the Summer if we traded him. When we first picked him up I was pumped, since then I haven't been all that impressed with really any aspect of his game.

Colby Armstrong for Jackman? No way. I love what Colby brings to the team. He's all heart and keeps the team loose with his sense of humor and laid back personality. The guy is a legitimate third liner, great on the PK and would do anything in the world for the good of the team. Besides having a good rookie season Jackman has played below expectations with a few injuries along the way. IMO, Colby is a piece of "the puzzle" for this teams future. The type of guy you need but don't always read about the next morning after taking two on the road during the playoffs. St. Louis can keep him if it means giving them Colby Armstrong.

I love the Regehr deal but only if we got him for long term. IMO, Malone and Orpik are definately expendable if it means picking up Regehr long term. While I feel Orpik is another one who takes more heat than he deserves, his stick handling ability is quesitonable and for a big guy who is known/suppose to play a physical game, he very rarely goes for the big hit when the opportunity presents itself. If it means grabbig Regehr I'm all for it. Dumb little observation, if we did pick him up I believe it would be the first time we would have a Brazilian born player on a Penguin roster.

Also, a name connected to the Penguins from last season is now on waivers. None other than Nick Boynton.

83-Steelers-43
06-27-2007, 04:01 PM
Penguins' Laraque expected to make training camp.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins enforcer Georges Laraque saw team doctors today for a sore shoulder. An MRI was negative and he is expected to be ready for training camp in September.

Laraque was injured while weightlifting, part of his off season training.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07178/797522-100.stm

SteelCityMan786
06-27-2007, 04:14 PM
Penguins' Laraque expected to make training camp.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins enforcer Georges Laraque saw team doctors today for a sore shoulder. An MRI was negative and he is expected to be ready for training camp in September.

Laraque was injured while weightlifting, part of his off season training.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07178/797522-100.stm

:thumbsup: good to hear.

83-Steelers-43
06-27-2007, 04:16 PM
:thumbsup: good to hear.

Yeah, I heard Shero told him that if he did not make camp he would send the Ottawa Senators after him. :wink02:

SteelCityMan786
06-27-2007, 04:39 PM
Yeah, I heard Shero told him that if he did not make camp he would send the Ottawa Senators after him. :wink02:

:sofunny:

83-Steelers-43
06-27-2007, 11:04 PM
Collegians say attending Penguins' rookie camp well worth their costs
Thursday, June 28, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Goaltender Chad Johnson plays for the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, but he only had to travel from his hometown of Calgary to attend the Penguins' rookie conditioning camp this week.

"Only" being a relative concept.

"It's still a long trip, a costly trip, for me to come down here, but it's worth it because it's a good opportunity for me," said Johnson, a 2006 fifth-round draft pick by the Penguins who will be a junior with the Nanooks.

Johnson and six others at the conditioning camp still have college eligibility and are beholden to stringent NCAA rules. That means the Penguins can't pay for their trip here.

"You have to be careful, but, as long as you watch the rules and you don't accept anything, you're OK," said Boston University sophomore defenseman Brian Strait, a third-round Penguins pick last year.

The other college players participating in the conditioning camp are defenseman Carl Sneep, a Boston College sophomore who was drafted by the Penguins last year in the second round; right winger Tim Crowder, a Michigan State junior who was a fifth-round pick in 2005; right winger Michael Gergen, a Minnesota-Duluth junior who was a second-round pick in 2005; center Brian Gifford, a Denver sophomore who was a third-round pick in 2003, and right winger Nick Johnson, a Dartmouth senior who was drafted in the third round in 2004.

As much as anyone, the college players will get the benefits Penguins general manager Ray Shero had in mind when he decided to hold the mid-summer conditioning camp.

"It's a great first step," Shero said. "They get to see Pittsburgh. They get to meet each other and start to get acclimated to NHL hockey."

For the college players, this will be their only chance for those things. They will be back in school by the time the Penguins send prospects to a rookie camp in Kitchener in September, so they will not be allowed to participate.

"I think it's important for me to be here, to meet people," Sneep said. "I thought it was important to make a first impression on some people."

The Penguins scout their college prospects -- although, as Chad Johnson said, "Obviously, we're pretty far up there in Alaska, so they don't get a chance to see me play a lot" -- but this gives the players a chance to work with the staff of the Penguins' affiliate in Wilkes-Barre as well as Penguins assistant Mike Yeo, team trainers and other staff.

"You want to come in and show the Pittsburgh Penguins that you're well on your way to, hopefully, a future with them," said Strait, who met Sneep at the draft last season, before they found themselves on opposite sides of the Boston College-Boston University rivalry, one of the strongest in college hockey.

Strait, a physical player who shoots left-handed, had three goals, six points as a freshman last season. Sneep, a right-handed shot who has some power-play experience, had one goal (short-handed) and 10 points as a freshman.

Strait, who captained Team USA to the gold medal at the 2006 International Ice Hockey Federation World Under-18 Championships in 2006 before starting college, hopes he can follow the path of Penguins defenseman Ryan Whitney, who played at Boston University.

Perhaps Sneep will follow in the footsteps of defenseman Brooks Orpik, who played at Boston College.

The Penguins don't have any Alaska-Fairbanks alumni, but that doesn't dampen the optimism of Chad Johnson, a lanky goaltender who isn't flashy but plays the angles and shows patience in waiting for skaters to commit.

"This is my chance to finally come here and see the town and meet some other players," he said. "You just do your best. It's a chance to showcase what I can do and learn what it takes to be a professional goaltender.

"No question I was coming down."

NOTES -- Enforcer Georges Laraque was in town and examined by team doctors for a sore shoulder. An MRI showed no significant damage, and Laraque is expected to be fine by the time training camp starts in September. He got hurt while weightlifting, part of his offseason training. ... Paula Goligoski said her son, Penguins prospect Alex Goligoski, "is close" to making a decision on whether to return to Minnesota for his senior season or turn pro. Goligoski, a defenseman who is not in the conditioning camp, was selected by the Penguins in the second round of the 2004 draft. General manager Ray Shero is hoping for a decision by Sunday. ... A dozen of the conditioning camp prospects helped run drills at the Penguins youth camp at Ice Castle in Castle Shannon, with 2007 first-round draft pick Angelo Esposito getting a lot of attention and signing a lot of autographs. The full group is back on the ice at Southpointe at 3 p.m. today.

83-Steelers-43
06-27-2007, 11:11 PM
Pens' Brown at home on the ice
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, June 28, 2007

David Brown was in their skates once and hated it. He remembers that all too well.

"I started at a hockey school when I was 5 or 6, and I retired when I was 7," said Brown, a 22-year-old Penguins goaltending prospect who spent part of Wednesday helping tutor hockey hopefuls at a youth scrimmage camp at Ice Castle in Castle Shannon.

"I hated (hockey). I begged my dad not to take me to practice. At my school, it was all fundamental skills. Everybody had a stick, but we never saw a puck."

Brown, born in Stoney Creek, Ontario, would later meet future Hall-of-Fame goalie Patrick Roy, who changed his perspective.

"I did not even know Patrick Roy was a goaltender," Brown said. "But I wanted to be like him."
Credit Roy then for assisting the Penguins on two of their top prospects; he also is the head coach for Quebec of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where 2007 top pick Angelo Esposito has spent the previous two seasons.

Brown, an eighth-round selection in 2004, did not go the junior path to chase his NHL dream. He instead opted for a full ride at Notre Dame, which he helped turn into a college hockey presence.

Thanks in part to the play of Brown, a Hobey Baker Award finalist and first-team All-American, the Irish reached the NCAA tournament for the first time this past season. Brown went 30-6-3 with a 1.58 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. He ranked first nationally in those latter categories.

Perhaps of equal importance: Brown matured physically and emotionally during his four-year tenure at Notre Dame, no small points that should allow him to earn a spot with the Penguins' AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season.

"One of the greatest benefits of going to the NCAA was being older coming into my professional days," the 6-foot, 185-pound Brown said. "I thought I could develop better against the new NHL-style players in the NCAA. ... (Notre Dame) helped me be able to see the hard work it would take to play at the next level."

Brown said he has agreed to terms with the Penguins, but he has not signed an entry-level contract. However, he plans on being in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton when the puck drops for the 2007-08 season.

A past and possibly future teammate, Tim Wallace predicted that Brown will adapt well at the professional level.

"He has got the drive," said Wallace, a forward who spent 32 games in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this past season and played with Brown at Notre Dame. "He loves to win. He knows what it takes to win, period. He is very sound fundamentally. He makes it looks easy at times. David keeps it simple and has fun."

Fifteen years ago, the notion of Brown having fun with hockey was inconceivable.

Now...

"I cannot wait to get on the ice," Brown said. "It is where I feel at home."
.
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_514755.html

83-Steelers-43
06-28-2007, 01:20 PM
Penguins no longer taking season ticket deposits
By Tribune-Review
Thursday, June 28, 2007

A record number of ticket plans has led the Penguins to discontinue taking ticket deposits for full-season and half-season plans, the team announced today.

The Penguins are on the verge of 13,500 full-season ticket equivalent, a club record. Team officials halted deposits to make sure there were seats available for the wildly popular Student Rush ticket program, individual game sales and 6-game and 12-game mini-plans for the upcoming season.

The previous record for full-season equivalents was 12,350, set in 1992-93.

The Penguins' decision effectively creates a waiting list for prospective ticket buyers. Beginning July 9, fans can reserve a spot on the waiting list with a $200 deposit, which can be applied to the purchase price whenever season tickets become available.

The mini-plans -- in six-game and 12-game packages -- will go on sale to the public approximately Aug. 8.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_514883.html

SteelCityMan786
06-28-2007, 01:51 PM
Penguins no longer taking season ticket deposits
By Tribune-Review
Thursday, June 28, 2007

A record number of ticket plans has led the Penguins to discontinue taking ticket deposits for full-season and half-season plans, the team announced today.

The Penguins are on the verge of 13,500 full-season ticket equivalent, a club record. Team officials halted deposits to make sure there were seats available for the wildly popular Student Rush ticket program, individual game sales and 6-game and 12-game mini-plans for the upcoming season.

The previous record for full-season equivalents was 12,350, set in 1992-93.

The Penguins' decision effectively creates a waiting list for prospective ticket buyers. Beginning July 9, fans can reserve a spot on the waiting list with a $200 deposit, which can be applied to the purchase price whenever season tickets become available.

The mini-plans -- in six-game and 12-game packages -- will go on sale to the public approximately Aug. 8.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_514883.html

Good Job Penguin Management. There definantly needs to be some sort of left over tickets for these games. I almost never get to see a game and would like a chance to at least see one live a year. It just goes to show you what last year just did for the team.

83-Steelers-43
06-28-2007, 02:18 PM
Good Job Penguin Management. There definantly needs to be some sort of left over tickets for these games. I almost never get to see a game and would like a chance to at least see one live a year. It just goes to show you what last year just did for the team.

I've never purchased tickets up at the gates before, but If you get to the arena early enough I'm sure you would be able to grab a few tickets. You might also want to hit a weekday game just to be safe.

X-Terminator
06-28-2007, 02:42 PM
That's awesome news, but at the same time, I'm still not happy about being forced out of my section. And I'm still bringing my protest sign to the home opener :wink02:

BTW, just to put this into perspective - those 13,500 plans are just 315 seats less than the Nashville Predators drew per game last season. But yet, according to some, Pittsburgh doesn't care about the Penguins and the team should have moved. :rolleyes:

SteelCityMan786
06-28-2007, 02:50 PM
I've never purchased tickets up at the gates before, but If you get to the arena early enough I'm sure you would be able to grab a few tickets. You might also want to hit a weekday game just to be safe.

I never go to the gates. My family usually has them ordered in advance. We have 2 Ticketmasters near our house.

83-Steelers-43
06-28-2007, 03:07 PM
I never go to the gates. My family usually has them ordered in advance. We have 2 Ticketmasters near our house.

Then you should be A.O.K.

SteelCityMan786
06-28-2007, 03:19 PM
Then you should be A.O.K.

Yep, as long as no one buys them up first. lol. I tried last year to get tickets to 3 seperate regular season game before my brother scored 4 tickets to the Ottawa Playoff game.

83-Steelers-43
06-28-2007, 11:03 PM
Penguins Rookie Minicamp: Letang hopes to stick on Penguins' defense
Friday, June 29, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It was only seven games, but any experience in the NHL makes a player in junior hockey a magnet for questions from teammates.

Defenseman Kris Letang was in that situation last season. He made the Penguins' roster out of training camp and picked up his first two NHL goals before being returned to Val d'Or of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Players there and with Team Canada's entry in the 2007 World Junior Championships wanted to hear about Letang's NHL experience, one aspect in particular.

"The questions all were about the money," Letang said yesterday after joining the Penguins' rookie conditioning camp.

Well, maybe a few other things.

"They said, 'What's the difference between juniors and the NHL?' " Letang said. "I said, 'The guys are fast, quick. The game is faster than junior.' "

Letang, who missed the start of the conditioning camp because he was in Calgary with his Team Canada teammates getting their championship rings, could find himself in the same kind of spotlight this week. He is the only one in the camp who has played in the NHL.

He also is the one who is most likely to make the Penguins' roster coming out of training camp.

There is widespread expectation within and outside the organization that Letang will, or at least has a strong chance to, become one of the team's regular six defensemen in 2007-08.

That is based on his performance at training camp last summer that led the Penguins to include him on their roster to open the season, on what he did after being returned to juniors and the simple fact that it is reasonable to presume he will be one year better.

He had 14 goals, 52 points in 40 games and a plus-minus rating of plus-19 with the Foreurs, was named a QMJHL all-star and won the league's Bouchard Trophy as the top defenseman. At the world juniors, he had six points, all assists, and was named one of Canada's top three players and one of the tournament's top players.

After the junior playoffs, he joined the Penguins' minor-league affiliate, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but was only with the Baby Penguins one game before they got bounced from the American Hockey League playoffs.

"Last year, I was here for one month. I think I learned a lot of things," said Letang, 20, a right-handed shot who was selected by the Penguins in the third round of the 2005 draft. "Right now, I'm training hard to make my place again. Hopefully, it will be to stay here all season."

He pointed to his defensive play, particularly positioning in the defensive zone, as the area in which he needs to improve the most from last year.

"I think I'm very patient with the puck. I can skate very well," Letang said. "That's my game."

While forward Jordan Staal convinced the Penguins to keep him around all season instead of being sent back to juniors, Letang said he quickly got over his diminished playing time and subsequent demotion.

"Maybe when you're not playing too much, 10 minutes a game or something, you lose a little of your confidence," he said. "When I got back [to Val d'Or], I told myself to keep going and work hard and get ready for next year.

"I think I'm more confident. I learned a lot from [Sidney] Crosby, [Evgeni] Malkin, [Sergei] Gonchar, [Mark] Recchi, all these guys.

"I don't put any pressure on me, but I told myself to be ready and be the best I can be for camp. The only thing I want is to make the team and stay here."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07180/798020-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
06-28-2007, 11:07 PM
Pens' Letang ready for spotlight
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, June 29, 2007

Angelo Esposito did not fully understand the joke Thursday when told he was smiling like a butcher's dog inside the Penguins' players lounge at Mellon Arena. However, there was perhaps no better way to describe Esposito's reaction to the delayed arrival of Kris Letang.

After all, it was then that Esposito, the oft-interviewed first-round pick of the Penguins, could step out of the spotlight during this weeklong conditioning camp for prospects.

Yes, Letang was that big of a deal yesterday -- so big that the club's other prospects, including Esposito, went virtually ignored during the third day of this camp.

"Maybe it is the locker," Letang said, speaking from a bench spot usually reserved for Sidney Crosby. "Everybody is used to coming over here to talk with Sid."

By all accounts, Letang should get used to the Penguins' locker room. He figures to be a permanent fixture there this season.

A sweet-shooting, right-handed defenseman, Letang scored twice over seven games with the Penguins this past season before he was returned to junior club Val-d'Or of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. There, he recorded 14 goals and 52 points over 70 games.

"When I went back to my junior club, I did not really think about my time in Pittsburgh," Letang said. "I just wanted to concentrate on the moment and focus on my junior club.

"Thinking about Pittsburgh was not going to do me any good, even though I think now that my time (with the Penguins) helped me a lot."

Letang, 20, said his brief stay with the Penguins showed him how to take a professional approach to his duties with Val-d'Or. As a result, his consistency improved, especially in the defensive zone, and now most Penguins officials believe Letang is ready to contribute regularly in the NHL.

Seemingly, a roster spot will be his to lose at training camp in September. He is widely considered the top prospect within the Penguins' organization.

"I want that spot, so there is not a lot of pressure," Letang said. "I really don't feel any pressure at all."

Letang said he stayed in touch with Crosby and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury during this past season. Those two players, along with his other future teammates, will probably notice a difference in Letang's demeanor.

"Last year, I looked at everybody as a superstar. I thought maybe I had not earned my spot," Letang said. "I am more comfortable now. I am more confident now. I feel like I have earned my chance."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_514983.html

83-Steelers-43
06-28-2007, 11:09 PM
Penguins need a goal scorer

By Joe Starkey
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, June 29, 2007

Only a team that considers itself a serious Stanley Cup contender would shell out $4.5 million to keep two past-their-prime-but-still-useful players for one year.

If this were the trade deadline, Gary Roberts, 41, and Mark Recchi, 39, would be final-piece types, brought in to provide playoff experience, leadership and maybe a little boost on the scoresheet.

The Penguins were operating under a different sort of deadline.

They had exclusive negotiating rights with Roberts and Recchi until July 1. Credit ownership and general manager Ray Shero for being proactive and keeping the two.

If overpaying Recchi - who could earn up to $2 million -- enticed Roberts to stay, so be it.
Hopefully, Recchi will accept a late-career, Bryan Trottier-type role. He and Roberts are versatile, playoff-hardened warriors who've won Stanley Cups.

But the Penguins aren't a serious contender yet. These signings will only make sense if Shero finishes the job -- and for all the talk about improving the defense, the big money should go toward a goal scorer.

Sidney Crosby needs a playmate.

Sure, the Penguins finished third in the NHL in goals during the regular season. Come playoff time, their dearth of scoring depth and Crosby's lack of a prime-time winger were exposed like Mark McGwire in "Juiced."

So was a lack of depth and physicality on defense. The Penguins must upgrade there, too, but not necessarily with a No. 1 or No. 2 guy.

Ryan Whitney needs to become a legit No. 1 defenseman. Sergei Gonchar is a solid No. 2. Brooks Orpik, Kris Letang and Mark Eaton should fit in the top six. Shero can supplement and upgrade his bottom four without blowing the budget.

Up front, he needs to hit a home run.

If it doesn't make sense to do that in free agency, then the Penguins can wait until the trade deadline.

Shero goes into free agency somewhat handcuffed. He cannot put a long-term, lucrative deal on the table because it would cut into his ability to re-sign his young stars as their contracts expire.

There should, however, be nothing to stop Shero from offering somebody a two-year deal worth, say, $8 million. Based on Thursday's news of record season-ticket sales, the revenue stream is flowing. Even if the Penguins sign Crosby and Whitney this summer, they should have ample cap space the next few years.

One name that makes sense is Paul Kariya, who turns 33 in October.

Kariya had only 24 goals last season in Nashville, but has the speed and skills to mesh with Crosby. He could be enticed by the notion of parlaying two years with Crosby into a monster contract elsewhere.

The Penguins also should target somebody such as Viktor Kozlov, 32, who scored 25 goals for the New York Islanders.

Shero has shown he can walk the blurry line between going for broke now and protecting the future. He kept Jordan Staal last season, despite the financial ramifications. He traded prospect Noah Welch for Roberts. He re-signed Roberts and Recchi.

Sometime between now and spring, Shero needs to look after The Kid.

For all we know, a championship banner hangs in the balance.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_514966.html

83-Steelers-43
06-29-2007, 08:07 AM
Kariya and Preds sever ties: http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2920047

Oh would he look nice playing next to Sid. Devastating combo.

Buzz05
06-29-2007, 08:09 AM
Kariya and Preds sever ties: http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2920047

Oh would he look nice playing next to Sid. Devastating combo.

thats an understatement..dont know if it would happen though with the cap. it would be fun to watch though!

83-Steelers-43
06-29-2007, 08:11 AM
thats an understatement..dont know if it would happen though with the cap. it would be fun to watch though!

As SCM and I were discussing last week(?), maybe there is a chance he comes here for a cut in pay in order to play with the likes of Sid, Malkin, Staal and a chance to win a cup. Shero wheeled Kariya in when he was in Nashville, maybe he can do it again here in Pittsburgh. Or........maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part....lol.

I'll take Kariya or Guerin. Kariya first.

Buzz05
06-29-2007, 08:20 AM
I'll take Kariya or Guerin. Kariya first.

its wishful thinking on all our parts!

SteelCityMan786
06-29-2007, 09:11 AM
As SCM and I were discussing last week(?), maybe there is a chance he comes here for a cut in pay in order to play with the likes of Sid, Malkin, Staal and a chance to win a cup. Shero wheeled Kariya in when he was in Nashville, maybe he can do it again here in Pittsburgh. Or........maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part....lol.

I'll take Kariya or Guerin. Kariya first.

I think you're right 83. Last week we were discussing this case. Now Ray has to work his magic.

83-Steelers-43
06-29-2007, 10:50 AM
Rumors according to Buzz........

Regher to Pittsburgh talks dead
Latest Penguin Buzz......

As of this afternoon the Calgary Flames and Pittsburgh Penguins have broken off talks about a potential trade where Robin Regher would be traded to Pittsburgh in exchange for Brooks Orpik a 2nd round pick and a unknown roster player a source close to the situation has told me. The Flames are willing to move Regher but believe the offers they have received are not worth moving Regher at this time despite the possibility of losing Regher to free agency following the 07-08 season. A report in Canada says the Flames have received up to 3 offers regarding Robin Regher. Talks with the Penguins are at a stalemate, The Penguins are obviously exploring all their options but all signs point towards the Penguins exploring the free agent market before pursuing any trades past preliminary talks

Latest Rumors

Despite speculation that Sharks defenseman Scott Hannan will receive a contract of atleast 4-5 million per season, the Penguins will be on the phone with Hannan as soon as free agency begins i have learned.

The Penguins have interest in Vicktor Koslov. Another Russian who is good friends with Sergei Gonchar. Chuck Fletcher is also big fan of Koslov.

Mixed signals on whether the Penguins will make a attempt to sign Paul Kariya but Kariya does have a interest in signing with Pittsburgh according to KDKA. Two weeks ago he did say in a interview on TSN Pittsburgh is a interesting place.

Even if Jason Blake would sign here for 2.5 million, the Penguins have no interest at all. He is a cancer in the locker room i was told today.

Bill Guerin very unlikely.....

Defenseman Danny Markov is not their first choice but he seems like the most logical choice .

Shane Hnidy and Aaron Miller could be last minute options if the Penguins miss out on their potential targets.

Mixed signals on Max Talbot being the long term third line center. He is in the teams long term plans but some in the front office believe the team needs a big third line center who can do it all. Jordan Staal fits that description but he is terrible on draws and needs to be on the top 2 lines.

There is no market for Ryan Malone ......

As always, take it for what it's worth or don't take it all.

SteelCityMan786
06-29-2007, 11:10 AM
How I'd look at things

Trade: There is probably a good chance this is dead. It would be no surprise if it is. That unknown roster player I think would have been someone from either Wheeling or SWB. I don't know who would make good trade usage.

I don't know what to say about Hannan

Koslov might be a good pick up

Ok, so we know kariya wants to come here. Now we just need to see that Ray pulls the trigger.

Not sure I'd want Jason Blake anyway.

I have no clue what to say with the rest of that.

X-Terminator
06-29-2007, 09:29 PM
NHL salary cap rises to $50.3 million for next season

By The Associated Press
Friday, June 29, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) -- The NHL salary cap will rise to $50.3 million per team next season, an increase of $6.3 million from last season, the league and players' union announced today.

It's the second increase under the collective bargaining agreement that ended the yearlong lockout in 2005.

The key issue in the lockout that forced the cancellation of the 2004-05 season was the owners' insistence to include a salary cap and the players' association's unwillingness to accept it. The union finally gave in, and has had a financial windfall.

Teams don't have to spend up to the ceiling, but each club's payroll must be at least $34.3 million. The range from top to bottom is always $16 million

The first season following the lost year featured a cap of $39 million, and that figure rose to $44 million for the 2005-06 season.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_515116.html

83-Steelers-43
06-29-2007, 11:08 PM
Free agency won't bring Pens big deals
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, June 30, 2007

The natural reaction among Penguins fans amid word Friday that the NHL's salary cap will raise $6.3 million to $50.3 million for the 2007-08 season is likely that Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero now possesses that much more money to throw at free agents that could help his upstart club.

Not quite.

"It's not close," Shero said of the Penguins' 2007-08 budget compared to the cap. "That top number has gone up dramatically over the last couple of years."

This is the third consecutive season the salary cap has risen since the end of the NHL lockout when the cap was set at $39 million.

Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement, teams must spend at least $34.3 million in 2007-08. The Penguins will better that, but perhaps not by much. (The team does not disclose its budget for payroll.)

Free agency begins Sunday. Shero could look to upgrade his defense corps, add a scoring-line winger and provide depth in goal.

He has already addressed some needs by bringing back veteran forwards Gary Roberts and Mark Recchi for about $4.5 million total. Those players combined to record 110 points last year. On the open market, two players who combined for similar point production could cost nearly $6 million.

Seemingly the only certainty when it comes to Shero's approach to free agency is that he will stick to a plan based on patience.

"You have to be patient," Shero said. "A lot of teams are not in the first couple of days ... the big splash doesn't always mean you are getting the best player for your team.

"In free agency everybody does their own thing."

Shero's thing will be to start locking up some of his home-grown talent.

His hope is to reach terms this summer on long-term extensions for newly minted captain Sidney Crosby and emerging defenseman Ryan Whitney. Even if that plan plays out, the Penguins will remain in the enviable position of possessing an unmatched core of young talent on the cheap for this coming season.

If signed to an extension Whitney stands to see a bump on his $900,600 salary from last season, but nothing outrageous such as the $4 million plus some clubs might throw at free-agent defenseman Scott Hannan, who totaled 35 fewer points than Whitney's 59 this past season.

No matter what Whitney earns, Crosby, Malkin, Staal and Fleury will each play for base salaries of less than $1 million. Assuming incentives, it is not outrageous to think the Penguins could secure the services of those four players for under $10 million.

That would mean the Penguins get the reigning scoring champion, two of three finalists for Rookie of the Year and a workhorse goaltender -- or 247 points from forwards and 40 wins from a netminder -- for about what the New York Rangers will pay Jaromir Jagr and Martin Straka.

"We deal with where we are in Pittsburgh, and we are fortunate that we have great kids to build around," Shero said. "We have to plan for those kids being paid in the future."

Translation: Do not expect these Penguins to go fishing in the murky waters of supposedly marquee free agents who will command costly deals in terms of money and length.

Note: The Penguins have cut ties with goaltending prospect Bobby Goepfert of St. Cloud State. Shero said the team will explore other goaltending options via college free agents to bolster depth at that position within the organization. Goepfert was the Penguins' sixth-round pick in the 2003 entry draft.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_515167.html

83-Steelers-43
06-29-2007, 11:09 PM
Penguins may play in 'Ice Bowl'
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, June 30, 2007

The NHL wants to stage an outdoor game on Jan. 1, 2008, and the Penguins have informed the league they would be willing to participate -- as the visiting team.

"We were called by the league to see if we were interested in hosting, but we had to decline because all of our focus right now is on the new arena and an event like (an outdoor game) is an enormous task in itself," team vice president of communications Tom McMillan said Friday.

"We would be open-minded to doing something in the future, but only after the arena gets done. But we told the league we would gladly participate as the visitors."

NHL officials would not comment, but the league is believed to favor an outdoor game, tentatively titled "Ice Bowl," that would air on NBC on New Year's Day -- likely opposite college football bowl games.

According to ESPN, the league was thought to favor Pittsburgh, Buffalo or Detroit as a possible site for the "Ice Bowl."

McMillan said that the league's interest in having the Penguins participate in the game was no surprise given the star power of Pittsburgh players such as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

The league reportedly desires at least one U.S. team involved in "Ice Bowl," which would be a spin-off to the Heritage Classic that took place in November 2003 between the Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens. That game, played at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium, drew a crowd of nearly 60,000 and was played in sub-zero temperatures.

The Heritage Classic was the first NHL game played outdoors and attracted the largest live audience to watch a league contest. However, it was not televised live in the United States.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_515144.html

83-Steelers-43
06-29-2007, 11:10 PM
Pens' free agent options
By The Tribune-Review
Saturday, June 30, 2007

Tribune-Review hockey writer Rob Rossi breaks down the best of the free-agent class. Teams can sign free agents beginning Sunday:

Daniel Briere, center
2006-07 team: Sabres
Trib rank: 1
Headed to Pittsburgh?: Dream on...

Chris Drury, center
2006-07 team: Sabres
Trib rank: 2
Headed to Pittsburgh?: Dream until those dreams come true.

Scott Gomez, center
2006-07 team: Devils
Trib rank: 3
Headed to Pittsburgh?: Word is he loves LA.

Ryan Smyth, left wing
2006-07 team: Islanders
Trib rank: 4
Headed to Pittsburgh?: Wants too much for too long.

Sheldon Souray, defense
2006-07 team: Canadiens
Trib rank: 5
Headed to Pittsburgh?: No chance.

Teemu Selanne, right wing
2006-07 team: Ducks
Trib rank: 6
Headed to Pittsburgh?: Quack, quack, quack...

Scott Hannan, defense
2006-07 team: Sharks
Trib rank: 7
Headed to Pittsburgh?: Won't come cheap, but Pens interested.

Jason Blake, right wing
2006-07 team: Islanders
Trib rank: 8
Headed to Pittsburgh?: Goal is to extend Crosby, right?

Paul Kariya, left wing
2006-07 team: Predators
Trib rank: 9
Headed to Pittsburgh?: Rumours worked better as an album.

Brian Rafalski, defense
2006-07 team: Devils
Trib rank: 10
Headed to Pittsburgh?: What role would he fill?

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_515174.html

X-Terminator
07-01-2007, 08:40 AM
There's a new Kid in town

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Landlord seemingly could not hide his happiness as he walked past The Kid on the morning of October 8, 2005. Mario Lemieux was hours from playing in his final home opener. His NHL career was down to its final three months. He presumably did not know all of that then, but he clearly knew something as the wide grin on his face suggested.

A lockout had wiped out the previous NHL season, robbing Lemieux of perhaps a chance to leave the game on his own terms. He was three days removed from his 40th birthday. He could no longer physically do what he had done nearly a decade earlier, when he returned from a one-year hiatus to dominate the NHL as only he could. Or five years back, when he returned from a retirement of three-plus seasons to, well, dominate the league as only he could.

Mentally, though, Lemieux was still sharp. His gift for anticipation still so rare that it rivaled a comic-book created superpower. Maybe this explained the smile he flashed while walking by the locker stall of 18-year-old Sidney Crosby, who was swarmed by members of the media -- from Pittsburgh and beyond.

Lemieux, arguably the most recognized professional athlete in this town's history, was an afterthought on this morning. Crosby was the main attraction. The temperature inside the Penguins' locker room had suddenly shifted from a cool 66 degrees to a hot 87, and Lemieux's smile offered a glimpse into his apparent realization.

Pittsburgh had moved on. The city now belonged to The Kid.

It still does. And if the Penguins have their way, Crosby will own this town for a long time.

Extending circumstances

Crosby is entering the final season of a three-year, entry-level contract he signed shortly after the Penguins made him the top pick in the 2005 NHL draft. All he has done since signing that deal -- which, with performance incentives, has paid him well (almost $4 million annually) over the past two years -- is halt the Penguins' six-season playoff drought, become the youngest athlete to lead any North American professional league in scoring and win acclaim by both his peers and the hockey media as the league's most valuable player.

He will turn 20 on Aug. 7. The Penguins can start talking today to his agent, Pat Brisson, about a lengthy contract extension, under terms of the league's collective bargaining agreement.

So, why might general manager Ray Shero place on the back burner a chance to lock up his newly minted captain and the league's most dynamic offensive weapon?

For starters, Crosby is not going anywhere until at least the summer of 2012, when he would become an unrestricted free agent following his seventh NHL season. Crosby is eligible for restricted free agency after this coming season, but the Penguins will match any offer sheet he might sign.

Of course, there is the not-so-small point that Crosby probably would not sign an offer sheet with another club, anyway.

"Pittsburgh is a place I really enjoy," Crosby said in May. "There are a lot of similarities to where I grew up in Cole Harbour (Nova Scotia), starting with the people. I relate to the people in Pittsburgh. They're just working-class people. When I came there, the way they welcomed me, the way they have treated me -- it was very sincere. That is what I grew up around, so I appreciate it."

Sound like a kid itching to explore his options?

After accepting the captaincy that was vacant since Lemieux's retirement, Crosby matter-of-factly downplayed any perceived rush to reach terms with the Penguins on an extension.

"It is something that will be talked about more and it will definitely be good to get the conversation going," Crosby said in June. "But I am more than confident that everybody will be happy with it."

Crosby possesses the clout necessary to walk into Shero's office this afternoon and demand the highest salary in the NHL. If he did, Shero would have little choice but to acquiesce.

However, Crosby has said he would never make such a demand. In fact, he has informed the Penguins that he would accept less money so Shero can afford to keep stars such as goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and centers Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal when they are due new deals in years to follow.

"The unique thing about us is that we have young guys making their mark," Crosby said. "The Cup is what you play for. That is what I am working for. I want to give Pittsburgh the best chance to bring back the Cup."

Staying put

The Crosby contract will get done before his entry-level deal expires -- not so much because the Penguins wish it but because Crosby genuinely has no desire to leave Pittsburgh.

After all, he is just getting to know the back roads to Mellon Arena from Lemieux's house in Sewickley. And there are some very Pittsburgh things he has to do yet -- take a birthday barhop along Carson Street on the South Side and eat a sandwich bearing his name, for example.

OK, perhaps those are poor examples. After all, Crosby is not Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Actually, Crosby's professed fondness for this city might have everything to do with the fact that no matter how many times he hoists the Stanley Cup over his head while wearing a Penguins sweater, Crosby will never be bigger than Ben, so to speak.

"This city is the perfect balance for me: I can go places and see things and it is not a swarming atmosphere. The people are respectful of my privacy," Crosby said. "Pittsburgh has a more relaxed atmosphere. It makes me comfortable.

"When I want to go out here I just blend in. It is really different than other cities. The biggest thing is respect. The people here have a lot of respect for me. They treat me normal."

Normalcy is important to any professional athlete. But in football-frenzied towns such as Pittsburgh and Denver, normalcy is easier to come by for NHL skaters -- even stars of Crosby and Colorado Avalanche captain Joe Sakic's stature.

Sakic has spent his entire 18-year career with the Avalanche, though six of those seasons were in Quebec City, where the Avalanche was known as the Nordiques. No matter the team name or location, Sakic described himself as "fortunate" to play for only one organization.

He can relate to why Crosby might wish as much for himself.

"If you have an opportunity to do it, you want to do it," Sakic said. "If the organization treats you well, like the Avalanche has for me, you want to be part of that. I grew up with this organization, it is where I started and where I want to finish."

Sakic said he has read columnists opine that the league would be better served if Crosby played in a major hockey market such as New York City, Los Angeles, Toronto or Montreal. Clearly, Sakic does not buy into such belief.

"It is good for the league that he is in Pittsburgh. Places like Pittsburgh need stars just as much as New York and Los Angeles and Toronto," Sakic said. "Not everybody can play in the big cities and markets.

"It was good for the league that in Colorado we were able to keep our stars together for so long and make consistent runs at the Cup. It would be good for the league if Pittsburgh could do that, too.

"There is something to be said for being able to identify specific players with one organization. When people think of the Penguins, Sidney Crosby comes to mind immediately. It was that way when Mario played, too. And that is as it should be."

Kid's playpen

Upon drafting Crosby in 2005, Penguins officials privately referred to their proposed new arena as "The House That Sid Will Build." There was more than a hint of truth in that tag.

"You see a guy like Sidney -- you always have to come back to him," Tampa Bay star Vincent Lecavalier said. "To do what he has done is pretty incredible. It's something that is nice to see, because if he was not in Pittsburgh I am not sure there would be a team there."

Lecavalier, who this past season paced the league with 52 goals, has spent each of his eight NHL seasons with the Lightning. Though linked to trade speculation nearly each offseason, he recently reiterated his desire to finish where he started.

"When you get drafted by a team and you come to that city, like Sidney with Pittsburgh and me in Tampa, you want to feel a connection," Lecavalier said. "Sidney clearly feels a connection with Pittsburgh. We have talked about it. Pittsburgh is where he is basically growing up, like with me in Tampa. That stays with you. It makes it hard to think about leaving because the place becomes like home."

The Penguins' new home will probably open in 2010. By then, they might have another Cup banner to hang from the rafters. Conceivably, a statue paying tribute to Lemieux will prove a popular gathering place for Penguins fans converge on the facility.

Crosby could not contain his happiness in May when presented with such a possibility.

"That would be awesome," Crosby said. "We want to have a lot of winning years in that place. It is going to be our home for a long time."

The same might be said for Pittsburgh and Crosby.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_515281.html

X-Terminator
07-01-2007, 08:41 AM
Lecavalier believes Pens' Crosby worthy of captaincy

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sidney Crosby will excel as the youngest captain in NHL history. No less an authority than the league's previous youngest captain believes as much.

"There is definitely more responsibility when you get that (captain's) letter, but he has proven that he can do it," Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier said. "Every year he is going to get better and take more leadership. Pittsburgh is a young team and he is definitely ready to lead (it)."

Crosby was 19 years and 287 days when he accepted the Penguins' captaincy last month. Lecavalier, now 27, was 19 years and 324 days when he was chosen as Tampa's captain in March 2000.

Lecavalier was stripped of his captaincy due to a contract dispute in 2001-02 that forced him to miss time at the beginning of the season.

"That was tough," Lecavalier said. "I had to weigh something that was personal and important to me against leading my team. You live with a decision like that for a long time. We were a very young team, though."

Recent talks with Crosby have left Lecavalier convinced that the Penguins' young leader will handle the captain's gig perfectly.

"He is the best player in the league, but maybe more important is that he respects other players, his teammates and the game itself," Lecavalier said. "Sidney is going to be his own kind of leader, just like he is his own player. I would not get too caught up in trying to draw comparisons -- just watch him, and know that he is in control."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_515282.html

83-Steelers-43
07-01-2007, 12:59 PM
Penguins await eligibility decision by defensive prospect
Sunday, July 01, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins haven't heard yet whether defenseman Alex Goligoski will pass on his final season of eligibility at the University of Minnesota and turn pro, and might not for at least a few more days.

Although Goligoski had been expected to inform the Penguins of his plans today, he has not done so and team officials -- stressing that there never was a deadline for learning what Goligoski plans to do -- said this afternoon that they might well have further discussions with him during the coming week.

Goligoski, whom the Penguins chose with the 61st selection in the 2004 entry draft, had nine goals and 30 assists in 34 games with the Golden Gophers during the 2006-07 season.

If he elects to leave college this summer, Goligoski is expected to serve an apprenticeship in the American Hockey League before contending for a roster spot with the Penguins.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07182/798609-100.stm

83-Steelers-43
07-01-2007, 01:02 PM
From the Fourth Period......

1:28: 7 teams have inquired about Scott Hannan and he has narrowed his field down to 4.

12:59: Up to 6 teams are "serious" contenders for Paul Kariya i have just been told. Montreal is looking for a number one center in Briere or a possbile trade for Marleau and second tier winger. Guerin or Kariya could be possbilites.

12:53: The Penguins offer to Scott Hannan is a 4yr deal worth 3.5 -3.8 million.

12:34: mixed signals are whether the Penguins are seeking to add a face off specialist.

12:12: The Penguins are going after Andy Sutton. The Fourthperiod.com is also reporting the Penguins are going hard after Hannan and Sutton.

12:05: The Penguins are looking to add a face-off specialist

83-Steelers-43
07-01-2007, 01:15 PM
Penguins agree to terms with D Whitney
Restricted free agent Ryan Whitney has agreed to terms on a new six-year, $24 million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
TSN.ca Staff
7/1/2007 2:09:32 PM

Restricted free agent Ryan Whitney has agreed to terms on a new contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Whitney tied for sixth in scoring among NHL defencemen this past season with 59 points. He had 14 goals and 45 assists in 81 games.

Ryan Whitney had surgery Thursday on his left wrist in April and is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in September.

Whitney, Pittsburgh's first-round pick (fifth overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, has scored 20 goals and 97 points in 149 career games.

Details to follow.

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=212417&hubname=nhl

83-Steelers-43
07-01-2007, 01:18 PM
Pens Add Goaltending Depth
Published July 1, 2007 02:53 am in Team News

According to a source, the Penguins have signed former Boston University goaltender John Curry to a 2-year entry level contract.

The team will also officially announce the signing of goaltender David Brown today.

http://www.penguinsbuzz.com/full.php?subaction=showfull&id=1183283593&archive=&start_from=&ucat=3

and..........

The former Notre Dame goalie and Hobey Baker Award finalist ended his waiting game Thursday when he agreed to terms on a contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the NHL team that drafted him in the eighth round of the 2004 Draft with the 228th pick.

http://www.southbendtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070630/NDSports04/706300336/-1/SPORTS/CAT=NDSports04

83-Steelers-43
07-01-2007, 01:31 PM
Brown isnt a major suprise, was a Penguins 8th round draft pick in 2004 and is coming out of the Hockey program at Notre Dame.

John Curry is a little bit more of a suprise, he was a Undrafted Prospect who put up stellar numbers (24-8-4) for Boston in 205/06 but missed most of last season with an injury.

83-Steelers-43
07-01-2007, 04:43 PM
More rumors from the Buzz.....

Latest Rumors on Kariya, Hannan
Paul Kariya's final three teams are Pittsburgh, Vancouver, and Toronto. The Leafs are rumored to be offering the most money per season. The Penguins are offering 3 years/ It is believed Kariya is not very enticed about signing with the Leafs because of all the media crazyness. Kariya is a very private guy and is a reason he was very content in Nashville. Money usually wins out but Kariya made his money in Anaheim and at this point in his career is looking for the best situation.

Scott Hannan appears he could be on the verge of signing in Pittsburgh. When a player has his teams narrowed down to 2 or 3 teams you never know how its going to play out. I'm still hearing they have offered a 4yr deal around 3.5 million. Brian Rafalski signing in Detroit means Danny Markov will not be returning. The Penguins have inquired about Markov but no formal offer has been made.

Well see how these situations play out .......

SteelCityMan786
07-01-2007, 05:09 PM
Looks good for the Penguins. He seems to want to come here. As I have said, PULL THE TRIGGER RAY!

83-Steelers-43
07-01-2007, 05:12 PM
And on the worst day in Pittsburgh sports history......Michel Ouellet has signed a two year deal with Tampa Bay worth $1.2 million and $1.3 million. All is lost!!! The terrorists have won!!! :toofunny:

X-Terminator
07-01-2007, 06:59 PM
This has been a frustrating as hell day for me. Both the Rangers (signing Scott Gomez and Chris Drury) and Flyers (signed Daniel Briere, traded for Jason Smith and Joffrey Lupul, to go along with Kimmo Timonen/Scott Hartnell) have improved themselves greatly, while Ray Shero continues to sit in his chair with his thumb up his ass. How about waking the fsck up Ray!!!!

83-Steelers-43
07-01-2007, 07:11 PM
Looks good for the Penguins. He seems to want to come here. As I have said, PULL THE TRIGGER RAY!

SCM, for a Penguin fan, the one positive I can take away with the current situation is that Kariya and Hannan are still on the radar. That's fine with me. I'm glad Shero hasn't jumped in on the overpayment so far, especially on the forwards.

51 million for Gomez?
8 years 62 million for Briere...

Christ...

Anyways, we are 8 hours into FA, I prefer to let things shake out a little bit. For all I know they (Shero) could be working out the deal as we speak.

X-Terminator
07-01-2007, 07:36 PM
Well, now that Hannan's gone, Andy Sutton is pretty much the only D-man left that I'd want that the Pens could afford. Souray's the best available right now, but no way he comes here.

This entire day has bit the big one.

SteelCityMan786
07-01-2007, 07:46 PM
SCM, for a Penguin fan, the one positive I can take away with the current situation is that Kariya and Hannan are still on the radar. That's fine with me. I'm glad Shero hasn't jumped in on the overpayment so far, especially on the forwards.

51 million for Gomez?
8 years 62 million for Briere...

Christ...

Anyways, we are 8 hours into FA, I prefer to let things shake out a little bit. For all I know they (Shero) could be working out the deal as we speak.

That's for sure 83.

They could be working on it now and don't want the news to get out.

83-Steelers-43
07-01-2007, 07:53 PM
That's for sure 83.

They could be working on it now and don't want the news to get out.

Well, Hannan's gone. I would like to see Brad Stuart now that Hannan is gone

SteelCityMan786
07-01-2007, 08:00 PM
Well, Hannan's gone. I would like to see Brad Stewart now that Hannan is gone

I wish we had the money for souray.

83-Steelers-43
07-01-2007, 08:18 PM
I wish we had the money for souray.

You, me and the rest of Pens nation. We'll see how it pans out. I remember when Eaton came here there were a good number of fans saying "WTF?". He turned out to be a pretty solid defenseman IMO.

Plus, let's see what Kariya does. If the Kariya deal doesn't happen I wouldn't mind seeing Sykora or Guerin.

X-Terminator
07-01-2007, 08:22 PM
I wish we had the money for souray.

Souray would be great, but in all honesty, even if they did have the money, it wouldn't make sense to sign him for the simple fact that it could prevent the Pens from retaining Malkin and/or Staal down the road. I understand that is what is going into Ray's thinking right now, along with the fact that the Pens still can't max out the salary cap even with the extra money from season tickets next year, and thus can't sign top-tier FAs. A guy like Souray will probably get at least $7 million per year in a 5-6 year deal. But it is still extremely frustrating to watch other teams go out and improve by leaps and bounds while the Pens have to settle for Dany Sabourin.

83-Steelers-43
07-01-2007, 08:34 PM
Well, Hannan's gone. I would like to see Brad Stuart now that Hannan is gone

Or Markov.

83-Steelers-43
07-01-2007, 08:44 PM
Rumors from the Buzz...

Updated: 9:21 - Toronto is out of the running in the Paul Kariya sweepstakes. Down to Vancouver and Pittsburgh. Both are offering less money than Toronto, MTL and St.Louis but it is believed Kariya was not interested in going to Toronto because of the media crazyness....

Penguins are now talking to Danny Markov and Andy Sutton

SteelCityMan786
07-01-2007, 09:05 PM
Rumors from the Buzz...

Kariya and Sutton sound pretty good right now.

Petesburgh66
07-01-2007, 10:01 PM
Souray is a defensive liability. He is just like McCabe in Toronto. Players like this never live up to their huge contracts.

I would like the Penguins to go after a couple of stay at home D, as that is one area that needs improvement. Stuart and Tom Preissing would be good fits and wouldn't cost much in comparison to the money thrown around today.

83-Steelers-43
07-02-2007, 05:54 AM
And Kariya signs with the Blues......

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_515436.html

3 years 18 million?!?!?! LOL. Personally, the highest I would have gone is 15 million. I'm glad Shero did not bite. I have no problem sitting back watching these teams completely overpay for these guys. It's a f-ing joke.

83-Steelers-43
07-02-2007, 05:56 AM
Pens reach agreeements with Sydor, Sykora
Monday, July 02, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

It took all day -- and much of the night -- but Penguins general manager Ray Shero reached contract agreements with two veteran free agents, defenseman Darryl Sydor and right winger Petr Sykora.

Both were unrestricted and accepted two-year contracts. Financial terms were not immediately available.

Sydor, 35, had five goals and 16 assists in 74 games with Dallas last season. He no longer is the offensive force he was earlier in his career, but could land a spot on the Penguins' No. 2 power-play unit.

Sykora, 30, is coming off a 22-goal, 31-assist season in Edmonton. He is fast and skilled, but suspect defensively.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07183/798751-100.stm

83-Steelers-43
07-02-2007, 06:22 AM
Two solid signings in my opinion. These are the type of signings Penguin fans should expect. A two or three year deal so the contract expires before we have to pay the likes of Malkin or Staal and guys who are considered mid-level FA's.

With Sykora's history with Malkin, I would have to believe there will be some interesting chemistry going on there. He also has the speed to hang with the likes of Crosby. It's also comforting to know that he's not going on 34 or 35 years of age.

IMO, Sydor is a pretty solid defenseman. Put him out on the 2nd unit PP instead of Eaton or Orpik. I'll take both of these deals considering what our salary is going to look like down the road. That's something Ray Shero has to take into consideration before he decides to blow 18 million for 3 years on Paul Kariya. Good job Ray and keep up the good work. Sign a few odds and ends here in the next few days and we are good to go. No B&M'ing from this Penguin fan.

SteelCityMan786
07-02-2007, 07:36 AM
I'm very impressed. Good Job Ray.

Buzz05
07-02-2007, 07:41 AM
is it just me or are the Pens getting stronger this off season...im really liking what i see out of Shero...the next steps...

1) Sign Sid for the long hall
2) Sign Therron for the long hall
3) Bring the cup back to the Burgh!

SteelCityMan786
07-02-2007, 07:43 AM
is it just me or are the Pens getting stronger this off season...im really liking what i see out of Shero...the next steps...

1) Sign Sid for the long hall
2) Sign Therron for the long hall
3) Bring the cup back to the Burgh!

All 3 of them would be very good. and no, it isn't just you.

X-Terminator
07-02-2007, 07:57 AM
Sydor's deal is 2 years, $5 million.

83-Steelers-43
07-02-2007, 08:15 AM
is it just me or are the Pens getting stronger this off season...im really liking what i see out of Shero...the next steps...

1) Sign Sid for the long hall
2) Sign Therron for the long hall
3) Bring the cup back to the Burgh!

I agree completely with your Shero comment.

IMO, the next steps......

1) Pick up another defenseman (maybe Markov, Stuart or Sutton). The rumors for the last two weeks are either Sutton or Markov. I see no reason why we wouldn't still be pursuing those two options. I'm hoping Stuart or Markov.

2) I wouldn't be surprised to see a trade of some sorts to fill out some depth on our wings. Maybe a 3rd liner? While Filewich or Stone have a legitimate shot next season, I would still like to see us grab somebody with NHL experience who can net you a few goals. For the record, I'm not stating or expecting a blockbuster trade by any stretch of the imagination.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if #2 doesn't happen. #1 I see happening. Just a hunch.

83-Steelers-43
07-02-2007, 09:31 AM
Buzz, it's also worth noting that both Sydor and Sykora both have tons of playoff experience, a combined 239 games played and mutliple Cup wins.

X-Terminator
07-02-2007, 09:34 AM
Well, I can't really argue against either signing. Sykora is a pure goal scorer, which is what the Pens really needed. No, he isn't Kariya or Drury, but the Pens could have done worse. I feel the only reason he didn't put up better numbers in Edmonton last season was because of his centermen - neither Jarret Stoll nor Shawn Horcoff are what I'd consider top-line centers. He should easily score 30 goals playing with either Sid or Evgeni. As far as Sydor goes, I'd have preferred someone younger, but he can certainly get the job done. Having played in tight defensive systems in Dallas and Tampa, and played very well, the man simply knows how to play defense. He should be a nice fit with Kris Letang should they decide to pair them together.

It still sucks that the Pens can't get the cream of the crop FAs, but when I think of how many teams would love to have our collection of young talent, it makes me feel so much better. :thumbsup:

Buzz05
07-02-2007, 09:47 AM
I wouldn't be surprised at all if #2 doesn't happen. #1 I see happening. Just a hunch.

I hope #2 happens...Before Therron this team was crap..its his play and style that let Sid loose and this team to begin winning. If he isnt signed on for the long haul then its going to be a big mistake.

83-Steelers-43
07-02-2007, 09:49 AM
All 3 of them would be very good. and no, it isn't just you.

LOL, yeah I just got back from a few other Penguin/hockey related boards which I tend to stay away from for obvious reasons. That fantastic official board which shuts down if there are more than five people on there at the same time sounds as if the Hindenburg went down at Point State Park. Talk about doom and gloom with some of these people. I wouldn't be suprised if these are the same people who decided to jump on after the early 90's or walked out in the early/mid 2000's. Christ ol' mighty. You would have thought we just signed Steve McKenna and Ian Moran to long term deals. The doom and gloomand the yelling is amusing to watch though. Comments such as "Shero is an idiot" was thrown around a few times. Smart fans, let me tell you.

If some of these people were expecting Briere I suggest they pick a different sport to follow. Like I said before SCM, we have players already in place (unlike Philly before yesterday) and we have a cap to worry about down the road. I'm anxious to see any of the upcoming moves from Shero. Let's Git-R-Done.

83-Steelers-43
07-02-2007, 10:03 AM
I hope #2 happens...Before Therron this team was crap..its his play and style that let Sid loose and this team to begin winning. If he isnt signed on for the long haul then its going to be a big mistake.

Oh I think they will sign Therrien. I'm not sure about the "long haul" part, but I see them resigning him.

The reason why I have my doubts about #2 occuring is because we already resigned Recchi/Roberts and added Sykora to the mix. With the departures of Petro, Omelette, Ekman and Thorburn, Shero might head in the direction of bringing up some of the WBS talent (Stone and Filewich) and finally give some of these kids a shot. I felt Filewich should have gotten a chance last season, but IMO, between Therrien's love affair with Ouellet and worrying about Recchi's ego if he was dropped down to a third liner/role player, that chance was never given to Filewich.

At this point, I would rather see us grab a defenseman over a winger. I think we can grab a winger later in the season (trade deadline) if need be. Maybe throw a Malone and (insert name/pick here) together and see what we can get for him.

Just my opinion and maybe wishful thinking on my part with the defenseman.

83-Steelers-43
07-02-2007, 10:06 AM
Pens also resign Scuderi: http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=326958

This signing may have put Melichar on the next plane out of Pittsburgh...

SteelCityMan786
07-02-2007, 12:17 PM
Pens also resign Scuderi: http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=326958

This signing may have put Melichar on the next plane out of Pittsburgh...

http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/nwa_747_400a2_1.jpg

Don't worry. Northwest Airlines is flying him to the nearest airport to his hometown anyway.

pittsburghp8baller
07-02-2007, 02:07 PM
From PittsburghPenguins.com

Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero announced that the Pittsburgh Penguins have signed defensemen Darryl Sydor, right wing Petr Sykora and goaltender Dany Sabourin

Sydor, 35, skated in 74 games with the Dallas Stars last season, collecting 21 points (five goals, 16 assists), along with 36 penalty minutes. He posted a plus-or-even rating in 52 of his 74 games with the Stars, while finishing fourth among Dallas defensemen averaging 20:08 on the ice.

“Sydor brings additional skill to our defensive corps along with invaluable veteran leadership to our young hockey club,” Shero said. “Darryl has proven his dependability throughout his NHL career and anytime you can add a multiple Stanley Cup winner to a team like ours it is a bonus.”

The 6-1, 211-pound defenseman is a two-time Stanley Cup winner, hoisting the Cup in 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning and in 1999 as a member of the Dallas Stars. He has played in 74-or-more games in 13 of his 15 NHL seasons and is three games shy of 1,100 in his NHL career.

The two-time All Star (1999, 1998) has recorded 30-or-more points in eight of his 15 NHL seasons, while registering a career-high 48 points during the 1998-99 and 1996-97 seasons. He has recorded 30-or-more assists on five occasions collecting a career-high 40 assists during his 1996-96 campaign.

Sydor has skated in 1,097 career NHL contests, collecting 471 points (94 goals, 377 assists), along with 696 career penalty minutes. He has collected 56 points (nine goals, 47 assists) in 151 career NHL post season matches. The Edmonton, Alberta native was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in the first round, seventh overall, in the 1990 NHL Draft.

Sykora, 30, appeared in all 82 games last season with the Edmonton Oilers, finishing tied for first in scoring on the club with 53 points. He led the team in goals with 22 and finished third on the team with 31 assists. His 22 goals marked the seventh time in his career he has eclipsed the 20-goal mark. He led the Oilers with six game-winning goals last season, tying for first on the team with six power play tallies.

“Petr is a talented forward who can play in all situations,” Shero said. “Petr joining our hockey club provides us with another talented player that will compliment our current group of forwards. He brings additional veteran experience and adds another Stanley Cup tested player to our roster.”

The 6-0, 190-pound forward captured the Stanley Cup in 1999-2000 as a member of the New Jersey Devils and was a Stanley Cup finalist with the Anaheim Ducks during the 2002-03 Finals. He has registered 30-or-more goals on two occasions recording a career-high 35 goals during the 2000-01 season. Sykora has reached the 50-point mark on eight occasions, posting a career-high 81 points also during the 2000-01 season

Sykora has skated in 88 career playoff contests, tallying 26 goals and 33 assists for 59 points. He finished fourth in the NHL in playoff scoring during the 2000-01 playoffs collecting 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) in 25 contests. His 10 goals ranked third during the post-season that year and ranked sixth overall.

The Plzen, Czech native played along side current Penguins Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar during the 2004-05 season in Russia with Magnitogorsk. He has skated in 764 career NHL games, recording 247 goals, 318 assists for 565 points. He was originally selected by the New Jersey Devils in the first round, 18th overall, in the 1995 Draft.

Sabourin, 26, begins his second stint with the Penguins organization after first signing with the club as a free agent in August of 2005. He spent the 2006-07 season with the Vancouver Canucks organization posting a 2-4-1 record and a 2.63 goals against average in nine appearances.

The 6-2, 190-pound native of Val d’Or, Quebec appeared in one game with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2005-06 season. In that same season, he compiled a 30-14-4 record with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The 30 wins set a club record and ranked second in the American Hockey League (AHL). Sabourin earned the Aldege ‘Baz’ Bastien Award as the top goaltender in the AHL and was selected to the AHL’s First All-Star Team. In addition, he set Wilkes-Barre/Scranton team records for consecutive wins (nine), consecutive road wins (nine), and longest unbeaten streak (nine).

Sabourin was originally selected in the fourth round (108th overall) by the Calgary Flames in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

83-Steelers-43
07-03-2007, 08:23 AM
1) Sign Sid for the long hall

Discussions with agent Pat Brisson on a new deal for Sidney Crosby could begin this week, Shero said yesterday. And they won't necessarily drag on for long.

Most likely, they will amount to Shero figuratively, if not literally, handing Brisson a blank contract form and asking that a dollar amount and duration be filled in. The hard truth is that when dealing with a player who already has done so much for his franchise -- and who is the cornerstone of its future -- management has no significant leverage.

"I'm not sure what the expectations are going to be," Shero said. "We'll more listen than anything, and we'll see where we end up. I think the thing that's clear is that we want to keep Sidney for as long as we can, or as long as he wants to stay."

The NHL's labor agreement allows Crosby to earn 20 percent of the team's salary-cap ceiling -- $50.3 million for 2007-08 -- and he isn't likely to get a penny less unless he voluntarily accepts a reduced salary to enhance management's chances of keeping the Penguins' exceptional core of young talent intact.

Such a gesture probably would not be welcomed by the NHL Players' Association because it could have a chilling effect on other players' earnings -- who would want to be the guy who had to argue that he's worth more than Crosby? -- but it's conceivable that Crosby would settle for less than he's entitled to.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07184/798875-61.stm

Buzz05
07-03-2007, 08:31 AM
Saaaawwwweeeet! Get it done...the future is now

83-Steelers-43
07-03-2007, 09:04 AM
Don't worry. Northwest Airlines is flying him to the nearest airport to his hometown anyway.

Last night I heard on a local sports show that the Florida Panthers are close to signing Melichar.

83-Steelers-43
07-03-2007, 09:08 AM
Saaaawwwweeeet! Get it done...the future is now

I also heard from the Trib (and on local sports shows), that Crosby would take a cut in pay in order to keep Staal and Malkin here in Pittsburgh. Once again, CLASS.

SteelCityMan786
07-03-2007, 09:09 AM
Last night I heard on a local sports show that the Florida Panthers are close to signing Melichar.

I guess his flight is going to sunrise Florida.

SteelCityMan786
07-03-2007, 09:56 PM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07184/798980-100.stm

Penguins sign Notre Dame goalie

Tuesday, July 03, 2007
By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins signed goalie David Brown to an entry-level contract today.

Financial terms were not immediately available.

Brown, 22, is expected to compete for a job with the Penguins' American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre this season. He was an eighth-round draft choice in 2004.

In 2006-07 Brown was 30-6-3 at Notre Dame. He led the NCAA with a goals-against average of 1.58, while ranking second in save percentage at .931.

83-Steelers-43
07-04-2007, 10:01 AM
Thank you Joe Starkey.......:cheers:

Free agency good for Pens, NHL

By Joe Starkey
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The first few days of NHL free agency were infinitely more entertaining than the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Three observations:

? The Penguins did just fine.

? The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers have gotten better -- in the Flyers' case, much better -- and that's good for the Penguins and for the league.

? The Flyers and Rangers overspent and could face salary cap ramifications down the road.

First, the Penguins.

They needed a scoring winger and a defenseman. Paul Kariya and Scott Hannan would have been nice, but those two went for the ludicrous cost of $36 million over seven years.

Average combined salary -- $10.5 million.

Penguins general manager Ray Shero opted for sanity and still made some major upgrades. Petr Sykora and Darryl Sydor will make a total of $10 million over four years.

Average combined salary -- $5 million.

Think about it like this: Sykora replaced Michel Ouellet, and Sydor replaced Josef Melichar.

What's not to like about that?

Kariya only had two more goals than the 30-year-old Sykora last season and is two years older.

Sydor, 35, has won multiple Cups. He's lost a step, but he'll move the puck quickly and accurately.

Meanwhile, Shero signed potential No. 1 defenseman Ryan Whitney at the bargain rate of $24 million over six years and might have Crosby locked up long-term before the summer's out.

If that happens, the summer must be considered a smashing success.

Elsewhere in the suddenly rollicking Atlantic Division, the Flyers and Rangers are back to their free-spending ways.

Philly's been rebuilding since the end of its hideous regular season. Defensemen Kimmo Timonen and Jason Smith, forwards Scott Hartnell and Daniel Briere and goaltender Martin Biron, among others, have stepped aboard.

Three of those guys -- Timonen, Smith and Briere -- were captains on their former teams.

The Penguins will not go 8-0 against the Flyers again this season, but really, what fun was that?

A healthy, heated competition should make it more enjoyable for fans in both cities. It also gives the NHL a front-line rivalry and the Penguins a team to measure themselves against.

That said, the Flyers might come to regret signing Timonen and Hartnell to deals worth a combined 12 years and $63 million. And that was nothing compared to Briere, whose free-agent deal is worth $52 million over eight years.

Briere, who turns 30 in October, had a breakout season with 95 points, but there's no telling what might happen to his numbers now that he's been extricated from Buffalo's breakneck system.

Drury and Gomez also are candidates for the All-Overpaid Team.

Drury, 30, has never scored 70 points in a season. He signed with the Rangers for five years and $35.25 million.

Gomez has scored more than 70 points only once in his seven-year career. Yet the Rangers saw fit to lavish him with a seven-year, $51.5 million deal.

Even if they overspent, the Flyers and Rangers should be contenders.

For a league whose past three finals have pitted Tampa Bay-Calgary, Carolina-Edmonton and Anaheim-Ottawa, that can only be considered good news.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_515708.html

83-Steelers-43
07-04-2007, 10:03 AM
Penguins forward Kennedy faces new obstacles
By Keith Barnes
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Tyler Kennedy would have been a long shot to make the Penguins' opening-night roster even if the organization had maintained its status quo in free agency.

He would have had to severely outplay highly regarded forwards Jonathan Filewich and Ryan Stone during training camp to move up the depth chart enough to be considered for a chance to remain in Pittsburgh.

Now that the team has picked up 30-goal scorer Petr Sykora, the 21-year-old right wing really will have his work cut out for him.

"I just want to focus on my own thing and focus on doing what I have to do on the ice," Kennedy said. "All I can do is perform like I can."

Last season, Kennedy's first as a professional, it took some time before he allowed his natural abilities to take over. After spending four years of junior hockey at Sault Ste. Marie playing center, the 2004 fourth-round draft pick was converted to right wing and had to adjust to a variation in his defensive responsibilities, something he did well enough to lead the team with a plus-15 rating.

"He's better defensively on the wing than at center," Wilkes-Barre assistant coach Dan Bylsma said. "He was struggling down low defensively and we wanted to alleviate some of that pressure in his game, and we put him on the wing where he did really well and even turned out to be a good penalty killer for us."

In his first 40 games, Kennedy was among the team leaders with 12 goals and 37 points, but he was never able to take the ice after that. He sat out the final two months of the season and the Calder Cup playoffs because of a sports hernia that eventually required surgery.

"I never really had a major injury and I wasn't really sure how to take it," Kennedy said. "But my parents helped me out a lot and so did the organization, so it wasn't that bad."

Not only did the injury stop his season, it stunted his development and moved him to the outskirts of the team's radar.

"He missed a half season, and a half season in your first year as a pro is a very significant chunk," Bylsma said. "There's a lot of learning going on in terms of work ethic and what's expected and he learned a whole lot in that first half of the year. He was really starting to come on and he was becoming a guy that we were starting to count on to make plays."

Despite missing a huge opportunity, Kennedy was able to help himself with his performance at the team's weeklong rookie camp. Though it was only a month after he underwent successful surgery, he skated well and earned an invitation to the Penguins' training camp, which opens Sept. 13.

"I think I have to get a lot stronger, a lot faster and get a better shot," Kennedy said. "I'm not really sure what they're thinking, I just know that I had to keep going hard and keep performing every night."

Still, no matter how well he performs, Kennedy may get caught up in a number game. Sykora's addition adds another talented forward to the organization's stable and, while Kennedy may have an NHL future, it may cloud his present.

"It would be foolish to count on Tyler Kennedy to score 30 goals in the National Hockey League, and Petr Sykora is a different story," Bylsma said. "I don't think it holds Tyler back from his progress. He needs to keep improving and, if he does, he'll be on the radar screen. He's competing with Filewich and Stone for a spot or being the first call-up guy, and that's not changed with (the addition of) Petr Sykora."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_515693.html

83-Steelers-43
07-04-2007, 10:05 AM
Sydor's game matures with age
Penguins eager to see if veteran defenseman fits with Letang
Wednesday, July 04, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Darryl Sydor has been around the NHL for many years, so he knows all about defensemen like Kris Letang.

Kids whose game is built on skating and scoring, who command attention and respect largely because of their ability to handle the puck and produce points.

And Sydor should be familiar with guys like that, because he used to see one on a regular basis.

In the mirror.

Sydor, who accepted a two-year contract from the Penguins earlier this week, was the seventh player chosen in the 1990 NHL entry draft, and Los Angeles claimed him then mostly because of the numbers he put up while playing for Kamloops in the Western Hockey League.

The Kings' faith in Sydor proved to be well-founded, but his game has evolved over the years.

These days, he is steady, not spectacular. Reliable, not reckless. It doesn't make for as many highlights, but Sydor's solid work in his own zone is part of the reason his teams -- most recently, Dallas -- seem to win a lot.

"He's a mature player now," Penguins general manager Ray Shero said. "He's played with a real good team in Dallas, he played with a good team in Tampa. I think he'll be a good fit for us."

And perhaps a good partner for Letang, although that decision won't be made until training camp, when the coaching staff gets to see how those two mesh and whether they develop any chemistry.

"I don't know whether it's [Mark] Eaton or Darryl," Shero said. "We might try [Sydor with Letang] early in camp and find out, 'Boy, that's not a good fit.' "

Sydor doesn't object to the idea of mentoring a gifted young defenseman, noting that he benefited from the guidance of accomplished veterans when he broke into the NHL.

"That's what it's all about," he said. "I came into the league and played with Larry Robinson for a little bit, and my other partner was Charlie Huddy. Those guys helped me."

That isn't the only aspect of Sydor's career that is coming full circle. He belongs to a group of Kamloops alums -- as does Penguins right winger Mark Recchi -- that has expressed interest in purchasing the franchise.

"I'd just like to get into that a little bit, on the business side of it, and see if it would interest me for life after hockey," Sydor said. "But I think I still have a lot of years left [as a player]."

Coincidentally, Recchi likely had something to do with him spending at least the next two of those with the Penguins. They speak fairly often, but a while back Sydor noticed that Recchi was asking about his future plans, like whether he thought the Stars would try to retain him and how he planned to approach free agency.

Although the Penguins weren't the only team to inquire about Sydor when free agency began at noon Sunday -- "We got some good calls from some teams out West," he said -- they were more aggressive than most.

And while Scott Hannan, who ultimately opted to sign with Colorado, would have provided a physical presence that Sydor will not, he also would have cost nearly twice as much as the $2.5 million the Penguins will give Sydor each of the next two seasons.

Shero said Sydor "can give us some quality minutes," and noted that, in addition to taking a regular shift, the Penguins expect to use him on the No. 2 power-play unit and to kill penalties.

They included a no-trade clause in his contract, evidence that they agree that not everything about Sydor has changed as much his profile and offensive impact have.

"I'm still a player who's going to go through the wall," he said. "I have that drive, that commitment to the game."

No matter how different his game is now.

NOTES -- Goalie Nolan Schaefer, who played for the Penguins' minor-league team in Wilkes-Barre after being acquired from San Jose at the trade deadline, signed with Minnesota as a free agent. ... The Penguins signed Notre Dame goalie David Brown, an eighth-round draft choice in 2004, to an entry-level contract. Brown, 22, is expected to compete for a job with Wilkes-Barre after going 30-6-3 last season, when he led the NCAA with a goals-against average of 1.58. ... Recently re-signed defenseman Rob Scuderi's assessment of his place with the Penguins: "I'm not going to win a Norris Trophy anytime soon, but I think I fill a role that every team needs."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07185/799284-61.stm

Buzz05
07-05-2007, 07:11 AM
I really like what the Pens have done. They have gotten older while still staying young (if that makes sense). They went out and got the vets needed to help Sid and the gang march through the playoffs. I truely believe all that stopped them last year was a lack of playoff experience...that will not be the case this year.

SteelCityMan786
07-05-2007, 07:28 AM
I really like what the Pens have done. They have gotten older while still staying young (if that makes sense). They went out and got the vets needed to help Sid and the gang march through the playoffs. I truely believe all that stopped them last year was a lack of playoff experience...that will not be the case this year.

:iagree: No doubt about it. This team is going to be more experienced this year. Also, the guys they brought in, are stanley cup finals experienced to. That's going to be big for the Penguins.

83-Steelers-43
07-05-2007, 07:52 AM
Francis reminisces on time with Pens
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, July 5, 2007

There are Hall-of-Fame classes and then there are supergroup Hall-of-Fame classes such as the one Ron Francis is part of after being chosen for hockey's highest individual honor last week.

Francis, who spent parts of eight seasons with the Penguins from 1991-98 and was a two-time Stanley Cup-winner, will enter the Hockey Hall in November along with legendary players Mark Messier, Scott Stevens and Al MacInnis.

"I was not spending a lot of time thinking about it," Francis said. "You hope that you can go in on the first ballot. There were a lot of big names up this year, so I obviously was extremely pleased to be part of this group."

Now director of player personnel for the Carolina Hurricanes, Francis, the fourth-leading scorer in NHL history with 1,798 points, recalled some Hall-worthy days with Tribune-Review hockey writer Rob Rossi:

Q: Is the new gig keeping you busy?

A: Actually, it has been fun. (Carolina general manager) Jim Rutherford has been real good to me and I am very appreciative. I was not sure which way I wanted to go after my playing days and this job has given me a chance to work with kids and push the right buttons. There have been parts of this job that have elements of coaching, but I have also had a chance to experience the business side of hockey operations. It has been a fun process and given me something to think about.

Q: So you might soon be known as coach Ron Francis?

A: I am not real sure yet, to be honest. I always said that I never wanted to coach. But then I hear from guys I played with like Ulf Samuelsson and Dave Tippett, and they tell me that coaching is the place to be, so I do not really know. I am not making any decisions right now because I am pretty happy with my job in Carolina.

Q: Not many hockey players can honestly say they have left a lasting impression in three markets. How did you manage to win over people in Hartford, Pittsburgh and Carolina?

A: I was pretty blessed, I guess. The guys I played with in Hartford, a lot of them are still active in the game. We are kind of taking over the NHL. Hartford was a great place for me to grow up. I was there until I was 28 and some of my best friends to this day are in Hartford.

Q: Some of your most loyal fans are in Pittsburgh, though, right?

A:Certainly my time in Pittsburgh was extremely exciting. It was easy to come to the rink every day. I really loved being in the environment that we had in Pittsburgh. It was very comfortable.

Q: Well, you were a Steelers fan growing up, so that probably made the transition from Hartford a lot easier.

A: A lot easier, actually. My dad was a steel worker, and the Steelers were always my favorite football team -- probably for that reason. And now Bill Cowher lives five minutes from me in Raleigh.

Q: Do you guys hang out?

A: We have golfed together a couple of times. We have a rule that there is no talk about hockey or football, so it is great in that way. We have a lot of fun.

Q: Over 15 years have passed since those Penguins teams you were on won the Cup a second time, does it seem like that long ago to you?

A: It is kind of crazy. My daughter was 4 weeks old when I was traded to Pittsburgh. My family and I lived out of a hotel. Anyway, my daughter turned 16 in February, and I have sort of the same feeling about her that I have about Pittsburgh in some ways. I look back and it seems like yesterday. It seems like yesterday that I was in Pittsburgh hoisting the Cup and she was a baby.

Q: Obviously playing on those Cup teams was a highlight for you, but what memory from those years really sticks out?

A: Well, when we won the first one I remember Paul Coffey saying to me as I hopped over the boards, "This feeling is going to be great, but it is only going to get better the rest of your life." And, boy, he could not have put it any better. I still get chills thinking about lifting that Cup for the first time. Honestly, though, that second Cup year was extremely special because I really feel as though I helped that team get over a hump. The first Cup year, I came in late and was part of something special. That second one, Mario (Lemieux) was down against the Rangers and I played some of the best hockey of my career to help us get past them. Then Mario came back and we rolled past Boston and Chicago to defend the Cup. I really feel as though I was a big part of that second Cup-winning team, so maybe it is a little more special to me.

Q: Could the fourth-leading scorer in NHL history possibly have any regrets?

A: My decision to come to Carolina and start telling people about it. The only bad thing about Raleigh is that everybody is now finding out about it, that it is a pretty good place to be -- like Cowher. I am joking, of course, but this place is getting crowded, quick. ... Oh, and, of course, losing to the Islanders in 1993. What a disappointment that was for everybody. I really feel that Pittsburgh team in 1993 was the best team I have ever played on. Losing to New York when we had a chance to three-peat was extremely frustrating. There is no doubt in my mind we were the best team that year. I still cannot believe we did not win it all again.

Q: The Penguins could use a strong face-off guy; interested?

A: I told somebody last week that I am six months and three days from being ready. But then again people always said I never could skate fast, so it is not like I have lost a step in that category. Still, I am pretty proud of myself that I can watch a hockey game near ice-level and not feel the itch to play.

Q: Plus, you have a speech to work on...

A: One that I have not thought about once since finding out I was going into the Hall. The speeches run about five minutes. That might not be enough time to thank everybody.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_515826.html

83-Steelers-43
07-05-2007, 07:54 AM
Crosby's negotiations will be complex
"At the end of the day, it's still a contract, and both sides have to be happy"
Thursday, July 05, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Sidney Crosby is not simply the finest player in the NHL; he might be the consummate team guy.

He views everything he does, everything he says, through the prism of how it affects his club, and what is in the team's best interest.

That's a big part of the reason the Penguins have made him the youngest captain in league history.

And it might just create the most compelling aspect of the contract negotiations that his agent, Pat Brisson, and Penguins general manager Ray Shero plan to begin sometime in the next few days.

There are some issues to be worked out before a deal is struck -- it has yet to be determined precisely how much Crosby will be paid, or how long the contract will last -- but the plain truth is that Crosby can pretty much dictate terms to the team if he so chooses.

If he wants the maximum salary allowed by the NHL's collective bargaining agreement -- 20 percent of the current salary-cap ceiling of $50.3 million, which comes to $10.06 million -- for four years, well, Shero won't have much leverage to alter those terms.

And if Crosby asks for less money and fewer -- or more -- years, he probably won't meet much resistance there, either.

That's what happens when a guy produces so much for a franchise and means so much to it. Frankly, if the Penguins would not be inclined to accept whatever contract terms Crosby seeks, 29 other clubs would be delighted to when he becomes a restricted free agent next summer.

It is not necessarily as simple as it sounds, however, because Crosby faces a formidable adversary in these negotiations: A young man named Sidney Crosby.

He is, after all, a team guy, and has strong connections to both sides in the negotiations.

"It's kind of like that," Crosby said yesterday, laughing. "At the same time, it's not a bad problem to have."

On one hand, he is a member of the NHL Players' Association. One who can set salary standards for players around the league. On the other, there is his loyalty to the Penguins, the team he joined in 2005 and which, he said, he hopes to be part of for many more years .

"I love Pittsburgh," Crosby said. "I'd love to play there for a very long time. If you can get security -- you see a guy like [Ryan Whitney] sign a long-term deal -- it looks like there are some guys who, we can be together there for a long time. That would be nice."

The catch is that keeping the Penguins' core of exceptional young talent together over the long term could be difficult, if not impossible, for financial reasons. That is part of the reason Crosby will not reflexively request the maximum to which he is entitled -- and which the Penguins readily acknowledge he has earned. He does not automatically accept that, as the best player in the NHL, he should be the highest-paid, too.

"I don't think that's necessarily true, to say that it has to be exactly like that," he said. "It has to be right. [The salary] will have a lot to do with the [duration of the contract]."

At this point, Crosby said, "there's not really a magic number" of years that he wants. What cannot be forgotten, though, is that while Crosby is a member of the Penguins, he also is affiliated with the NHLPA, and thus linked to the hundreds of players who belong to it. If he were to accept a contract deemed to be worth less than his market value, he could be working against the interests of colleagues who will be seeking contracts in coming seasons. His deal could create an artificial ceiling and suppress salaries, because what player wants to have to make the case that he is worth more than Sidney Crosby?

"[The NHLPA] is a group," Crosby said. "We're in that group. So, yes, for sure, it's important. But, at the same time, I have to do what's right."

He allows that it is "a possibility" that he'll seek the maximum salary allowed by the CBA, but stressed that other variables will influence that decision. In light of that, it is no surprise that Crosby plans to be more than an interested observer.

"I'll try to be a little bit involved," he said. "I think it's important to be aware of the conversations and things like that. I'm not the agent, but I want to be involved. It's a learning process. I want to educate myself. I'm sure there will be some interesting conversations and I'd like to be aware of them, for sure.

"Both sides want to do what's right," he said. "That's the important thing. It has to be fair, obviously. At the end of the day, it's still a contract, and both sides have to be happy. But for that, I definitely think we're just going to listen and try to do what's right. That's the most important thing."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07186/799391-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
07-05-2007, 07:56 AM
Penguins Notebook: To go to arbitration or not
Armstrong faces that decision today
Thursday, July 05, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Right winger Colby Armstrong, one of five restricted free agents the Penguins are trying to re-sign, has until 5 p.m. today to decide whether to file for salary arbitration.

His agent, Craig Oster, said yesterday that determination will be made after a negotiating session with assistant general manager Chuck Fletcher today.

"We're planning on talking again, then we'll decide on whether [to preserve the option of going to arbitration] by nature of our discussion," Oster said.

Even if Armstrong requests arbitration -- the probable course of action unless an agreement is reached today, which seems unlikely -- a deal can reached before his case is heard.

Oster also represents forward Erik Christensen and said talks to date with Fletcher about both of his clients "have been relatively productive and open."

Because the Penguins extended qualifying offers to both, they have the right to match any offer either would get from another team or to receive compensation if they would decline to match. Neither Armstrong nor Christensen seems likely to receive an offer sheet from another club.

Because Armstrong appears to be settling into a blue-collar niche with the Penguins while Christensen's role still has not been defined, Oster said he has "more to discuss [about Christensen] than we do with Colby."

Armstrong will be eligible for unrestricted free agency in three years, but Oster said negotiations have not advanced to a point where the sides have settled on the length of a deal for either player.

"We're talking more conceptually about where the players fit in," he said. "Things will begin to get more in detail and significant starting [today]."

Therrien contract update

Penguins coach Michel Therrien, like Sidney Crosby, is under contract for one more year.

And, like Crosby, he can expect a new deal to get serious attention in the near future.

General manager Ray Shero said he is optimistic an extension can be reached relatively soon, even though it has not been a front-burner issue to this point.

"We haven't had a lot of time to spend on it," he said. "But I'm comfortable with where we are, and I think [Therrien] is, too."

Crosby to resume skating

Crosby hasn't skated since the Penguins' first-round playoff series against Ottawa because of the broken foot he played on for several weeks, but he said yesterday he expects to get back on the ice soon.

"The foot is great," he said. "I'm going to start skating here in the next week or so, so I should really get a good feeling for how it's going to be on the ice.

"As far as off the ice, I haven't had a problem with it."

The injury forced him to be almost completely idle during the first six weeks or so of the offseason instead of simply ratcheting back on his activities, but he thinks that might prove to be a good thing.

"I wasn't able to play tennis or golf or anything like that," said Crosby, who has undertaken his standard training regimen. "It was really a month off, but I think that was one of the best things for me.

"It was a long season. Not that I like breaking bones, but I think the rest has done me good."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07186/799390-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
07-05-2007, 09:58 AM
Penguins, Crosby to resume negotiations next week
Thursday, July 05, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Negotiations on a new contract for Penguins center Sidney Crosby will resume early next week.

General manager Ray Shero and Crosby's agent, Pat Brisson, had considered talking again late this week, but opted to put it off for several more days.

Crosby has a year remaining on his entry-level contract, and any deal worked out by Shero and Brisson would not take effect until the 2008-09 season.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07186/799490-100.stm

83-Steelers-43
07-05-2007, 10:21 AM
I really like what the Pens have done. They have gotten older while still staying young (if that makes sense). They went out and got the vets needed to help Sid and the gang march through the playoffs. I truely believe all that stopped them last year was a lack of playoff experience...that will not be the case this year.

While I was hoping for a defenseman younger than 35 years of age, I've read reports that the guy can still play a solid defense so I guess that's a wait and see. If that is the case then I have no problem with the signing. We already have enough offensive-defenseman (Gonchar, Whitney, Letang).

I really like the Sykora signing. Young enough to still produce and old enough to teach the young kids a thing or two. IMO, I think Penguin fans will be pleasantly surprised by Sykora this season.

SteelCityMan786
07-05-2007, 12:26 PM
While I was hoping for a defenseman younger than 35 years of age, I've read reports that the guy can still play a solid defense so I guess that's a wait and see. If that is the case then I have no problem with the signing. We already have enough offensive-defenseman (Gonchar, Whitney, Letang).

I really like the Sykora signing. Young enough to still produce and old enough to teach the young kids a thing or two. IMO, I think Penguin fans will be pleasantly surprised by Sykora this season.

They know Sykora is good, but, I think he will definantly be better then they thought.

X-Terminator
07-05-2007, 01:32 PM
Penguins Re-Sign Talbot, Christensen

The Penguins have re-signed forwards Maxime Talbot and Erik Christensen to two-year contracts, it was announced Thursday by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.

"Max and Erik both made great strides in helping us reach the playoffs last season,” Shero said, “and we look forward to continued contributions from them in the future."

Talbot, 23, scored 24 points (13 goals, 11 assists) and recorded 53 penalty minutes in 75 games last season. He ranked second on the team with four short-handed goals and also netted four game-winning goals. Talbot began the 2006-07 season with the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (AHL) scoring four goals in five games.

The 5-11, 185-pound native of Lemoyne, Quebec made his NHL debut with the Penguins in 2005-06. Talbot has recorded 32 points (18 goals, 14 assists) in 123 NHL games. He was drafted by the Penguins in the eighth round (234th overall) of the 2002 Entry Draft.

Christensen, 23, tallied 33 points (18 goals, 15 assists) in 61 games played in the 2006-07 season. He tied for the NHL lead with eight shootout goals and had the deciding goal in three of the ten shootout victories for the Penguins. Christensen converted eight of his 14 attempts (57.1%) in 2006-07 and has the best mark in team history converting nine of 15 (60%) career attempts in the shootout.

The 6-1, 208-pound native of Edmonton, Alberta began the season with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, scoring 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) in 16 games before earning a spot on the Pittsburgh roster. Christensen has played in 94 NHL games, recording 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) and 60 penalty minutes. He was drafted by Pittsburgh in the third round (69th overall) of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

http://penguins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=327237

SteelCityMan786
07-05-2007, 01:40 PM
Good Job Ray.

83-Steelers-43
07-05-2007, 03:56 PM
Good Job Ray.

I agree. Two very solid signings. Maybe now with Omelette gone Christensen will be back to his old and more familiar position (center). Not every hockey player has success when moved to a wing and I think some learned that with Christensen. Let him center the third line or maybe even the second line and see how he does. I think Shero realizes the kids potential if he's used correctly. He resigned him for a reason.

Talbot was a no brainer. Guy hustles night in and night out. Plays physical and has the Colby Armstrong type personality/sense of humor. Both Colby and Talbot would run through a brick wall if asked by the team.


I'm very glad to have both of them back on our roster. Keep it up Ray.

83-Steelers-43
07-05-2007, 03:57 PM
They know Sykora is good, but, I think he will definantly be better then they thought.

I've heard/read a few complaints. Mostly wanting Kariya instead of Sykora. I guess those people figure Kariya is playing for free in St. Louis? Once again, real smart people out there.

Anyways, I would like to still see us go out and pick up another defenseman but I guess Shero feels Sutton is not worth it (which I agree with) and Markov is not in their plans? Hell, for all I know we could wait until the trade deadline if we even need another solid defensive-defenseman. What do I know? I'll let Ray do his thing and see how it pans out before I start having a heart attack...lol. Up to this point, I have no complaints for the most part.

83-Steelers-43
07-06-2007, 04:48 AM
Length to be key part of Crosby's deal
Friday, July 06, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Getting the Sidney Crosby contract talks going again might take longer than the actual negotiations will.

Pat Brisson, one of Crosby's agents, and Penguins general manager Ray Shero had considered resuming their discussions towards the end of this week but have decided to put them off until early next week.

There is, however, no real urgency for the sides to talk about Crosby's next contract, because his current one runs through 2007-08. That means any deal negotiated won't take effect until the following season.

While most attention will focus on how much money Crosby will receive -- he is entitled to 20 percent of the current salary-cap ceiling of $50.3 million, which translates to $10.06 million per season -- the contract's length will be significant, too, with four years as the over-under point.

If his next contract runs four years, it would expire just as Crosby becomes eligible for unrestricted free agency, although the Penguins would be able to begin working on a replacement a year before the contract ends.

If it is for fewer than four years, the Penguins would hold onto his rights for at least one more contract before he qualifies to be unrestricted, per the league's labor agreement. If Crosby accepts a deal for more than four, he will be pass on a chance to venture into unrestricted free agency at the earliest opportunity.

Crosby said Wednesday that he is not locked into a specific number of years on his next deal.

While most indications are that Crosby won't seek the maximum salary he is entitled to earn, it is reasonable to believe he will exceed the standard set by two accomplished veterans who re-signed with their teams this week rather than waiting a year to explore unrestricted free agency.

Center Joe Thornton accepted a three-year deal worth an average of $7.2 million from San Jose, while Calgary winger Jarome Iginla signed a seven-year contract worth an average of $7 million per season.

Because he wants to leave the Penguins enough money to sign other core players as their contracts expire while still getting enough that his deal doesn't suppress other players' earning potential, an arrangement that would pay him more than the Thornton and Iginla deals but less than the league maximum seems likely.

One option he apparently won't exercise is to put off the negotiations for another year.

If the salary-cap ceiling rises over the coming season, the value of the 20 percent a player can ask for would go up, too, but that doesn't have any appeal to Crosby.

"I think I'd like to [get it done now]," he said.

How long it will take to hammer out the particulars isn't clear, though, and Crosby is wary of predicting how quickly much time the negotiations will require.

"I really don't know how it's going to go," he said. "There's interest from both sides to get it done."

With a year left on his contract, Sidney Crosby and the Penguins can take some time to negotiate a new deal.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07187/799646-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
07-06-2007, 04:49 AM
Penguins Notebook:
Friday, July 06, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Crosby sees good fits

The Penguins' best player believes general manager Ray Shero brought in a couple of pretty good ones earlier this week, when he signed two unrestricted free agents, forward Petr Sykora and defenseman Darryl Sydor.

"I think they're a great fit," center Sidney Crosby said. "They bring a lot of experience, first of all.

"Up front, it brings us some scoring capabilities and, on defense, a defenseman who's pretty complete. Sydor's a great defensive player but also can produce [offensively] and make a good pass and things like that. We got two solid players, for sure."

Sykora and Sydor weren't the most-celebrated -- or expensive -- players available at their respective positions, but Crosby said it's not "a huge issue" that the Penguins don't have the fiscal resources to pursue top-tier free agents.

He even suggested that Sykora and Sydor might have been the best candidates to help this team as it currently is configured, although that point obviously is open to debate.

"It's always easy to say, 'What if?' but maybe we'd have the same team, even with those [financial] capabilities," Crosby said. "It all comes down the players who are going to fit the best.

"I really like our team. Those were two great additions, and they're going to complement our team nicely."

Slap shots

Former Penguins goalie Jocelyn Thibault, an unrestricted free agent, accepted a one-year contract with Buffalo. ... Right winger Mark Recchi's new contract calls for a base salary of $1.75 million, with $250,000 in playoff-related bonuses. ... The Penguins' other restricted free agents are center Tim Brent and defenseman Ryan Lannon. Fletcher said he has not started contract talks with either. ... Christensen lived with the same family while playing junior hockey in Kamloops, British Columbia, that Sydor had when he played for the Blazers.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07187/799736-61.stm

Buzz05
07-06-2007, 07:15 AM
Because he wants to leave the Penguins enough money to sign other core players as their contracts expire while still getting enough that his deal doesn't suppress other players' earning potential, an arrangement that would pay him more than the Thornton and Iginla deals but less than the league maximum seems likely.

Thats a good plan to have. Either way he comes out smelling like roses because he is taking the money to help raise the salary cap ceiling but at the same time leaving money to sign the others like Malkin, Staal, and the others to keep the team competitive. Whether it was Sids idea or his agents...someone has a smart business mind


If the salary-cap ceiling rises over the coming season, the value of the 20 percent a player can ask for would go up, too, but that doesn't have any appeal to Crosby.

Sounds fine to me...more money to spend on other FA's

"I think I'd like to [get it done now]," he said.


As do the rest of the Pens fans...get this kid locked up for as long as possible

X-Terminator
07-06-2007, 08:07 AM
I would be shocked if Sid gets a deal for less than 6 years. If they can lock Ryan Whitney up for that long, then certainly they can do so with him. I predict he gets a 6 or 7 year deal with an average of $8-9 million per season. That would make him the highest paid player in the league and, IMO, would give the team plenty of flexibility to keep the core together down the road, especially after the new arena opens.

SteelCityMan786
07-06-2007, 09:23 AM
I would be shocked if Sid gets a deal for less than 6 years. If they can lock Ryan Whitney up for that long, then certainly they can do so with him. I predict he gets a 6 or 7 year deal with an average of $8-9 million per season. That would make him the highest paid player in the league and, IMO, would give the team plenty of flexibility to keep the core together down the road, especially after the new arena opens.

I would NOT be surprised if that kind of deal happend. Not to mention the Salary Cap is going to rise every year so they could still sign some other big name free agents.

83-Steelers-43
07-07-2007, 05:44 PM
Zzzz Zzzz Zzzz Zzz

State budget impasse continues
Saturday, July 07, 2007

By Tracie Mauriello, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HARRISBURG -- The state is inching closer toward the layoffs of 25,000 state workers at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

Legislative leaders have made no substantial progress in negotiating sessions since late last night, when Sen. Vince Fumo, D-Philadelphia, said budget talks were "hung up."

Both chambers adjourned this afternoon with plans to reconvene tomorrow, the House at 4 p.m. and the Senate two hours later.

"I am more pessimistic now than I was yesterday,'' Gov. Ed Rendell said this afternoon.

Without a budget agreement by tomorrow at about 5 p.m., the 25,000 workers -- a third of the state workforce -- will be furloughed early Monday because the state has no authority to pay anyone not critical to public health, safety and welfare.

Democrat Rendell and Republican legislative leaders are accusing each other of brinksmanship and blaming each other for lack of action.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07188/800121-100.stm

83-Steelers-43
07-08-2007, 01:37 AM
Penguins bring home bargains
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, July 8, 2007

A few days before the latest NHL free-agent frenzy, Penguins general manager Ray Shero offered a thought: "Some guys are going to get lucky."

Shero rates as one of those guys -- mostly because he did not get caught up in the storm of long-term, costly contracts handed out by his brethren this past week.

Two hours and 17 minutes into the start of the free-agent season July 1, perennially underachieving defenseman Tom Poti signed a four-year contract worth $14 million with the Washington Capitals. Poti, 30, has finished with a minus rating in five of his eight seasons.

Shero was not about to play a game that would benefit the likes of Poti, who produced just nine goals for the New York Rangers the past two seasons.

That is not to suggest, though, that Shero was not a player during the free-agent season. He made legitimate runs at left-wing Paul Kariya, who signed with the St. Louis Blues for three years and $18 million, and defenseman Scott Hannan, who received a four-year deal worth $18 million from the Colorado Avalanche.

However, as a Penguins official later acknowledged, Shero was never willing to break the bank for either player. That was especially true if it meant stiffening the financial flexibility he needed to eventually re-sign a core of young players that includes goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, defenseman Ryan Whitney and centers Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal.

"The strength of Ray is the confidence of his vision," TSN analyst Pierre McGuire said. "A lot of guys get swayed by media and public sentiment. Ray is not that kind of guy. He has an internal vision for what he perceives will bring (the Penguins) the Stanley Cup. Most great franchises have an internal vision. Ray's vision is to build around the young guys and supplement them with veterans.

"Ray's moves were probably the most underappreciated of free agency ... but I do not think anybody in the Eastern Conference will be favored over Pittsburgh now."

In less than 24 hours of free agency, Shero landed a backup goaltender (Dany Sabourin), a scoring-line winger (Petr Sykora) and two veteran defensemen (Darryl Sydor and Rob Scuderi), each of whom signed two-year contracts. For those players, he committed an aggregate $12,450,000. Prior to those signings, he locked up Whitney, who finished sixth among his peers with 59 points this past season, for $24 million over the next six years.

Over the first two years of his back-loaded contract, Whitney, 25, will earn $5,500,000.

So, for $17,950,000, Shero signed five players and maintained, upgraded and added depth to the Penguins for two years. Contrast that to the New York Rangers' paying free-agent acquisitions Scott Gomez and Chris Drury a combined $17,100,000 for next season alone. That amounts to approximately 34 percent of the $50.3 million salary cap.

Daniel Briere was a free agent for all of three hours and 48 minutes before the Philadelphia Flyers wowed him -- and many within the hockey world -- with a deal for $52 million over eight years.

The deal is reportedly front-loaded to pay Briere a premium early in the contract. Still, there is no overlooking the fact that Briere, 29, set career highs with 32 goals and 95 points for Buffalo this past season. His previous best single-season point total was 65, set in 2003-04.

Shero described the first 36 hours of this free-agent season as "interesting." Perhaps he was too kind.

The Penguins seemingly scored value with the signings of Sykora, 30, and Sydor, 35, each of whom agreed to two-year contracts worth $5 million in the early-morning hours on July 2.

Sykora is two years younger than Kariya and scored only two fewer goals last season (22 to 24). Sydor is seven years Hannan's elder, but played in only five fewer games last year and averaged over 20 minutes of ice time.

"In this market, I would say both of those players are steals," said agent Ron Salcer, who represents Sydor. "Ray got value, did not overpay for it and left himself with room to do some other things."

Late last week the Penguins signed restricted free-agent centers Maxime Talbot and Erik Christensen to two-year deals -- Talbot for $1,350,000, Christensen for $1,500,000. Those players totaled 25 goals for the Penguins last season.

This week, Shero will continue discussions with agent Pat Brisson, who represents Crosby, on a potential long-term extension for the club's new captain and the league's scoring leader.

"By not overspending on free agents, the Penguins have positioned themselves to keep this upstart team together for the long haul -- and Shero has managed to make them better for this season, too," McGuire said. "Nobody in the division or the conference can match their top-end young talent, and they are supplementing those kids with productive veterans such as Mark Recchi, Gary Roberts, Sykora and Sydor.

"Nothing Pittsburgh has done has been sexy, but no team is better positioned for both the present and the future. That is the brilliance of what (Shero) has done."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_516247.html

SteelCityMan786
07-08-2007, 10:23 AM
Zzzz Zzzz Zzzz Zzz

State budget impasse continues
Saturday, July 07, 2007

By Tracie Mauriello, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HARRISBURG -- The state is inching closer toward the layoffs of 25,000 state workers at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

Legislative leaders have made no substantial progress in negotiating sessions since late last night, when Sen. Vince Fumo, D-Philadelphia, said budget talks were "hung up."

Both chambers adjourned this afternoon with plans to reconvene tomorrow, the House at 4 p.m. and the Senate two hours later.

"I am more pessimistic now than I was yesterday,'' Gov. Ed Rendell said this afternoon.

Without a budget agreement by tomorrow at about 5 p.m., the 25,000 workers -- a third of the state workforce -- will be furloughed early Monday because the state has no authority to pay anyone not critical to public health, safety and welfare.

Democrat Rendell and Republican legislative leaders are accusing each other of brinksmanship and blaming each other for lack of action.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07188/800121-100.stm

What else is new? Keep up your end of the deal Rendell and state legislation. Ed Rendell will go down as our worst governor in history even after saving the Penguins. NEVER during the Rendell administration have we got a budget done ON TIME. :banging::banging::banging::banging:

SteelCityMan786
07-08-2007, 10:29 PM
Zzzz Zzzz Zzzz Zzz

State budget impasse continues
Saturday, July 07, 2007

By Tracie Mauriello, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

HARRISBURG -- The state is inching closer toward the layoffs of 25,000 state workers at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

Legislative leaders have made no substantial progress in negotiating sessions since late last night, when Sen. Vince Fumo, D-Philadelphia, said budget talks were "hung up."

Both chambers adjourned this afternoon with plans to reconvene tomorrow, the House at 4 p.m. and the Senate two hours later.

"I am more pessimistic now than I was yesterday,'' Gov. Ed Rendell said this afternoon.

Without a budget agreement by tomorrow at about 5 p.m., the 25,000 workers -- a third of the state workforce -- will be furloughed early Monday because the state has no authority to pay anyone not critical to public health, safety and welfare.

Democrat Rendell and Republican legislative leaders are accusing each other of brinksmanship and blaming each other for lack of action.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07188/800121-100.stm

Well he's done it. Governor Rendell declared furloughs for tomorrow. Maybe even tomorrow.

83-Steelers-43
07-09-2007, 02:12 AM
Crosby's agent says talks are going well
Monday, July 09, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

There still will be some give-and-take, some offers and counter-proposals -- maybe even a few snags -- before an agreement is reached, but agent Pat Brisson likes the way Sidney Crosby's contract negotiations have moved along so far.

"They're going in the right direction," Brisson said last evening.

He declined to elaborate on the talks, which will resume today unless Brisson, who is based in Los Angeles, managed to hook up with Penguins general manager Ray Shero last night.

Shero could not be reached for comment.

It is not known precisely how much money Crosby is seeking or how long of a deal he wants. His camp likely has a number of scenarios in which his salary rises or falls based on the number of seasons a particular deal would cover.

It has, however, become clear that Crosby will not seek the maximum salary to which he is entitled under the NHL's collective bargaining agreement. That would be 20 percent of the league's $50.3 million salary-cap maximum for the 2007-08 season, or $10.06 million per year for the life of the contract.

Crosby's motivation for doing that is to give management money that can be used to keep the team's nucleus of exceptional young talent together in coming years.

Defenseman Ryan Whitney recently got a six-year, $24 million deal and players such as goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and forwards Jordan Staal and Evgeni Malkin will have to be re-signed over the next two years.

In return for accepting a reduced salary -- teams would line up to give him the maximum if he would opt to explore restricted free agency next summer -- Crosby is expected to seek assurances from management that it will spend the money needed to assemble and maintain a championship-caliber team.

That apparently is what Crosby was referring to last week when, asked what kind of salary he would be looking for, he replied rather cryptically that "there are a lot of things that will factor into that."

Brisson did not say that getting such a commitment from the front office will be a part of these negotiations, but did volunteer that "the best way to describe Sidney is, he's driven by winning."

Team officials have said repeatedly that their payroll will rise when the team moves into the city's new multipurpose arena, which they hope will happen during the 2009-10 season.

Crosby has a year remaining on his entry-level contract, so even if Brisson and Shero reach an agreement today, it won't take effect until the 2008-09 season.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07190/800305-61.stm

SteelCityMan786
07-09-2007, 06:54 AM
Good news to hear from the Crosby side of negotiations. Finish the deal guys.

Buzz05
07-09-2007, 08:12 AM
Yes its good to hear but Ill feel a lot better when his name is on the dotted line....

...Whether we want to admit it or not but the future of this team rides with this contract. If Sid leaves so will Malkin, Staal, and the rest of the young Pens. If he resigns and is happy then the rest will resign. A lot is riding on this contract.

83-Steelers-43
07-09-2007, 06:41 PM
Sports Beat Reminder: On Wednesday Stan Savern will be interviewing Penguins President David Morehouse.

SteelCityMan786
07-09-2007, 06:53 PM
Sports Beat Reminder: On Wednesday Stan Savern will be interviewing Penguins President David Morehouse.

It will be good to have some sports to watch on the least sports packed day of the year.

83-Steelers-43
07-09-2007, 11:02 PM
Sides quiet on Crosby talks; ticket waiting list procedures set
Tuesday, July 10, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Sidney Crosby's agent and Penguins general manager Ray Shero have resumed talking about Crosby's next contract.

Just not publicly.

Neither side offered any public assessment of yesterday's conversation, and a Penguins spokesman said Shero will not talk about it until an agreement is in place.

He did, however, echo agent Pat Brisson's assessment from Sunday evening that "things are going well."

Brisson and Shero plan to talk again today.

Crosby's next contract will make him one of the highest-paid players in the NHL, but will not take effect until the 2008-09 season.

Because of Crosby and the success of the young Penguins last season, the franchise has established a waiting list for season tickets.

Reserving a spot requires a $200 deposit per seat, money that can be applied to the eventual purchase of season tickets.

Only deposits from what the team called "the immediate Tri-State area" will be accepted, and there will be an annual maintenance fee for accounts on the waiting list.

Fans on the waiting list will get a variety of perks, including free media guides and yearbooks and the opportunity to purchase 6- and 12-game plans before they go on public sales. Tickets for those plans are scheduled to go on sale on or around Aug. 8 and individual-game seats should be available a week later.

Persons interested in getting on the waiting list should contact the team at 1-800-642-7367 or via its Web site, www.pittsburghpenguins.com.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07191/800596-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
07-09-2007, 11:11 PM
Penguins institute ticket waiting list
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Two weeks removed from halting season-ticket sales for the first time, the Penguins made more history Monday by accepting requests from fans for placement on a waiting list.
With the club nearing a record of 13,500 full-season equivalent packages, the waiting list was established to meet public demand to attend the upstart hockey club's home games this season.

"This is a first for us," vice president of communications Tom McMillan said. "It is all very new."

A spot on the waiting list costs $200 per seat -- a fee that would be applied to the price of season tickets upon their availability.

Fans on the waiting list also receive opportunities to buy six- and 12-pack plans and single-game tickets before a public online sale date. In addition, fans are notified via e-mail of chances to buy select seats for non-hockey events at Mellon Arena before tickets become available to the public.

The two mini-plans are scheduled to go on sale the week of Aug. 8. Individual game tickets will become available to the general public Sept. 15.

The Penguins' waiting list is modeled after one instituted by the Minnesota Wild. It includes a yearly maintenance fee, which is assessed each subsequent season a name remains on the waiting list.

Team officials don't know the exact amount of the annual maintenance fee, but they say the fee is needed to encourage only fans with serious interest to fill the waiting list.

Only deposits from Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia will be accepted for the waiting list -- in part to discourage out-of-market scalpers from securing tickets.

A waiting list request can be made by contacting the team's ticket department at (800) 642-7367 or via its official Web site at www.pittsburghpenguins.com.

Note: The 2007-08 NHL schedule is expected to be released Wednesday. In addition to eight intra-division games and four contests against other Eastern Conference clubs, the Penguins will likely play on the road against teams from the Western Conference's Pacific Division and at home against teams from the Northwest Division.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_516474.html

SteelCityMan786
07-10-2007, 07:33 AM
Alright I've been waiting for when they would release the schedule.

X-Terminator
07-10-2007, 07:52 AM
They played on the road against the Pacific Division last season - that can't be right. The NHL usually rotates the schedule so that if you play one division at home one season, you play that division on the road next season, and vice-versa. Therefore, it should be the Pacific playing here and the Pens playing the Northwest on the road.

Personally, I think they should go back to the old schedule where they played teams in the other conference twice a year. Do we really need to play teams in our division more than 5 or 6 times a year? Fewer games against rivals means more intensity, IMO. And I'd much rather see the Sharks, Avs, Red Wings and Canucks play than have to sit through games against the Panthers, Hurricanes and Devils.

SteelCityMan786
07-10-2007, 11:19 AM
They played on the road against the Pacific Division last season - that can't be right. The NHL usually rotates the schedule so that if you play one division at home one season, you play that division on the road next season, and vice-versa. Therefore, it should be the Pacific playing here and the Pens playing the Northwest on the road.

Personally, I think they should go back to the old schedule where they played teams in the other conference twice a year. Do we really need to play teams in our division more than 5 or 6 times a year? Fewer games against rivals means more intensity, IMO. And I'd much rather see the Sharks, Avs, Red Wings and Canucks play than have to sit through games against the Panthers, Hurricanes and Devils.

As well as the Flyers.

83-Steelers-43
07-10-2007, 11:38 PM
Symbolism of Pens' Crosby signing impossible to miss

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The numbers being what they were, with Sidney Crosby's new deal averaging $8.7 million over five seasons, it should surprise no one that there were exactly 66 participants on the conference call held by the Penguins on Tuesday to commemorate the event.

The Pens couldn't have planned that.

Then again, with the way general manager Ray Shero has emerged this offseason as a master strategist, anything's possible. The Crosby contract extension crystallizes Shero's offseason approach of orchestrating for the here and now and for down the road.

By getting Crosby from impending restricted free agency to the 2012-2013 season, Shero has eliminated a potential distraction for his newly named captain.

By getting Crosby to agree to less than the maximum allowable under the NHL's version of the salary cap, Shero has improved his chances of retaining the likes of Marc-Andre Fleury, Evgeni Malkin and/or Jordan Staal over the long haul.

"He was willing to take less, being the team player that he is, to try to help in other areas," Shero said. "The ability to give something back and leave something on the table is a great tribute to him."

It was also a concession Shero admittedly hadn't considered in his initial projections, all of which included paying Crosby the maximum.

Better still, Crosby's gesture will increase in value along with the salary cap.

In the meantime, Shero has returned the favor by providing for Crosby the apparent answers to extending his next foray into the NHL playoffs beyond five games of the opening round.

That's how long it took Ottawa to usher Sid The Kid and Co. from the postseason to the offseason last spring.

The major problems then were the transition game and a power-play unit that evaporated.

Shero's response is to bolster both through the additions of Petr Sykora, Darryl Sydor and Kris Letang.

Sykora is the latest might-be winger Crosby has needed since entering the league.

But whether he becomes the next Warren Young or the next Nils Ekman in his attempt to make the most of the opportunities the superstar center consistently delivers, Sykora ought to at least make the second power-play unit more potent.

Sydor, 35 and Letang, 20, should, too.

If they deliver as advertised, it means the days of Brooks Orpik and Rob Scuderi manning the point on the second power play are over.

It also means the Pens will have at least one offensively gifted defenseman on the ice at all times, which ought to increase greatly the chances of getting the puck out of their own end and jump-starting the breakout.

Retaining the likes of Gary Roberts, Ryan Whitney, Mark Recchi, Erik Christensen, Max Talbot and Scuderi was about maintaining the status quo of a contender.

The free-agent signings of Sykora and Sydor and the anticipated promotion of Letang from the junior ranks is about moving forward, about improving, potentially, what had already been considered a team on the rise.

"It's just about the little details," Crosby said. "Those are the things that make a difference. You look at what Ray's done, you definitely get the feeling that there's an upside.

"I think these moves are going to make us a lot more difficult to play against."

Truth be told, there are probably about 66 reasons for that.

The Pens will settle for 8.7 of them, now and down the road.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_516634.html

83-Steelers-43
07-10-2007, 11:40 PM
Penguins may be 'Ice Bowl' participant
Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Penguins seemingly are a leading candidate to play an outdoor game against the Sabres in Buffalo, if such an event is staged this season.

No announcement on a possible "Ice Bowl" will be made when the league releases its 2007-08 regular-season schedule at 2:30 p.m. today. However, the Buffalo News reported in today's edition that the Sabres would likely play host to the outdoor game, likely on New Year's Day, against the Penguins -- provided logistical issues can be addressed.

According to that report, a game would be played at Ralph Wilson Stadium, which seats 73,967 for football.

League officials would not comment, but the NHL is believed to favor the outdoor game being played in a northern U.S. market. New York City has been ruled out, and Detroit general manager Ken Holland told the Buffalo News that he did not see the Red Wings participating in an outdoor game this season.

An outdoor game would be televised on NBC.

Penguins vice president of communications Tom McMillan told the Tribune-Review last week that the club recently informed the league that it would willingly participate in an outdoor game, but only as a visiting club.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_516647.html

83-Steelers-43
07-10-2007, 11:41 PM
Gene Collier: Crosby's extension is 'tres bien' for both sides
Wednesday, July 11, 2007

By Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

During a conference call with North American journalists that lasted fewer than 18 minutes yesterday, Sidney Crosby spoke French for fewer than 60 seconds, during which I was able to translate fewer than three words.

To be exact, two.

Here is that translation, from the French.

Very good.

Yes, tres bien, but when you think about it, even though Sid was answering a question about the prospect of visiting Calgary at some point on the NHL schedule that will be announced today, the entirety of everything he and Penguins general manager Ray Shero said could effectively have been distilled into two words without in any way misrepresenting the news.

Very good.

It is indeed tres bien that the Penguins and hockey's best player are contractually wed for the next six years, and for reasons far beyond the consistent numerology of the burgeoning phenomenon that is Sidney Crosby:

Born -- 8.7.87

Uniform No. -- 87.

Salary cap figure -- $8.7 million.

A player agent for seven years of a previous life, a front-office troubleshooter for twice as long, Shero went into the Crosby negotiations virtually immune to sticker shock, even the kind that manifests in digital symmetry.

"I don't have a crystal ball," Shero said. "But having six years to maintain our flexibility and see how our team develops is certainly important. By having Sidney signed and Ryan Whitney signed, we have the table set."

Crosby helped set the table as if he were back at one of those Penguins at-your-service charity soirees, leaving enough potential cash in Shero's operating budget to make Sid's so-called "hometown discount" a lot more substantial that it appears at first blush.

Like the mere mortals who skate with him in the modern NHL, Crosby was entitled to a maximum salary equal to 20 percent of the salary cap, or $10.06 million. That he settled for $1,360,000 less per season might not look like much of a break to fans who note that Howard Baldwin used to spend more on lunch for the second unit of "Sudden Death."

But the hometown discount on the five-year deal that takes effect for the 2008-09 season represents a highly palatable midpoint between what the Penguins might have psychotically hoped for and what the National Hockey League Players Association might have preferred. It was not in the union's best interest to have the game's best player take less than the game's best salary, but neither was it in Crosby's.

That the final figure came in a $8.7 million ($43.5 million over five years) evidences the mature big-picture approach taken by a kid who won't turn 20 until, well, 8-7.

"It was important to do what was right for everyone," Crosby said. "We really tried to find that balance. A lot went into it, but I think it's fair for everyone."

Without putting too fine a point on it, had the salary cap jumped another $6.3 million before each of the five years in the new Crosby contract, the difference between Sid's maximum allowable pay and his actual take home would be $25.7 million. Certainly that assumes too much about what will happen to Crosby and the Penguins and the NHL between now and 2012-13, but even in its preposterous surface dimensions, it's a better representation of the hometown discount that we see in the near term.

No one knows that better than Shero, who said flatly yesterday that he always projected Sid's salary as the maximum allowable under the league's two-year-old collective bargaining agreement. Considering that no renegotiations are permitted under the new CBA, Sid will look like a bargain in five years, projecting his production at anything close to what it has been.

Before we approve funding for the Crosby statue (it's apparently already too late in Nova Scotia), it's reasonable to point out that the concessions made by a young man who will soon enough go from making $16,346.15 per week to making $167,307.69 per week are not exactly sacrifices in the traditional sense. Still, the fact that Sid took so much more than his personal portfolio into consideration in these negotiations isn't easily dismissed.

"It really wasn't that difficult," Shero said without implying much surprise. "When you're dealing with the best player in hockey, and everything is amicable and cordial, it just that it's a lot due to Sidney's attitude and desire to stay in Pittsburgh."

Tres bien.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07192/800775-150.stm

SteelCityMan786
07-11-2007, 07:28 AM
Penguins may be 'Ice Bowl' participant
Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Penguins seemingly are a leading candidate to play an outdoor game against the Sabres in Buffalo, if such an event is staged this season.

No announcement on a possible "Ice Bowl" will be made when the league releases its 2007-08 regular-season schedule at 2:30 p.m. today. However, the Buffalo News reported in today's edition that the Sabres would likely play host to the outdoor game, likely on New Year's Day, against the Penguins -- provided logistical issues can be addressed.

According to that report, a game would be played at Ralph Wilson Stadium, which seats 73,967 for football.

League officials would not comment, but the NHL is believed to favor the outdoor game being played in a northern U.S. market. New York City has been ruled out, and Detroit general manager Ken Holland told the Buffalo News that he did not see the Red Wings participating in an outdoor game this season.

An outdoor game would be televised on NBC.

Penguins vice president of communications Tom McMillan told the Tribune-Review last week that the club recently informed the league that it would willingly participate in an outdoor game, but only as a visiting club.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_516647.html

The only place they could play it at I believe would be Ralph Wilson Stadium if they do play the outdoor game in Buffalo.

Buzz05
07-11-2007, 10:49 AM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/allan_muir/07/10/crosby.react/index.html

Where does this jagoff get off trying to question Sids desire to win? Seriously, the kid took less money to stay in pittsburgh and build a contender and this a-hole is trying to say that its going to hurt the Pens in the long run because he is eating up too much cap room...this guy is a tool

X-Terminator
07-11-2007, 11:00 AM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/allan_muir/07/10/crosby.react/index.html

Where does this jagoff get off trying to question Sids desire to win? Seriously, the kid took less money to stay in pittsburgh and build a contender and this a-hole is trying to say that its going to hurt the Pens in the long run because he is eating up too much cap room...this guy is a tool

What a complete hack job. You may question the wisdom of signing Crosby to that contract and the impact it might have on the Pens' ability to re-sign Malkin and Staal, but one thing that nobody on this planet should EVER question is Sid's desire to win. So what if he got $1.2 million more per season than Daniel Briere, Joe Thornton and Jarome Iginla? He's only the best friggin player in the game!

SI has become a complete joke, and I'm sorry I wasted the time it took to read that POS article.

83-Steelers-43
07-11-2007, 11:51 AM
Defenseman Goligoski will join Penguins
Wednesday, July 11, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Defenseman Alex Goligoski will skip his senior season at the University of Minnesota to join the Penguins.

The team is expected to announce his decision later today.

The St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press reported that Goligoski agreed to a two-year entry-level contract worth $500,000 if he plays in the NHL the first season, $600,000 if he does it in the second. His salary would be reduced if he plays for the Penguins' American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre, where he is expected to spend at least some time.

Goligoski, 21, was a second-round draft choice in 2004. He had nine goals, 30 assists and a team-best plus-minus rating of plus-24 in 44 games with the Golden Gophers last season.

He underwent shoulder surgery in April, and his recovery from that operation apparently delayed the decision on whether to stay at Minnesota for his senior year.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07192/800847-100.stm

83-Steelers-43
07-11-2007, 12:10 PM
Smart move on Goligoski's part. I doubt another year in college would have done him any good. A year (maybe two) in the AHL will get him on the right track to Pittsburgh. Plus, a little competition for Letang isn't a bad thing.

83-Steelers-43
07-11-2007, 12:13 PM
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/allan_muir/07/10/crosby.react/index.html

Where does this jagoff get off trying to question Sids desire to win? Seriously, the kid took less money to stay in pittsburgh and build a contender and this a-hole is trying to say that its going to hurt the Pens in the long run because he is eating up too much cap room...this guy is a tool

SI screwing up a hockey article......there's a shocker. :coffee:

I'll stick with "The Hockey News".

SteelCityMan786
07-11-2007, 12:35 PM
SI screwing up a hockey article......there's a shocker. :coffee:

I'll stick with "The Hockey News".

Your much better off doing just that.

83-Steelers-43
07-11-2007, 01:53 PM
Your much better off doing just that.

The way I look at it, you'll always have complete morons involved with the big media outlets bash the best.

They did it with Lemieux.

They did it with Jagr.

They did it with Gretzky.

etc., etc.,

Some need that shock value because they lack other skills when it comes to their job (Mark Madden anybody?) and some just like to hear themselves B&M. Complete blowhards so to speak....(Don Cherry anybody?). Once again, I'll take intelligent writing and debate over pure shock value from some low-level hack working for ESPN or SI trying to get his name out there in order to get attention and a nice bump in pay.

83-Steelers-43
07-11-2007, 02:24 PM
New Year's Day game in Buffalo highlights Pens' schedule
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Penguins will open the 2007-08 season on the road against the Carolina Hurricanes, Oct. 5, then return to Pittsburgh the following day and play host to the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks at Mellon Arena on Oct. 6.

The NHL released its official schedule this afternoon, and, as expected, the Penguins will play in Buffalo on New Year's Day at 1 p.m. That game could ultimately be played outdoors at Ralph Wilson Stadium in for an NBC televised "Ice Bowl," but as of now it is scheduled to be played at HSBC Arena.

Pittsburgh will play on Thanksgiving night, Nov. 22, in Ottawa - the first of four games against the Senators that will mark a rematch of an opening-round Eastern Conference playoff series, won by Ottawa in five games.

The Penguins will close October and start November on a seven-day road trip that begins in Minnesota and ends in New Jersey, with games in Colorado and the New York Islanders in between. December will bring a four-game trip that includes visits to Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Philadelphia.

The Penguins will play eight games - four at home - against Atlantic Division foes Philadelphia, New Jersey and the Rangers and Islanders. They will play at home against Western Conference teams from the Pacific division (Dallas, San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles and Phoenix) and at Northwest division teams (Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, Vancouver and Minnesota).

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_516816.html

83-Steelers-43
07-12-2007, 12:17 AM
Pens, Shero learning that cap acumen translates

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, July 12, 2007

Ray Shero doesn't yet consider himself an infallible cap-ologist, but in projecting where Sidney Crosby's riches would fit into the Penguins' salary cap, such expertise wasn't needed.

"I had to put him at the maximum," Shero said. "He's the best player in the league. And if he came in and said 'Here's the deal; take it or leave it,' then obviously our hands were gonna be tied and we were certainly gonna have to take it."

Fortunately for Shero and the Penguins, Crosby was more team-oriented than greedy.

He "settled" for an annual average of $8.7 million starting in 2008-09, a relative bargain price that will save the Penguins about $1.3 million of cap room that season and more thereafter as the cap increases.

Other contracts are a little more complicated in the new NHL, but not as much as you might suspect in Shero's estimation.

"It's not rocket science," he said. "Some of it has to do not with finances but with player projection."

That helps explain why the Penguins extended Ryan Whitney and jettisoned Michel Ouellet.

Both had breakthrough years in their second NHL seasons in 2006-07. But Whitney, who was by far the more expensive of the two players, is perceived to be just scratching the surface of what he might someday achieve.

Ouellet, clearly, was characterized as having played over his head, which meant that even at a more affordable rate, he would have proven too expensive if re-signed.

At least that's the theory.

Project what a player might be capable of, decide what you'd be willing to pay for such production and never, ever deviate from the original blueprint.

Sound familiar?

It ought to.

The Steelers have been adhering to just such a philosophy for years.

The Pens' mimicking it during their salary-cap infancy is no coincidence.

"I have had some discussions with (director of football operations) Kevin Colbert of the Steelers," Shero said. "I look forward to having more on how they're doing their business vs. ours and vice versa.

"It's a work in progress. We've made mistakes, other teams have made mistakes, but you learn from that."

Colbert, a Penguins season-ticket holder and a member of the Pittsburgh Celebrity Hockey Team, maintains Shero has little left to learn when it comes to the nuances of salary regulation while compiling a roster.

"We just talk informally," Colbert said. "Trust me, I think he's much more versed on the salary cap than I'll ever be.

"It's real exciting to see him keep those young guys."

The extensions for Whitney and Crosby aren't the last Shero hopes to hammer out.

Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is apparently next on the list as the Penguins continue to nudge their payroll ever closer to the cap.

"Fleury's new contract will kick in at some point," Shero said "We're going to get there sooner rather than later."

Should any of Colbert's advice help facilitate such a deal, he won't be expecting any sort of return on the favor.

Not even a discount on those season-tickets he covets.

"No," Colbert said. "I'm just happy to have 'em."

Shero was happy the Crosby deal proved to be as simplistic as it was significant.

"You didn't have to be too smart to do that one," Shero said.

Three years into the NHL's salary cap era, the Penguins' second-year GM also appears to have a handle on how to navigate negotiations that are much more involved.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_516865.html

83-Steelers-43
07-12-2007, 12:41 AM
The only place they could play it at I believe would be Ralph Wilson Stadium if they do play the outdoor game in Buffalo.

Steigerwald reported tonight on "The Nightly Sports Call" that there is a rumor going around that Lemieux is trying to get the game changed to either Heinz or PNC. I can only pray.

SteelCityMan786
07-12-2007, 07:29 AM
Steigerwald reported tonight on "The Nightly Sports Call" that there is a rumor going around that Lemieux is trying to get the game changed to either Heinz or PNC. I can only pray.

Originally Lemieux said that the Penguins would play, but as the visitors because of arena preparations.

83-Steelers-43
07-12-2007, 03:10 PM
That's a nice payday for Mr. Armstrong.

Penguins re-sign Colby Armstrong for $1.2M annually
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Penguins have re-signed right wing Colby Armstrong to a two-year deal, thus avoiding an arbitration hearing with their first-round pick from the 2001 entry draft.

Armstrong will earn $1,200,000 annually on the deal.

"Colby is another young guy who plays with passion, gives us versatility up front and brings an added physical dimension to our team," general manager Ray Shero said in a statement. "We are confident he'll continue to grow as a player and benefit from experiences like having played for Team Canada at the World Championships."

Armstrong, 24, scored 12 goals and recorded 34 points this past season - his first full campaign in the NHL. He tied a team record with three overtime goals.

Armstrong scored 16 goals and recorded 40 points in 47 games with the Penguins as a rookie in 2005-06.
With his signing, the Penguins have only two remaining restricted free agents: center Tim Brent and defenseman Ryan Lannon.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_516992.html

section514
07-12-2007, 03:37 PM
Steigerwald reported tonight on "The Nightly Sports Call" that there is a rumor going around that Lemieux is trying to get the game changed to either Heinz or PNC. I can only pray.

I can't see that happening at all, not with a chance of the steelers having a playoff game at home four days later, what would a hockey rink do to that grass? (after Pitt and the high school games it doesn't recover at all)

and PNC park would have terrible seating and could only hold about 39,000 (if they put seats around the rink).

I am sorry but it won't be in Pittsburgh

SteelCityMan786
07-12-2007, 03:39 PM
I can't see that happening at all, not with a chance of the steelers having a playoff game at home four days later, what would a hockey rink do to that grass? (after Pitt and the high school games it doesn't recover at all)

and PNC park would have terrible seating and could only hold about 39,000 (if they put seats around the rink).

I am sorry but it won't be in Pittsburgh

That's my only question about it. How are they supposed to set the seating.

83-Steelers-43
07-12-2007, 03:39 PM
I can't see that happening at all, not with a chance of the steelers having a playoff game at home four days later, what would a hockey rink do to that grass? (after Pitt and the high school games it doesn't recover at all)

and PNC park would have terrible seating and could only hold about 39,000 (if they put seats around the rink).

I am sorry but it won't be in Pittsburgh

While I would love to see it, I guess we'll see what Lemieux does. Like I said, it's only a rumor.

SteelCityMan786
07-12-2007, 03:42 PM
While I would love to see it, I guess we'll see what Lemieux does. Like I said, it's only a rumor.

I'm thinking they don't do that. The Penguins need to worry more about the season at Mellon Arena and getting the new arena built.

83-Steelers-43
07-12-2007, 05:28 PM
Pens add more minor-league depth
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Penguins signed centers Chris Minard and Nathan Smith to two-year contracts, today.
Both players will likely play this season in the AHL with the Penguins' affiliate in Wilkes/Barre-Scranton.

Minard, 25, scored 32 goals and recorded 49 points with Lowell of the AHL last season. He has totaled 39 goals and 68 points in 103 AHL games since 2004-05.

Smith, 25, scored 19 goals and recorded 40 points with Manitoba of the AHL last season. He also played in a game with the Vancouver Canucks. Smith has appeared in 327 AHL games and scored 47 goals, 113 points. He was a first-round pick (23rd overall) by Vancouver in 2000.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_516984.html

83-Steelers-43
07-12-2007, 06:32 PM
LEMIEUX WANTS ICE BOWL IN PITTSBURGH

On Tuesday, WGR in Buffalo reported that Ralph Wilson Stadium is in line to host a January 1 hockey game between the Sabres and the Pittsburgh Penguins. (We erroneously characterized WGR’s report as indicating that the “Ice Bowl” is a done deal for Buffalo. It isn’t.)

A source tells us that Penguins owner Mario Lemieux doesn’t just want to play in the game; he is lobbying to host it.

Presumably, the game would be played at Heinz Field. But it also could be played in the more intimate (and visually pleasing) confines of PNC Park.

Stay tuned. Although the official NHL schedule shows that the Penguins will play at Buffalo on January 1, it’s possible that the schedule for the match between skating cement-heads isn’t etched in cement.

So, in other words, there’s still hope that the self-destructive NHL will still decide that it would be a great idea to play the “Ice Bowl” at the same time as the Super Bowl.

http://www.pittsburghsportsinsider.com/?p=1101

SteelCityMan786
07-12-2007, 06:59 PM
If they try to play it at Heinz Field, it will be interesting how they manage to set up the field.

X-Terminator
07-13-2007, 08:36 AM
Pens' outdoor game may be played in February

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, July 13, 2007

A proposed outdoor hockey game involving the Penguins and Buffalo Sabres could be played Feb. 17, 2008, rather than New Year's Day.

The Penguins are scheduled to play twice in Buffalo this season, once Jan. 1 and again Feb. 17. Each game is scheduled to be played at HSBC Arena and start at 1 p.m., but the Feb. 17 contest will be played on a Sunday -- an ideal slot for NBC to televise an outdoor game, given that major sporting competition would be limited to the NBA and college basketball.

Buffalo is scheduled to play only four Sunday home games this season -- two in February. Only the game against the Penguins is scheduled for 1 p.m. (The Sabres will play host to Florida at 7 p.m. Feb. 10.)

If the NHL decided to move the Feb. 17 game outdoors, the contest likely would be played at Ralph Wilson Stadium. One possible drawback to this scenario is that Buffalo is scheduled to play in New York against the Rangers at 1 p.m. Feb. 16.

Logistics, notably climate concerns, could prevent an "Ice Bowl" from being played in early January. Also, NBC might be re-evaluating airing an outdoor hockey game opposite popular college bowl games.

Buffalo's early winter was unseasonably mild last year, with the temperature on New Year's Day recorded at above freezing, according to the National Weather Service.

However, the latter part of Buffalo's winter, especially February, was harsh -- with an average high temperature of 24.1 degrees and a low of 13. It was Buffalo's coldest February in 28 years and the snowiest in 12, with flakes falling on 26 of 28 days.

The high temperature in Buffalo on Feb. 17, 2007, was 24 degrees, and the city was recovering from a winter storm that dropped nearly eight inches of snow.

The NHL would not comment on a possible outdoor game, but it is believed to favor holding such an event in a northern U.S. city. Larger markets such as New York City and Boston have already reportedly been ruled out.

The Penguins, too, would not comment. However, they have told the NHL they are willing to participate in an outdoor game, but only as a visiting club. The league is believed to favor playing the game in Buffalo, against either the Penguins or Detroit Red Wings -- two prominent U.S.-based clubs that are within reasonable driving distance of Buffalo.

A final decision on a possible outdoor game is not expected before August.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_517017.html

X-Terminator
07-13-2007, 08:39 AM
If they try to play it at Heinz Field, it will be interesting how they manage to set up the field.

Well, it looks like that isn't the case, and evidently was never considered since it says in the article I just posted that the Pens told the league that they'd only be interested in playing the game as the visiting team.

X-Terminator
07-13-2007, 08:42 AM
I hope that hack SI "journalist" reads this article. He might learn something, so that the next time he tries to write a hockey article, he'll actually know what the hell he's talking about.

Crosby a superstar everyone should respect

By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, July 13, 2007

At 19, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has established himself as the face of the National Hockey League.

He's a superstar who doesn't behave like one.

Crosby is every sports fan's fantasy: The hands-down No. 1 player who plays for the love of the game and doesn't take himself too seriously, while understanding that playing in the NHL is a privilege and not a right.

What a concept.

A league featuring a player such as Crosby -- the reigning league MVP who graciously turned down millions of dollars to sign a more team-friendly, five-year contract extension Tuesday -- is worth watching.

It should behoove NHL commissioner Gary Bettman to acquire a better television contract, so more people can watch a league with a star attraction such as Crosby, who's too good to be true.

True hockey fans know all about Crosby, who's worshipped here.

But Crosby's blue-collar appeal transcends the NHL and has the potential to draw people who don't know a red line from a foul line but pine for a humble superstar with a strong work ethic.

What Crosby did this week off the ice rivals what he accomplished on the ice last season.

What he did is just about unheard of for a player of his lofty status. He's a superstar who left millions of dollars on the table when he could have waited another year to negotiate and drive up his price.

Peyton Manning wouldn't do it in the NFL. A-Rod wouldn't do it in Major League Baseball. Kobe Bryant wouldn't do it in the NBA.

Make no mistake, Crosby is every bit as good in hockey.

He's the best of the best. He zigs when other players zag. He sees plays unfold before they happen. He plays the game on a completely different level from everyone else.

He's earned the right to squeeze every dollar out of the Penguins because not only does he help his team win, he brings more value to the franchise.

But Crosby isn't consumed by ego. He's comfortable with who he is.

He wants to win, and the best way for the Penguins to win is to keep their young and talented nucleus intact.

He's doing his part by signing a contract extension that will pay him what he's worth, but it may not be what he deserves over the length of the deal.

Crosby will be set for life before he turns 24. He'll never have to worry about money again. But it's still a bargain for the best player in the NHL.

Penguins fans should never begrudge Crosby his money and fame.

To his way of thinking, Crosby doesn't have to be the highest-paid player or drive the most expensive car to be happy. Heck, he's still a renter at Mario Lemieux's home during the season.

It's the kind of thinking fans would love to see from more superstar athletes.

Respect the game. Respect the fans. Remember where you came from.

Crosby has never forgotten.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/penguins/s_517020.html

SteelCityMan786
07-13-2007, 10:16 AM
Well, it looks like that isn't the case, and evidently was never considered since it says in the article I just posted that the Pens told the league that they'd only be interested in playing the game as the visiting team.

That's what I originally thought. The Penguins have the new arena to get prepared for.

section514
07-13-2007, 10:22 AM
no way is this game in Pittsburgh, but if some how it were to make it to Pittsburgh, i hope they make a lot of tickets available, how many does Mellon arena hold? there has to be a huge difference from the 65,000+ at Heinz Field.

SteelCityMan786
07-13-2007, 10:25 AM
no way is this game in Pittsburgh, but if some how it were to make it to Pittsburgh, i hope they make a lot of tickets available, how many does Mellon arena hold? there has to be a huge difference from the 65,000+ at Heinz Field.

17,132 with standing room.

section514
07-13-2007, 10:28 AM
you better believe if it was in pittsburgh it would get sold out. may be hard to see the puck up in row AZ section 512, but who cares it would be sweet to hear Let's go Pens echo in that stadium, I started a here we go steelers chant years ago at mellon arena it was sweet

SteelCityMan786
07-13-2007, 10:31 AM
you better believe if it was in pittsburgh it would get sold out. may be hard to see the puck up in row AZ section 512, but who cares it would be sweet to hear Let's go Pens echo in that stadium, I started a here we go steelers chant years ago at mellon arena it was sweet

Just don't start an Eagles chant at Phillies games. They get annoyed by it. I can tell. I have seen groups that condem it at their games.

section514
07-13-2007, 10:35 AM
if i were to go to any event in philly, the here we go steelers would def get started by me and anyone else who wanted to,

SteelCityMan786
07-13-2007, 10:37 AM
if i were to go to any event in philly, the here we go steelers would def get started by me and anyone else who wanted to,

haha. we run risk of getting beat up. But hey, just flash them 5. They'll just be jealous.

pittsburghp8baller
07-13-2007, 10:43 AM
haha. we run risk of getting beat up. But hey, just flash them 5. They'll just be jealous.

haha jus take my dad along he has been in more stadium fights than i can count. until i was 4 i thought that the cast on my dads hand was part of his body when it was really he kept breaking his knuckles over brownies faces. im sure he wouldnt mind breaking it over a eagles face.

:thumbsup:

section514
07-13-2007, 10:45 AM
i wear steeler gear in every town I visit, ohio is the best to do it and i love doing at myrtle beach becuase the entire beach is from pittsburgh its like a giant steeler beach party.

anyways, this offseason for the pens has been incredible. everything is going right, i am happy we signed Colby yesterday!

83-Steelers-43
07-13-2007, 11:16 AM
Christ, I'm at the point now where I really don't care when and where they play the damn game. Just set a date, time and place and get it over with already. Really don't care anymore...lol.

SteelCityMan786
07-13-2007, 11:18 AM
Christ, I'm at the point now where I really don't care when and where they play the damn game. Just set a date, time and place and get it over with already. Really don't care anymore...lol.

I don't care either. Give us a time and place and we're there. We'll beat them Sabres any time.

83-Steelers-43
07-13-2007, 11:20 AM
anyways, this offseason for the pens has been incredible. everything is going right, i am happy we signed Colby yesterday!

Amen. The Colby signing was beautiful. While his offensive stats dropped last season, he still brings to the table something that this team will need down the road when they are making cup runs. My comparison, he's our Troy Loney with a little more talent.

Like I said before, if Therrien asked him to run through a brick wall, Colby would be more than willing. Add that to his personality and sense of humor and you also have a good lockerroom guy. It also doesn't hurt that we locked up Sid's best friend on the team for two more years.

Up next for signings: Therrien and Fleury

section514
07-13-2007, 11:23 AM
i got to sit next to him at the cheese cake factory, his girlfriend is hot he was with his family too so i left him alone, but i was two feet away from him for like an hour, it was right after a game it was packed with pens fans, but hardly anyone noticed really

83-Steelers-43
07-13-2007, 11:25 AM
Last I heard, after Sid and Colby signed their new contracts, they went to the nearest strip bar and "made it rain". Then they shot up the place and left. Colby ended up giving some chick VD and Sid was busted trying to sneak some weed through the Pittsburgh Airport in a water bottle.

SteelCityMan786
07-13-2007, 11:37 AM
Last I heard, after Sid and Colby signed their new contracts, they went to the nearest strip bar and "made it rain". Then they shot up the place and left. Colby ended up giving some chick VD and Sid was busted trying to sneak some weed through the Pittsburgh Airport in a water bottle.

DON'T LISTEN TO HIM! HE WAS TALKING ABOUT PACMAN AND VICK! :sofunny:

83-Steelers-43
07-13-2007, 04:04 PM
Another left handed center? :huh:

This also makes two former first round picks that we have signed in the last two days.

Penguins sign center Taffe, goaltender Curry
By The Tribune-Review
Friday, July 13, 2007

The Penguins today announced the signing of center Jeff Taffe and goaltender John Curry to two-year contracts.

Taffe, 26, appeared in 17 games with the Phoenix Coyotes last season. He had four goals and two assists. In 100 career NHL games, he has 15 goals and 13 assists for 28 points.

Curry, 23, was the goaltender at Boston University last year. He had a .928 save percentage that ranked sixth in the nation. He also led the nation with seven shutouts and was fourth with a 2.01 goals-against average.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_517200.html

83-Steelers-43
07-13-2007, 04:37 PM
Chris Minard is an interesting one, he scored a lot of goals in the Devils AHL team last year and I don't think Nathan Smith needs an introduction.

Jeff Taffe signing is a little confusing. I'm not exactly sure another left handed shooting center was a major need at this point in time (for the Penguins or for the AHL). Curry is some nice depth/competition for WBS.

SteelCityMan786
07-13-2007, 09:19 PM
Chris Minard is an interesting one, he scored a lot of goals in the Devils AHL team last year and I don't think Nathan Smith needs an introduction.

Jeff Taffe signing is a little confusing. I'm not exactly sure another left handed shooting center was a major need at this point in time (for the Penguins or for the AHL). Curry is some nice depth/competition for WBS.

That could be a signing for Wheeling.

83-Steelers-43
07-14-2007, 11:01 PM
Shero, Patrick had similar starts as Pens' GMs
By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, July 15, 2007

The eras are different. The situation, though, is ironically identical.

A struggling hockey franchise with the sport's greatest offensive talent, a potential franchise goaltender, a top-tier offensive defenseman and ready-for-prime-time young talents is turned over to a well-regarded executive who has the game in his bloodline.

Ray Shero always has been quick to credit his predecessor, Craig Patrick.

History might ultimately show that the two most recent general managers of the Penguins inherited the franchise under almost identical circumstances -- and that each man was the perfect person for the job.

Shero's resume will need at least two Stanley Cups and 10 additional playoff appearances to match the mostly storied run Patrick guided the Penguins on from his hiring of Dec. 5, 1989 to his dismissal on April 20, 2006.

Still, Shero is off to a promising start.

"For a general manager that is still young in his tenure, Ray has done a fantastic job," said Bill Clement, Versus hockey analyst and two-time Stanley Cup champion. "There had not been much stability in Pittsburgh for quite a while. Ray has added some stability to the culture."

Clement was a key cog on the brute-force Flyers teams that won the Cup in 1974 and 1975. Those teams were coached by Shero's father, Fred. Clement said the son, as a manager, often flashes some of the late former coach's greatest trait.

"To get people to follow you, which Ray does, you have to be an expert in the art of pulling people -- Fred was like that," Clement said. "Ray is all about structure and encouragement. He creates the kind of environment that contributes to success."

Like Patrick before him, Shero took over a franchise ripe with potential. Patrick was fortunate to have a core that included Mario Lemieux, Tom Barrasso, Paul Coffey, John Cullen, Rob Brown and Zarley Zalapski. He also was blessed with emerging prospects such as Mark Recchi and Kevin Stevens.

All of those players were leftovers from previous general managers Ed Johnston and Tony Esposito. Patrick would parlay each of them, some via trades to acquire other pieces, into helping the Penguins transform from a team that missed the playoffs in 1990 to a two-time Stanley Cup champion in 1991 and 1992.

Upon taking over as general manager on May 25, 2006, Shero knew he would preside over a core that included Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury and Ryan Whitney. He too was blessed, with the promise of Evgeni Malkin and in-the-system talents such as Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen and Kris Letang.

(Patrick and Shero even share draft fortune: Jaromir Jagr, fifth overall in 1990, was Patrick's first pick with the Penguins; Jordan Staal, second overall in 2006, holds the same standing for Shero.)

"The cupboard was not bare for Ray," Nashville general manager David Poile said. "I cannot think of any organization with a greater window to contend than Pittsburgh."

Shero was an assistant to Poile before taking over the Penguins.

"It is a cliche, but everybody knew, and Ray knew, that he was ready," Poile said. "We had seven years of seeing Ray work and be involved in every decision that went on with the Predators.

"He was looking for the right job at the right time. He has great confidence and patience."

Such have been hallmarks of Shero's short time with the Penguins.

Look simply at his handling of Staal this past season. Shero showed confidence by keeping an 18-year-old on the NHL roster for an entire season. All the while he, along with coach Michel Therrien, patiently brought along Staal, who was afforded more on-ice responsibility only after proving consistently that he was ready.

Another example is the manner in which Shero allowed the Penguins to slowly grow into a playoff contender last season before adding a necessary, battle-tested veteran forward. That was in the form of Gary Roberts at the trade deadline, a move that cemented the club's standing.

This offseason, he waited out Roberts and Recchi before re-signing them to terms with which he was comfortable. He also locked up Crosby and Whitney for the next six years at annual salary cap costs that allowed the Penguins to retain players such as Armstrong, Christensen and Maxime Talbot.

In fact, most within hockey circles agree that the deals Shero gave Crosby and Whitney will give him a high-percentage shot of keeping Fleury and either Malkin or Staal -- perhaps both -- in Pittsburgh for the long run.

Plus, on the free-agent market, Shero essentially replaced winger Michel Ouellet and defenseman Josef Melichar with Cup-winning veterans Petr Sykora and Darryl Sydor.

He has yet to pull off trades that would bring the likes of Ron Francis, Ulf Samuelsson and Larry Murphy to the Penguins. Then again, he is only a year into the job.

"Ray gets it. I don't know how else to say it. He gets it," Clement said. "He understands the elements of a winning team. Some GMs don't, you know?"

Until his final seasons, Patrick got it, too. He needed less than a year to begin molding the franchise into his vision -- one that would bring Pittsburgh previously unimagined hockey success.

In Shero's first season, the Penguins experienced a 47-point turnaround. They will enter his second as a serious Cup contender.

"It looks to be a very strong franchise for the foreseeable future, and you cannot say that about many NHL teams," Poile said. "Ray has really set the table."

Like his predecessor, Shero was provided with a lot of the dinnerware. His job is to cook the meal.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_517269.html

83-Steelers-43
07-14-2007, 11:02 PM
Patrick to Shero ... and the Pens' future
By The Tribune-Review
Sunday, July 15, 2007

PATRICK'S LAST STAND

After winning the draft lottery and the right to select scoring teenage phenom Sidney Crosby, then-Penguins general manager Craig Patrick embarked upon a spending spree in the hopes of making his club an instant Stanley Cup contender in the post-lockout NHL. A look at how the Penguins' roster shaped up heading into the 2005-06 season:

Returning faces, with base salary

Sebastien Caron, Goal
$646,000

Rico Fata, left wing
$551,000

Ric Jackman, defense
$760,000

Konstantin Koltsov, right wing
$627,000

Mario Lemieux, center
$3,000,000

Ryan Malone, left wing
$750,000

Josef Melichar, defense
$750,000

Brooks Orpik, defense
$650,000

Lasse Pirjeta, center
$456,000

Dick Tarnstrom, defense
$1,600,000

Newcomers

Sidney Crosby, center
$850,000

Sergei Gonchar, defense
$5,000,000

John LeClair, left wing
$1,800,000

Lyle Odelein, defense
$500,000

Ziggy Palffy, right wing
$4,500,000

Steve Poapst, defense
$500,000

Mark Recchi, right wing
$2,280,000

Andre Roy, right wing
$1,000,000

Jocelyn Thibault, goal
$1,500,000

Ryan VandenBussche, right wing
$450,000

Up from the farm

Rob Scuderi, defense
$500,000

Maxime Talbot, center
$526,000

Matt Murley, right wing
$450,000

Total cap salary: $27,594,000

Rob Rossi's analysis

The Penguins made a splash coming out of the 2004-05 lockout, but they went a long way toward drafting the blueprint for how not to play the free-agent game in the salary-cap world. Patrick was backed by ownership in going after veterans such as Gonchar, Palffy and LeClair, but he bet on past-their-prime horses in most cases. The Penguins, ill-suited for a faster "new" NHL, staggered out of the gate, which ultimately cost coach Eddie Olczyk his job and the team any hope of reaching the playoffs. Lemieux and Palffy retired midseason, Recchi was traded to Carolina at the deadline and Thibault missed most of the campaign due to injury. The team struggled to a 58-point regular season. Patrick did not anticipate how the post-lockout NHL would work, either on or off the ice. His lack of vision cost the Penguins a season, but the club would prove fortunate to land another top draft pick, which Patrick's replacement would use to draft Jordan Staal.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SHERO TAKES CHARGE

After replacing Patrick as general manager, Ray Shero set about reshaping the Penguins -- a plan that would include turning over on-ice responsibilities to many of the team's promising young prospects. A look at how the Penguins' roster shaped up headed into the 2006-07 season:

Returning faces, with base salary

Colby Armstrong, right wing
$816,953

Eric Cairns, defense
$589,000

Sidney Crosby, center
$850,000

Marc-Andre Fleury, goal
$989,520

Sergei Gonchar, defense
$4,500,000

John LeClair, left wing
$1,500,000

Ryan Malone, left wing
$1,300,000

Josef Melichar, defense
$750,000

Brooks Orpik, defense
$1,000,000

Michel Ouellet, right wing
$500,000

Andre Roy, right wing
$1,000,000

Rob Scuderi, defense
$550,000

Maxime Talbot, center
$545,000

Jocelyn Thibault, goal
$1,500,000

Ryan Whitney, defense
$900,600

Newcomers

Mark Eaton, defense
$1,600,000

Nils Ekman, right wing
$1,100,000

Evgeni Malkin, center
$984,200

Dominic Moore, center
$700,000

Ronald Petrovicky, right wing
$450,000

Mark Recchi, right wing
$2,280,000

Jarkko Ruutu, left wing
$1,150,000

Jordan Staal, center
$850,000

Up from the farm

Erik Christensen, center
$488,000

Alain Nasreddine, defense
$450,000

• Total cap salary: $25,404,073

Rossi's analysis

Shero signed second-tier free agents -- some for value (Eaton and Recchi), the rest fairly unproductive (Petrovicky, Ruutu). However, a core of young players led by Crosby, Fleury and Whitney, along with the infusion of first-round talents such as Malkin and Staal, helped the Penguins to a strong finish after veterans such as LeClair and Roy were shown the door a quarter of the way through the season. Shero had the cap (and budget) room to add veterans such as forwards Gary Roberts and Georges Laraque at the trade deadline. And behind coach Michel Therrien's disciplined teachings the Penguins achieved a 47-point turnaround to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2001. Shero remains quick to credit Patrick and the previous staff for drafting the likes of Crosby, Fleury, Whitney and Malkin, but Shero deserves equal praise for realizing the Penguins were best served to turn over the reins to their young core. Shero's first free-agent season was nothing special, but his move to acquire Roberts at the deadline cemented the Penguins as a playoff team -- and who would have predicted that coming into last season?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
THE NEXT STEP

Shero said last month the Penguins would not prove major players in the free-agent market. Instead, the team focused on securing the long-term services of its own while again attempting to find value among the free-agent field. A look at how the Penguins are starting to shape up headed into the 2007-08 season:

Returning faces, with base salary

Colby Armstrong, right wing
$1,200,000

Sidney Crosby, center
$850,000

Erik Christensen, center
$750,000

Mark Eaton, defense
$1,600,000

Marc-Andre Fleury, goal
$1,600,000

Sergei Gonchar, defense
$5,500,000

Georges Laraque, right wing
$1,300,000

Ryan Malone, left wing
$1,450,000

Evgeni Malkin, center
$984,200

Gary Roberts, left wing
$2,500,000

Mark Recchi, right wing
$1,750,000

Jarkko Ruutu, left wing
$1,150,000

Jordan Staal, center
$850,000

Brooks Orpik, defense
$1,075,000

Rob Scuderi, defense
$700,000

Maxime Talbot, center
$650,000

Ryan Whitney, defense
$2,500,000

Newcomers

Tim Brent, center
Unsigned

Kris Letang, defense
$560,000

Petr Sykora, left wing
$2,500,000

Darryl Sydor, defense
$2,500,000

Dany Sabourin, goal
$500,000

Jeff Taffe, left wing
$500,000

Up from the farm

Jonathan Filewich, right wing
$525,000

• Total cap salary: $32,294,200

Rossi's analysis

Whitney's new six-year, $24 million contract will likely prove great value to the Penguins, especially this season if he is again a top-10 scoring defenseman for a cost of $2,500,000. Crosby, even with rookie bonus incentives that will nearly quadruple his base salary, is a bargain considering his standing as the game's elite player. His average cap number of $8,700,000 for five seasons after this year should allow the Penguins to keep Fleury, and either Staal or Malkin (maybe both) into the next decade. The Penguins' budget this season figures to be around $40 million -- or $10,300,000 less than the salary cap. Shero's shrewd signings of Sykora, Sydor (and even restricted free agents such as Christensen and Talbot) should allow the Penguins to contend for the playoffs again, and with some breathing room under the budget the team will likely have room to upgrade at the trade deadline. It is early, but Shero's plan of attack to build for the future while steadily improving in the present is coming into focus. If he can work some more trade-deadline magic, the Penguins might go from Eastern Conference contender to favorite (barring an injury to one of "The Big Five.")
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
• Total cap salary does not include entry-level contract bonuses, such as the one afforded to Sidney Crosby on his current deal. (Crosby will cost the Penguins an additional $2,833,333 against the salary cap this year on top of his base salary.) Total cap salary also does not include an average annual cap salary figure. (Ryan Whitney will earn $2,500,000 in 2007-08, but his salary-cap figure will be $4,000,000 -- the average annual salary of his six-year contract.) Total cap salary also does not account for performance bonuses, such as the extra $250,000 that Mark Recchi stands to earn this season.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_517372.html

83-Steelers-43
07-14-2007, 11:07 PM
Finder: Penguins window shopping
Sunday, July 15, 2007

By Chuck Finder, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

That cool breeze you feel isn't the wind blowing off Lake Ontario, near where a hotly debated outdoor game could be played this winter between the Penguins and host Buffalo Sabres, and doesn't everybody want to bundle up and tailgate at a football stadium for an Eastern Conference game against a Chris Drury and Michel Briere-less club in the NHL dog days of February?

Rather, it's from the Window of Opportunity.

Your friendly, neighborhood Waterfowl flung open that baby this week. General manager Ray Shero leaned out and informed the rest of the puck planet that his frightful and no longer flightless team figures to be around until at least 2013. So order those Stanley Cup Finals tickets now.

Indubitably, two factors were revealed this week when Sidney Crosby accepted that red-light special of a contract, not exactly a full hometown discount, yet still between a 16-25 percent markdown annually through his five-year extension:

The first year of Crosby's big salary, along with the third of Ryan Whitney's new, six-year deal, not accidentally coincides with the inaugural season of the new arena, 2009-10, meaning those much-needed revenue streams are being fished long before even the first trickle.

The last season, along with Whitney's, is 2012-13, meaning that a twentysomething Crosby and a similarly, finely aged crop of Penguins talent are tentatively earmarked to remain together to contend for Lord Stanley's tureen for the next half-dozen years, minimum.

The futures market is a risky business. Potential hardly works out like you expect ..., or is it that expectations hardly work out like they portent?

A certain owner-player-landlord didn't win his first Stanley Cups until his seventh and eighth NHL seasons, requiring the proper mixture of talent and fortunes around him. Interestingly, The Kid born on 8-7-87 with the $8.7 million-a-year salary cap average -- good thing he wasn't born on Dec. 31, eh? -- will be in his seventh and eighth pro winters in the final pair of extension seasons, '12 and '13. But he will need talent around him.

A window is only a window, with plenty of glass to shatter and an opening only so wide.

An opportunity is only an opportunity, with the averages tilting toward squandering more often than not.

Yet Shero has a blueprint, plain to see ... and, no, he didn't sign Crosby merely to keep buddy Colby Armstrong happy. He has set out to secure the Penguins' core. On deck: goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

"I talked to his agent a little bit this past week," Shero said, referring to the same Allan Walsh with whom last summer he negotiated a two-year contract that pays the netminder $1.6 million this season, the deal's last. "We might look at this, see if there's something that makes sense to their side and our side."

Such an extension is a bit of a Penguins risk, for Fleury only posted one solid season to date: last year. Still, Shero could try to lock up him for several years around a $3 million average, then await the ensuing chess move next summer, when he can wrangle with Jordan Staal and Evgeni Malkin, who, incidentally, is represented by the same agency as Crosby.

Already, though, the GM and the Penguins have committed to pay $53 million -- more than a full-cap season thus far -- of the $67.5 million Crosby-Whitney deals over the first four years of the New Lemieux Igloo. Moreover, add in that guesstimated Fleury figure, and they would have promised roughly $15.7 million per season, or more than one-quarter of the payroll, to just three players. Throw in, for discussion's sake before this important upcoming season, salary averages of $4 million and $6 million for Staal and Malkin respectively, and it computes to almost half of the team's ceiling payroll invested in but five players. That leaves the remaining 20 or so to split a budget that averages $1.54 million per Penguin right now, long before the big deals kick in. Their cap work has only just begun.

"This time next year, I might feel differently about our team and our players," Shero said. "Right know, we feel good."

Like long-time contenders.

Markets change. Times change. After all, young parts named Rob Brown, John Cullen, Zarley Zalapski and Mark Recchi became expendable when the Penguins were trying to win a first Cup, let alone a second. A third or fourth in the 1990s never came, either. No need to prematurely crow about cores and discounts and flexibilities until the opportunity is ultimately fulfilled, until that window opens to a victory parade.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07196/801772-195.stm

SteelCityMan786
07-14-2007, 11:08 PM
it just goes to show you how much things have changed.

83-Steelers-43
07-15-2007, 11:02 PM
Crosby deal is bargain for Pens
By Guy Junker
FOR THE TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, July 16, 2007

Amazingly, some media members were not impressed with Sidney Crosby's willingness to take less than the maximum in his new contract with the Penguins.

Most of those writers were from out of town and, in fact, most were from north of the border where perhaps they would have been more impressed had he signed with Toronto or Montreal.

There is no doubt the Penguins will be challenged financially to keep all of their young talent under contract in Pittsburgh. But there is also no doubt that Crosby has to be the top priority and getting him for more than a million dollars less per year than he could have demanded is a bargain for the Penguins any way you slice it.

Perhaps the salary cap will go up, making it even more of a deal as the seasons go on; perhaps the cap will not go up much as it's been buoyed by a solid rise in value of the Canadian dollar.

Regardless, it is a problem 29 other teams in the league would love to have.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_517432.html

SteelCityMan786
07-15-2007, 11:04 PM
Crosby deal is bargain for Pens
By Guy Junker
FOR THE TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, July 16, 2007

Amazingly, some media members were not impressed with Sidney Crosby's willingness to take less than the maximum in his new contract with the Penguins.

Most of those writers were from out of town and, in fact, most were from north of the border where perhaps they would have been more impressed had he signed with Toronto or Montreal.

There is no doubt the Penguins will be challenged financially to keep all of their young talent under contract in Pittsburgh. But there is also no doubt that Crosby has to be the top priority and getting him for more than a million dollars less per year than he could have demanded is a bargain for the Penguins any way you slice it.

Perhaps the salary cap will go up, making it even more of a deal as the seasons go on; perhaps the cap will not go up much as it's been buoyed by a solid rise in value of the Canadian dollar.

Regardless, it is a problem 29 other teams in the league would love to have.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_517432.html

Those 29 other teams probably will never have that problem.

83-Steelers-43
07-15-2007, 11:12 PM
most were from north of the border where perhaps they would have been more impressed had he signed with Toronto or Montreal.

That pretty much sums it up.

X-Terminator
07-16-2007, 07:18 AM
Those 29 other teams probably will never have that problem.

I've just come to accept the fact that no matter what Sid does, the Canadian media will never accept that he's the best player in the world, that he plays in Pittsburgh, and will do whatever they can to tear him down. Yes, the salary cap will probably prevent the Penguins from retaining both Malkin and Staal long-term since Fleury's due up next for a big raise. But no matter what they say, Sid took less money to try and help the team, plain and simple. When the Pens were prepared to pay him the max, how can that NOT be looked at as a discount? How much would he had to have taken for them to deem it a true "hometown discount?" Why should we give two shits about what any of them think in the first place?

SteelCityMan786
07-16-2007, 10:02 AM
I've just come to accept the fact that no matter what Sid does, the Canadian media will never accept that he's the best player in the world, that he plays in Pittsburgh, and will do whatever they can to tear him down. Yes, the salary cap will probably prevent the Penguins from retaining both Malkin and Staal long-term since Fleury's due up next for a big raise. But no matter what they say, Sid took less money to try and help the team, plain and simple. When the Pens were prepared to pay him the max, how can that NOT be looked at as a discount? How much would he had to have taken for them to deem it a true "hometown discount?" Why should we give two shits about what any of them think in the first place?

Well I think Evgeni and staal won't take huge pay raises. If they do, it will have to about probably 5 years 25 million.

83-Steelers-43
07-16-2007, 10:10 AM
Penguins coach Therrien gets 1-year contract extension
Monday, July 16, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins coach Michel Therrien has agreed to a one-year contract extension.

Because he has one season remaining on his current deal, Therrien will remain on the payroll at least through the 2008-09 season.

He led the Penguins to a 47-24-11 record last season; that was good for 105 points, the second-highest total in franchise history and a 47-point improvement that ranks as the fourth-best in NHL history -- as well as their first playoff berth since 2001.

Therrien's performance was rewarded when he was voted a finalist for the Jack Adams Trophy, which goes to the NHL's top coach.

He coached the Penguins' farm team in Wilkes-Barre for parts of three seasons before succeeding Eddie Olczyk as coach here in December, 2005. Before that, he coached the Montreal Canadiens for parts of three seasons.

Also, the Penguins signed two free-agent defensemen expected to compete for jobs in Wilkes-Barre, Mark Ardelan and Deryk Engelland.

Ardelan, 24, had eight goals and 30 assists in 79 games with Iowa of the American Hockey League last season, while Engelland, 25, had four goals, six assists and 95 penalty minutes in 44 games with Hershey of the AHL.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07197/802084-100.stm

section514
07-16-2007, 10:11 AM
damn 83 i just got that text from the pens and you beat me to it,

83-Steelers-43
07-16-2007, 10:21 AM
Smart signing. See what he does next year. If he keeps up the good work you sign him to a longer extension. It's good for both sides. I love what he has done with this team since arriving, but it's better safe than sorry.

I can hear it now though............"WHAT IN THE HELL IS SHERO DOING!!!"....."WHAT AN IDIOT"....."THIS IS WORSE THAN THE FREE AGENCY SIGNING PERIOD!!!".....Morons.

X-Terminator
07-16-2007, 10:31 AM
Well I think Evgeni and staal won't take huge pay raises. If they do, it will have to about probably 5 years 25 million.

I'd be ecstatic if they both got that, but I doubt they will. If Malkin has 2 more seasons as good or better than last season, he will get at least $6 million per season. Staal might get between $4 million and $5 million per season if he continues to improve. With Crosby making $8.7 million, Whitney $5 million and Fleury $2.5-$3 million in 2009-10, it's going to make it difficult for the team to sign them both long-term and have enough money left over to fill out the roster with quality talent, even with the revenue from the new arena and especially if the salary cap doesn't increase or even decreases. So it's entirely possible that one of them will have to be let go down the road. It sucks from a fan standpoint, but that's the reality in the salary cap era.

83-Steelers-43
07-16-2007, 10:36 AM
I also saw they picked up Deryk Engelland too. He was a fairly good d-man with the Las Vegas Wranglers and even though he missed a good chunk of the '03-'04 season with an injury, he still grabbed 35 points with 11 assists. I wouldn't be surprised to see him get a chance to play with the Pens if needed.

SteelCityMan786
07-16-2007, 10:37 AM
Smart signing. See what he does next year. If he keeps up the good work you sign him to a longer extension. It's good for both sides. I love what he has done with this team since arriving, but it's better safe than sorry.

I can hear it now though............"WHAT IN THE HELL IS SHERO DOING!!!"....."WHAT AN IDIOT"....."THIS IS WORSE THAN THE FREE AGENCY SIGNING PERIOD!!!".....Morons.

haha, I can hear it now. They're going to just bash the hell out of him. but find later he gets us back to the playoffs and heck, they'll praise him.

SteelCityMan786
07-16-2007, 10:38 AM
I'd be ecstatic if they both got that, but I doubt they will. If Malkin has 2 more seasons as good or better than last season, he will get at least $6 million per season. Staal might get between $4 million and $5 million per season if he continues to improve. With Crosby making $8.7 million, Whitney $5 million and Fleury $2.5-$3 million in 2009-10, it's going to make it difficult for the team to sign them both long-term and have enough money left over to fill out the roster with quality talent, even with the revenue from the new arena and especially if the salary cap doesn't increase or even decreases. So it's entirely possible that one of them will have to be let go down the road. It sucks from a fan standpoint, but that's the reality in the salary cap era.

It pretty much depends though on how much the salary cap increases.

83-Steelers-43
07-16-2007, 10:40 AM
After hearing the cries during and after the FA period would you be surprised SCM? LOL. Remember, we were suppposed to sign Kariya, Briere, Gomez and Drury...:wink02:

HometownGal
07-16-2007, 04:14 PM
Penguins coach Michel Therrien has agreed to a one-year contract extension.

Because he has one season remaining on his current deal, Therrien will remain on the payroll at least through the 2008-09 season.

He led the Penguins to a 47-24-11 record last season; that was good for 105 points, the second-highest total in franchise history and a 47-point improvement that ranks as the fourth-best in NHL history -- as well as their first playoff berth since 2001.

Therrien's performance was rewarded when he was voted a finalist for the Jack Adams Trophy, which goes to the NHL's top coach.


This is excellent news - heard it on the noon news today. :thumbsup: I have loved Therrien since he came to the Burgh and is the coach this young team needs. :cheers:

SteelCityMan786
07-16-2007, 04:29 PM
This is excellent news - heard it on the noon news today. :thumbsup: I have loved Therrien since he came to the Burgh and is the coach this young team needs. :cheers:

Yeah, and since he gave the team a piece of his mind when he came here, its just gotten better.

83-Steelers-43
07-16-2007, 05:48 PM
Ray Shero will be on Sports Beats Wednesday at 6:30. WOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!

SteelCityMan786
07-16-2007, 06:49 PM
Ray Shero will be on Sports Beats Wednesday at 6:30. WOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!

Alright. More talk from the Hockey mind.

83-Steelers-43
07-16-2007, 11:03 PM
Therrien extension with Pens is statement more than commitment
By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The almost Coach of the Year has been contractually tied to the Penguins for another year.

But only one.

Thus, the extension the Penguins announced Monday for coach Michel Therrien amounts to little more than a pat on the back for a job well done and a mandate for more of the same in 2007-08.

Therrien's salary for the upcoming campaign remains unchanged. He gets a bump in 2008-09, and some performance bonuses have been thrown into the mix.

But, basically, that's it.

Therrien, who orchestrated a 47-point improvement and was a finalist for the NHL's Jack Adams Trophy in 2006-07, has been given a little more security by the Penguins, but he has yet to receive a long-term endorsement.

That's the way business is conducted between most NHL teams and most NHL coaches.

Penguins general manager Ray Shero, thrilled as he was with the work turned in by the coaching staff last season, wasn't interested in trailblazing a new way of doing things.

"If I had come in last year and there wasn't a coach in place and I would have hired somebody, I would have hired him for three years," Shero said. "A three-year contract is pretty standard and he would have two years left.

"(Therrien) was pretty agreeable to that."

For that, we'll have to take Shero at his word, because the news conference to announce Therrien's extension was held at a time when Therrien could not be present.

The Penguins clearly aren't yet ready to include Therrien in the franchise Hall of Fame or name a street outside the new arena in his honor. Nor should they be.

As magical as last season became at times, it ended after just five games in the playoffs. That won't be good enough next season.

The pressure is on Therrien to do it again and to make the Penguins' next playoff run more magical than brief.

If he does, the organization has protected itself against allowing Therrien to become a coaching free agent on the heels of profound achievement and can hold another round of extension talks more certain of what it'll be getting for its investment.

If he doesn't, the leash can be appropriately shortened and the axe can be sharpened with little or no financial ramifications influencing the direction in which the Penguins ultimately decide to head.

Assistant coaches Andre Savard and Mike Yeo -- underrated components in the Penguins' stunning metamorphosis -- have not yet been extended for another season along with Therrien, but Shero has "every reason to believe they will."

As for Therrien, Shero likened his one-year reward to the deal the Penguins recently agreed upon with Sidney Crosby in at least one respect.

"(Crosby's) been extended for five (seasons), but hopefully he finishes his career with the Penguins," Shero said.

Therrien is now scheduled to be behind the bench for "at least two more years and hopefully more."

Hopefully, yes, but not necessarily.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_517564.html

83-Steelers-43
07-16-2007, 11:04 PM
Shero's front office is still incomplete
GM is likely to fill two positions of need
Tuesday, July 17, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins general manager Ray Shero has been on the job for nearly 14 months, but his overhaul of the team's front office remains a work-in-progress.

He is poised to hire a director of player development and a director of hockey administration, perhaps as early as today, in an effort to modernize and upgrade how his department performs.

"I wanted to give it a year to see where I thought we might need to fill in and complete the staff," Shero said. "I talked to Chuck [Fletcher, the assistant GM] at the end of the year and we identified these two [needs]."

The director of player personnel, he said, will be charged with monitoring how players already in the organization, but not in the NHL, are progressing, while the new administrator will deal primarily with the financial details of running a franchise.

"[The director of player personnel] will be responsible for keeping in touch with and evaluating our draft picks," Shero said. "When you draft a guy and I say to [director of amateur scouting] Jay Heinbuck and his staff, 'OK, can you go watch this guy play and let us know how he's doing? We have to make a decision on [retaining] him next June,' or whatever the case is.

"They really don't have time for that. Their thing is the '08 draft."

The administrator, he said, might be called on to do a little scouting, but will mostly focus on fiscal issues ranging from staging training camp to helping Shero plan for economic-related issues that arise in the course of doing business.

"What I'm looking for there is a guy who's going to be on top of the salary cap," Shero said. "Not only for us, but around the league. Budget-wise for us, projection-wise for players' salary-arbitration preparation, contract preparation, helping out the scouting staff, administratively."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07198/802207-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
07-16-2007, 11:05 PM
It's back to the basic for Penguins training
Returning to West Point in September
Tuesday, July 17, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins have signed on for another hitch at West Point.

They are scheduled to spend Sept. 23-26 at the U.S. Military Academy in New York, where their stay during training camp last fall received considerable credit for the team-first mind-set the Penguins displayed during the 2006-07 season

"Back by popular demand," general manager Ray Shero said. "The players really enjoyed it."

Coach Michel Therrien, who is working with West Point officials to formulate an itinerary, said "it's going to be a different format" than in 2006, but declined to give details because he doesn't want his players to know what to expect.

The highlight for most players a year ago was a nighttime exercise intended to recreate situations that could be found on a battlefield. The session was so draining, however, that team officials were compelled to alter their plans for the following day.

That meant calling off an on-ice workout that had been scheduled partly for the benefit of their hosts.

"We'd like to give something back to the cadets," Shero said. "We were going to have an open practice for the cadets on the last day, and our guys couldn't even get out of bed, so we had to cancel practice.

"So we have some unfinished business there."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07198/802208-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
07-16-2007, 11:07 PM
Ron Cook: Signing adds to expectations
Tuesday, July 17, 2007

By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As news goes, the Michel Therrien contract extension with the Penguins yesterday ranks well below the long-term signings of Sidney Crosby and Ryan Whitney, the return of Gary Roberts and the free-agent acquisitions of Darryl Sydor and Petr Sykora. But that doesn't mean it isn't a big deal. It made for another marvelous day for a franchise that has a lot of us talking hockey, the playoffs and even the Stanley Cup in the hot, humid dog days of July.

I know, it really is hard to believe.

It says something about Penguins general manager Ray Shero and his open mind that he did a one-year extension with Therrien, the coach he inherited when he took the job in May 2006. Therrien wasn't just any coach; he had a reputation for being tough and old school, a man who was brutally hard on young players and often despised by veterans. It could have made for a difficult situation if not for Shero's willingness to give Therrien a chance.

It says something more about Therrien that he was able to win Shero over. You know how you become a general manager's guy? You win games. Therrien did that for Shero last season, leading the Penguins to a shocking 105-point season, a 47-point improvement from 2005-06. The players -- young and old -- bought into his discipline and structure. The team gave up 246 goals -- 70 fewer than the year before -- without doing harm to its offense. It scored 277 goals, third-most in the NHL. It made the playoffs for the first time in six years.

"This [extension] wasn't a tough decision for me," Shero said.

Therrien still was tough on his young players but picked his spots better. He was very public with his demands of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, threatening to send him to the minors during training camp and then benching him briefly in February. Fleury responded by being the Penguins' best player against Ottawa in the playoffs, better even than the great Crosby. Therrien took a much different approach with Evgeni Malkin, quietly calling him into his office during a trip to Atlanta in December and telling him through interpreter Sergei Gonchar that he expected so much more from him. Malkin went on to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL's rookie of the year.

Along the way, Therrien showed a kinder, gentler side. That was most evident during the dads' weekend trip to Dallas and Phoenix in January, when he made sure he played everybody on the roster so the proud fathers, some of whom came from halfway around the world, could watch their sons. It will be evident again Aug. 2, when he will be the host for a team golf outing and dinner in Montreal, his offseason home. He did it last year for players who lived in the area, but, at Crosby's suggestion, invited the entire team this time. Those are gestures even the veterans can appreciate.

"We all change with the years," Therrien said over the phone yesterday between trips to a Montreal hospital, where his recently widowed mother, Rachel, is being treated for a blood pressure problem. "But the one thing I won't lose is my passion for winning, my passion for the way I think a team should be run. I'll keep demanding the same work ethic. You need discipline on and off the ice if you want to be a champion."

Roberts wouldn't have re-signed with the Penguins if he disliked Therrien. Sydor and Sykora wouldn't have signed here if they feared playing for Therrien. As much fun as it will be for them to play with Crosby, it's not worth being miserable.

"There's a way to be demanding as a coach, but also fair. I think Michel does a good job with that," Shero said.

Said an appreciative Therrien, "Ray understands my profession." Shero should; he's the son of longtime NHL coach Fred Shero.

Of course, none of that means Therrien will be the Penguins' coach five years from now or three years from now or even one year from now. The NHL is notorious for routinely discarding coaches, which explains why Shero gave Therrien just the one extra year. Shero's predecessor, Craig Patrick, hired seven coaches after he made the poor choice to allow Scotty Bowman to leave after the 1992-93 season. He fired poor Ivan Hlinka just four games into the 2001-02 season. The New Jersey Devils -- one of the league's most successful franchises -- just hired their 14th coach in 26 seasons. General manager Lou Lamoriello fired Claude Julien with three games to go last season even though Julien had the team in first place.

Therrien will be under extraordinary pressure in the coming season because the expectations on the Penguins have increased dramatically, both inside and out of the organization. Crosby and the rest haven't won a playoff series yet, but no one around the franchise is all that hesitant to say the team will be a Cup contender. You bet that makes for extraordinary pressure.

"Absolutely not," Therrien said when asked if the expectations frighten him.

"Last season was a huge step for us. Guys believe in what we're doing. The confidence is there with these players. But we know we can't live in the past. We've got to stay focused. We have a clear vision with our team."

And to think it's only July 17.

"I can't wait for the season to start," Therrien gushed.

The man joins a big crowd there.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07198/802203-87.stm

83-Steelers-43
07-16-2007, 11:09 PM
Man of his word: Therrien signs 1-year extension
Penguins coach's loyalty never wavers as he chooses to add another year to his contract, build on turnaround season
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
By Dave Molinari
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Penguins coach Michel Therrien oversaw one of the greatest turnarounds in NHL history last season and will have some of the finest young talent in the game at his disposal in the coming winter.

It would have been understandable if Therrien had decided to serve out the final year of his contract then, with a couple of exceptional seasons on his resume, auction himself to the highest bidder next summer.

Some people -- especially his accountant -- would have viewed that as a shrewd decision.

Therrien, though, saw it as more of a non-issue and didn't balk at signing a contract extension that ties him to the Penguins through the 2008-09 season.

"It never even crossed my mind," Therrien said. "I'm not a guy who likes to shop around."

Not a stance that creates much leverage in contract negotiations, perhaps, but there is something to be said for remaining faithful to an employer with which one is comfortable.

"He wasn't going anywhere," general manager Ray Shero said. "Nor did he want to go anywhere. ... He's always been very loyal to the people he's worked for."

Therrien characterized his extension as "a great vote of confidence." Shero portrayed it as a reasonable reward for Therrien's accomplishments.

"It's well-deserved," Shero said. "He did a great job last year."

The two began discussing an extension shortly after the 2006-07 season ended, proceeding "step-by-step," as Therrien put it, while dealing with more pressing concerns such as the entry draft and free agency.

Shero said they "explored" a longer-term deal before settling on a one-year extension to his existing deal, and did not rule out their relationship lasting well beyond the life of Therrien's new deal.

"Hopefully, this is something that's going to turn into something that's even more long-term," Shero said.

Assistant coaches Mike Yeo and Andre Savard, who have a year left on their contracts, have not received extensions, but Shero said he hopes to reach agreements with them before training camp opens in mid-September.

Therrien led the Penguins to a 47-24-11 record last season, his first full one behind their bench. That was good for 105 points, the second-highest total in franchise history and was a 47-point improvement over the Penguins' 2005-06 total.

"We've come a long way in a year," Shero said.

So has his relationship with Therrien. Shero acknowledged that when he was hired to succeed Craig Patrick as GM in May 2006, he "didn't really know a lot about" Therrien, who had replaced Eddie Olczyk a half-year earlier.

They discovered, over time, that their philosophies mesh in many ways, although that doesn't mean one simply is an echo chamber for the thoughts of the other.

"Some things we don't agree on," Shero said. "But we respect each other's opinions."

They also concur that, while qualifying for the playoffs again is a non-negotiable objective, the success of the coming regular season shouldn't be measured solely by the team's won-lost record.

"We want to improve this year," Shero said. "I'm not sure if that's going to be reflected in our point total or not.

"It was a big turnaround for one year. But we all know there are bigger challenges ahead."

NOTES -- While reiterating that he might "look for an odd piece or two, depth-wise" to add to his roster, Shero made it clear that he does not anticipate any major free-agent signings. Yesterday, the Penguins picked up two free-agent defensemen, Mark Ardelan and Deryk Engelland, who are expected to compete for jobs with their minor-league team in Wilkes-Barre. ... Shero said management is down to "four to five" candidates to replace conditioning coach Stephane Dube, who was fired after last season.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07198/802206-61.stm

83-Steelers-43
07-16-2007, 11:28 PM
I can hear it now though............"WHAT IN THE HELL IS SHERO DOING!!!"....."WHAT AN IDIOT"....."THIS IS WORSE THAN THE FREE AGENCY SIGNING PERIOD!!!".....Morons.

Should the Penguins have given coach Michel Therrien more than a one year contract extension?

Yes - 71% (201)

No - 29% (82)

http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/

*Sigh*

What is the problem here? If the team continues to progress under his leadership we will give him an extension. He's not going anywhere. Why in the hell would he want to leave after his current contract is up? He has the future of hockey on one team. A future cup contender and the best player in the game. I can't believe I will be surrounded by some of these people next season. What's the worry here?

"It never even crossed my mind," Therrien said. "I'm not a guy who likes to shop around."

"He wasn't going anywhere," general manager Ray Shero said. "Nor did he want to go anywhere. ... He's always been very loyal to the people he's worked for."

"Hopefully, this is something that's going to turn into something that's even more long-term," Shero said.

Buzz05
07-17-2007, 07:47 AM
Personally I would have liked to see Therrien get a longer extension. However I think it might be safe to say that Shero is the mastermind behind the team. And if Therrien does this year what he did last year then he will get his big contract. Besides keep in mind Therrien isn't Shero's guy. Therrien was here when Shero got here. If they start out slow this year or fall early in the play offs then look for Theirren to not get an extension or possibly let go.

section514
07-17-2007, 09:50 AM
I heard on DVE today that its an extension, so now he has two years left with the pens, the standard contract for a new coach is three years, so they basically just gave him a three year contract (counting last year). He had a good year, lets see him do it again. Then again you can only coach as good as the players around him... I think I could take that team to the playoffs.

83-Steelers-43
07-17-2007, 11:18 AM
Penguins fill 2 front-office jobs
Tuesday, July 17, 2007

By Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Penguins have hired two former NHL players, Tom Fitzgerald and Jason Botterill, to fill vacancies in their front office.

Fitzgerald will be director of player development and Botterill will serve as director of hockey administration.

Fitzgerald played 17 seasons in the NHL, and it was his long-distance, third-period goal against Tom Barrasso in Game 7 of the 1996 Eastern Conference final that clinched Florida's upset of the Penguins. He will oversee Penguins' draft choices playing in college, junior hockey and Europe and also will work with the Penguins' American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre.

Botterill spent parts of six seasons in the NHL and will monitor all aspects of the salary cap, work on salary arbitration and preparation and do some scouting.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07198/802285-100.stm

83-Steelers-43
07-17-2007, 11:37 AM
I heard on DVE today that its an extension, so now he has two years left with the pens, the standard contract for a new coach is three years, so they basically just gave him a three year contract (counting last year).

On top of that, it gives Therrien more incentive to continue coaching the way he is coaching. It's not easy to rest on your laurels when you have to wonder if you will get extended after the season is over. I'm not saying that Therrien is the type of coach who would sit back and put his feet up on the desk, but once again it's better safe than sorry.

Now......Fleury.

Buzz05
07-17-2007, 12:54 PM
Now......Fleury.

Give it time..it'll be done