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Old 09-16-2006, 10:45 PM   #121
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Default Re: Pens Open Practice Today

Yeah, we really had a blast! The line combinations surprised me only a little bit - I didn't expect them to put Malone with Malkin and Recchi, but it looks pretty good to me! And what can you say about Malkin? The kid is the real deal, no question about it. I'm still a little concerned about the defense and I'm praying that the goalie coach will work extensively with both Fleury and Thibault to get them righted and ready to go - in fact, the goalie coach was going one-on-one with Thibault most of the time. It's early in camp, of course, and they haven't played a game yet, but things looked pretty smooth overall today. I really can't wait until the season starts - we may not make the playoffs, but it'll be pretty exciting to watch nonetheless!
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:20 PM   #122
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Default Re: Pens Open Practice Today

Sounds like you 2 really enjoyed it and that is great! Hockey season is a very long season, even longer if you know nada about it, which I don't LOL:)
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:39 PM   #123
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Default Re: Pens Open Practice Today

If Therrien is sticking with the Malone/Crosby/Recchi line, Malone is going to have to learn how to play a full season of hockey. I like the line if it's the Ryan Malone of 03-04 and not the Ryan Malone of 05-06.

While he basically put up the same numbers during both of those seasons, his will and determination was nonexistent for the first half of last season. If I recall correctly, he also came into camp last season completely out of shape and a season full of trade rumors (Toronto) which never panned out.

This is a step in the right direction: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_470923.html
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:54 PM   #124
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Default Re: Pens Open Practice Today

As for the defense. Good article in the Trib this morning...

Savard in charge of Pens' defense

By Karen Price
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, September 17, 2006


The first time Penguins general manager Ray Shero mentioned Andre Savard as a candidate for the team's assistant coaching job, coach Michel Therrien's reaction was that Savard already had a job.

Savard, the general manager of the Montreal Canadiens when Therrien was the coach there, was serving as the team's assistant GM under Bob Gainey.

But Shero, who knew Savard from their days working for the Ottawa Senators, told Therrien he still thought they could get Savard. Provided, of course, that Therrien was fine with that arrangement.

After all, it was Savard who fired Therrien in January 2003.

"I said, 'Didn't he fire you?' And (Therrien) said, 'Yeah, he fired me. But we had a great relationship," Shero said. "Listen, that's how it goes. If we could get Andre Savard, that would be great. He was really enthusiastic about it."

The Penguins did get Savard, hiring him July 3 as an assistant to Therrien and Mike Yeo. The 53-year-old former center hasn't coached in the NHL since he was an assistant to Jacques Martin with the Senators in 1999-2000. Since that time, he's been the Canadiens' director of player personnel, GM, assistant GM and general manager of their minor-league affiliate, the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Now, in his return to the bench, Savard is charged with turning around a defense that allowed 316 goals last year, more than any other NHL team, and a penalty-killing unit that finished the season ranked 29th out of 30 teams.

"A lot of improvement this year, I think, comes from the coaching staff," Shero said. "Not to put undue pressure on them, but let's be realistic. You can't just always go out and get new players all the time. Part of the improvement is going to come from within. That's the way it's got to be with this organization. You can't go outside and start trading for this guy, signing that guy. Improvement's got to come from within."

Shero was limited, in terms of upgrading the Penguins' defense, after he took the job in May. He already had Sergei Gonchar, Eric Cairns, Rob Scuderi, Josef Melichar and Ryan Whitney under contract, and Brooks Orpik was a restricted free agent. It didn't leave much room for change.

This year, the Penguins will have those six players plus Mark Eaton, whom Shero signed as a free agent, and, presumably, rookie Noah Welch.

It is essentially the same defense as last year. Although there is more experience, it is still a young defense.

Savard said it's too early for him to make any kind of evaluation of the team's blueliners, but he does believe they performed much better at the end of last season than they did at the beginning.

In the Penguins' last 25 games of 2005-06, they allowed 86 goals for an average of 3.44 per game, compared to 230 goals for an average of 4.04 in the first 57 games.

"(Therrien and Yeo) brought in their system, and they have a good system," Savard said. "They improved that situation the last 20 games. This year, the players know more of the system. It seems to me everyone's buying in, and, collectively, it makes you a better team."

Having a coach who was once fired by the assistant coach could make for an awkward situation, but both Therrien and Savard say things between them are fine.

"I did renegotiate his contract twice, without him asking," Savard said, smiling. "(Therrien) did a good job. We had a tough situation in Montreal. But the relationship has always been good."

Therrien went so far as to call Savard "a perfect match" for the organization.

"It's important to have a guy with a lot of NHL experience, and we needed to find a guy I felt comfortable to work with, and Ray felt comfortable to work with and I knew his background," Therrien said. "We kept a good relationship. It's not like we didn't talk for two or three years. We're still good friends and understand it's a business sometimes."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_470924.html
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Old 09-17-2006, 01:22 AM   #125
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Default Re: Penguins Ownership Update Thread

Mayor pushes Penguins on Plan B
Ravenstahl clarifies position on arena in letter to team

Sunday, September 17, 2006

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who endorsed the Isle of Capri casino plan for arena funding earlier this year as City Council president, is now also backing the "Plan B" alternative and hopes the Penguins will, too.

"My objective is to retain the Penguins in Pittsburgh, evident from my early support and endorsement of the Isle of Capri proposal," Mr. Ravenstahl wrote in a letter dated Friday and addressed to Penguins Chief Executive Officer Ken Sawyer.

"We must recognize, however, that the Isle of Capri proposal does not guarantee the Penguins will remain in Pittsburgh since it is unknown whether the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will award the slots license to Isle of Capri."

The letter then called on the Penguins to commit to Plan B even if Isle of Capri does not get the slots license "just as you have asked for, and received, my commitment to the Isle of Capri proposal."

The proposed Plan B blueprint for building an arena draws on slots and state money as well as contributions from the Penguins.

A Penguins spokesman said yesterday that the team had no comment because it has not yet received the mayor's letter.

Team officials have repeatedly stated their belief that the Isle of Capri plan is by far the best for the hockey franchise and the community, and that their contract with Isle of Capri prohibits them from getting involved with Plan B negotiations.

The Penguins' agreement with Isle of Capri stipulates that the gaming company will donate $290 million toward construction of a new arena if it is awarded the city's slots license later this year or early next year. The team probably would be responsible for construction cost overruns.

The team's lease at Mellon Arena expires in June, and Penguins officials maintain they need a new venue to be viable in Pittsburgh.

Mr. Ravenstahl could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato, who said he spoke with Mr. Ravenstahl, described the letter as an affirmation that the new mayor is "on the same page that [late Mayor] Bob O'Connor and I were on. When Luke and I spoke, obviously, it was one of the top items as a key priority for the region."

Mr. Ravenstahl became mayor after Mr. O'Connor's death Sept. 1.

"No matter who gets the slots license, we have a scenario for a new arena," Mr. Onorato said. "We understand the Penguins' contractual obligation [with Isle of Capri], but if Isle of Capri doesn't win it, there's no reason the Penguins or the new owners can't honor Plan B.

"We're telling them, 'If Isle of Capri wins, we know you're staying. If not, we have a plan. You should be prepared to sign a long-term lease at a new arena under either scenario.' "

Mr. Onorato said he and Mr. Ravenstahl plan to discuss the arena and Penguins issue publicly later this week.

Gov. Ed Rendell proposed the Plan B alternative in case one of the other two finalists for the city's slots license -- Forest City/Harrah's or PITG Gaming -- prevails.

Plan B calls for the Penguins to make an initial payment of $8.5 million, commit to paying $2.9 million a year for 30 years and forgo $1.1 million a year in naming rights. Forest City/Harrah's and PITG Gaming have agreed to contribute $7.5 million a year if they end up running the city's slots parlor. The state would provide $7 million a year from a slots-backed development fund.

The state has also given the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority $26.5 million for site acquisition and preparation.

Mr. Ravenstahl's letter states that the Penguins' impending sale makes the arena issues "timely and critically important."

The letter makes it clear that Mr. Ravenstahl thinks Plan B can work.

"In my opinion, Plan B is a highly competitive offer," Mr. Ravenstahl's letter said. "The marketplace recognizes its competitiveness, given the level of interest expressed by potential buyers who have committed to staying in Pittsburgh and participating in it. The fact that the Penguins are in receipt of offers that would make the transaction among the most lucrative ever for an NHL franchise is a credit to you, the Isle of Capri proposal and Plan B."

The Penguins announced in January that the team is for sale and have had offers for up to $180 million but have not reached a purchase agreement.

Four current or previous bidders have stated a preference for keeping the team, or attempting to keep the team, in Pittsburgh, but there also has been interest in moving the hockey team to Kansas City, Mo.; Hamilton, Ontario or other cities.

Ontario businessman Jim Balsillie is the front-runner to strike a deal for the Penguins, but it is not known what the sale price would be.

A buyer would be bound to the Isle of Capri deal and therefore obligated to keep the team in this city if that company gets the slots license.

A buyer would not be bound to participate in Plan B.

Mr. Onorato said he has not talked to Mr. Balsillie or any representative of his but has spoken "to the other [bidders] on and off."

Mr. O'Connor also kept in touch with at least a couple of bidders and the Penguins, and Mr. Ravenstahl wants to maintain that communication.

Copies of the mayor's letter were sent to Mr. Rendell, Mr. Onorato, City Council President Doug Shields, sports authority Executive Director Mary Conturo and city Urban Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Jerome Dettore.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06260/722559-61.stm
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Old 09-17-2006, 08:45 AM   #126
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Default Re: Pens Open Practice Today

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Originally Posted by X-Terminator View Post
The line combinations surprised me only a little bit - I didn't expect them to put Malone with Malkin and Recchi, but it looks pretty good to me!
My mistake. Speaking of Ruutu, he is one mean looking SOB - I half expected to see an "I Am a Bastard" tatoo on his forehead.

Where was Petrovicky? I expected to see him there - was looking forward to watching him.
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Old 09-17-2006, 11:55 AM   #127
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Default Re: Pens Open Practice Today

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Where was Petrovicky? I expected to see him there - was looking forward to watching him.
He is out indefinately after hip surgery.
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Old 09-17-2006, 02:01 PM   #128
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Default Re: Pens Open Practice Today

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He is out indefinately after hip surgery.
Thanks, 83. Do you know anything about Eric Cairns? He wasn't on the ice yesterday either.
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Old 09-17-2006, 02:03 PM   #129
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Default Re: Pens Open Practice Today

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Thanks, 83. Do you know anything about Eric Cairns? He wasn't on the ice yesterday either.
Ankle injury. No news on his status.
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Old 09-20-2006, 07:47 PM   #130
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Default Re: Evgeni Malkin Staying or Coming?

Malkin injured in first NHL exhibition game
Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Associated Press

MONCTON, New Brunswick -- Evgeni Malkin was injured in his first NHL exhibition game tonight when he collided with Penguins teammate John LeClair early in the second period against Philadelphia.

The rookie Russian center was taken to a hospital for further evaluation, the team announced. Penguins veteran winger Mark Recchi also was sent to hospital after he was hit with a high stick in the first period.

Malkin had just finished making a dazzling pass to LeClair when the veteran winger, after missing a great scoring chance, crashed into the boards behind the net and took out Malkin in the process. The Russian catapulted over LeClair and landed hard on the ice. A hush came over the crowd at Moncton Coliseum as Malkin, the No. 2 overall pick behind Alexander Ovechkin in 2004, lay sprawled on the ice for 3-4 minutes.

Malkin got up and skated off the ice but was favoring his left arm. He headed straight to the dressing room. There was no immediate word on his condition.

Malkin had an assist on Sergei Gonchar's first-period goal and also displayed a pair of sensational inside-out moves later in the opening period.

Malkin, 20, was making his much-anticipated debut after his controversial departure from Russia, a matter that remains in the hands of lawyers on both sides of the ocean because he signed a contract with Russian club Metallurg Magnitogorsk before also signing a three-year deal with the Penguins.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06263/723655-100.stm
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