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Old 05-18-2007, 07:39 AM   #2411
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Default Re: Pens Tidbits

That's Pompeani who's on channel six Crushzilla who does Steeler preseason games. He's horrible. Paul Steigerwald does Penguins hockey.

John Steigerwald does the Nightly Sports Call from time to time, The Showdown from time to time and he has his own radio show. He's leaving KDKA after this year. I'm hoping FSN Pittsburgh picks him up in order to replace Paul Alexander. They have shown high interest in John but he has stated that he wants to get off TV for a while. IMO, John Steigerwald is one of the very few in this city who tells it like it is (on the Pirates for example).

Whoops, nevermind, you edited your post...lol.
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Old 05-18-2007, 11:38 AM   #2412
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Sports Mailbag
Friday, May 18, 2007

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Loyal fans left to wonder what hit them

Now that the Penguins' future seems prosperous, it's time for the real fans -- those who bought season tickets during the losing seasons and endured the lockout season of 2004-05 -- to get spanked.

As half-season ticket holders of three seats in Section E , my wife and I were upset with the 53.8 percent increase in the price of our seats for next season. Then, on top of that, the Penguins notified us that if we wanted to keep our seats, we would have to purchase the full-season plan. The true fans. the ones who scream and cheer while wearing their Penguin jerseys, are going to be priced out.

So when the players wonder what happened to the arena's atmosphere, have them ask the people in the stands with their hands stuffed in their suit pockets. It happened in the '90s; it will happen again.

As for what I'll say to my 4-year-old son when he asks, "When is our next Penguins game?" I'll tell him it's when they start losing again.

BOB, NANCY and LOGAN MARNIK, Scott

Warm hearts, cold shoulder

I have been a Penguins half-season ticket holder for three years and was a frequent walk-up ticket purchaser in the '90s. I didn't complain when the Penguins raised prices by almost 50 percent on my seats for next season. However, in the club's version of eminent domain, I was forced to change my seats. It seems they have designated my seats as being in a full-season ticket holder only section.

As one of their lower level citizens, I could have moved to sections up in the rafters or on the ends of the arena. This is how the Penguins treat loyal fans who came to the games when they didn't have the new arena carrot to dangle or the exciting young team?

I can understand the price increase to an extent with the need to keep this good young team together. However, I am sure there are some others like me who can't afford full-season plans at the incredible new prices. I wanted to keep my partials as a birthday/Christmas present to my wife, and the Penguins were helpful in moving me to an area only two sections away.

However, Shelly Anderson's story ("Demand for Penguins' season tickets leads to changes," May 15) missed a few points and was slanted toward the team's point of view. Management wants you to believe all the demands for full season tickets is such a pleasant surprise to them and it forced them into enforcing this long-standing policy. What they and the writer fail to address is why Penguins fans are being moved in the first place and why their is an actual spike in full season ticket sales: Some fair-weather fans want tickets leading to guaranteed seats in the new building, and the Penguins are holding people hostage to increase their plans to a full season if they want to keep their current seats.

Let the bandwagon jumping begin. I love the Penguins and I am extremely glad they are staying. However, it seems that once the plans were finalized for the new arena, they are now trying to bury the lowly half-season ticket holders with the current building. The team shouldn't forget about people like us. Even though the Penguins came up with a workable solution for me, they -- like the Post Gazette -- missed the real issue: Some fans are still left out in the cold at the end of the day.

SAM PATTERSON , Carnegie

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07138/787038-139.stm
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Old 05-22-2007, 07:30 AM   #2413
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Pens' restricted free agents stand to gain

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ryan Whitney sits at home in Boston squeezing a hand-strengthening device. Video games remain off-limits due to surgery on his left wrist last month.

Since the Penguins' playoff run ended in Ottawa, Whitney has spent some time thinking about his future.

It seems bright.

He is 24 and coming off a season in which he finished sixth among NHL defenseman in scoring with 59 points.

Equally important: He is a Group 2 restricted free agent. Thus, he is free to sign any offer sheet that comes his way this offseason.

"I've heard rumors that there are offer sheets that might be thrown around," Whitney said. "In my case, I'm more than happy where I am. At the same time, you have to listen and think about your future. You just hope Pittsburgh would match it if an offer comes."

The Penguins probably would raise the stakes to keep Whitney -- even if a competitor offered him a considerable raise on his 2006-07 salary of $900,600.

"I can't speak for what other teams may do, but I do know that Ryan Whitney is a guy we want to keep -- hopefully long term," Penguins general manager Ray Shero said. "We've got plenty of payroll room next year. To me it's a nonfactor."

Shero will have to make decisions on nine players who are restricted free agents this summer. Whitney is one of a select few, along with centers Maxime Talbot and Erik Christensen, who are not eligible for arbitration.

Whitney, however, could test those waters after this upcoming season. The Penguins own his rights for only the next three years -- maybe less if a defensively deficient club with money to spend throws a crazy guaranteed salary offer his way this summer.

"Those are the rules we play by," Shero said.

The NHL's collective bargaining agreement allows competitors to target restricted free agents. Philadelphia signed Vancouver's Ryan Kesler to a $1.9 million offer sheet last offseason. The Canucks matched, but Kesler more than doubled his offer from them thanks to the Flyers' aggressive tactic.

The Flyers would have parted with only a second-round pick had the Canucks opted to let Kesler flee.

"The thing is, they (had) to be prepared to take him," Shero said of the Flyers' flirtation with Kesler. "They (had) to have the payroll and cap room to do it. We're dealing with a cap rule now, too. Teams have to have that in mind when they go after a Group 2.

"But there are plenty of Group 2 guys who are good players, and you could see where they might draw some serious interest."

Conceivably -- thought not likely, given cap constraints -- a division rival could make a serious play for Whitney simply to increase the Penguins' payroll. Such a move could influence how many young stars the Penguins could keep.

Kesler, a third-line forward, scored 10 goals and recorded 23 points during the 2005-06 season.

The value of Whitney is not known. But if another club made an offer between $2 million and $3 million, the Penguins would be forced with to either match it within seven days or part with a cornerstone player for only a first- and third-round pick.

The Penguins can re-sign Whitney to a long-term deal now. However, they likely won't go in that direction until after this coming season, because they can potentially retain his services at a relatively agreeable price for another year.

"With the new CBA, if you sign a guy to an offer sheet, you don't have to give up so much unless you are paying crazy money," Whitney said. "But if you can get a young player who is already established, it's kind of only throwing a draft pick or two out the window to get somebody on the upswing."

Note: The Penguins pick 20th in the opening round of the NHL entry draft in Columbus, June 22 and 23. Their other picks are 50th, 79th, 110th, 140th and 170th. The Penguins also will select somewhere from 117th and 120th, depending on where the Detroit Red Wings finish in the playoffs.

Decisions, decisions

As a Group 2 restricted free agent, defenseman Ryan Whitney is free to sign an offer sheet with another club this offseason. If he did so, the Penguins then would have to decide how much Whitney is worth to their future. Here's a look at the Penguins' nine restricted free agents and the compensation and whether they are eligible for arbitration.

Colby Armstrong, RW
Arbitration: Yes

Erik Christensen, C
Arbitration: No

Connor James, RW
Arbitration: Yes

Ryan Lannon, D
Arbitration: Yes

Michel Ouellet, RW
Arbitration: Yes

Andrew Penner, G
Arbitration: Yes

Maxime Talbot, C
Arbitration: No

Chris Thorburn, C
Arbitration: Yes

Ryan Whitney, D
Arbitration: No

Source: Pittsburgh Penguins


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Parting gifts
Here's a look at the compensatory draft picks a team receives if it chooses not to match an offer sheet:

$660,000 or below
Compensation: None

Over $660,000 to $1 million
Compensation: Third round

Over $1 million to $2 million
Compensation: Second round

Over $2 million to $3 million
Compensation: First and third round

Over $3 million to $4 million
Compensation: First, second and third round

Over $4 million to $5 million
Compensation: Two in first round, second and third round

Over $5 million
Compensation: Four in first round

Source: NHL collective bargaining agreement

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_508792.html
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Old 05-22-2007, 07:31 AM   #2414
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Talks with Pens' Recchi, Roberts in works

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Talks between the Penguins and veteran forwards Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts are expected to continue into next week as general manager Ray Shero attempts to sign either or both players before they become free agents July 1.

"I talked to their agent last week," Shero said of Recchi and Roberts, each of whom is represented by Rick Curran.

Shero said he met last Thursday with Recchi, who lives in Pittsburgh. Shero also said he expects to meet with Curran again this week.

"Hopefully, we'll find out where we are one way or the other pretty soon," Shero said.

Curran did not return phone calls Monday.

Recchi, 39, scored 24 goals and recorded 68 points in his third tour with the Penguins. An alternate captain, he signed with the Penguins as a free agent last offseason after winning the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Roberts, 40, was a trade-deadline acquisition by the Penguins during the regular season. He scored seven goals in 19 games with the Penguins and was a force in the playoffs with two goals in a five-game loss to the Ottawa Senators.

At a season-ending meeting, Roberts stated to Shero a desire to return next season. A possible sign in the Penguins' favor: Several of their younger players will train with Roberts this summer.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_508794.html
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Old 05-22-2007, 07:32 AM   #2415
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Pens' GM Shero proved himself with Staal pick

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The first collection of Penguins he generally managed was bounced from the playoffs in five frustrating games. But all things considered, Ray Shero can live with it.

"I guess every game that Ottawa wins we feel a little bit better about ourselves," Shero said Monday.

The Senators will play next for the Stanley Cup.

Shero has moved on to evaluation for the NHL draft, which is June 22-23 in Columbus, Ohio.

He was still the assistant GM in Nashville at this time a year ago (Shero officially was named to replace Craig Patrick on May 25). And he conducted his first Penguins draft with a scouting staff that was destined, for the most part, to be jettisoned.

In round one, second overall, Shero came up with Jordan Staal.

The brother of Carolina Hurricanes forward Eric Staal, Jordan was rated second among North American skaters in the final Central Scouting ratings. But he was no slam dunk.

The player selected just after Staal, Jonathan Toews, became the first Canadian-born player to win gold medals at the World Junior Championships and the World Championships in the same year this season. Toews has since joined the Blackhawks after a spectacular sophomore season at the University of North Dakota (18 goals and 46 points in 34 games) and is considered an eventual candidate for captain by Chicago GM Dale Tallon.

The player selected fifth overall in 2006, Phil Kessel, jumped immediately from the University of Minnesota to the Boston Bruins and recorded 11 goals and 29 points around a bout with testicular cancer.

And the player rated second among European skaters by Central Scouting, Michael Frolik, was a native of Kladno, Czech Republic, and nicknamed "The Baby Jagr."

So Shero had options.

But once Erik Johnson went first overall to St. Louis, Shero zeroed in.

"He was the guy that I had in my mind on going in," Shero said. "Jordan was a combination of too many things to pass up.

"We talked about his pedigree, his background, his brothers. That really didn't play into it too much, quite honestly. It was more I was drafting Jordan Staal, not his brothers."

Staal went on to score 29 goals, including an NHL-leading seven short-handed.

Shero anticipated none of that coming as quickly as it did, but he was smart enough to recognize a keeper when he saw one.

Had Shero instead rubber-stamped Staal's return to the OHL, Staal may have done nothing more significant in 2006-07 than join Toews as a World Junior Championships-winning Canadian. And the Penguins might not have sniffed the playoffs, let along be feeling better by the day about their elimination.

Shero's flexibility set a tone along the way of exceeding expectations.

He'll approach his first draft with his guys doing the scouting the same way, searching for characteristics more than a specific pedigree or position.

"I always look back at the 1999 draft, Ottawa got Martin Havlat at No. 25 or 26, that was an impact player, a guy with big upside that they took later in the first round," Shero said. "That's everybody's dream pick later in the first round."

Havlat went 26th to Ottawa in 1999.

The Penguins took Konstantin Koltsov 18th.

Shero isn't yet certain who his Havlat might be or who'll be available as potential candidates, but he knows what he's looking for.

Picking 20th instead of second isn't enough to alter an approach that works.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_508798.html
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Old 05-22-2007, 08:38 AM   #2416
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No Staals available

Shero said there won't be any crossover between his free agency moves or decisions this summer and who the Penguins want to draft.

So fans shouldn't get their hopes up that the Penguins, who have the No. 20 selection in the first round June 22, will draft a player who can come close to repeating what No. 2 overall pick Jordan Staal did last season.

Staal not only stuck with the Penguins as an 18-year-old, but he also scored 29 goals and led the NHL in short-handed goals and shooting percentage.

"The guy we're going to get at 20, or any of the guys we're going to get at this year's draft, are most likely not going to impact our team for a number of years," Shero said.

Shero and first-year director of amateur scouting Jay Heinbuck are sticking with the standard philosophy of getting the best available player regardless of position.

"It's no different than drafting Jordan Staal last year," Shero said. "Everybody said, 'You already have [Sidney] Crosby and [Evgeni] Malkin. Why would you take a center?' Well, we said good players want to play with good players, and Jordan certainly is a good player."

Staal spent much of his rookie season playing left wing.

Rewarding experience

Shero is part of the new advisory committee for USA Hockey and was in Moscow for the International Ice Hockey Federation for the recent world championships.

"It was very rewarding, very good to be a part of USA Hockey and the group, to be around guys like that, other managers, see a lot of different players, get to know them off the ice," Shero said. "I think it benefits me as a manager."

The United States advanced to the quarterfinals, where it lost to Finland, 5-4, in a shootout.

European vacation?

Shero isn't sure how he would feel if the Penguins were asked to participate in the Victoria Cup, a pre-training camp tournament in Europe beginning in September 2008 that would include the European Champions Cup winner, at least one other European team and an NHL club.

Eventually, organizers would like to have the Stanley Cup champion participate. In the meantime, it's conceivable the Penguins would be attractive because of stars such as Crosby, Malkin, Staal and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

"I don't know enough about it," Shero said. "I'm not sure how long you'd have to be over there. We'll wait and see."

Slap shots

Longtime Penguins play-by-play broadcaster Mike Lange, who moved from TV to radio last season, said he had no information on his status for next season. ... The Penguins, who lasted just five games in the playoffs, weren't the only ones to have trouble with the Senators, who have advanced to the Stanley Cup final. "I guess every game that Ottawa wins, we feel a little bit better about ourselves," Shero said. ... While he was in Moscow, Shero asked the agent for former Penguins forward Aleksey Morozov about his status, but Shero does not expect to see him back in a Pittsburgh uniform. "He has a year left on his contract over in Russia, which I believe he can get out of, but I'm not even sure because the agent didn't seem sure," Shero said. "I'm basically moving beyond that and moving forward. Too many question marks for me." ... The Penguins are holding youth hockey camps in June and August for children ages 5-17. Call 412-642-1329 or visit the youth hockey section at www.pittsburghpenguins.com.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07142/787948-61.stm
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Old 05-22-2007, 05:58 PM   #2417
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Crosby, Malkin win Sporting News awards
Tuesday, May 22, 2007

By Shelly Anderson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

In what is becoming a pattern, Penguins center Sidney Crosby was named Player of the Year by the Sporting News in a vote among league players.

Crosby, 19, who won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL scoring leader for 2006-07 with 120 points, received 110 of 210 votes from his peers. He also was named the magazine's All-Star center.

NHL players voted Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin the Sporting News Rookie of the Year. He garnered 121 of 210 votes after getting 85 points as a 20-year-old first-year NHL player.

The Penguins' Michel Therrien finished second to Nashville's Barry Trotz in Coach of the Year voting, which was a poll of league coaches.

Crosby earlier was named the top player by The Hockey News.

The NHL season awards will be announced during the league's annual soiree June 14 in Toronto. Crosby, Malkin and Therrien are finalists.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07142/788072-100.stm
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:04 PM   #2418
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Reminder: Tommorow at 6:30 on "Sportsbeat" Stan Savern will be interviewing Ray Shero.
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Old 05-22-2007, 07:09 PM   #2419
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 83-Steelers-43 View Post
Reminder: Tommorow at 6:30 on "Sportsbeat" Stan Savern will be interviewing Ray Shero.
I'll have to make sure I watch it after studying or if I need a break.
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Old 05-24-2007, 01:19 AM   #2420
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Recchi better not have been offered a cent more than 1.25 million. As for Roberts, whatever they offered him will be money well spent. The man is a warrior and a true leader in every sense of the word. Hell, I wouldn't even mind if they gave him the "C" for a year - that's how much I think of him.

Penguins make offers to Recchi, Roberts

By Rob Rossi
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Penguins took the first significant step toward retaining veteran forwards Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts on Wednesday, extending each player contract offers to return next season.

Each player is represented by agent Rich Curran, who wouldn't discuss terms of either offer and said his clients haven't made any final decisions regarding their NHL futures.

"I'm not going to get into specifics of any discussions," Curran said.

General manger Ray Shero extended the respective offers to Recchi and Roberts just days after saying that he hoped to "find out where we are, one way or the other, pretty soon."

Shero has been talking to Curran for the past few weeks. Shero also met with Recchi, who lives in Pittsburgh, last Thursday.

Recchi, 39, scored 24 goals and recorded 68 points in his third tour of duty with the Penguins. An alternate captain, he signed with the Penguins as a free agent last offseason after winning the Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Roberts, 40, was a trade-deadline acquisition last season. He scored seven goals in 19 games with the Penguins and was a force in the playoffs with two goals in a five-game loss to the Ottawa Senators.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_509245.html
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