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2010 UFA Day 1: Seventh update


Well, dear readers, as far as the Penguins are concerned the first-day frenzy has pretty much passed.

Sorry I’ve been out of touch. Just a crazy-busy day for me, what with working the blog, Twitter, an NHL chat over at the Versus site and trying to chase down dozens of untrue rumors while getting what was true confirmed. (I’ll share with you, at some point, the agony about confirming the PAUL MARTIN signing. It’s a bit raw, though, right now. I’ll say this: I knew for about two hours starting at 1 p.m. the Pens were going hard, really hard, after him, and when the time came to confirm it I just couldn’t find a second independent party — and I always want second independent party for such confirmations. The story of me seeking that second party was pretty entertaining, though. Something to look forward to, I guess.)

Anyway, my trust No. 2 on the Trib Total Media Pens beat, JOSH YOHE, had this to share as excerpts from his chats with Martin and ZBENYK MICHALEK. Enjoy. Also, enjoy a video that JUSTIN LABAR is putting together for the web site at, and a hearty thanks to many of you that have chimed in with Day 1 comments. I’m so glad you are reading. Anyway, Yohe’s leftovers…


=  “I had a chance to play for Wayne Gretzky as my coach and now Mario Lemieux is my owner. How many people really get to say that? It’s a great thrill getting to play for Mario. It’s just one more thing that makes Pittsburgh so appealing to me.”

= “I like the challenge of playing on the power play. It doesn’t come as naturally to me as other parts of the game, but I feel like I’ve gotten better in that area and that I can help out of the team.”

= (He is in Czech Republic for the summer.) “I’m relaxing now. Probably I’ll go to Pittsburgh in the middle of August, get a feel for the city and decide where to live. I’m so excited about playing in the new arena. I know it’s a great hockey city. I can’t wait.”


= “I’ve talked with Mike Rupp this summer. He really loves it in Pittsburgh. He told me about how happy he was there, what a great organization it is to play for. He had nothing but great things to say about it. That definitely helped.”

= “I think that stuff about New Jersey not trying to score goals got a little overblown. I know this: If you want to win a championship, you have to have lots of good defense and play good team defense. I learned that in New Jersey. But still, playing with Crosby and Malkin, maybe that will help my numbers a little bit. I sure hope it does.”

=”I have a lot of respect for Gonchar. I’m not coming in there to replace him and the things he could do. I’m just trying to fit in and be a part of a good defense.”

Hat tip to Yohe.

–ROSSI (who is spent)


Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.


  1. Richard says:

    Rob I want to thank you for all of the hard work you’ve put in this year. The info has been excellent, only wish it could have come faster ’cause I don’t have any fingernails left.

    Looking forward to your column tomorrow.

  2. Steve says:

    I want to welcome the new Penguins and start counting down the days to open the season, the new arena and all the excitement of playing for another Cup!

  3. mike says:

    Excellent work all day Mr. Rossi. I appriecate how hard it must have been to keep us all informed. I can not wait for the season to start… this is going to be a great year for the flightless birds!

  4. espo33 says:

    Yeah Rob, nice work. And I read the column having Orpik, Martin, Letang and Michalek locked for the next 4 years, Gols for 1 more year before RFA and Lovejoy for the next 3 years it really fits well to help make some trades if necessary. Gols and Letang can be traded if need be because of players like Robert Bortuzzo and Brian Strait could be ready by the middle to end of next season. Then they have Jonathan D’aversa, Carl Sneep, Alex Grant and Simon Despres that should be ready in the 2-3 year range. Throw in Steve Wagner and Deryk Engelland for the 7th spot and depth and they are in great shape.

  5. #4Orrfan says:

    Rob, great job keeping fans in the loop. I’m going to miss Sarge being there. It was sort of like seeing a stallion among the colts. I hope he fairs well in Ottawa (except against the Pens).

    I love the new additions. It’s surely a cure for Scuderi withdrawal syndrome. Welcome to the Pens Michalek and Martin.

  6. Doreen says:

    Thanks for taking care of us and keeping us informed. They quoted you on the NHL network yesterday…..felt kinda proud!

  7. harry colin says:

    Since the Pens’ cap situation precludes signing a big-name scorer, a guy I’d like too see here would be Evgeny Artyukin. With his size/strength playing on a line with Pens top centers I think he could put up some surprising numbers. He’d come in at a virtually risk-free salary and having another guy willing to protect his teammates wouldn’t hurt. What do you think, Rob?

  8. JD says:

    Since the Pens need wingers how come they don’t look to sign Maxim Afinogenov?

  9. mike alt says:

    What, if any, chance would we have to trade for Simon Gagne??? I understand the price is high for a guy that has an injury bug but a winger of his caliber would be a HUGE impact on the success of this team!

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