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Penguins-Jets morning skates: 1-25

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media columnist

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — It’s only minus-2 out there with very little wind, nothing at all like yesterday. No real reason to complain, though that obviously won’t stop complaints.

I’ll have news, updates and videos here throughout both teams’ skates. The Jets take the ice at 10:30, the Penguins an hour later.

Also, follow on my Twitter account.

If you missed our coverage in the Trib this morning, it’s all here on our Penguins page.

UPDATE 12:20 p.m.: The Jets’ sole talking point after skate just now was not running and gunning with the Penguins, who twice put up eight on them in Pittsburgh last season.

“We’re not the Pittsburgh Penguins,” said Chris Thorburn, who once actually was.

Here’s video of Blake Wheeler on the topic …

Wheeler’s a really fun player to watch, by the way.

Oh, and everyone — including Evander Kane — was talking about the back of Kane’s head, in which he has cut the initials “YMCMB.” All he explained was that it’s some Lil’ Wayne thing. No idea, sorry.


12:49: The only notable item from the Penguins being on the ice so far is that Simon Despres is on a D pairing with Robert Bortuzzo. Would suggest he’s out, but that’s not official.

If that’s how it plays out, Ben Lovejoy would join Deryk Engelland as the third D.

12:53: Quick pic of a Marc-Andre Fleury save in drills …


1:37: Tomas Vokoun will get the start, and Marc-Andre Fleury will go in Ottawa this weekend, Dan Bylsma just said. The decision was based on Vokoun not having fared well against the Senators in the past.

Also, Ben Lovejoy is in, Simon Despres out. The third pairing will be Lovejoy and Deryk Engelland, the latter of whom assured me his black eye is no big deal.

1:52: Sidney Crosby, on walking through Winnipeg …

1:55: Here’s my full report on the morning activities. That’s it for me until the chat, which, again, is at 2 p.m. your time.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. Drew71 says:

    Can someone give me directions how to get here?

  2. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Take the first right at Albuquerqe.

  3. Dave G says:

    It’s a great day for hockey!


  4. Eric Bowser says:

    WINNIPEG JETS LINEUP (w/ jersey #)

    1st: 9 Evander Kane – 12 Olli Jokinen – 26 Blake Wheeler
    2nd: 16 Andrew Ladd – 80 Nik Antropov – 18 Bryan Little
    3rd: 23 Alexei Ponikarovsky – 8 Alexander Burmistrov – 55 Mark Scheifele
    4th: 17 James Wright – 19 Jim Slater – 22 Chris Thorburn
    Scratch: 13 Kyle Wellwood – 14 Anthony Peluso

    1st: 39 Tobias Enstrom – 33 Dustin Byfuglien
    2nd: 5 Mark Stuart – 6 Ron Hainsey
    3rd: 24 Grant Clitsome – 4 Paul Postma
    Scratch: 25 Zach Redmond

    Starter: Ondrej Pavelec
    Backup: Al Montoya

    20 Antti Miettinen (Upper body injury)
    44 Zach Bogosian (right wrist surgery)

    Jets stats
    Goals – 1 Byfuglien, Kane, Ladd, Wheeler, Slater, Thorburn
    Assists – 4 Enstrom
    Points – 4 Enstrom
    Top 6 forwards for PP TOI: Jokinen (3:57), Kane (3:25), Wheeler (3:21), Ladd (3:15), Little (2:58), Antropov (2:49)
    TOp 4 forwards for PK TOI: Antropov (2:17), Burmistrov (1:31), Thorburn (1:15), Slater (1:13)
    Top 4 defensemen for PP TOI: Byfuglien (6:05), Enstrom (5:47), Hainsey (2:09), Postma (1:52)
    Top 4 defensemen for PK TOI: Hainsey (2:51), Enstrom (2:03), Stuart (1:48), Clitsome (1:35)

    Team stats
    Goals/gm: Pens 3.67 – Jets 2.00
    Goals against/gm: Pens 3.00 – Jets 2.33
    Shots/gm: Pens 32 – Jets 31.3
    Shots against/gm: Pens 28.3 – Jets 32.7

    Pittsburgh Penguins Lineup
    1st: Kunitz – Crosby – Dupuis
    2nd: Kennedy – Malkin – Neal
    3rd: Cooke – Sutter – Glass
    4th: Tangradi – Vitale – Adams
    Scratch: Jeffrey

    1st: Orpik – Martin
    2nd: Niskanen – Letang
    3rd: Despres – Engelland
    Scratch: Lovejoy – Bortuzzo

    Starter: Fleury
    Backup: Vokoun

    *On Thursday, Penguins traded defenseman Carl Sneep to Dallas for a conditional draft pick and forward Benn Ferriero to Rangers for Chad Kolarik.

    *As for Kennedy on Malkin’s line, Gino said “I like that (TK) is a righty. One guy on my line is a righty. I really like that. He can score. I think now, he has lot of confidence and he enjoys to play. We’ll see. We never played a long time together, but he’s a good guy.” – All the more reason to have Beau Bennett at LW on this line in a few weeks. Quotes from

  5. Dave G says:


    Go north til you see sled dogs. You’ll know you’re getting close. (You may encounter Canadians wearing shorts: this is common til it’s below zero outside)

    Keep going til you see your breath freeze and fall to the ground. Now you’re really close!

    When you see a hotel lobby guy pouring water on a sidewalk, you’re there!

  6. Dave G says:

    No surprise that Tangradi is demoted to the fourth line. He wasn’t performing well down in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton even before the NHL Pens added him to the roster.

  7. Eric Bowser says:

    @Dave G

    Tangradi needs a change of scenery. He needs to play for a team that can hide him on the third and fourth lines at even-strength and then use him on the second power play unit as a big body in front of the net. I’d like to see the Pens do this a little with him while he’s still here because i think their PP has already gotten a little too cute with the puck movement.

  8. Jandy says:

    Tangradi, was performing quite well in WBS, Dave. Check his stats out here:

    15 goals and 16 assists in 37 games isn’t anything to sneeze at. He just can’t translate it to the NHL level.

  9. Eric Bowser says:

    @Jandy – Those are stats from last season, he has 10 goals, 8 assists in 34 games this year with WB/S.

  10. Jandy says:

    ahhhh thanks Eric. my bad. I see he has dropped. It’s a shame, he hasd such potential. It’s too bad.

  11. For folks that visit only this thread:

    Pitt DE Michael . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . January 25th, 2013 – 4:16 pm

    April 28, 1996



    Article Text:

    WINNIPEG, Manitoba — A crude watercolor stands out among the crowded display window at the Winnipeg Art Museum. It is bold. It is bright. It is also bleak.

    It shows the Jets’ Nikolai Khabibulin making a save on Chicago’s Jeremy Roenick, and contains the kind of meticulous attention to detail only an enthusiastic child could muster, right down to the tiny inscriptions on the home team goaltender’s shoulder patch.

    The painting is, in fact, done by a child, signed by Shawn Campbell, age 9, with the postscript “SOJ.”

    “Save Our Jets.”

    Over the painting, the museum offers a quote from Pablo Picasso: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

    In Canada, every child is a hockey player. The problem is how to remain a hockey player once he grows up and sees the National Hockey League has skipped town.

    “SOJ,” spray-painted on walls and etched into telephone poles across this prairie metropolis, is a lost cause. The Jets could not be saved. They are headed south next season to become the Phoenix Coyotes. It is the second Canadian-team exit in as many years. And many north of the border believe the NHL will continue to rob its own cradle.

    This was once unthinkable.

    Gil Stein, a former NHL president, once said: “There is so much Winnipeg in what hockey represents. The moral backbone of the game is kept strong in a city like this.”

    If that is true, then hockey now is pulling up its own magnificent roots.

    They date to the 1800s, when teams traveled by dog sleds across Canada to battle for Lord Stanley’s Cup, professional sports’ oldest prize. There is the long duel between the nation’s English and French sides to produce the finest talent, one that persists today in the Mario Lemieux vs. Wayne Gretzky debates. The sheer passion of the people for the sport has never dimmed, and it extends beyond just their NHL team, to all levels, mites to senior citizens’ leagues.

    While one generation of Canadians now mourns, the next may look somewhere other than frozen ponds for heroes.

    “As a kid, watching the NHL gave you something to play for,” said Randy Gilhen, a Winnipeg native who grew up to become a center with these departing Jets. “We didn’t feel like we were a million miles away from everyone.”

    For a people that revere hockey above all else, losing the NHL is nothing less than a tragedy.

    Glenn Tully and his wife, Marge, have been making the 35-mile haul into Winnipeg to see their Jets since 1972. On this night of the final regular-season home game, they will stop 100 feet short.

    Their old pickup truck pulls in front of Winnipeg Arena. Their two boys, 12 and 14 years old, leap out playfully. For this game, the tickets are theirs.

    “This one’s for the kids,” Tully said, smiling. “They’ll probably never get to see an NHL game again, but at least they can say they were there once, that they got to see our Jets. Maybe they can tell their children someday.”

    * * *

    The Jets are leaving.

    The people of Winnipeg have known this for several months now. They have endured the entire 1995-96 season as a lame-duck participant. They even packed their 15,400-seat arena for a makeshift funeral last summer as the franchise logo was hoisted to the rafters.

    The Coolest Game on Earth is seeing yet another of its teams migrate south to a warmer climate. Last year, the Quebec Nordiques became the Colorado Avalanche. Next season, the sub-zero Jets will take off for the Valley of the Sun.
    In this city of 600,000 that is remarkable only by its incredible isolation and flatness – Pat Burns, the former Toronto coach, once quipped: “It’s the only city where you can watch your dog run away for three days” – they mourn the passing of a civic treasure, their only major professional sports franchise, one they surely will never recover. These friendly, laidback people have spent their emotions, vented their anger, and now it is over.

    Last summer, when the team was put up for sale by the local owners, more than 35,000 gathered in front of the Manitoba legislature building, the province’s largest rally of any kind in 50 years. They sought government aid, but many also contributed. They left money on the doorstep.

    “I don’t have a job yet, but I took down $10,” said Sean Jones, a student at the University of Winnipeg. “That’s not much, but it’s all I could do. Everyone had to do something . . . there were so many people.”

    People like Tully, a farmer from a village “so small the name wouldn’t mean a thing to you.” His family slips through life on a subsistence income that comes from four-months-a-year wheat harvesting.

    “I left a check for $1,000. That team is everything to us and, more importantly, to our children.”

    Tully was among the lucky ones. When the sale fell through, his money was returned because it could be traced. The cash left on the steps could not. Instead, it was donated to the local United Way.

    One-day total: $250,000.

    In all, About $13 million was raised by the public sector, and it appeared the team would be purchased by a group of local businessmen dubbed The Spirit of Manitoba. But they fell short of cash.

    So when the premier of Manitoba, Gary Filmon, rejected a plan to buy the Jets and pay for the new arena by legalizing gambling, all Winnipeg had bought was one more year.

    “See that empty seat? That’s where Gary Filmon used to sit,” said Winnipeg Sun columnist Ed Willes, pointing to Winnipeg Arena’s west side. “Ever since the death threats, he doesn’t come here anymore.”

    Filmon isn’t the only target of the fans’ wrath. Forward Keith Tkachuk, the NHL’s third-highest paid player this season at $6 million, became a symbol of the league’s new salary structure and was frequently booed. Former owner Barry Shenkarow, a lifelong Winnipegger, had been losing millions, but was accused of selling out.

    After a failed attempt by Minnesota businessmen to move the team there, the Jets were bought by Jerry Colangelo, owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns and Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks.

    Winnipeg is not among the NHL’s smaller cities, but it is the smallest market.

    “It’s not like there are suburbs here,” noted Gilhen, a member of the Penguins’ 1991 Stanley Cup championship team. “That’s the thing that makes what these people did so unbelievable, how they all rallied. I saw kids crying while they were emptying their piggy banks, carrying jars of pennies. You can’t imagine how that touches you, how it hurts.”

    It has touched other players, as well.

    Randy Carlyle, a Jets assistant coach who won the Norris Trophy as a Penguins defenseman in 1981, was reminiscing after a morning skate. He looked up at the huge, old Queen Elizabeth portrait that is the most recognizable symbol of the rickety, 46-year-old Winnipeg Arena.

    “Leaving here just seems so wrong,” Carlyle said, scraping his stick along the ice. “So many memories. So many …”

    In 1972, the Jets were an original member of the old World Hockey Association. They gave the league instant credibility by signing superstar Bobby Hull to a $1 million deal that rocked the NHL.

    In that same decade, Winnipeg won three AVCO Cups and forever changed the face of hockey by becoming the first professional team to employ several European stars and their offensive style, one of constant motion and cycling.

    The Jets enjoyed less success after becoming one of the four WHA teams to merge into the NHL in 1979. They advanced to the second round of playoffs only once. But fan support never waned, even to the team’s dying days.

    Just ask defenseman Norm Maciver, traded to the Jets by the Penguins in December for Neil Wilkinson. He scored the winning goal in the regular-season home finale. It put Winnipeg in the playoffs, prolonging the team’s stay and sending the raucous, white-clad crowd into a frenzy.

    “I’ve heard about the White Out crowds here, but when I scored, you could just see this huge sea of white explode around you. It’s incredible,” Maciver said. “I still have regrets about being traded from Pittsburgh, but I’ve had experiences and memories here that I’ll never forget. These people deserve better than this.”

    Some Canadians feel the NHL will get its just desserts by trying to plant hockey in the desert.

    “When these salaries are way out of control and nobody in Arizona knows the difference between a puck and a cactus, the NHL will come crawling back to us,” says Jim McBride, a Winnipeg taxi driver. “You’ll see.”

    That’s not likely.

    The NHL, enamored by its recent ties with the Fox television network and being run by former NBA executive Gary Bettman, sees no future in small Canadian markets such as Winnipeg. This is the nouveau league that is embracing FoxTrax, that glowing puck with the comet tail on Fox telecasts. The entire game is being geared toward television. Bettman believes the path to NBA-style success will be measured by the NHL’s ability to fill America’s top 25 TV markets with franchises. Remember, the highest-rated show in Canada doesn’t register a blip on the U.S. Nielsen ratings.

    At its peak, Canada had eight NHL franchises. Soon, people here fear, it will be just three. Only Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver are on solid footing. The rest plead for currency equalization, generous subsidies and anything that will allow them to stay competitive and stay put.

    Some suggest revenue sharing.

    “Ha! It’ll never happen in the NHL. Never, ever,” said Don Cherry, the wildly popular color commentator on Hockey Night in Canada. “You’ll never get someone from Boston or New York to share money with a place like Winnipeg or Edmonton.”

    Last year, Quebec abruptly announced its move to Denver following its final playoff game. The provincial and federal governments rejected plans to build a new arena. The Nordiques’ fans, who filled Le Colisee even during hard times, were quickly resigned to their fate. A rally to save the team drew only 15 fans. There is still no professional hockey team in Quebec City.

    Winnipeg was next. Edmonton may soon follow. The Oilers must sell 13,000 season tickets, all dasher board advertising and all luxury boxes by mid-May. Two months ago, Bettman warned if the deadline was not met, “it will not be us leaving Edmonton, it will be Edmonton telling us to go.”

    Cherry said the NHL is not the villain.

    “I hated to see Quebec leave, I hate to see Winnipeg leave. It’s a sad, sad thing. But the reality of the situation is, if players are going to get $6 million a year, teams just can’t stay in small markets. It’s life. There’s nothing you can do. The NHL has taken a bum rap. It’s not a case of the Americans taking our game away. If cities like Phoenix weren’t there to take a team like the Jets, there just wouldn’t be a team, period.”

    Calgary and Ottawa also are small Canadian markets whose fortunes on and off the ice have floundered under Bettmanomics. The Flames won the Stanley Cup in 1989, but have since made several cost-cutting moves that contributed to a miserable run of playoff failures. The Senators, since joining the NHL in 1993, have produced league lows in wins and attendance.

    “Let’s hope that five years from now, the league will wise up so this doesn’t happen again,” said the Jets’ Gilhen. “I only wish it hadn’t happened to us.”

    So does Hull, the Golden Jet, who received a hero’s welcome in Winnipeg at the regular-season finale: “I worry about this city. I worry about next winter. I worry how people are going to feel when it’s the middle of January and they don’t have a team anymore. It’s a great loss.”

    The anger is almost as prevalent in Winnipeg as the sadness, particularly among young people.

    On the eve of the regular-season finale, a punk rock club is jammed with college students. The crowd is atypically quiet as the lead singer for Slaves on Dope takes the stage in a Jets jersey, his hair bright red and blue. “Hey, no mourning tonight, Canadians!” he screams by way of introduction. “We’ve still got one more night of hockey!” The crowd jeers.

    Karen Johnson, a student, is one of them: “What does anyone know about hockey in Phoenix? What right do Americans have to steal our sport? The old people here don’t care as much, but we grew up with the Jets. What’s left for us?”

    And what will become of those who are even younger? Many never will see an NHL game. Someday, the league may feel the backlash. About 60 percent of the NHL’s talent is Canadian-born. Of the 28 players on the Penguins’ current playoff roster, 16 are from Canada.

    * * *

    Next season, Winnipeg will likely be the new home of the International Hockey League’s Minnesota Moose, who are planning a move there.

    It won’t be the same.

    “They couldn’t have done anymore than they did in Winnipeg,” Cherry said. “The kids and their piggy banks, pensioners bringing in their money . . . but it was too late. They tried their best.”

    In Winnipeg, you can find an ice rink on every three blocks. Compare that to just four in all of Arizona, including America West Arena, where the Coyotes will play – and teach children – this fall.

    “We’ll have Keith Tkachuk and Eddie Olczyk showing them how to play street hockey,” said Rich Nairn, the Jets’ public relations director. “It’ll be tough. You know, `This is a puck, kids.’ ”

    Canadian kids, meanwhile, will make sure their game survives, Gilhen said. “The sport is bigger than all of us. It’s like football in Pittsburgh. If the Steelers left, people would keep on playing football.”

    Gilhen’s son, Scott, is 4 years old. Someday soon, Scott will glide on his first pair of skates. Further down the road, his father will tell stories about his NHL career. Recanting his championship season with the Penguins will be easy. Explaining why there is no NHL team in Winnipeg won’t.

    “I’ve thought about that a lot lately,” Gilhen said. “How do I explain to him how we had all this and lost it? The kids are the big losers. They don’t understand business. They just know their Jets are leaving.”

    DK: Thank you so much for finding this, Michael. I haven’t seen it myself in a long, long time.

  12. Dejan,

    1/ Your writing had such depth, such “soul” in 1996. The words were more than words. Make sure you don’t lose that in your “new” opinion-oriented job.

    2/ It’s nice to see that your prognostication skills have been consistent through the years: “their only major professional sports franchise, one they surely will never recover.”

  13. Ryan (Nor-Cal Stlrfanrc) says:

    so, what’s different with the blog??

  14. Eric Bowser says:

    In case anyone wanted to know what YMCMB means shaved on the back of Evander Kane’s head as Dejan has tweeted…

    Young Money Cash Money Billionaires…. this guy is definitely a different hockey player

  15. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I wasn’t going to mention that, Groaty, but since you did, it’s OK now.

  16. Jandy says:

    Eric, but he’s a GOOD Hockey player. Nasty fighter too.

  17. Add that to your list, Kentuck Knob.

    How many on that list now——21?!?

  18. I ragged on them, so I have to say “Thank You” to the IT guys for fixing the time here.

    I was afraid I had missed my nap!!

  19. JaxBuc says:

    Thank you, Groat for making that story available for us to read. You’re right , there is soul in that story. There is also LIFE. You can grasp a part of what these people were living by reading these words. The sadness, the anger, the resignation comes through in this. Well done, DK.

    Maybe you could figure out a way to make a living at this writing stuff.

  20. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I stopped counting. Seems a given anymore.

  21. Eric Bowser says:

    practice lines
    – looks like Jets will be benching rookie Mark Scheifele for veteran Kyle Wellwood
    – Despres was practicing with Bortuzzo, so it appears Lovejoy will start tonight.

    I guess I can understand the need to get Lovejoy into the lineup and Despres to get a game watching up in the press box but (axe to grind alert) why is Engelland not sitting so Bortuzzo can get a game.

    They will wear down their top 4 defensemen if the minutes don’t increase for the third pairing.

  22. TJ says:

    Anyone else read the blog from Rossi mentioning that he is hearing that the Pens are in search of a wing and that Despres can be had. Perhaps he is still with the big club in an attempt to show case. Not exactly breaking news but its good to hear that Shero is pushing. Would still love to see TJ Oshie from the Blues.

  23. Drew71 says:

    of COURSE you would. Tee Jay.

    How bout Hooker?

  24. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Back to your Jai Alai, Drew.

  25. TJ says:


    Ha… has nothing to do with Tee Jay. I use that name to protect the innocent.

    But on a side note I did order pizza once and they asked for my name and I said TJ and they spelled it just that way… Tee Jay. I was impressed.

  26. Drew71 says:

    i LOVED it when he tried to jump on the car hood and slid off

  27. Drew71 says:

    So this is the place to talk about Jai Alai?

  28. Jandy says:

    You can talk about anything your heart desires, Drewster :)

  29. TJ says:

    Sad news out of Milwaukee. Nyjer Morgan has signed with a team in Japan.

  30. TJ says:

    Other baseball news…

    Jurrjens signs a 1 year deal with the O’s for 1.5 worth up to 4mil

    Carl Pavano injures his spleen…. shoveling snow. May have spent more time in his life in baseball on the DL due to non baseball injuries than any player I’ve known.

  31. Eric Bowser says:

    Drew – There’s a bar up in Sharon, PA called the Jai Alai, it awaits your presence.

  32. TJ says:

    I drove through Jai Alai when I was on my way from Miami to Ft Lauderdale yesterday

  33. Hey Thomas Jefferson,

    Loved your recounting the other day of your time spent with Eddie Johnston

  34. TJ says:

    Thanks Groat. Truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

    I will say this about Miami… I have never seen a more ridiculous looking baseball stadium from the outside. Incredible.

  35. JAL says:

    So hockey is different, a morning skate thread. Don’t remember ever seeing basketball warmup thread, or a football run through thread, or a baseball batting practice thread. My friend Groat complains about soccer links but not a morning skate thread :)

  36. TJ says:

    I think I may have to start calling you Deep Groat

  37. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Too cold in Sharon for Drew right now, Eric.

    I’m not surprised they might have Jai Alai in Sharon. It’s close enough to Youngstown that they have everything else. No offense to any Sharonites on the blog.

  38. Milo Hamilton says:


    Lovejoy’s being showcased for a trade. Simple as that.

  39. TJ says:

    Lovejoy is being showcased from the press box?

  40. TJ says:

    Oops just saw the updated lineup changes sorry Milo

  41. TJ says:

    If the Pens are going after a wing they are not going to get anything of quality in return for Lovejoy.

    Perhaps your looking at it the wrong way… Maybe Despres is being held out to avoid an injury if the Pens are closing in on a deal

  42. Milo Hamilton says:


    Just clearing space for Eaton. That’s how desperate they are.

  43. gregenstein says:

    I recall some of the stories when the Jets headed to the desert. Like that one college leaving $10. Brought back a host of memories.

    How out of whack were the salaries back then too? Keith Tkachuck was making about as much as either of the Sedin twins or Henrik Zetteburg, and this was 15 years worth of inflation ago. It’s no wonder hockey ended up in such a financial pickle.

    Take note, Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman. No, the league cannot simply move a team to a move lucrative market. Further, the players cannot make 57% or more of the pie. It’s the best niche sport on the planet. I guess it took moving teams to places like Atlanta, Phoenix, and Miami to realize that, you know what, maybe a small Canadian market is better than a large American market that doesn’t care all that much about hockey.

  44. TJ says:

    I don’t know about that. They sent Strait through waivers rather than trading him. I would have thought he would have had more value than Lovejoy.

  45. Eaton will leave 3 tracks in the ice——2 from his skates, and one from his cane

    Can’t wait for the new “Batting Practice thread” debuting in April

  46. Milo Hamilton says:


    I’m just telling you what’s happening. Not whether I agree with it or not.

  47. TJ says:

    @ Deep Groat

    You mean bunting practice not batting practice

  48. Milo Hamilton says:

    As far as the possibility of dealing Despres, one sign of a good GM is dealing away young prospects before everyone else catches on that they stink. Angelo Esposito anyone ? I’m not saying that’s the case with Despres, but it would be something to consider.

  49. Jandy says:

    Milo, good point, but I hope you’re wrong.

  50. TJ says:


    I totally believe that Despres is going to be traded. Where there is smoke there is fire. And if we are going to get the next James Neal we are going to have to deal from our depth and defense is it. As for promising prospects dealt before they were caught as a bust….

    Noah Welch
    Luca Caputi

    Granted neither were a large return but I remember them being considered part of the big picture at one point

  51. I watched a period of the Stars the other night——Gologowski was FLYING!!!
    Reminiscent of Kris Letang!

    Sometimes you have to trade “good” to get “good.”

    Don’t want an “on the downhill” winger, though, for Despres. Want a young Neal clone. Otherwise I prefer to keep Despres.

  52. Jandy says:

    Groat, There is only ONE Letang ;)

    I still think Depres is going to be a fine defenseman, but if he can bring us a good winger, then so be it. Good, not mediocre. I agree with you.

  53. Jandy says:

    Looks like Vokoun gets the nod tonight.

  54. Angelo Esposito was NEVER talked about in glowing terms, even on the day he was drafted.

    Noah Welsh and Luca Caputo were 2nd round or lower picks who began to shine in the minors.

    Simon Despres is the real deal.

    (just my $2 Canadian coin’s worth)

  55. Milo Hamilton says:


    The “real deal” should be in the lineup on a regular basis by now. Especially with this defensive corps.

  56. Milo,

    He’s played 3 outta 3 thus far. That’s about as regular as you can get.

    Are you saying he should be Top 4 by now? I think Orpik, Nisky, Martin, and Letang have been pretty darn good in 1st 3.

  57. Jandy says:

    C’mon Milo, Depres only has 2 seasons professional hockey under his helmet. I hardly think he’s a bust.

  58. buggee says:

    –> 27 below?!?!? what kind of LOONITIK goes for a stroll of 3-5 blocks in -27-degree temps for a flippin’ cuppa? Was it Starbucks? I heard (thru the grapevine) that Starbux uses an additive that evokes a slight addiction. I can’t testify to that because I have to protect my sources. DK, you must really be jonesing for it. I can see maybe Drew71 or some yokel from Kentucky doin’ that, but let’s face it DK, this aint your first time in the ‘Peg.

    –> @Groat: Kudos to you for sharing that tremendous article from DK from 1996. The writing was, in my humble opinion, so far and above typical sports-columnist scribblings, and it’s what endeared me to DK’s writing from that day on.

    I recall driving back to Pittsburgh from Cedar Rapids Iowa (aka, Seedy Crappids), strolling down to a Borders in Chicago (aka, ChiCrappo) and finding a copy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which I snagged and plunged right into the sports section and found that gem from DK on the death of the ‘Peg Jets. I may have shed a tear, it was that good, and it still is.

    Keep honing your craft DK; it’s what makes you an exceptional columnist. The Trib–and us–are very fortunate to be able to read your work almost daily. (Teach Starkey how to write, wouldja?)

    –> Ok, enough of the luv-fest. What was that mess on Wednesday night against the Crap-Leafs? (Me and me wifelett rename every team ‘cept the Pens something with the word ‘crap’. i.e., Crapolina Crappicanes, Crappa Bay Lightning, Winnecrap Jets, Detroit Crap-wings, Chicago Crap-Hawks, Montreal Crapadiens, Filthadelphia Crappers, Vancouver Crapucks, New York Craplanders, Buffalo Crappers, Ottowa Crapators, etc. We could use some creative help for the Rangers, Devils, Panthers, Predators, Wild, Stars, Sharks, Kings and the like. Many thanks y’all).

    –> Anywho, opinions on Despres? I think he skated well; very smooth, and he had a couple nice stick-on-puck interceptions in the neutral zone that caught my eye. I like this kid (not like THAT!!! (see Walt)) and I think he’s a going to be tremendous. Interesting that DK–in an earlier column–suggested that Despres wasn’t quite ready for this level. Another prediction gone sideways DK? (LOL)

    –> DK, what’s your prediction for tonight’s game? I’ll lay some caysh counter to your winning pick. (all in good humor sir)

    –> What’s with Tangradi?!?! With that kind of size and strength, the overall impression I got from watching his game over the last few is that he seems to be playing… “small”. Like maybe he’s intimidated by the Trophy (Malkin) line? That was a horrendous giveaway to Macarther. Sure hope he get’s it together and soon. Would hate to see him be one of those AHL’ers that couldnt tranlate his game to the Bigs.

    –> Steve Sullivan has 5 goals already? HUH?

    –> 10,751 minutes til pitchers and catchers report and begin long-toss using shuttlecocks while the new hitting coach tries to swat them out of the air using a telephone pole and CH shouts instructions to Jay to “find and stick to a level swing-plane, keep that back foot BACK and lower your hands already! What are you, a hitting coach or a tee-baller?!?!”

    –> Pirates 2013 prediction: 85-77. STAMP it!

    –> Memo to KDKA-FM (93.7): Keep the 5:40 Free-For-All going. I think’s it’s hilarious and I tune to the show just for that segment. I even called in a few times (I admit it), where I suggested the NHL could pad the boards behind goals with rubber which would create amazing rebounds, and the NHL could sell advertising on player’s helmets for Viagra and Cialis.

    Raise the Jolly Roger Goodell. Have a fine feckless weekend y’all

  59. Dave G says:

    Y=Young M=Money C=Cash M=Money B=Billionaires The combination of Young Money Entertainment and Cash Money Records.

    Why someone would shave an entertainment & record label name onto the back of their head is beyond me.

    Hmmmm… maybe Ovechkin could shave Capitol onto his.

    Or Stamkos Elektra. (Lightning!)

    Or Tavares could shave Atlantic onto his. (A conference thing)

  60. Credit for article goes to “Pitt DE Michael” for the hard work in locating the P-G article.
    I just transported it.

    I think Dejan showed the imagination of a hippie in traveling to Winnipeg on his own dime and writing from his heart.

    Keep that heart, Dejan!! Don’t become the Tin Man as a columnist!

    DK: I have no idea what you’re getting at, Groat. If it’s about baseball, can it at least wait another couple months?

  61. Jandy says:

    buggee, my friend, good to “hear” from you! Canadians drink Tommy Horton’s, not Starbucks, silly you. We’ll have to ask Dejan how they measure up.

    Depres makes his gaffes as well as his stick on puck plays. He’s not perfect, but then, who is? I think he’ll find his way. Whether or not that’s in a Penguins’ uniform remains to be seen. For myself, I hope he stays. I think the kid will be fine, but could use another full season in WBS.

    Tangradi, I must admit, has me concerned. He isn’t making the transition to NHL and it’s been several chances. I imagine patience is running out. No time in a 48 game season for much of that.

    Holy Crapola Batman, who dropped all the crap?

    Sully got a hat trick the other day against Columbus. Good for him :)

  62. Dave G says:

    Tim Horton’s has awesome donuts. My favorites.

  63. Jandy says:

    Dejan, #61 reply to Groat. Relax, man, Groat gave you a HUGE compliment, interspersed with humor…and you lose it. Try Timmy’s until you get your Starbucks!

    DK: Didn’t lose anything, Jandy. You’ll get a positive vibe when I cover positive things. Anything else would be disingenuous.

  64. buggee says:

    Thanks for the clarification Jandy. Horton’s owned by Starbux perhaps? meh. neither measure up to dunkin’ donuts coffee. I stopped drinking the stuff because it shrinks capillaries or something like that, and I need all I can get. Anyhoo, it’s nice to be back on the best-blog-in-the-western-hemisphere (TBBITWH), and of course, it’s efftastic to be yakking with the Beauty-of-the-Blog, the one-and-only Jandylicious! Better than Johnny Walker Blue out of a sippy-cup!

    Come to think of it, I did see Despres turn the puck over at least once. Still, he’s such a smooth, effortless skater that I think the rest of it will come quickly for him. He’s got a nice shot; quick wrister and a deceptive slapper. It’s fun to see talent like that.

    Didja see Jandy, on NHLN, there’s a new promo commercial for the NHL and Krissy eye-Candy Letang is caught from behind (uh huh, I said from BEHIND), doing a pylon-drill? I’m thinking that’s gotta whet your whistle a bit.

    Predictions for tonight’s game?

  65. Jandy says:

    buggee, no dissing Tanger, hear! :p

    The Pens shall prevail but it will be a tough contest.

  66. Jandy says:

    ah ha! lookiee under the column….notify me stuff!

  67. Jandy says:

    Sorry, Mr. Kovacevic, you’re off on that one.

  68. LuckyNKentucky says:

    I didn’t see where he mentioned baseball. Did I miss something?

  69. Jandy says:

    Lucky, Groat mentioned “hippie” with humor, and woke up “Chip” on Dejan’s shoulder.

  70. LuckyNKentucky says:

    OK. I’m a little slow. Thought it was a compliment, too. I don’t equate the word hippie with the Pirates and Kyle Stark. I grew up in that era.

  71. LuckyNKentucky says:

    BTW, the link for the chat is not working, at least on this end.

  72. Jandy says:

    lol Spunky, you’re not slow. It was a very sincere compliment.

  73. JohninOshkosh says:

    David Stern has said franchise relocation is the darkest blotch on his legacy.

    Upsets many people in the community’s fan base. That includes Atlanta by the way.

  74. LuckyNKentucky says:

    My son did a wedding for 2 of his friends that think they’re hippies. Just last fall. They got married outsided, on a colder, rainy day, with no shoes on. Now, that’s what I see as a definition of that term.

    I never was one. Just had long hair. I enjoy wearing shoes too much and I don’t like flowers on my clothes.

  75. Jandy says:

    LOL Spunky, good stuff. Well, guys I gotta go. 3 inches of fresh snow, and it’s still coming down. Headin home now. Maybe catch you all later. Have a good one…later!

  76. Dom says:

    Mark Madden stated that DK will be on his radio at 4 PM Today.

    Ben Lovejoy will be in the lineup in lieu of Simon Després.

    Vokoun will be in goal.

  77. Eric Bowser says:

    If Despres is on the block and is dealt, not sure he has the same trade value as Alex Goligoski. At least with Go-go, I had an idea on guys he could fetch, just didn’t think Dallas would ever trade Neal and heck, they included Niskanen.

    One player that comes to mind is Los Angeles Kings left wing Kyle Clifford.

    Clifford has scored 13 goals in 160 games, taken 35th overall in 2009 draft, same year Despres was picked 30th (final pick in 1st rd). Clifford is a bigger body, hasn’t really had a chance to play top two line minutes in Los Angeles with their depth. He has 1 goal and 3 assists so far this season in 3 games lead the Kings.

    He averaged 9:24 TOI last season and again this year, at 9:24.

    Already has 13 hits in 3 games, so he brings a nice physical presence as he had 179 hits last season. Hate to say this but he reminds me of Ryan Malone. Not sure he’s the goal scorer everyone wants to see but I think he would provide more net front presence for the second power play unit and physical need for the second line.

    Now after having just spent 5 minutes on this, I still want Beau Bennett on the second line. If Despres is struggling, he has options, send him to WB/S to work through it.

  78. TJ says:

    Lets be real on Niskanen though. He had gone from being a player that had put up 26 points in his first year, 35 in his second and then fell off to 15 points in his 3rd year and at the time he was traded from Dallas he had 6 points in 45 games and put up 4 in 18 games with us. I think Niskanen was going to be out of Dallas regardless and the Pens took a gamble on him. Even his 21 point season last year is far from what he showed he could do in his first and 2nd years in Dallas.

  79. buggee says:

    the NBA is the darkest blotch on Stern’s resume.

    I prefer to go through life with no shoes. It’s the Martial Way; the Tao of the Bare Foot. The darkest blotch on my resume is when restaurants started posting “No shoes, No shirt, No service.” Now smell my feet

    Pedro Alverez will spank 19 homers before the all-star break then spend the rest of the season battling hamstring problems.

    Russel Martin will come out of the chute batting no more than 230, will play most of the time until mid-May when he is struck in the face with a back-swinging bat and will miss the resst of the seaon with concussion problems.

    Neil Walker will hit 20 bombs. McCutchin will hit 30, as will Jones (10 against lefties). Sid Crosby will show everybody up again in batting practice. Malkin will break his little finger trying batting practice.

    Had enough yet? No? ok, how about this… Harry Reed will propose marriage to nancy Pelosi to form DC’s new “power couple”. UGH

  80. Thundercrack says:

    This can’t wait a few months to post:

    Today I bought 2 tickets to a Spring Training game.
    Bucs vs Red Sox.

    In FLORIDA. That is far away from Canada.

  81. Arriba Wilver says:

    I know what you’re saying, Jandy. Not sure why the peevish responses.

  82. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Must have been a ticklish chat, AW. Can’t prove it by me.

  83. Dave G says:


  84. Milo Hamilton says:

    My God, we’re all gray people. JAL, are you OK ?

  85. Dave G says:

    And reply boxes! :)

  86. Arriba Wilver says:

    Woo Hoo, Replies!

  87. Dave G says:

    I knew it! We all look alike!!!!!

  88. Milo Hamilton says:

    OK, now it’s become impossible to follow.

  89. Dave G says:

    Where do I upload my avatar?

  90. Dave G says:

    Actually it should be easier, Milo. You get direct responses to your postings!

  91. madturk says:

    Let’s see if this works now. Miss the numbers on the posts and not sure I wil like going back to see who replied to whom.

  92. Milo Hamilton says:

    As I did before, in sequence. I didn’t have to scroll up through 100 posts to see what someone just added. And probably will never know what was said.

  93. Dave G says:

    They’ll be in one place instead of scrolling. Just like our conversation.

  94. Thundercrack says:

    This is a great post, TC!
    Keep up the good work.

  95. Thundercrack says:

    Thanks Thundercrack. Maybe I’ll see you at ST in Florida.

  96. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hate it. Too complicated for this simple mind.

  97. Thundercrack says:

    You never know, we may meet up in Bradenton.

    Just don’t tell Drew……

  98. Dave G says:

    Let’s see how small the boxes get!

  99. Dave G says:


  100. Dave G says:


  101. Dave G says:


  102. Dave G says:


  103. Dave G says:

    Only 5 levels of reply boxes.

  104. JohninOshkosh says:

    Holy Guacamole!!

    My weekend honey do list now includes figuring out my avatar!

  105. Dave G says:

    Testing which post appears first on each level. More recent or older?

  106. Dave G says:

    Older post appears first!

  107. Milo Hamilton says:

    My head hurts. Hope you all like it.

  108. Dave G says:

    No auto refresh, though.

  109. Dave G says:

    It looks messy today because the changes occurred in the middle of the day when all of the posts were separate. Things will sort out tomorrow when people reply specifically to the thread they’re commenting about. It’ll be much more streamlined in that sense.

  110. JohninOshkosh says:

    Absolutely agree. I liked the numbers. Doubt I will scroll up to see what was added 5 hours ago. My thumb is already broken.

  111. Bizrow says:

    This is pretty cool

  112. Macchamp74 says:

    Looking forward to game tonight. Get Wednesday’s game in rear view mirror!

  113. Bizrow says:

    How do you load an avatar??

    Need to do that before JAL gets mad ;-)

  114. dejan kovacevic says:

    So then there are replies to the replies, too?

  115. Macchamp74 says:

    Need a like button :)

  116. Dave G says:

    Wanna know the importance of each win right now? With the loss to the Leafs the other night and with how all of the other league games have turned out since then, the Pens have quickly fallen all the way down to 7th seed in the conference.

    Wins are THAT important.

  117. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Your will be a dog, right Biz?

  118. madturk says:

    I know new things take a bit to get used to….
    Still nots ure I like the reply in this fashion. I

  119. TJ says:

    Wow. Go away for a little bit and come back to color and picture in picture, its like the evolution of the TV right here in DK’s blog

  120. TJ says:

    Man this is like a 3-D blog. Forget picture in picture this stuff is coming right at you

  121. Randy says:

    Thery’re gravatars.

    DK: Hoping you can explain to everyone, Randy. Avatars are huge in our little lives.

    Can you please put it up on the new game thread, though?

  122. Bizrow says:

    I don’t know, Lucky, Patsy is no longer with us, she was my Avatar

    I might choose the reactor core picture I use on Facebook, or the picture of a C-64 Colin Dunlap found, or, I might get Ursy and Abby to pose

    How about you?

  123. Bizrow says:

    Did Dejan make a prediction for tonights game?

    I hope not, I want a Pens win

  124. Milo Hamilton says:

    Still trying to figure out what’s better about having weed through 50 or 75 or 100 posts to try & find something posted 2 minutes ago.

    DK: This is far, far from done, Milo. Honestly, on this trip, I’m not going to have a lot of time to look into it, but I already see a few things I don’t like.

    We’ll get it right eventually. Right by Milo, I mean.

  125. Dave G says:

    I mean 5 tiers. You can get indefinite replies if you use the primary (top left) reply button.

    DK: I can’t upload an avatar. Just conks out after the crop.

  126. Bizrow says:

    No, there are more or so it seems

  127. Milo Hamilton says:

    Forget me. Everyone else seems all excited.

  128. Dave G says:

    We can’t even figure out where to go to upload one. I’m signed in to the Trib, but where do you go to do it?

    DK: Your profile. But again, I don’t know much yet. Let’s give it time. Eventually, it’ll all come together.

    Right now (he says, reaching for a violin), all that matters is that we have each other.

  129. Milo Hamilton says:

    That would be excited.

    DK: I had your back there.

  130. JohninOshkosh says:

    Hope that your replies will remain in bold, Dejan.

    DK: That’s in my control, so yes.

  131. Bizrow says:

    Well, its a step in an upgrade, and a decent one as well

    Us lunatics will figure it out ;-)

  132. Dom says:

    The new format is great!

  133. Dom says:

    And you were great on Mark Madden show. The two of you should get your own sitcom.

  134. Dave G says:

    LMAO! We stand as one!

  135. Thundercrack says:

    “but I already see a few things I don’t like.”

    My posts?

    DK: In addition.

  136. 21sthebest says:

    Where’s that like button?

  137. Bizrow says:

    I have a profile??

    Can’t wait to read Drew’s, or Jandy’s or TC’s

  138. Bizrow says:

    For now, just post like?

  139. Dave G says:

    I’m registered with the Trib, and I logged on, but I can’t find my profile.

  140. Bizrow says:

    Lets look at the good things that came our way today

    Rex Ryan got a job
    Danica has a boyfriend
    We got a new home
    The BMTIB didn’t say or do anything stupid
    Dejan is in Winnipeg
    We got two excellent things to read
    Its Friday

    Life is very, very good

  141. Dom says:

    Why is Ryan having a job a good thing for us?

    An a related topic, I read that he caused a minor three car accident in this great state of ours last week.

  142. Drew71 says:

    Like Like Like

  143. LuckyNKentucky says:

    My oldest granddaughter. Is that allowed? Someone said on here once they were put out by someone on another blog talking about their grand kids all the time. I don’t want to offend anyone any more than I already do.

  144. LuckyNKentucky says:


  145. LuckyNKentucky says:

    It’s good Ryan has a job because we all know how long 5 minutes is now.

  146. Drew71 says:

    Like Like Like

  147. Dave G says:

    You can get your avatar loaded easily at

  148. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Quadruple like.

  149. flizr6 says:

    None taken!

  150. Juan Pizarro says:

    testing… 1,2,3…testing

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