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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Thursday Wakeup Call: Not trusting Ray?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media columnist

Morning, lunatics …

>> The weekly chat will come today at noon, as always. Bring a friend.

>> The first of my weekly notes columns will run tomorrow, and I’m for-real excited about it. Always liked writing in that format, and it gives me a chance to touch topics that normally wouldn’t get a full column.

>> Wait, people are complaining about a Ray Shero move?

Hmmm … maybe not the best timing for that.

Regardless of that, Ben Lovejoy wasn’t a favorite of the coaching staff, wasn’t going to play here and now gets to join a terrific Ducks team that values speed on the blue line.

From the Penguins’ perspective, they weren’t going to get much with everyone and his cousin knowing their roster situation. Lovejoy was going to go on waivers, with Simon Despres and Robert Bortuzzo looking like they’ll stick. I liked Lovejoy more than the coaches, but I can also respect that a) they know way better what they need and b) Shero has nothing to gain by keeping a player his staff doesn’t want.

>> Today’s Trib has a ton of signing-day coverage for Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia and our scholastic football talent, too, but the one I’ll single out here — just because I really enjoyed it — was this piece on Pitt’s humble Dorian Johnson from Belle Vernon, by our Jerry DiPaola.

>> Oh, the Dukes. That’s 10.

>> This was my guest appearance on TribLIVE Radio yesterday with John Steigerwald. We spent the entire segment discussing the Super-Bowl-in-Pittsburgh column.

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. I am a Junior Accounting major at Geneva College (, a small Christian college, in Beaver Falls. Last night, I had the privilege to share dinner with Dave Greusel, the architect of PNC Park and Minute Maid Park, who spoke at Geneva’s weekly chapel service. In his message titled, “Redeeming the City… One Building at a Time,” he talked about how he seeks to converge his work, life and faith together as closely as possible because he believes that our work and our place are important to God. Architecture, journalism and financial statements matter to God as much as living in Kansas City, where Greusel currently resides, or Pittsburgh matters.

    Over dinner, a group of around a dozen student leaders, got to have an informal Q&A session with Greusel before he gave his formal presentation later that night. Greusel told us about how he decides how he seeks to “build for fit” instead of simply building the most modern, up-to-date facility. He emphasized that his architectural work matters because God cares about buildings and cities.

    After receiving a job, Greusel does not simply take an area and contour map and begin his design. Before he begins, he spends time researching the city, walking the streets, and having many conversations with locals in order to understand what design would best fit the area and how it would contribute to human flourishing. I asked him how his time in Pittsburgh was as he prepared to design PNC Park. He immediately exclaimed, “I loved it!” He first met with the Pirates VP at Froggy’s, a bar in Pittsburgh. Greusel recalled how the VP held his cigar in hand and said, “Pittsburgh loves it rivers and bridges.” Greusel walked all over the city, to Pitt in Oakland and back then all around the North Shore. I asked him how his architectural work was affected by PNC Park as it is viewed as one of the best parks in the league. To my amazement, he described how, “architecturally, nothing” had changed and that it, “never got much love” despite scoring a spot in every top ten list. Greusel noted that over 10 years after designing PNC Park the way they did, the hope that parking garages and hotels would be built around the Park has materialized, further proving that PNC Park’s design was the right fit for Pittsburgh and the North Shore.

    When it got time to wrap up the dinner, the call for final questions went out. I mustered up the courage and asked him if knew anything about a certain charity sign in right field. Immediately, Greusel busted a gut laughing. He had been asked about the Pirates Charities sign once when he was giving a tour. He told me how he was in favor of the Pirates supporting charities, but that the sign was his “least favorite part” of PNC Park. I told him that the sign was supposed to be temporary, to which he responded that nothing on a building is a temporary. Much to the dismay of Dejan and many Pirates fans, it seems as though the Pirates Charities sign will not be going away anytime soon.

    The website for Greusel’s company, Convergence Design (, states they “desire to improve the quality of the built environment through excellent architecture, great design and sound planning. Convergence Design is about bringing work, family and community together into a seamless whole. It’s about connecting people in every aspect of their lives, and bringing them together in positive spaces. Convergence Design values people more than design awards and values the communities where buildings exist as much as the buildings themselves. We’re about finding design solutions that are as right for a particular place as they are for a particular time.”

    DK: Now that I’ve shed a tear in recognition of the defaming of Greusel’s masterpiece, I can thank you, Sean, for sharing this with us. Good stuff.

  2. Drew71 says:

    In Phoenix now. Temperature dropping to 52 overnight.


    But it’s a dry 52.

  3. Dave says:

    Best of luck to Ben Lovejoy. He was one best performing defensemen we saw in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

  4. Dan1283 says:

    Good call linking the Johnson piece. I really liked that one too. Pitt really, really needs him to reach his potential.

  5. Ghost says:

    Only now had some time to skim through yesterday morning’s thread. Saw that Fat Jimmy carried on like a royal snot. His initial post was flailing rant filled with plenty of childish snark, and his follow-ups went downhill from there: “…You wrote a lousy column today…Do better next time” “The NFL made a mistake awarding a Super Bowl to Detroit” “…Wish in one hand and crap in the other…” All, completely unwarranted hostility.

    BTW, the odd phrasing “Total *Sleeping* Rooms” on the website Fat cites indicates that more than hotel/motel rooms are being counted. Once upon a time, the city of Long Beach used to count dormitory rooms at Long Beach State as available rooms for conventioneers, even though these rooms were only available during summer recess. Some room counts for Las Vegas also throw in rental condo inventory, of which there are tens of thousands of rooms available (though the official Convention and Visitor’s authority count does not do this).
    For SB XLVI, corporate sponsors were busing clients in from as far away as Louisville, KT, and flying them in from hotels in Chicago Yet FJ ridicules the Spring Hill Suites in Greensburg? He also apparently doesn’t know that every Super 8 and Motel 6 in Central Indiana and beyond was at 100% occupancy.

  6. Boise Bucco says:

    Who’s complaining about the Lovejoy trade? 5th rounder sounds about right.

    DK: Right as it happened, I was hit with a quick but strong burst of negativity through Twitter and email. It’s since subsided. But then, it’s also 3:23 a.m.

  7. Dave in Ross says:

    Lovejoy had to go. A very spare part. Suprised Eaton didn’t get the call?

  8. Jandy says:

    We have 19 here this morning..hush

  9. Jandy says:

    I’d say it was a fine move. Niskanen comes back,problem is solved. Ben wasn’t going anywhere here anyway, at least he has a fresh start with the Ducks. I’m happy for him.

  10. Ghost says:

    Just Googled “weather” and “Pittsburgh” — it’s going to be a balmy 43 degrees, today. That’s PERFECT for football. Bring on the Super Bowl! Those who don’t like it (and seem to live elsewhere anyway) can continue not gracing Pittsburgh with their presence and let visitors enjoy it instead.

  11. JAL says:

    JAL’s Down at the Twist and Shout Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Spring Training Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Would You Rather Have Polanco/Hanson or Chase Headley?

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates 2013 Spring Training: 5 storylines to watch

    Another look at the 2012 Pirates Jekyll and Hyde offense

    7 This is Getting Old

    The Perfect Game

    8 WHY GAVS

    Opposite field power

    9 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates Jonathan Sanchez: Upside Project or Wheel Spinning?

    10 Bleacher Report

    Pittsburgh Pirates: Thoughts on Keith Law’s Organizational Rankings and Top 100

  12. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Daily Mail

    Rare 1865 baseball card to sell for six figures at auction after purchased at yard sale in Maine for less than $100

    12 Baseball Nation

    Jonathan Sanchez on the Pittsburgh Pirates: Absurd or rational?

    13 Laguna Beach Independent

    George Witt, 1931 – 2013

    14 MLB

    Leyland is exactly where he belongs with Tigers

    15 PBC Site

    Pitchers highlight list of Pirates’ top prospects

    16 Sports World Report

    St. Louis Cardinals Trade Rumors: Astros’ Bud Norris Replacing Chris Carpenter in Starting Rotation?

    17 New York Times

    Drug Inquiry Focuses on Athletes’ Ties to Team at University of Miami

    18 Sweetspot

    Offseason report card: Reds


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    Jhonny Peralta Makes Five ACES Clients Tied to East Coast BALCO

    20 Fangraphs

    Micah Owings Keeping the Dream Alive

  13. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers 2013 Free Agency: Signing Keenan Lewis or letting him walk

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers 2013 Draft Prospect Profiles: RB Giovani Bernard – North Carolina


    23 Daily Telegraph

    England 2 Brazil 1: match report

    24 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 6th February, 2013


    25 Pensburgh

    Penguins Usage Chart: February 5

  14. JAL says:

    Down at the Twist and Shout, Mary Chapin Carpenter 1991 Won Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal in 1992

  15. SeanE says:

    DK-Well it certainly seems like overvaluing ones players/prospects is not unique to MLB. From some of the reaction you would have thought the Pens traded Crosby for an old bucket of picks. Lovejoy was a 6/7 defenseman on a team where there is an abundance of defensive depth. Fifth round pick sounds about right to me. Certainly were not going to get a scoring winger?

  16. Eric Bowser says:

    Love the deal.

    Lovejoy gets a fresh start, means Despres & Bortuzzo earned spots and most important to me is getting a draft pick to help restock the system as I think Shero and his scouts and assistants have done a bad job of drafting and developing a scoring forward and future backup goalie.

    It also gives Shero option of using pick as part of a trade to get a winger.

    Have a good day.

  17. John Lease says:

    Thanks for posting that!

  18. Arriba Wilver says:

    So, would it be incorrect to say that you are equating liking Pittsburgh with having to agree with DK’s column yesterday?

    BTW, how’s Las Vegas?

  19. Jandy says:

    How is Philly?

  20. Ghost says:

    Howdy Wilver.
    No, not really. I was just trying to find a different way of doing what Ryan Clark did a few years back when some critical fans were being particularly insufferable. Clark used a four-letter word for them — a word that ordinarily doesn’t make the “four-letter word list — but a word that I found both apropos and humerous.
    As for Las Vegas, now WE have plenty of hotel rooms here. But no place to play the ball game. Anyway, the ethnic cuisine in Pittsburgh is much, much better.

  21. TJ says:

    Can’t keep giving away defensemen when you have a glaring need at another position. I have no problem with dealing Lovejoy and getting a 5th round pick.

    What concerns me is that we entered into camp with an abundance of defensemen that could play and we let one go via waivers and one traded for a 5th round pick.

    So now we have Reese as our next option? There now seems to be a gap between what we currently have on the roster and those in the minors in terms of NHL ready.

  22. Eric Bowser says:

    It is alright, too many meetings so tonight we might go out downtown for dinner.

  23. Ghost says:

    I also found the word to be “humorous.”
    (And with that, I duck out of here until sundown).

  24. Ghost says:

    Try Paddy’s Pub.

  25. TJA says:

    Just got back from vacation in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Mid 80’s every day. Beautiful place, but it is really good to be back home in the ‘Burgh. Hope this finds everyone well! Missed the blog and conversations.
    Also, while on the topic of San Juan…just wanted to share, P.R. is a baseball crazy place. I would be in a conversation with locals and baseball would come up. Pretty much not one conversation was absent without a local talking about Roberto Clemente. When I would share that we were from Pittsburgh…the look in their eyes and excitement about meeting someone from Pittsburgh who saw Roberto play in person. It just blew my mind. It’s been 40 years since his passing and he really is very much of a hero, still in P.R. Indeed, he was taken from us much, much too soon.

  26. TJA says:

    Wonderful story, Sean. Thanks!

  27. Jandy says:

    will you be able to watch the game?

  28. Jandy says:

    Sounds like you were a bit of a “celebrity” as well. :)
    Thanks for sharing.

  29. Drew71 says:

    But it’s a dry 19

  30. Drew71 says:

    As another old timer who saw him plat, I always welcome hearing that he is far from forgotten. Thanks for posting this.

    And by the way, did you count hotel rooms? we’re still looking for sites.

  31. TJA says:

    Jandy – Thanks, but Nah…just a regular old guy from Pittsburgh who in particular loves baseball. Don’t want any of that celebrity stuff.

  32. AL says:

    to DK….
    My God man, shouldn’t you be sleeping at 3:23AM?

    OK so if I understand correctly, Reese is replacing Lovejoy. When Nisky comes back, he’ll replace Reese who goes right back to Wilkes-Barre. Correct?
    Also…any word from the Pens’ camp as to the Tangradi/Jeffrey situation? Do you think they’ll make a move with one or both of these guys or stand pat and keep both?

  33. buffalo_bob says:

    When I was a child, we had a family of Cuban refugees living next to us. We would always see Roberto delivering groceries and other necessities. he was always my hero growing up and yes, he is missed. To a great ball player and humanitarian…Arriba Roberto!

  34. 21sthebest says:

    “I am a Junior Accounting major at Geneva College ”

    That was the best part of your story Sean! ;-)

    Lots of luck!

  35. 21sthebest says:

    “The first of my weekly notes columns will run tomorrow,”

    I was kind of hoping you’d write a column on why Toronto should never ever host a Super Bowl.

  36. wowotrain says:

    Has anyone asked the Pirates how much money would have to be raised in order to have the sign razed?

  37. Bizrow says:

    There are about 15 rooms on the road from Monaca to Shippingport, so log them in

  38. Patrick says:

    Waivers probably have more to do with this trade as dislike for Lovejoy as a player. Depres is obviously staying, and it would be a shame to waste one of his (and Bortuzzo’s) remaining options. He certainly cant afford to lose another defenseman through waivers like Strait. Like DK said, everyone knew they were in a tight spot and could perhaps afford to low-ball them a bit. I would think even a 5th-or 6th defenseman is worth slightly more than a 5th round pick, but its better than nothing.

    I never met the kid but EVERYONE that has goes out of their way to mention what a smart, kind and sincerely good person he is. You can never have enough guys like that in any profession, and for that alone I am sad to see him go. I hope he gets a lot more minutes in Anaheim.

  39. Iceman says:

    I heard Greusel’s talk yesterday as well and must admit that I was very impressed with what he had to say and Sean here has done a very good job sharing Greusel’s passion. I was not there for the dinner, but I find his response to the Pirates Charities sign as being priceless. Thanks for sharing Sean. I wish there were more architects out there like Greusel who actually take interest into the history and culture of the place they are building, rather than just trying to make the cover of Architect Magazine (or wherever it is that architects gain recognition). I think it would make our world’s cities much better places.

  40. Thundercrack says:

    Wear a Penguins jersey. I dare you.

  41. Jandy says:

    You’re trying to get him killed!

  42. Jandy says:

    I see Flacco in the link so I REFUSE to read it…can’t stand that miserable excuse for a human.

  43. Iceman says:

    I think that moving Lovejoy was a necesity with the way Despres and Bortuzzo have been playing. From what I can tell, Lovejoy was a great guy and a good teammate, but just didn’t fit into the Pens system. The fact that he was going to have to go on waivers here in about 3 weeks (when Nisky comes back) means that getting any return, even if only a 5th rounder, is better than nothing, because there is no way he would clear waivers.

    I wish Lovejoy all the best in Anaheim and hopefully he will be able to “fit” better there than here.

  44. Iceman says:


    I guess this answers our question from yesterday about who the Penguins send down to WBS when Niskanen comes back.

  45. Iceman says:

    The problem is that their was really no other option. I suppose that at the beginning of the season, they could’ve sent Despres back to WBS instead of putting Strait on waivers, but with the way Despres is developing, it is looking like that would’ve been a mistake. My guess is no one would’ve traded for Strait becasue teams all knew he was going to go to waivers and they could get him for free.

    Same situation for Lovejoy. Shero goes out and makes a trade here, even though it is only a 5th round pick (although I’m not sure you are going to get much better for Lovejoy right now). Had he not done this, Lovejoy would go on waivers when Niskanen goes back and we would get nothing.

    Also, I think Reese is getting to the point where he can be ready to play in the NHL, just like Bortuzzo and Despres, so I am not at all upset about bringing him up to the big club. I also think that Morrow is starting to get to where we need him to be and could be brought up as early as next season. Seems to me like we are doing ok on the blue line.

  46. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    They would screw that up and just raise it.

  47. dwf says:

    Shero is WAY overrated! He takes too much credit when he actually does pull off a good trade and not enough responsibility for the many that do not work out. What everyone keeps forgetting is that as a GM he is also responsible for drafting/ developing players throughout the organization (read scoring forwards). It seems that a lot of people of willing to give him a free pass because he made one decent move by getting Neal and Niskanen for yes, an overrated Goligoski! Shero is quickly turning a strength (an over abundance of NHL ready D men) into a weakness by giving them away for pretty much nothing.

  48. Jason81 says:


    If I read correctly late last night, Reese would also have to clear waivers if/when he is returned to Wilkes-Barre.

  49. Iceman says:

    I don’t even know how to respond to that. Wow…

  50. 21sthebest says:

    He might not even need a Penguins jersey for that to happen.

  51. Iceman says:

    However, look at nearly every other team in the NHL and see their lack of depth on the blue line. I find it pretty amazing that we have the offensive talent of players like Crosby, Malkin, and Neal and a defensive unit that is looking potentially (I realize this is a key word), set for years to come. I would much rather be in a position where we have too many capable defensmen than in a position where we don’t have enough with nothing coming through the pipeline.

    You could say that we are lacking scoring forwards, but my argument is that we have forwards who can score. Malkin won the scoring title last year with the same players as those on the team right now (albeit Kunitz is now on another line). Crosby was on pace to score a ridiculous number of points a couple years ago, before his injury, with exactly the same line as who he is playing with now. They may not be scoring as much as we think they should right now, but Crosby has been out of the game for a long time and Malkin is still adjusting to the smaller ice surface of the NHL. I think they will both come into stride here very soon.

  52. Thundercrack says:

    No! But it did cross my mind that if he got a couple of fingers broke he may not be able to type those long Penguins posts on the blog.


  53. Dom says:

    What issue do you have with him?

  54. TJ says:

    I like the Lovejoy trade. No problem with it at all. Its kind of funny though how just a few weeks ago Errey was saying that Lovejoy was a top 5 defensemen. Should be interesting to see how he plays out in Anaheim.

    As for Reese he’s 28; if he hasn’t developed by now I’m not sure what he’s going to be other than an emergency option. As for Morrow; if the earliest we can see him is next season your basically stating that the defensemen we have are what we have for the year. Any injuries or trades will leave us with Reese as our primary backup once Niskanen comes back. If you trade a bortuzzo or despres for a wing your left with Reese as your only viable option.

  55. Drew71 says:

    I thought we agreed to a NASCAR column, Dejan.

  56. TJ says:

    I don’t have an issue with Flacco; I have an issue with his agent believing he should be paid like Manning and Brees. Based on his theory of superbowls. If thats the case Ben and Eli should be making 40mil a year

  57. wally says:

    Really liked the story on Dorian Johnson. As humble as he is talented. If he can stay healthy, he will go far.

    Can’t wait for the Friday notes column.

  58. Jandy says:

    But TC, I *LIKE* those long Penguins posts :P

  59. Arriba Wilver says:

    What a maroon. Speaking of which, Jon Stewart showed a clip of Ray Ray being interviewed before the Superbowl by one of the major news Networks. (It looked like it was in a church). Ray was asked if he had any words for the family of the Atlanta shooting victim that he thought would bring them any comfort. Any normal human would think he was being asked to offer some words of condolence, but not Ray Ray. It was still all about him. He said he would tell them, essentially, that God would not reward a murderer. In other words, “I didn’t do it.” I’ll bet they feel better.

  60. TJ says:

    I just don’t by the whole low-ball mentality. For as desperate as teams are in the NHL for defense your telling me that everyone was low balling and hope that they had the best low ball offer? Just sounds like plain stupidity. If your the GM of a team and responsible for improving your roster and have a guy that fills a hole; your telling me your going to low ball? If thats the case Shero needs some help with bluffing. Anaheim would have never seen Lovejoy had he been put on waivers. They are tied for 2nd in points with 15.

    If anything maybe it speaks to the talent that other teams saw or did not see in Lovejoy.

  61. Drew71 says:

    I’m not a hockey guy. I root for the pens, will pay more attention during the playoffs, but I’m not able to get into left wing lock or fourth line winger discussions.

    So let me address Shero as a simple, not very educated fans.

    Under his watch:

    1. A championship? Check

    2. Two finals? Check

    3. Perennial playoffs? Check

    4. The run not depleted, could be more? Check

    5. Perfect? NOPE

    Maybe that is oversimplified, but it is the best that this hockey simpleton can do.

  62. TJ says:

    What a freaking moron. God would not reward a murderer?

    I didn’t realize that Ray Lewis was playing for the superbowl. Thought it was the Baltimore Ravens.

    God would also not punish the majority for the acts of one man. If that were the case we’d all be living in a far worse place than we are.

    Nice job Ray.

  63. Drew71 says:

    When I first read this, I thought (seriously), Hey! walt sobered up!

    Sorry. Truly sorry to confuse the two of you.

  64. TJ says:

    1. 3 straight playoff series losses? Check

    2. Potential dynasty that has not lived up to expectations? Check

    3. Put all eggs in one basket with Parise? Check

    Don’t get me wrong Drew I think Shero pulls of some great moves but this team had a chance to be a dynasty and its fallen flat.

  65. Patrick says:

    I wonder who the GM is that you are thinking of that always “wins” every trade, signs every player under market value and has every draft pick play 15+ minutes a night within 2 years.

    I wonder, if Shero is average, exactly who is it that you think is better. I can think of 3, maybe 4.

  66. LuckyNKentucky says:


    from one hockey simpleton to another

  67. Jandy says:

    Never liked him. His agent only makes that worse. He’s not that good of a quarterback. He’s a flippin idiot.

  68. Arriba Wilver says:

    I was thinking that wally was the “anti-walt,” or in DC Comics terms walt is wally’s Bizarro.

  69. Jandy says:

    Well said. Took the words right out off my keyboard ;)

  70. Jandy says:

    You see the glass as half empty, I see it as half full.

    And yes, you are spoiled.

    We all are (Pens fans)

  71. Jandy says:

    You two Simpletons can be my heros anyday :)

  72. Jandy says:

    It sure does….problem solved. I hope Ben makes the most of this opportunity.

  73. Arriba Wilver says:

    Drew’s description of his hockey knowledge mirrors mine. So from that perspective, isn’t the salary cap more of a reason for no dynasty than Shero?

  74. Jandy says:

    Don’t blame ya, neither do I ;)

  75. Jandy says:

    it’s a farkin COLD 19! gRRR!

  76. Bizrow says:

    Um, Neal Huntington??? ;-)

  77. TJ says:

    I’m not seeing it as half full. I’m seeing it for what it is.

    3 straight playoff series losses. 2 years in a row not passing the first round.

    Is this what you expect from a roster that includes Malkin and Crosby?

    You didn’t expect more? Its not about being spoiled its about realizing rosters like this don’t come around very often. Look how long we went from the Lemieux days through the Jagr years and finally to Crosby. All those years of top 5 picks.

    Sorry but with all this talent I would say they have done tremendous during the regular season and have failed to meet expectations in the playoffs

  78. LuckyNKentucky says:

    Deal. :P

  79. Patrick says:

    And that’s the GENERAL MANAGERS fault?

    It his job to get the players who can compete for a Stanley cup, and he has done that. What do you want him to do? Put on some skates and take a shift? How is it his fault the Pens have under achieved?

    He has MORE than done his part.

  80. Patrick says:…all of it

  81. TJ says:

    Isn’t it the responsibility of the GM to be able to find players that can replace those lost to FA due to the salary cap?

    Who exactly have we lost since the cup that was a major factor other than Gill and Talbot? Can’t find replacements for them? We haven’t so far.

  82. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I am A-OK with the Lovejoy trade for several reasons.

    1. He obviously wasn’t in the plans here unless we reached dire Strait(s).

    2. I like GM’s in every sport who get more than nothing for a player who’s gona be gone anyway. That’s one of my main problems with Neal the “I’ll Negotiate for 15 months Over a Broken non-Throwing Arm for an Over 5 ERA Fading Pitcher and Sign my Own Hip-Surgery Guy Who’s Unavailable until July” SEAL. His release to signing ratio is appalling. Is there a SABRE stat for that? Or for wasted money?

    3. Paul Martin has shown much more improvement than Lovejoy.

    4. If our farm D aren’t very deep with NHL readies, Lovejoy hardly made or broke the bank on that one. Not many NHL teams have 2 or more NHL-ready D. Obviously Bowsma and Co. didn’t put Lovejoy into this category. The Pens are no better or worse off on D prospects than the Pirates are on pitching prospects IMO.

    5. Despres will stay in the NHL, which I think he should. Contrary to DK’s prediction that he should be in WBarre, he’s progressing quite well I’d say (That’s ok DK, you got the Super Bowl pick right). And we aren’t losing anyone on waivers at the moment.

    6. Lovejoy may thrive in Anaheim. Good for him if he does. He’ll likely fare better than Ryan Whitney.

    7. Sometimes a 5th round pick can pay out- see Mikka Kiprusoff and Ryan Miller.

  83. Jandy says:

    If we get a Nascar column, who will be the main attraction?

  84. TJ says:

    So your happy with the Pirates then?

  85. Iceman says:

    Two thoughts on that:

    I am certainly in the minority here and many may call me crazy, but I don’t think we are needing an winger as bad as everyone seems to think. I still like the 9-87-14 line as a pretty good number 1 line. We can see Kunitz is getting his legs back under him and Dupuis, while not getting any younger, is still fast and I think Crosby likes playing with these guys. For Malkin’s line, we know Neal fits and I think that Boychuck can fit there. If not Boychuck, I’d like to see the Pens give Jeffries an actualy shot on that line. I think he has some of the skillset necessary to play on a line with Malkin and Neal (that skillset being going to the net and staying out of Neal and Malkin’s way when necessary).

    In the instance that the Pens do need to trade, I am not entirely sure that we will need to trade Bortuzzo or Despres. I am thinking that later on in the season, we may be able to trade one of our good defensive prospects who are in the minors right now to a team that is out of the playoffs and looking to bring in future talent. I believe this was Shero’s plan all along in signing all the defensemen and I think some of our top defensive prospects not playing in the NHL will offer a high return so we don’t need to lose current NHL talent (ie. Bortuzzo and Despres).

  86. sidelinespensfan says:

    The Penguins and the WBS Penguins are both on the hunt for their league titles EVERY YEAR. The Penguins and WBS Penguins have made the playoffs. EVERY. YEAR. You do not do that “in spite” of your GM. All GMs have their good points and bad points, good trades and bad trades (see: GMNH of your BMTIB). Shero is the least of the Penguins problems, and if they are smart, will lock him up for many years to come.

  87. Iceman says:

    I thought Dejan wrote columns about sports.

  88. Patrick says:

    His agent is doing his job. Its his primary function to over-value his client. If he didn’t do EXACTLY what he was doing now, he wouldn’t be an agent. Nobody believes that. Not the Ravens, not his agent….well…apparently Flacco might be stupid enough to believe it.

  89. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    But by playoff time, is it more up to the GM or the coaching staff to ensure the team’s success in the playoffs? It’s really a chicken and egg question, but I think Bylsma’s had as much to do with playoff failures, if not more, than Shero.

  90. Jandy says:

    Sure I was disappointed. But after all the struggles Malkin and especially Crosby have had in the last two seasons, I guess I’m being more realistic. I’m not happy with the early exits. I’m not happy that the Power Play shorted out last season, and stunk the season before that. We are blessed with two of the finest hockey players in the world, and they are both healthy right now. I’m willing to see how that plays out this shortened season.
    Half full. :)

  91. Jandy says:

    Good point, Brad, and one I thought of bringing up, but TS’s beef is with Shero.
    But yeah, Bylsma will be closely watched this season and playoffs.

  92. Jandy says:

    It certainly plays a part in it, AW. And while the Pirates FO doesn’t like to spend money, the Pens haven’t been anal like that.

  93. Patrick says:


    Because NH hasn’t gotten the players assembled to compete. Shero has.

    Are you really trying to compare Shero to Huntington? Are you SERIOUSLY going to compare what Shero has done to Huntington or even try to equate one situation to another?!

  94. Jandy says:

    have you forgotten Bugsy and “the Piece” already???

  95. AL says:

    to Jason81

    Thanks for the info on the waivers. Hopefully he’s still enough of an unknown defenseman that he’ll slip under the radar of other teams on the waiver wire.
    But then again every team in the league knows by now how rich we are in defensemen so maybe they’ll be targeting anyone of our guys with a (D) after his name.

  96. Jandy says:

    The Pens organization isn’t afraid to spend money, spend to the cap. C’mon TJ compare apples to apples here.

  97. Iceman says:

    Agree with all the above.

  98. TJ says:

    I just love this. There seems to be an overwhelming sense of joy with Shero. And I admit I think he’s done a very good job with this team and think he deserves to be here as long as the Pens can keep him.

    But contrary to what others may believe I believe the buck stops with Shero. If the team under performs; sure its on the backs of the players… so do you keep those same players together after 3 straight playoff series losses?

    We sit and bash NH for his horrible skills but Shero is fine its on the players for not performing. We give Shero a pass when we haven’t seen a scoring winger developed on this team but bash Kevin Colbert for not being able to find quality defensive line replacements.

    I’m just not sure why Shero is so admired when he has a golden roster and its not acheived all that it can and Colbert is being bashed. I wonder what the temperature will be with another first round exit this year. Not saying it will happen but just curious.

  99. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    TJ, that’s where I wholeheartedly agree on Shero’s weakness. His FA management has been less than average imo. Letting guys walk because of salary or team direction or whatever, he puts the same money into guys that just don’t pan out as expected (TK, Martin, Michalek most recently).

    I don’t blame him one bit for losing/missing Hossa Mamossa or Smack Parise or Hairy Suter or Staal since they all had other plans anyway.

  100. Arriba Wilver says:

    C’mon Biz, you have to have some bunks out there at the plant?!

  101. TJ says:

    No but you just said that its up to the players not the General Manager.

  102. TJ says:

    Patrick… Do you believe this roster/team has lived up to its potential?

  103. Jandy says:

    Yeah Brad, Lovejoy wasn’t a Sultan of Swing ;)

    Wow, praise for Martin…you’re getting there, man LOL

  104. LuckyNKentucky says:

    To hear him tell it.

  105. Jason81 says:

    It’ll just go around in circles…forever.

  106. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Thanks, Ice. Man. You can be my wingman anytime. Now I have to watch that movie again. Classic.

    Sorry Goose, but it’s time to buzz the tower…

  107. Jandy says:

    TJ, you’re not totally wrong with Shero. He won’t get passes year after year. You forget we had Malkin down and then Sid down. We had more guys out as well. I’m not gonna list them all, but I remember well we lost a TON of man games due to injuries. Our PP sucked (that wasn’t on Shero), our wonderful defensive play and even our penalty kill nosedived. The guys petered out. Heck, even rock solid Beej stunk last season.
    All this isn’t on Shero.
    That said, we have a healthy team now. Let’s see where this team goes.

  108. Jandy says:

    Dayum, JHadar, that link made my computer go nuts…kept re-opening itself dozens of times after I had closed it!

  109. Arriba Wilver says:

    TS–I wasn’t thinking of it solely from a “what did Shero do” perspective as much as it helping other teams get better. But you might add Ryan Malone to that list. I’m just saying the system is set up for more parity.

  110. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I wouldn’t say I’m praising him- just trying to be fair. My ire has been redirected to Tyler “now showing in 1D” Kennedy. I’d still rather have Phaneuf or Karlsson over Martin any day of the week. But not Chara. He’s an overrated tool.

  111. TJ says:

    Totally agree. Should be over valuing his contract. But the basis on which he is over valuing his client makes him sound like an idiot. If he wants to use super bowls as a barometer for being paid then maybe the Ravens should counter with Trent Dilfer’s contract when he won the super bowl in Baltimore

  112. Jandy says:

    Jandy says:

    February 7, 2013 at 10:08 am
    re-posting this up here where it belongs:
    TJ, you’re not totally wrong with Shero. He won’t get passes year after year. You forget we had Malkin down and then Sid down. We had more guys out as well. I’m not gonna list them all, but I remember well we lost a TON of man games due to injuries. Our PP sucked (that wasn’t on Shero), our wonderful defensive play and even our penalty kill nosedived. The guys petered out. Heck, even rock solid Beej stunk last season.
    All this isn’t on Shero.
    That said, we have a healthy team now. Let’s see where this team goes.


  113. Patrick says:

    Its not just kinda someone else fault. ITS ALL someone else fault. Whether that be the coaches or (GASP!) the players themselves the last 3 years of first round losses are absolutely not Shero’s fault. They have two of the 3 players in the world surrounded by great hockey players. They have the most talented roster in all of hockey. HOW MUCH MORE TALENT DO YOU THINK THEY NEED?!?!

    He has done his part. If it doesn’t work than the onus falls somewhere else. If you want to have that discussion, I’m all for it. But this discussion that Shero has some how failed at his repsonsibilities is so absurd it borders on stupidity.

    “Why doesn’t he just sign Weber, Parise, Suter and Ludqvist? Shero is so stupid”

  114. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sorry, TJ.

  115. Jandy says:

    What would you do, TJ? After last season when we flamed out…fire everyone?

  116. Patrick says:

    It is the general managers responsibility to get players to compete.



    Of course it has underachieved, of course they have dissappointed. What I am saying is that to blame Shero for those failures is a complete misplacement of blame. The failure of the last 3 years is on 1) The coaches and 1a) The players. Period.

  117. TJ says:

    Brad I totally agree. Come playoff time its up to the coaches.

    But if we want to argue its up to the players and the coaches then who is responsible when they fail? Fine its the fault of the players and coaches.

    But then isn’t it the responsibility of the GM to change the roster and coaches if the team and staff he has assembled hasn’t gotten it done in 3 straight years? And I’m not talking about winning the cup; but 2 first round losses is not acceptable with this roster.

  118. TJ says:

    I agree Arriba. Its set up for parity. But this league is far from having parity right now. I just think while we praise Shero for his additions in the draft of defensemen which were mostly 1st round picks; we’ve yet to see anything in terms of wingers.

  119. Patrick says:

    Even the forwards are debatable. They have been in the top 5 in scoring every year for 5 years now. Last year the led the league, with having 1 defenseman with more than 50 points. Sounds like they know how to fill the net up front to me. I’ll put the Pens top 6 up against any body else’s in the league.

  120. Milo Hamilton says:

    I trust that Ray is the same guy that has gotten us all the way to the 1st round of the playoffs the last 2 years. :)

  121. Jandy says:

    You trust correctly, sir :)

  122. Jandy says:

    Well, at least you’re trying to be fair…that’s an improvement :P

  123. Arriba Wilver says:

    I haven’t seen a lot of Colbert bashing. And putting Neal in the same discussion with either of them is ridiculous.

  124. Iceman says:

    Sad thing is, no movie will be made like it again. If I recall correctly, all the dogfight scenes in that movie were shot using real jets. Now all we get is CGI.

  125. TJ says:

    The point I’m trying to make here fellas is simple.

    Shero has assembled a team and a coaching staff. But if your the owner of a business and have a crew working for you for the past 3 years and they haven’t performed any where near where you expect when do you step up and make changes?

    How long do you wait? I’m not saying Shero should have been fired or even the coaches after last season. But we didn’t do anything; we have had 3 straight losses and what we did was add Vokoun. That was our big addition.

    I believe there comes a time when you have to step back and say ok… this is a great roster but something isn’t working. We have to get a guy like Talbot back or a guy like Gill. Sitting on your hands gets you no where and almost speaks of arrogance.

  126. Jandy says:

    I don’t think the NHL will be sporting any dynasties for a while.

  127. Jandy says:

    TJ, it’s not all black and white here, however. The last TWO seasons, we had more injuries than usual to deal with. Your best player basically didn’t play last season. You say ok something’s not working, Shero DID try to get Parise, did you not ciriticize him for that above? Last season’s free agency wasn’t all that good, especially for wingers. Miracles are nice, but they aren’t easily pulled out of a hat.

  128. TJ says:

    Got to figure out a way to get people to buy more merchandise

  129. Patrick(RI) says:

    Saw in JAL’s cites that George Witt has died. He and my hometown hero, Curt Raydon, looked like they would step in behind Friend & Law to form a dynamite rotation for 1959. Alas, both came down with arm problems. Witt hung on to get a ring in 1960, but my hero had to settle for a 1 year career. The older you get, the more it becomes clear that MLB is a bedrock part of our history . . . or so it seems.

  130. Drew71 says:

    Everything was copacetic until you two had to use those kissie face emoticons.

  131. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I kept hearing they were supposed to remake it, but haven’t heard of filming ever starting. Yeah the dogfights were real and awesome. Somehow movies like Need for Speed 6 just don’t do the same kind of justice to action sequences.

  132. TJ says:

    Jandy what I criticized him for was putting all his eggs in the Parise basket. If your saying you feel like you need a guy like Parise; if you don’t get him you should have a backup plan.

  133. TJ says:

    Who was missing in the playoffs against the Flyers?

  134. Jandy says:

    I’d like to hold onto Bortuzzo and Depres as well. Our wingers are handling things for now…see how it goes.

  135. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I forgot to mention Malone today. So basically Shero’s big whiffs in dismissing FA’s have been…

    1. Rob Scuderi- signed 4 year 13.6M. ?!?!?!?!?!? That’s all I have to say about that.
    2. Hal Gill- 2 year 4.5 M. ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
    3. Maximus Talbot- 5 years 9M. Yet TK is worth the same salary over 2 years??!?!?! You don’t get decent 2 way role players much cheaper than that.
    4. Ryan Malone (aka the 2nd line winger for Geno; alias a professional Tangradi version)
    5. Gerry Gonchar (my friend and I always called him Gerry for some stupid reason that I can’t remember but was definitely influenced by LaBatt pitchers)
    6. Mike Rupp (sortof)- would’ve been good for one more year I think
    7. Paul Bissonnette!


  136. Jandy says:

    I bought a Pedro tee shirt at K-mart in December for $5 =)

  137. dwf says:

    Too bad that this is a “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR US LATELY” league.

  138. Jandy says:

    Rob Scuderi won the cup with the Kings.

  139. Brad, Indiana PA says:


  140. Jandy says:

    Awwww Drew dahling…we <3 you too :P

  141. Milo Hamilton says:

    Life is a “what have you done for me lately league”.

  142. LuckyNKentucky says:

    like +1

  143. Jandy says:

    I’m saying we DON’T need a Parise. it would be lovely to have him. (He’s also nice eye candy, but that’s another story). We have Kunitz and Neal. I don’t know what people want. The back-up plan in a season when the FA sucks is to stick with the talent you have.

  144. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Robbie Brown. Loved that guy.

  145. Brad, Indiana PA says:


  146. Jandy says:

    I’d love to know what Mr. Kovacevic has to say about Ray Shero and all this caterwauling about him. :)

  147. Jandy says:

    True…Shero messed up on that one…I’m admitting it.

  148. Jandy says:

    lol. Sid played, but he wasn’t Sid. Our PP sucked. Our PK sucked. We played totally undisciplined hockey. Neither goalie was focused…so i ask again, we firing everyone? And it’s all Ray Shero’s fault?

  149. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    If I recall correctly most of these were cap issues. Maybe we need to dish out a little less to overvalued FA-D and focus on keeping our parts that work well. The year of the Martin Michalek was the watershed moment IMO.

  150. TJ says:

    I will never forget when Hextall chased him in that playoff game where the Pens put up like 9 goals

  151. Skilliemischief says:

    Anyone know of a good website I can stream the pens games. Every single time they’re on NHL net. Comcast (Philly market) shows alternative programming. Even though my guide says the pens are on! Normally I don’t subscribe to conspiracies but I’ve been keeping track & it only happens when it’s the pens! Any other game on NHL net is shown. Maybe it’s some weird blackout rule but both my dad & brother get the games on directv & dish network. Could it be that Philly (Home to Comcast) hates the pens that much to where they won’t show them?! If they’re are on NBC or NBC sports (versus) I get the games. But not once in the past 2 seasons have I gotten to see a pens game on NHL net & every time my guide says they’re on! Just another reason I can’t stand Comcast or Philly!!! (Even if its not their fault)

  152. Patrick says:

    I know the frustration from having the most talented team in the league and never getting anywhere, hell we all do. But the truth is since the inception of the salary cap in hockey there has been a different SC winner ever year, and only two teams have even BEEN to more than one finals and that was the Pens and Red Wings. In a cap league it is EXTREMELY difficult to even make it back to the finals much less win it. The Sharks, Canucks, Capitals and Ducks have underachieved worse than the Penguins.

    And honestly, come to think of it, we all might need to revise our definition of ‘Dynasty’ when it comes to hockey. Its a capped league now. The days of having 8 HoF players on one team, and four of the top 6 forwards, like the Pens did in the early 90’s in a thing of the past.

  153. TJ says:

    Can never have too many rags to wash the car with

  154. Skilliemischief says:

    Robbie Brown was my favorite player back in the day! (Btw I grew up in Indiana, pa!)

  155. Jandy says:

    Still, we needed D and had to overpay for them they way the FA market went.

  156. Jandy says:

    Well said!

  157. TJ says:

    Jandy… this would be a great debate on the radio. Like ya said chicken or the egg. Ultimately if the coaches aren’t performing and the players aren’t performing it falls on the GM.

    If he continues to allow them to under perform then yes he should be fired.

    I will equate it to my golf game. Every year I think I’m going to get better; don’t take any lessons; don’t practice but I think its just going to get better on its own. Seems to be the menatility we have here. Just keep watching and those Pens are going to get better. Keep throwing different guys on that 2nd line; someone will stick.

    If your not moving forward your not going to like where you end up.

  158. Jandy says:

    gotta get some work done…not bailing…but this $1.049 contract is still only half reviewed :(

  159. TJ says:

    Anyone that was as bald as him on top that could find a way to date Alyssa Milano is my hero.

  160. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    But my point is we should have kept some effective ones we had. Seems like they felt change was needed after Montreal, but those changes resulted in less playoff success.

  161. Thundercrack says:

    Love Stewart. Hate Ray Ray.

  162. Jandy says:

    first off, golf isn’t a sport :p (lol)

    I’m agreeing that, if the Pens flame out this season, and there are no mitigating circumstances, Shero should be on the hot seat, as well as Bylsma. I’m saying with all the injuries, especially Sid and before him, Geno, I stills think Shero should have a job.

    And it IS a great debate, and I’m having fun here, because it’s clean debate with no meanness.

    Thanks guys :)

  163. TJ says:

    I will say it over and over… the biggest losses were Gill and Talbot. Can’t replace some of the things those guys brought

  164. Patrick says:

    Anyone else noticed the guy who started this thread hasnt said a word since his initial post?

    That was one very well placed hand grenade…..

  165. Bizrow says:

    Like, you know, we do need one of those like buttons

  166. Bizrow says:

    Like, very much so

  167. Arriba Wilver says:


  168. Patrick says:

    After yesterdays finger wagging about the Burgh as a host city I would think he needs a day off from angry debates. Yesterday i expected a ‘West Side Story’ like knife fight to break out at any minute…

  169. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    He may have been bald on top, but could still rock the half moon mullet. I too think my golf skills will increase each year. But the only part that does is the amount of money I spend on booze while playing.

  170. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    “When you’re a jet…”

    Oh wait. Wrong city.

    Walter Matthau’s version of “Maria” in Grumpier Old Men was awesome.

  171. Jandy says:


  172. Iceman says:

    I heard they are rereleasing it in 3D and I also heard they are making a sequel as well. Don’t know for sure if either will ever happen.


    Man, I’d NEVER wear that # as a Pirate!!!

  174. Bizrow says:

    Wow, Jandy goes and does that “work” thing, whatever that is and Elvis and everyone else leaves the building….

  175. philthegroundhog says:

    I have had success watching the Pens on First Row Sports. Google them and pick one of the many sites to see which one works best for you. Usually they stream the ROOT Sports feed.

  176. Jandy says:

    Jandy is back. Everyone else…get back here! >:/

  177. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    But Jandy, I think my assessment of Paul Martin prior to the start of this season was fair (winking smiley image of happy little yellow man)

  178. Naterosboro says:

    Were they playing the Flyers? I live in South Jersey and don’t think I’ve had a problem with NHL network (altho I do have Verizon Fios).

  179. Bizrow says:

    Here’s a tidbit that made me lose lunch

    Although I am now thanking the Big Guy for making pidgeons

  180. Jandy says:

    I just wish he would go away. It’s getting beyond ridiculous.

  181. Jandy says:

    Calling a male Polly when he plays in the NHL is blatantly foul. lol

    To make the happy little man…simply type a colon : followed by a right parenthesis )

  182. Jandy says:

    Ok Letang has issues. That explains why Reese was recalled. And no, he doesn’t have to clear waivers if he’s returned.

  183. dwf says:

    You will not get a single bad word about Ray Shero from DK! Either DK is smitten with Shero or he is afraid of him!?

  184. dwf says:

    As stated in my earlier post, part of a GM’s job is to draft/develop players. Under Shero’s watch how many scoring forwards has he drafted that have made an impact at the NHL level? Hmmmm….not many! I will give you Staal, but my sister could’ve made that pick.

  185. Charlie says:

    Check out my blog post on the Pens’ win vs. the Islanders from Tuesday. (my blog covers all things pittsburgh sports)

  186. Jandy says:

    i would think Reese is in better “game shape” than Eaton. Reese has been playing since October.

  187. Kevin says:

    What is it with people that continue to call hockey boring?? Is it a learned behavior to dislike hockey because of Canada or northeast winter driving? seriously, there are several sports that are much more boring. Soccer, baseball, sometimes tennis, nascar, basketball, golf, cricket… except for the small size of the puck and difficulty to track its movement on tv, I do not see how people cannot grasp hockey… there is alot to admire about its pace (way less commercials than football) and the skill involved (way more skill than football) in hockey.

    I may have missed one but, I’d like to see an educational article on the limitations to growing hockey globally. If someone knows one, please send a link?

  188. Kevin says:

    Oh.. and I understand that people in warm climates would probably not appreciate hockey as much. But, people up here in PA talk negatively about hockey all the time.

  189. AL says:


    it’s the greatest spectator sport in the world. All the negative people have to do is attend one game and then they’ll be hooked. Before 1984, there really wasn’t a compelling reason to show up at the arena except for a few diehard fans.
    All that changed when a rookie named Mario started playing. Pittsburgh hockey hasn’t been the same since.

  190. Jason81 says:

    Will it depict him taking some deer antler spray or hiding a bloody suit?

  191. Skilliemischief says:


  192. Skilliemischief says:

    No when they play the flyers I can watch them on comcast sportsnet. Since you have fios that further solidifies my comcast theory!

  193. LuckyNKentucky says:


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