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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Monday Wakeup Call: Shero makes first move

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, lunatics …

>> The Monday column looks not only at Ray Shero’s acquisition of Brenden Morrow but also which player and which position his next acquisition might be.

Look forward, as always, to your feedback.

>> The streak is at 12


Yes, it’s at 12 …

Amazing feat. What a special franchise this is for Pittsburgh.

That said, the day the Flyers are eliminated from the Eastern Conference playoff picture will be the day the Penguins have done the most to get back to the Stanley Cup final.

Here’s our Trib team coverage by Rob Rossi and Josh Yohe.

>> Jeff Karstens’ recurrence of shoulder trouble doesn’t bode well for the Pirates’ rotation, obviously, but I wouldn’t fret too much. They’ve got a deep, talented minor-league system that’s had an especially strong emphasis on pitching in the drafts. This will be no problem at all!

>> If you missed it, the Sunday column applauded Jamie Dixon’s extension while also looking ahead in detail to Pitt’s 2013-14 season.

>> Oh, and if you haven’t heard, Serbs are about to become the master race

The future of civilization could not be in more capable hands. We never start trouble anywhere.

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. Mizery says:


  2. Mizery says:

    Love the Morrow trade by the way. That’s why you stockpile commodities such as defensemen. Teams need them and the Pens can fill the holes in their lineup. Pirates need to take notes from the Pens.

  3. Jeff says:


    Rossi said that there was almost a deal in place for Keith Yandle at the 2012 Draft. Why Yandle then, Klesla now?

    DK: Read what I wrote again, please.

  4. Drew71 says:

    Loved the story about the Serbian cousins.

    “I found him with several spoons and forks hanging from his body.”

    You just don’t read things like that every day.

    It explains a lot, Dejan Spoons Kovacecic.

    This was my favorite part of the story:

    “Terrified, the 26-year-old woman phoned her sister, who discovered that her son, Luka, 6, has the same attraction.”

    That is EXACTLY what I do when I’m terrified. I call my sister.

    Can you imagine the conversation?

    ‘I’m TERRIFIED, Sonya!! Quick! Go put spoons on little Luka!”

  5. Jandy says:

    “Pucknutz says:

    March 24, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    Jackwipe -New one on me -can I look that up in Websters or will you define it for me Jandy?”

    Sorry, missed this last night Pucknutz, my friend.
    I’m sorry I can’t enlighten you, tho, cuz I got the word from my hubby. But you can rest assured, it’s not a nice meaning ;)

  6. Jandy says:

    How many sisters do you have, Drew?

  7. JAL says:

    JAL’s All the Way 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

    Karstens Scratched With Soreness – How Does This Impact the Roster?

    Pirate City Notes: Welker, Curry, Santos, Rojas, Rowland, Allie, 2013 Draft

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Jonathan Sanchez? Chris Young? Pirates’ rotation situation quickly becoming depressing

    Pirates’ relievers excellent in 5-3 win

    7 The Good in Sports

    Roberto Clemente, Jr. Interview

    8 Rant Sports

    Why would the Pittsburgh Pirates attempt to trade Gaby Sanchez?

    9 Rumbunter

    Will The Pirates Real 5th Starter Please Stand Up?

    Who’s Breaking Out For The Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013?

    10 Green Weenie

    Not A Great Day To Evaluate Piching…

  8. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Bradenton Herald

    Pittsburgh Pirates still have decisions to make before season opens next week

    12 Bleacher Report

    2013 MLB Predictions: National League Central Preview

    13 Detroit News

    Virgil Trucks, who pitched two Tigers no-hitters in 1952, dies at 95–who-pitched-two-Tigers-no-hitters-in-1952–dies-at-95

    14 Examiner

    Astros ink infielder Ronny Cedeno to one-year contract

    15 Pioneer Press

    Minnesota Twins’ Tim Wood out with shoulder strain

    16 Wall Street Journal

    Desperate Yankees Set to Add Wells

    17 Reuters

    Analysis: In suing clinic over drugs, U.S. baseball may be targeting players

    18 PBC SITE

    Bucs’ comeback falls short after O’s eight-run first

    Karstens’ setback creates another rotation opening

    Leroux brushes off rough outing in strong spring


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes

    20 Fangraphs

    Is Bill James Right about Ground Ball Pitchers and Injuries?

  9. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Curtis Brown entering pivotal third year with 2013 Steelers

    Weekend Checkdown: the top stories of the week

    22 Steelers Depot

    -Steelers 2013 Schedule Serves Up the Elite


    23 Daily Telegraph

    Southend United sack manager Paul Sturrock but allow him to take charge for Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 22nd March, 2013


    25 Pensburgh

    Tyler Kennedy does something good, Pens beat Flyers 2-1

  10. JAL says:

    All the Way Eddie Vedder 2007 Lead singer of Pearl Jam is Cubs fan and wrote this song about the Cubs. Song written at request of Ernie Banks.

  11. Drew71 says:

    One for every Spoon.

  12. Jandy says:

    I’m NOT asking ;X

  13. Jandy says:

    JAL, your link from Pensburgh has a nice little tidbit:
    Pens have a 12 game winning streak going. Philly has 13 wins the entire season.
    I like it!

  14. kr70 says:

    Ray Shero for GM of the pirates. Does he know anything about baseball??…Oh wait that isn’t a criteria for the job.

  15. Pat4PGH says:


  16. Pucknutz says:

    Thank you Jandy, guess I will just have to use my imiagination. LOL

  17. Jandy says:

    I’m sure you’re up to the task ;)

  18. gregenstein says:

    Actually, the Pirates notably have attempted to stockpile pitching. They’ve just sucked at it outside of the first or second overall picks in the draft.

  19. TIM says:

    Something tells me this trade is going to backfire. I have a real problem trading young promising prospects for old players; especially those prone to injury the past few years, have a minus rating, was playing on a fourth line and will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. (Hossa, anyone?) I understand the “win now” aspect but I’m not buying it in this case.
    Joe Morrow was the most NHL ready prospect we had– probably would be contending for a roster spot next year. What if he turns out to be another Kris Letang and we let him go for next to nothing? Shero paid too high a price.

  20. Jandy says:

    Tim, here’s a good article on this trade. Not saying you’re right or wrong, only time will tell that.

  21. Drew71 says:


    We have Thunder Magnificent Crack.

    And now Dejan Magnetic Kovacevic. (Spoons for short)

    I’m sensing a trend

    Drew Moribund Drewovich

  22. montyb24 says:

    I love the addition of a gritty veteran like Brenden Morrow. I think the biggest positive will be the trickle down effect on the roster. Being able to put Bennett on the 3rd line and T.K. on the fourth makes for an extremely line rotation. Kennedy may not be the greatest, but if he is on your 4th line, you have got enviable depth.

    Kudos to Shero for creating the kind of organizational depth that would allow the Pens to trade a top D prospect and still have Dupres and Bortuzzo in the next generation. I have to think that the play of Dupres made Shero much more willing to trade away a prospect like Morrow. Getting a 3rd rounder back as well shows that a great GM can go for it now, AND keep an eye towards the future. Never thought the Pens would have another GM as good or better than Craig Patrick.

  23. Jandy says:

    Drew, dahling, you are MANY things, but moribund you are NOT!

  24. Bobbo says:

    I already liked the trade, alot, that HeroShero made yesterday, but then this morning Scott Burnside’s article had me realizing this [no offense DK, your column was wonderful also]:

    Sure, we paid a good bit to get Morrow, but it already was a sellers market, and we took a top piece out of that market early. We’ve now set the price for that B+ rental player and now there’s one less. If Boston is trying to get Iginla, they are going to pay dearly. Its like Ray just toys with the other GMs.

  25. Nate83 says:

    I agree with this. I’m a big hockey fan but don’t really follow close enough to know much about the Penguins prospects past the point of hearing Joe Morrow’s name and knowing he was one of their top prospects.

    What I do know is Guerin helped us win a cup after a similar trade and Despres is having trouble getting on the ice right now despite playing well. It seems like young defenseman is not something we have a shortage of and although everyone seems to thing Morrow will be good I haven’t heard anyone say the defensive part of his game is strong. Winning past the second round of the playoffs has been a problem. We added by dealing from a position of strength. I for one have no issues with this.

  26. Belfry says:

    Oh, man! The Pirates haven’t even lost their first game, yet everyone has the forks out.

  27. buffalo_bob says:

    This comes from eating refrigerator magnets that look like food. Do you have an uncontrollable urge to point to the north.

  28. SJB says:

    “Brenden Morrow’s acquisition almost surely quashes any push to pry Jarome Iginla out of Calgary, but his price is prohibitive, anyway.”

    DK, While I am very happy with the Morrow deal, I would still have rather had Iginla, even if it meant bumping Dupuis to the third line or even Kunitz back to Malkin’s line. (Gee, that would be terrible, huh? Malkin, Neal and Kunitz would never work.) Also, how do you know what Feaster is asking, or will ultimately get for Iginla? I didn’t know there was a book out on it. Prohibitive? You mean it might have cost Joe Morrow and a 1st round pick? Sorry, but I make that deal all day long.

  29. SJB says:

    I’m glad everyone knows what Iginla is going to cost. Maybe Shero does, but I don’t, you don’t and neither does DK.

  30. SJB says:

    Can’t imagine why.

  31. buffalo_bob says:

    That’s spoons, Belfry!!

  32. TJA says:

    Morning Everyone – Just to throw out question I was thinking about over the weekend for anyone: What is/was more impressive for these winning streaks: Blackhawks to start the NHL campaign…Pens streak now…Miami Heat streak in the NBA???

  33. Belfry says:

    I couldn’t resist. :)

    How cool would it be to invite the little Serbian cousins to be honorary batboys on opening day??!!

  34. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I still don’t like Tyler Kennedy. At least he won the game, though. Maybe it’ll punch his ticket outta here. Other than that I’ll give the .07% shooting wonder a respite for the day.

    Paul Martin had some oopsies last night…

  35. Belfry says:

    I could swear I saw forks… and on opening day, other cutlery is not permitted on batboys.

  36. SJB says:

    As far as the NHL to NBA comparison, it’s Apples and Oranges and only the super sports genius Stephen A. Smith can answer that. I do think the Pens streak now is more impressive compared to the Hawks earlier when some teams were still finding their legs. A lot of teams are playing desperation hockey now and the Pens still find ways to beat them.

  37. Belfry says:

    Actually, that would be utensils- not cutlery.My bad.

  38. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    As far as the trade it’s obviously REALLY early to evaluate. I’m by no means the hear-all end-all, but other than Pens talking about Morrow in general terms like “NHL-ready”, I never heard anything that made him a major standout prospect or anything. So I’m ok with this trade. He stands just as much chance to be the next Whitney or Goligoski as he does the next Letang.

    And if it helps us get deep in the playoffs I’d say it’s a chance well-taken. I think SugarRay’s not done yet anyway. And I guess Nieuwendyk learned his lesson after the last trade not to send 2 for 1.

  39. Drew71 says:

    So that must explain Dejan’s love affair with Winnipeg.

  40. Jandy says:

    Well, since Iginla’s at 6.3M now and Morrow is at 4M, I’d say Iginla is more money.

  41. Jandy says:

    LOL! You two are killing me!

  42. Dejan, what a scare you gave me last night! I was coming home and checking my RSS feed, which had the “Wakeup call” way earlier than usual, with the words “The streak is over” (like this, in a screen capture generated after I got home: Since I didn’t think the game had ended, I went to a score source and found out that there were still some ten minutes left in the game.

    hehehehehehe Worse than a spoiler is a wrong spoiler!

  43. 21sthebest says:

    Brad Lincoln sent to Triple A.

  44. NMR says:

    The only problem I have with this logic is that this team needs the next Whitney or Goligoski just as much as it needs the next Letang. It’s a myth that they have depth in their defensive corps. If they did, their top need wouldn’t be a defenseman.

    That being said, I could really care less what happens to Joe Morrow if the Pens win the Cup. I don’t really see how B. Morrow ends up being any more than Malkin’s defensive baby sitter (33 goals three years ago is completely irrelevant with respect to a 34 yo’s potential), but unfortunately, that’s exactly what Geno needs. I think we all could agree that the forwards are equally responsible for the defensive lapses this team works itself into, so I’m happy the move has the potential to address that.

  45. dwf says:

    Before everyone starts proclaiming “The Great Ray Shero” as the best GM ever, it was ONE trade! He has more holes to fill, like defense, the fourth line, penalty kill, and a top faceoff guy would help. Granted, it is nice to plug a guy like Morrow in on the second line for a prospect that may or may not live up to expectations? It is also nice to see that TGRS is finally starting to deal with his hoarding dmen obsession. So, I still think TGRS still has some more work to do with this team before all you homers out there enshrine him in the HOF!

    Hey DK, you forgot that goal scoring machine Eric Tangradi in your article this morning. Just sayin.

  46. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I wouldn’t really even disagree with that. But as you point out, my HO too, is that our “depth” is purely prospective depth, which is obviously how SugarRay likes to play poker.

    I think it’s pretty funny actually that NewNDyke (way too in-depth spelling to type more than once) keeps playing along. I don’t think he’ll be as disappointed with this trade since he didn’t give up as much though.

    I don’t know much about this Morrow, but if he crashes the net Kunitz-style I’d take that as positive addition.

  47. SeanAY says:

    Federal Street IP address?

    Look, I was somewhat critical on Twitter yesterday — I can totally understand why some people would be skeptical about trading what was considered your top D prospect for a 34-year-old, seemingly on the backside of his career winger as a rental — but Ray Shero’s track record is more very good than very bad.

    I’m hoping this has a Bill Guerin effect on the team, though to be fair, I think even Guerin was producing at a higher level when he came here than Morrow is now. A lot of people are mentioning the things that Morrow can provide that aren’t scoring, exactly: namely, his ability to eat up space at the net and buy room for Neal and Malkin, as well as win battles in the corners and keep possessions alive.

    With this team’s need of more skilled grit, I think he’s a more than welcome addition.

  48. hockeymonster says:

    Seems like we should’ve got more for Joe M. than a injury prone forward playing a reduced role on a mediocre team. But I guess we need to acknowledge a very tough trade market and see how B. Morrow does. I haven’t seen him play lately but if he’s 100% healthy he may resemble the player he used to be and in that case I expect a player that is a Kunitz/cooke hybrid.

    We can only presume that J. Morrow was struggling with d zone coverage more than we thought but word was despres wasn’t lighting up the AHL either. Players with that talent level sometimes need players who think and play at their level to play at max potential so maybe J. Morrow is similar to despres in that regard.

    I’ve read a few articles about the pens depth and need to say don’t sleep on Scott Harrington…he was very impressive to me at world juniors and apparently he won the OHL’s coaches poll for best defensive dman and best penalty killer. Out of all the young dman we got I think he’ll be climbing the depth chart the fastest.

    I’ve given up my quest for chris stewart this season…maybe we can get him in the off season…but the player we should try to get next is Roman Polak from stl. Solid and physical dman who stl may need to trade just sign their younger RFA dmen.

  49. Dom says:

    His season really went down last year after he was dealt to Toronto.

    I think his career has actually been a bust with the exception of the early part of last year. I’d rather have Snider.

  50. Drew71 says:

    Maybe the Pirates can get him back for, say, Travis Snider.

  51. Dom says:

    No way do they take Lacy in the first round. The Steelers might have taken guys that seemed like a reach at the time but never to that degree. I’d think they’d go with Kenny Vaccaro out of the remaining guys on that mock.

  52. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think he misses McGehee.

  53. Dom says:

    I think I have to agree with the people who provided comments at the end of the article. That mock was just awful.

  54. hockeymonster says:

    Overall PM seems like a different player the last 6-7 games. No harsher critic of PM than me but lately I gotta admit that his awareness around the net and with the puck has been very solid. However still not sure if I wanna trust him in the playoffs again…guess we’ll see.

  55. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Wow. I wonder what comic book character Dejan was thinking of with that spoon article…

    I thought said character was German- not Serbian.

  56. hockeymonster says:

    Im not convinced that B. Morrow has the skill level to play at Malkins speed but if he’s healthy I expect him to play well enough along the boards to protect the puck and get malkin/neal a few more possessions in the offensive zone. But wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of ziggin when they should be zaggin, especially first few games.

  57. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    This really isn’t a knock, just an observation. But all the D made some bad turnovers last night. Like yikes bad. Except maybe Orpik. Can’t remember him having one off the top of my head. The good thing to see was that each time they recovered pretty well from the mistakes.

  58. Drew71 says:

    Obviously I put this in the wrong place.

  59. NMR says:

    I don’t know if I agree with this narrative about NewNDyke getting snakebit by Shero. There’s a decent body of evidence to suggest that 40-goal-scorer-James-Neal is still 15-20-goal-scorer-James-Neal with an elite playmaker like Malkin centering his line. Unless the Stars founnd that Malkin equivalent, James Neal simply wasn’t as valuable to them.

    As for the prospect trades, I’m in agreement with you. Seems clear Shero like to use his chips in this manner. The cynic in me sees the very obvious scenario a couple years down the road where the Pens are once again/still shallow defensively and forced to look to free agency, a la Martin and Michalek, but this time with even less money to spend.

    Hopefully, that time will come with another Cup on the mantle.

  60. Dom says:

    This mock has the Steelers taking Lacy with our second round pick:

  61. Dom says:

    But what about Chad Qualls?

  62. Bizrow says:

    + 138461563.42

  63. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Not necessarily that JNDyke was snakebit. I just know if that was me that made that deal and I saw Neal get even one 40 goal year after and the D I traded become pretty solid and the guy I got didn’t meet my expectations, I’d be like “Seriously??!?!?! What the deuce?!”

  64. JMB says:

    I have a hard time believing that the best RB in the draft will last that late into the 2nd round.

  65. Let Searage work on him. He’s a one or two-out setup guy or closer, nothing more.

  66. Arriba Wilver says:


  67. NMR says:

    On one hand, Brad is a casualty of the system in that he has an option left while his competition does not.

    On the other hand, the Jays are going with an EIGHT man bullpen to start the season, so it’s not like there isn’t room for a good reliever.

  68. Pucknutz says:

    Pun intended???

  69. NMR says:

    +1 for the visual of an executive sitting in his big wig chair and saying that. You know it happens.

    And generally for the use of the phrase “What the deuce?!”

  70. Dom says:

    How did you get that number?

  71. Dom says:

    Yeah that is quite the fall for him. I don’t think we’ll be able to grab him with our second rounder but I bet he falls past the first round. maybe at the end of the first.

  72. Arriba Wilver says:

    8 man bullpen? Isn’t that kind of normal? 8 in pen + 5 starters?

  73. John Lease says:

    But I appreciate the sentiment…

  74. TJ says:

    I just made up a mock draft myself. Steelers end up with Luke Joeckel.

  75. Arriba Wilver says:

    I thought said character was Polish.

  76. Dom says:

    I like the one from Walter Football, where we’re taking Jarvis Jones. Sounds good to me.

  77. TJ says:

    Well if they had to give up Morrow and a 5th for Morrow and a 3rd I think its safe to assume that Shero being the GM of the team understood that if he did not make the first move he would end up having to over pay for the remaining players.

    Perhaps Feaster being a smart GM is holding out. Perhaps he wasn’t ready to deal Iginla. Perhaps he wanted the first domino to fall so he could raise the demands for Iginla.

    Lets be realistic here. We can sit and say that we should have went after Iginla instead but the bottom line is that if we didn’t get Morrow yesterday the Bruins likely would have and then it would have likely cost us more for Iginla. Iginla is 37; Morrow 34. If Morrow likes it here there is no saying he won’t resign with the club this off season.

  78. TJ says:

    SJB I’m glad that you know that Feaster is ready to deal Iginla.

    Read my comments below. I trust that Shero made the first move to get a guy he wanted a price he wanted to pay rather than getting into a bidding war once the first shoe fell.

    As much as you want to knock everyone for saying that Iginla would cost to much I can sit and knock you for assuming that the Flames aren’t going to wait for the bidding to go up and get as much as they can.

    It takes 2 to make a deal.

  79. TJ says:

    I found it rather interesting that Morrow actually was pulled from the lineup in WB so that they could rebuild his defensive skills. I didn’t know he was struggling. I still believe he’s going to be a quality player but found that interesting in the reports I’ve read.

  80. 21sthebest says:

    It’s 44,096,039.3057 x Pi.

  81. TJ says:

    I actually like the Tyler Eifert pick.

  82. TJ says:

    I thought it was usually 7 and 5 for 12 pitchers

  83. Arriba Wilver says:

    I do, too, TJ.

  84. TJ says:

    I thought said character was last seen leaving Western Psych

  85. TJ says:

    Wasn’t Noah Welch a good young defensive prospect when traded for Roberts?

  86. JohninOshkosh says:

    My daughter has some Serb classmates. All the Dads are 6’2″ or taller and all the Moms are 5’9″ or taller. The kids tower over my daughter. They are all funny too.

    Master race indeed.

    DK: I’m 6-2, as well. Not magnetic, though.

  87. Arriba Wilver says:

    I misinterpreted NMR ‘s point. He said “on the other hand,” so never mind. :-)

  88. NMR says:

    Yeah, 8-man pens seem rare in on a 25-man roster.

    12-man pitching staff, 8 position play starters, 5 five position player bench.

  89. NMR says:

    Sorry, hit reply before seeing this pop up.

  90. Arriba Wilver says:

    NP, I figured. Sorry for the brain fart.

  91. Bizrow says:

    exactly ;-)

  92. TJ says:

    I remember a top rated d prospect named Noah Welch being shipped for a guy named Roberts.

  93. JHadar says:

    Monday Moanin’ all:

    I did it again, I watched another five minutes of hockey last night!

    It was a little better than last time. I could actually follow the puck.

    Same circumstances, was channel surfing and Penguins – Flyers were on MSNBC.

    It was in the third period and the Penguins were behind 1-0 but were getting virtually all the shots. I thought one might go in — but it ended pretty much the same way as last week, Mrs. H brought some pizza and wine and a video. I had to keep my priorities straight. I see though that Pittsburgh did come back.

    Then this morning on the way to work I saw a guy with Black and Gold University of Iowa vanity license plates that read STLRS2.

    I’m amazed at the Iowa-Pennsylvania connections in sport. Penn State, coached by Cael Sanderson of Iowa State, just took the NCAA wrestling championship — without a mention on this blog to my disappointment. Or at least I didn’t see it. Iowa was 4th. (Virginia Tech was 10th — they are coached by a kid from right here in Humboldt.) And of course, it was Hayden Fry who wanted to establish a winning tradition at Iowa and got permission to copy the Steelers’ uniforms for the Hawkeyes — who are now coached by a guy from Pennsylvania.

    Finally, I want to correct a widespread misapprehension. The Pirates current string of 20 losing seasons is NOT the longest in professional sports. The Washington Generals have never had a winning season, and haven’t won a game since 1971.

    Remeber, I’m pullin’ for ya. We’re all in this together.

  94. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Wikipedia said said character was German. If I remember correctly the movie said Polish? I dunno.

  95. Arriba Wilver says:

    I googled it and Marvel’s site said none given, just that he was sent to Auschwitz.

  96. Cyclones played well enough to win yesterday. OSU doesn’t defend the 3 well and ISU can shoot them. A team like that is never out of a game.

  97. NMR says:

    With I could’ve seen the Dake-Taylor match. Four titles at four weight classes. What an accomplishment.

  98. NMR says:

    My writing? Confusing? Never. :)

  99. JHadar says:

    Actually, I was hoping to avoid that topic of conversation today. We were up in Blue Earth, Minnesota and I didn’t get to see or hear the game — but caught the score on the way home. I’m sort of glad I didn’t see it after watching the Hawkeyes lose so many this year in the last minute or two. I’m taking some solace from how many of the teams that they went down to the wire with are blowing out their first and second round opponents in the NCAA — and the two NIT wins. Consolation prize though.

  100. Jandy says:

    Pens play Winnipeg Thursday but it’s a home game.

  101. Naje says:

    The Great Ray Shero? Hmmm… I look at that list of players that Shero traded and think: how many of these guys did he draft or trade for? I know he inherited several, but he has drafted and brought to Pittsburgh via trade more than a handful or two of players who were not good.

  102. Jandy says:

    nah, I’m an angel 0=)

  103. Jandy says:

    well thought out!

  104. Jandy says:

    Ya’ll are making me dizzy!

  105. Jandy says:

    Can they play basketball? Or better yet, baseball????

  106. Bobbo says:

    SJB why would you break up the best line in hockey? They need grit = not Iginla. Morrow is potentially a better option to re-sign. They needed a LW = not Iginla. Either way, basic economics tells you that the less players available, the higher the price.

  107. Arriba Wilver says:

    Magneto from X-Men.

  108. Jandy says:


  109. DK will probably have house full of his buddies from the ‘Peg.

  110. Jandy says:

    JHadar, had you managed to sneak in a few more minutes, you’d have seen Sid tie the score, but that’s ok, I’d go for the wine and pizza too ;)

  111. Jandy says:

    That splains it.

  112. Jandy says:

    We don’t wanna know what else you put in the wrong place!

  113. JHadar says:

    Now if it were the Pirates or the Hawkeyes there wouldn’t have been a video and we’d have watched it together. (And she’s a Giant fan.)

  114. Jandy says:

    Here’s a link to a brief description of the WBS defensemen. Brian Strait is on it, but he was traded. Check it out:

  115. Arriba Wilver says:


  116. Jandy says:

    I figured that would get you out of the woodwork, Spunky ;)

  117. Jandy says:

    LOL AW, I was asking for examples. Not that I expect to get any.

  118. Bizrow says:

    MLBTRadeRumors is reporting that the Brewers are signing Lohse

  119. NMR says:

    I believe AW’s comment is still stands. :)

  120. NMR says:

    Remember that one time when the Brewer’s owner cut payroll. That was a nice couple months.

  121. NMR says:

    Lohse gets 3/$33m. Soriano gets 2/$28m. Bourn gets 4/$48m.

    Now, are all the agents and players done hyperventilating over the draft pick compensation rules being unfair?

    When push came to shove, it meant nothing.

  122. Arriba Wilver says:

    Honest question—didn’t the compensation rules change drastically in favor of the players in the last CBA? Just not sure who is hyperventilating since the change.

  123. NMR says:

    I’m speaking of the rule that tied 1st Rd draft pick to free agents who declined a qualifying offer, as was the case with the three above. People have been writing all off season that it ruined the market for those players. Until they signed for big contracts, that is.

    As for the hyperventilating, Boras was literally quoted last week saying “They have stolen our youth. They have kidnapped our children in this system.”

    Yeah. Really.

  124. Thundercrack says:

    I think when push came to shove it reduced the number of teams that would have been in on the bidding.

  125. Arriba Wilver says:

    That Boras comment sounds more like a comment on the draft slotting system than about veterans like the guys you referenced?

  126. NMR says:

    Look at the end result.

    A 31 year old speed/defense outfielder got four years guaranteed with an easy vesting option for a 5th.

    A 33 yo reliever got $28m for two years.

    A 34 yo starter with a career ERA around 4.5 got three years guaranteed at over $10m/yr.

    Do you really think any of these guys would’ve done better last year?

  127. Arriba Wilver says:

    Boras was looking for $14-15 mil per and got $11 mil per for Lohse– just a fact.

  128. NMR says:

    His theory was that by tying draft picks to money, the league was harming veterans tied to draft picks because teams weren’t just giving up the pick, they were giving up the pool money associated with the pick (and thus valued that more than in previous years).

    There’s a reason he’s one of the most powerful men in baseball. The guy could make up anything and get people to believe him.

  129. JohninOshkosh says:

    I dunno about that, Jandy, but when those kids speak Serbian at a pace that seems faster than light, I feel stupidly monolingual. :)

  130. Thundercrack says:

    I think that without the forfeit of the draft pick, more teams would have been in on the bidding for all 3 players. That could have driven up the prices and given them more choice as to where they would be playing.

  131. NMR says:

    Since when do agents set the market, not teams?

    Scott Boras wanted a ton of money. And that is surprising?

  132. Jandy says:

    I believe you are correct :)

  133. NMR says:

    Think. if. could.

    The same things people were saying before these guys went out and signed contracts the same people said they weren’t going to get.

  134. 21sthebest says:

    And in that same article last week, Boras said that waiting pushed Lohse’s value up because teams have realized that their younger pitchers can’t cut it.

  135. Jandy says:

    That has to be quite the experience!

  136. JohninOshkosh says:

    Let the Crew have him. He will be a nice trifecta to the Suppan and Wolf multiyear signings.

  137. Arriba Wilver says:

    I wasn’t agreeing or disagreeing with him, just reacting to the comment you provided. I do think the slotting system is anti-competitive, however, and gives a huge advantage to the Large market clubs. If for no other reason, it took away a tool of the small market clubs, regardless of what FC says.

  138. Arriba Wilver says:

    There are all kinds of arguments on all sides. My only point is its not as simple as “people were complaining they wouldn’t get as much money and the fact they signed contracts for over $10 mil per year disproves that complaint.”

  139. Well, I’ve been away a while but had to return to comment on the trade…

    Brilliant deal… for both sides. For those of you who are concerned about losing Joe Morrow, I’m guessing you remember Joe from the one pre-season game where he made a great breakout pass that led to a breakaway. Since then Joe has been buried in the Pens system, overshadowed by the development of guys like Despres and Bortuzzo. Joe’s progress has not only stalled, it appears to have taken a step backwards. I hope for Joe’s sake he can re-ignite that desire in Dallas. He’s got great potential, but he’s got project written all over him.

    Brenden Morrow is going to be a fan favorite in the way Chris Kunitz is or Ryan Malone was. Morrow plays a similar type of punishing game that includes going to the difficult areas and winning tough battles for pucks. Just as important, Morrow is team captain and a playoff veteran: he knows how to lead and he knows what it takes to win the cup. Believe me, his value is beyond the stats on a scoresheet… especially in the playoffs.

    I like this move… a lot. If Morrow can stay healthy I think he’s sure to make an impact. With any luck, the Pens can talk him into staying on (for a reduced salary) to give Bennett a bit more time to develop into the scoring line threat he’s shown the potential to be. Morrow would still be a great addition to the Pens third line.

  140. dwf says:


    “The Great Ray Shero” is in quotation marks! The moniker is total SARCASM! The “homers” (notice the quotation marks again) on this site think that TGRS is the best thing to hit Pittsburgh since the invention of chipped ham. I think TGRS is way overrated and takes too much credit and not enough blame!

  141. JohninOshkosh says:

    Anybody seen the long range forecast for next Monday? Clear here through Easter Monday.

    Can’t believe we are only a week away.

    Also, I have a question. This is the first year I have purchased the MLB package for the computer (previous years I got it for TV through my cable company). Will I be able to start the game from the beginning while the game is still going on? Or will I have to wait until it is finished and archived to start it from the beginning?

  142. dwf says:

    Ponikarsky, Leopold, Kovalev (v 2.0), Tangradi, Laraque, etc, etc, etc….

  143. Thundercrack says:

    Those 3 players did make out OK.

    I believe that there are many teams that did not want to give up the draft pick – no matter what. So that automatically took them out of the bidding.

    Plus, Bourn’s real options seemed to be the Mets or the Indians. He got paid, but don’t you think he would have liked a few more bidders to choose from? The Phillies and Nationals decided to trade for center fielders.

    Detroit may have been a perfect spot for Soriano.

    These new rules did impact act what happened.

  144. Arriba Wilver says:

    So, for example, Whitney for Kunitz and Tangradi was a bad deal? Is that what you’re saying?

  145. Jason81 says:

    First a forward, now a big D-man. Douglas Murray acquired from San Jose for two 2nd round picks.

  146. SJB says:

    I agree completely.

    What Brenden Morrow brings is exactly what the Pens need and Joe Morrow was by no means an automatic lock to be a top 4 with the Pens or any other team, especially any team with the D depth around him the Pens had and still do. If anything, Morrow leaving just shows how fortunate the Pens are to be able to move a prospect like him to add a key piece they need, even it it winds up being very temporary.

    I won’t jump on the Ray Shero Is God bandwagon, but I do know enough to speculate Shero knows more than anyone here about both Morrow’s, so I’ll trust this trade was well worth it.

  147. Arriba Wilver says:


  148. dwf says:


    I believe Jandy was asking for examples in regards to Naje’s post who was stating that TGRS brought in a handful of players who were NOT good. So, yes, Tangradi would meet that criteria.

  149. Jandy says:


  150. Jandy says:

    Double woah! He’s about as big as Bigfugginugly! Tell us more!

  151. Jandy says:

    OK 2 second round draft picks, one in 2013 and one in 2014.
    Murray is 33 years old, and is a stay at home defenseman.

  152. Jandy says:

    I dunno ’bout Monday, but we got 5 inches of snow just today. I’m gonna shoot that friggin varmint in Punxsutawney!

  153. Bizrow says:

    What with Letang and Malkin on IR, they are going to have to open a couple of spots on the roster, wonder who will go?

  154. Bizrow says:

    Forgot about that one guy they brought up from WB, he’s one

  155. Arriba Wilver says:

    Was it a bad deal?

  156. dwf says:


    that wasn’t the question

  157. NMR says:

    How many of those teams that “didn’t want to give up the draft pick, no matter what” could afford these players in the first place?

    The Phillies and Nats, two teams with plenty of money and low first round draft picks, deciding to trade for younger versions of Bourn is an indictment on Bourn himself, not the system.

    Trust me, I understand your logic. I’ve heard it all winter. My only point is that it did NOT play out how many people expected it to.

  158. Arriba Wilver says:

    That was my question, at 1:43 pm.

  159. Milo Hamilton says:

    It’ll snow.

  160. NMR says:

    Except that wasn’t the argument.

    It’s not just that they signed for over $10m/yr, its that they signed for market value.

    If there was a history of players that matched these guys profiles getting more money, then the draft compensation theory would’ve been easily proven. That didn’t happen.

    For all the theories about less teams driving down prices, where are the concrete comparisons of guys in the mid-30s with similar skills getting more money?

  161. dwf says:


    Oh, I get it you are starting a new thread/topic. Was the Ryan Whitney for Kunitz/Tangradi a bad deal for the Pens? Of course not! I would’ve traded Whitney for a bag of practice pucks and a broken stick.

  162. Arriba Wilver says:

    Homer. :-)

  163. Jandy says:

    yeah Smith. And maybe TK ;)

  164. SJB says:

    Other misc wiki info on Murray:

    “During the 2008 IIHF World Championship, Murray checked Russian player Aleksey Morozov out of the game.”

    “He is also the co-founder and managing partner of Uber Dispensing Co, which manufactures the UberTap, a hands-free three-spout keg tap invented by Murray and several friends from Cornell.”

    Sounds like my kinda player. lol

  165. SJB says:

    Bortuzzo/Engelland most likely will go down.

  166. Arriba Wilver says:

    But to ignore that whatever the system is affects “market value” is silly. They sign for what they can get, which then becomes “market value.” Like TC has been saying, to assume that more bidders would not, at least theoretically, bid up market value ignores economic realities.

    Econ Major Arriba

  167. Just the type of depth defenseman the Pens need for a playoff run: big, punishing, shot-blocking, stay-at-home-and-guard-the-cookies player. Noted to be a huge asset on the PK, as well. He’s not going to make waves on the depth chart, but he’s certainly going to make his presence known when he is on the ice.

    Two second-round picks is a lot to pay for a depth guy who has been seeing some time as a healthy scratch of late, but one thing is for certain: Shero is serious about the Pens going deep into this year’s playoffs.

  168. Jandy says:

    AW I never bother with that one.
    I suggest you do the same :)

  169. Bizrow says:

    Also, Capps and Barrabbas released from the Indians and Diamondbacks, respectively

  170. Arriba Wilver says:

    That is good news.

  171. TJA says:

    SJB – Your point is well taken on the Pens now and how the Blackhawks did it at the beginning of the season. I understand that. BUT, respectfully, I have to agree with Groat…26 in a row for any team in any league is mighty impressive.
    Guys, thanks for answering my question.

  172. Jandy says:

    sure is

  173. dwf says:

    Jandy darling!

    Do you hold grudges?

  174. Arriba Wilver says:

    Nah, dwarf’s bark is worse than his bite. :-)

  175. dwf says:


    That’s a great trick, I didn’t even see Jandy’s lips move on that response:)

  176. Arriba Wilver says:

    Jandy—I’m reconsidering.

  177. Jandy says:


  178. hockeymonster says:

    A few years back Murray was a premier physical presense but last time I saw San Jose play a few weeks ago he looked like he lost a step or 2. Hope shero and his scouts know what they’re doing…

  179. dwf says:

    You kids play nice now, you hear:)

  180. As a 6/7 depth defenseman and a PK specialist, he’s a great fit.

  181. hockeymonster says:

    I like the pick up in theory but you don’t give up two 2nd round picks for a 6/7th dman…trade market looks brutal though. Based on what we gave up im sure Shero plans on bylsma using him more as a top 4 or 5. Based on what I saw from murray this season I don’t want him defending run n gun hockey…hope we continue to play tight and patient hockey without the jailbreaks we saw going up ice last season and in the playoffs.

  182. TK39 says:

    With the Penguins targeting another d-man (DK mentioned Klesla) do we think that management will try to move Bortuzzo or Engelland? I don’t see them sending Despres back down and there’s already a logjam on defense.

  183. TK39 says:

    Well slight change… looks like the Pens just got their D-Man in Doug Murray from SJ. Still wonder if they’ll try to move one of the others for a draft pick or a 4 line grinder.

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