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Penguins find their big D-man: Douglas Murray

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

The Penguins have acquired defenseman Douglas Murray from the Sharks, a guy that pretty much meets to a T the description offer in this morning’s column, meaning big, left-handed, physical, rangy, stay-at-home, clear-the-crease, good character and all that other stuff.

All Ray Shero gives up are two second-round draft picks, which, if you’re familiar at all with the franchise’s draft history, you’ll know is the equivalent of trading nothing. Feel free to ask Ondrej Nemec, Shane Endicott and friends what I mean.

Here’s a TribLIVE Radio podcast I just did on the trade, along with John Steigerwald and John Fedko.

Here’s Murray’s official page.

Here’s the Trib’s full news coverage.

And here’s a random picture of Murray doing something really mean …

Also, here’s video of Murray knocking Aleksey Morozov out of an international game in 2008 …

My initial impressions:

>> As noted this morning, this type of D-man is exactly what the Penguins needed and coveted.

>> This might push Deryk Engelland out of the top six, maybe Mark Eaton, too. But you don’t see many Cup teams make it all the way through playoffs with just six. Depth isn’t a luxury. It’s a must.

>> Just for fun, if I had to make D pairings with everyone healthy, I’d go Brooks Orpik-Paul Martin, Simon Despres-Kris Letang, Murray-Matt Niskanen. Yeah, that moves Niskanen back to his natural side, but Niskanen always has been comfortable on the left side, as well, so that’s not too big a deal.

>> Is Shero done? My feeling is no, that he still might want to add an extra fourth-line type guy who maybe has penalty-killing experience, who maybe can take draws. Kind of like Joe Vitale insurance.

How do you feel about this trade?

And do you want more?

Please feel free to share your thoughts below.

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 more, including 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 top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.

167 Comments

  1. I assume the picks are in the 2013 and 2014 drafts?

    And, once Letang comes back, this puts Despres on the outside looking in?

  2. What will D pairings be now

  3. I read that the 2014 pick is “conditional”

    Lets hope the Pens make that “condition” ;-)

  4. Love this deal. Engo getting pushed out of top-6 is totally alright with me. Wouldn’t be surprised if the odd man out is actually Despres, though, considering the times he has been a healthy scratch.

  5. Madness.

    Well, can’t say Shero isn’t all in on this season.

    Don’t underestimate that effect these moves have on the guys that are still here, either. They all feel the pressure to perform. When the GM and team goes all in, you don’t need to tell the guys on skates that they are expected to give the same commitment as well.

    Guns blazing.

    I like it.

    I like it A LOT.

  6. These are nothing but prayers as far as I’m concerned.

    Hopefully Morrow can find the fountain of youth.
    Hopefully Murray can recapture 2010-2011.

    I get “win now”, but it’s not like Sid and Geno are in their mid 30′s. I also get these trades pre-’04 lockout, but a team’s goal shouldn’t be to get SLOWER as the season progresses.

    • But what will we do about 2021 ? I don’t know about you, but I’ll let Neal Huntington worry about it. :)

    • I think you will be surprised how quickly Morrows legs will find some youth when paired with Malkin and Neal. Don’t underestimate the lift and freedom that comes with being lifted from the burden of being the Captain on another disappointing Dallas team.

      All he has to do now is go to the net and bang bodies. Morrow will be fine.

    • Ray Shero prroving once again, he is head and shoulders above most other GM’s……….. making these 2 trades for what amounts to peanuts. Yes Morrow was a good “prospect”, but was majorly struggling. I trust Shero on this. He has earned our trust.

  7. In Shero I trust

  8. Same as yesterday, these are win now moves for a team ready to make a run. I think 4th line is still subpar…would like to see an addition there.

  9. I like the shot blocking capacity, the size, the L handed shot…..depth is good too……just think Despres should not be the odd man out…seems like it should be Engo, and still love the idea of a bigger line 4……..see TK, DJ, and maybe Bortuzzo or Engo as trade bait along with picks to make one more move to be bigger, tougher and more PK ready

    • I agree totally! Despres is showing his abilities and the team seems to always win when he is in the lineup. I also agree that we need to add some size to the fourth line. I know that TK has had his up and downs recently but he has been a monster on the forecheck as of late. DJ, where does he fit when Malkin comes back? I like Joey V better than DJ.

  10. Good deal if Engo is scratched. He’s horrible. Bad deal is Depres is scratched, that kid is smooth. Also, can anyone tell me what Tanner glass is good at?

    • Glass leads the team in hits (in limited minutes) and kills penalties.

      • Tanner Glass…1.1 M per yr. n he can’t even hit the broadside of barn for a goal
        back to Winnipeg…even Asham can score as he did last night for the Rangers but he’s always injured – no loss w him leaving

        Rupp is the guy we miss!!!

        • I couldn’t agree more on Rupp. Glass has been…. OK. Not terrible, by any means, but not anything remarkable either.

  11. Love this trade. Morrow a great guy, wonder what he has left in taking the beatings for years

  12. What moves do you expect to open up 2 roster spots? I think Bortuzzo would be claimed if Penguins try to get him through waivers.

  13. Dejan, I like the trade. I see Niskanen being bumped down to 3rd D pair, giving either Letang or Martin, that stay at home defensemen to play with. Great compliment to either of those two. So then does Niskanen move down and Despres, Engelland, and Eaton share time? Despres is playing very well and it would be a waste for him not to get some playing time. Thoughts on 3rd D pair?

  14. This is the exact trade I wanted last night. For all the talk about how much the Pens miss Hal Gill, well, they don’t anymore. Murray is going to make it hell for forwards in the crease during the playoffs. He and Morrow give the Pens a ton of flexibility up front and on the blue line and Dan Bylsma has the tools around him to create some matchup nightmares for the opposition. With 15 games left in the season, they’ll have time to settle in and get comfortable in time for the playoffs.

    I could not be more excited for this Pens team.

  15. Once Letang gets healthy, our top 5 is going to be as nasty as they come. Really makes you wonder who the 6th man is though. I like Eaton a lot, but I could see them giving him a rest every now and then by rotating between him and Despres.

    Also, I’ve heard the 2014 pick is conditional as to whether Murray resigns with the Pens.

  16. This in all in for Shero. If they don’t make it to at least the conference finals our new GM will have a lot of decisions to make.

  17. All I know is I’m trying to figure out who the odd men out are going to be, which is a great problem to have. In Shero We Trust.

    DK: Check up top, Nick. I’ve been adding stuff.

  18. Yet another incredible acquisition by Shero, and doing it before well before the deadline. Pens get harder on the front and back ends with Morrow/Murray. Exactly what we needed. I am wondering, however, what will happen with the current defense combinations. Im hoping Despres does NOT come out of the line up.

  19. Who will be the two to get bumped off the roster? Make it three, when Malkin comes off IR. I guess the new guy, can’t remember his name. What about Mark Eaton? Tanner Glass? Maybe Tyler Kennedy?

  20. Call me nuts, but the one thing Engo can do pretty well is skate. He moves pretty well. doesnt always make the right choice and loses his angle a lot. BUT

    Scratch glass. Start Engo on wing. dump the puck and send him into the corner after it. And before you say Im a nut case, remember: I’m only replacing Tanner Glass. How much worse could Engo really be? At least Big D can skate…

  21. Worried about it. I think the d-corps is pretty close. Some of the description used to describe Murray are similar to what was always said about Michalek. I hope now everyone can look back and see clearly that he was our worst defensemen last year. Not all guys fit here. Engo changed his game BIG time just to do that. I am not too familiar with Murray’s nightly game, so maybe my concern is misguided.

  22. I have quite a different definition of “all-in” than giving up three draft picks and a underperforming prospect for a bottom-pair defenseman and a winger in his mid-30s.

    But as far as the team goes, I think that it is a good thing Shero stuck to his guns. I think this team needs role players, not a makeover. The good/bad news is that we won’t find out until the end of April if these are the right puzzle pieces or not.

    • Well, I guess they could have held onto everyone, sat pat and imagined what the 3 picks and Joe Morrow would have done for them in say: 2018. Sad, I guess we’ll never know. I like the idea of trying to win it when you feel you are very close…like they are now.

    • BTW: It was only two picks. The got a 3rd for a 5th with the Morrow deal.

  23. Great stuff DK. I agree with your D pairings, but once Malkin and Letang are back, I count 25 roster players. Send Bortuzzo down, waive Glass? I might be forgetting someone but I sure hope not. This assumes that this is the team we have moving forward, which you seem to think is not the case…

    • agreed. Who gets waived? More deals to come? Letang hurt more than we are lead to believe?

    • I don’t believe that Bortuzzo has an option left. I would hate to see them lose him.

      Murray is UFA after this season. 2013/14 the Pens have Letang, Niskanen, and Orpick coming up. I would be surprised if 44 is back unless it is at a discount so a lot of the depth on D is going to be getting called upon soon.

      • Only Despres has an option left.

        • So if Malkin OR Letang come back before April 3, send Despres down for a couple of games then bring him back after the deadline? Not ideal but probably necessary to keep everyone around. If both come back, then what?

          I hope I’m understanding this roster stuff.

  24. I posted this on the other blog so excuse the repeat if you’ve already see it.

    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

  25. One thing to remember – Paul Martin has made himself tradeable again.

    • Would you commit to Martin for $10 over the next 2 years?

      As well as he has played this year, I would not.

      Of course I wish they were not paying Orpick $3.75M next year.

      • They have options when it comes to Martin. If he plays like this, he’s a bargain. They’re going to need some cap space next year to sign some forwards. They could deal him in the off season for some forward help or use him as their amnesty player to clear the $5 million.

        Kunitz, Dupuis, Cooke & Adams are all free agents and they only have $10 million in cap space for next year.

    • you are nuts!

    • True. Not that they may want to get rid of him now, but they have the option if they decide to go another direction, or are forced to because of the cap.

      • What I mean by that is; I don’t see the Pens saying: “Woe is us, we have to let Malkin go because we can’t get rid of Martin…he’s just too valuable to us.” ;)

  26. Good trade for both teams.

    • Agreed. The Pens get a big hitting, shutdown D-man, who kills penalties (3 things they they needed) and the the Sharks get two 2nd round picks.

  27. I like the moves, but lets not start engraving the Cup yet. This team looks pretty good, but we’ve seen great play the last three regular seasons as well. That said, how lucky are we to have this organization? Pens might not win it all, but they are always in it.

    • I love the Penguins. Even if they don’t win the cup this year, its just awesome to be a fan of an organization that can go out and get what it needs. Ray Shero is a great GM.

      I didn’t see Brad post yet today. Maybe he’s hiding because TK scored the game winning goal last night. I was looking for his usual TK comment like “the penguins should trade him while his value is high… that would solve our roster situation”

  28. Glad to see that TGRS is taking this season a little more serious than the previous three. He is back to making meaningful additions to this team that actually make sense for a Cup run! He, however is not done IMO. As stated above, the fourth line and PK need to be addressed. If TGRS can pull another rabbit out of his hat he can do a lot to erase last years debacle!

  29. I’m a little surprised that the Sharks would make such a deal. They’re not far out of the playoffs by any means.

  30. I know this blog is talking about the Murray deal, but I think the Morrow deal sends Bennett back to WBS, can’t think who else is gone when Malkin and Letang come back from IR. Thoughts?

    • Someone is always going to be hurt. They will be able to move guys around to get guys rest. Foster already got sent down. They could try and pass glass through waivers if need be, i seriously doubt anyone would claim him.

  31. People are commenting that we “only” gave up 1 (or 2 depending on the conditional pick) choices. But, they are probably also going to have to part with a defenseman off the active roster. No way they send Despres back to WB, and all the others have to clear waivers (which they’ll never do). I still like the acquisition, but they are giving up more than just picks, in my view. I’d hate to see them lose another young D-man like Bortuzzo. They REALLY must have a lot of faith in Harrington, Maata, Pouliot, et al.

    • I don’t think sending Despres back would be a problem with them, since he can be sent down without risk of losing him and they’ve seemed to be ok sitting him already this season a couple times. I don’t think the love affair fans are having with Despres is as strong on the Pens management side for whatever reason. They like him a lot, but I don’t think they feel him not being there will cost them the cup either.

  32. Hmmm a few years ago Shero picked up Guerin and then picked up Gill. Could Morrow and Murray be the answers?

    If anything I will say Shero is doing his part to put Bylsma in the best possible position to win. If they fail I think its safe to say that Bylsma won’t receive a 10 year extension simply for making the dance; I mean playoffs.

  33. Lets not forget the Pens gave up a 5th in the Morrow trade but had picked up a 5th in the Lovejoy trade. Not to mention they have 2 additional 7th round picks for trades earlier in the season.

    I don’t think Ray is done tinkering just yet.

    • So those two 5ths bascially wash and they get a 3rd on top of it. I knew picks would be dealt when he starting trading some dead weight for picks earlier this season.

  34. Would have liked the Pens to have had a shot at claiming Jeff Halpern off waivers, but the Habs beat them to it, as a result of being a couple points behind the Pens in the standings. That’s the kind of “defensive forward/penalty killer” upgrade they could use.

    • Adam Hall was claimed by Carolina last week; another guy that would have filled the Tanner Glass role

      • Good point. But, when you’re at the top of the East, you’re not able to “dumpster dive”. As I recall, the Pens were in the middle of the pack when they plucked Adams from the Blackhawks.

  35. For those worried about the “toll” on Morrow’s body and tread left on his tires, I believe Kunitz and Dupuis are both 33 and both play a very physical brand of hockey (especially Kunitz). Morrow is 34.

    • I don’t know if you’ve seen Morrow play much, but his style of physical play is/was quite a bit higher than those two. Like they say; Morrow would skate through a wall if needed.

      Morrow has indeed lost a bit from all that contact over the years but I think he can still bring enough when it matters. Morrow’s 75% in that department is still better than most’s 100.

  36. Flyers keep getting bad news; Briere out indefinately with a concussion. Its been a great couple month to be a Pens fan!

  37. murray would look better with letang imo. isnt that why they wanted to get another dman, to play with letang??

  38. Not only do I like the acquisitions, but I LOVE that Shero targeted players he wanted and got the deals done before the price tags go up closer to the deadline.

  39. THE PENS JUST WON THE CUP!!!

    Great moves!

  40. I think you guys got swindled honestly. As a sharks fan who watches every game and also a Pens fan for the East. Murray is slower than a turtle, he drops his stick all the time, goes for the body and forgets about the puck which create odd man rushes and finally go to fearthefin.com and see how ecstatic sharks fans are about getting rid of Murray! He is most certainly NOT Ulf Samuelson I was once a Whalers fan. While Murray blocks shots, hits and fights he makes horrible choices of when to play the man and forgets about the puck. Good luck, who knows maybe somehow he will learn how to skate with you guys.

    • Hal Gill was slower than the slowest turtle and he played just fine for the Pens.

      I’m sure we just gave up 2 2nd round picks for what your describing. You should go into scouting; obviously seem to know more than the Pens do.

      • While I don’t agree with the “swindled” part, all the guy was trying to do is offer an opinion as somebody who has actually watched the guy play.

        Honestly, how many people in this discussion can say the same thing? Murray plays his games after most of us in the east go to bed.

        How many of us are excited about this specific player and not the IDEA of this KIND of player?

        • I haven’t been able to see a lot of Murray since it’s West coast, but what I have seen wasn’t alarming and based on this HN profile, I don’t see where we should push the panic button on this deal.

          http://forecaster.thehockeynews.com/hockeynews/hockey/player.php?2854

        • NMR its simple for anyone to say anything about a player that they simply watch on TV. Just as we could easily sit and bash Paul Martin should we trade him.

          Fact of the matter is that Shero doesn’t give up 2 second round picks for a guy with as many negatives as this person claims.

          I think I trust Shero a little more than someone that watches the guy on TV. Call me crazy.

      • I knew Shero was a fraud! lol

    • Murray is coming in as a 5/6 defenseman, so I don’t think the Pens in any way consider him an Ulf Samuelsson. The price tag for him was low (a 2nd round and a conditional 2nd round). However, he will fill a very specific role that is desperately needed on a contending team. If you have seen the Pens PK and even-strength D fail miserably all season to clear the crease and play with some edge, then you might understand the excitement that Murray brings to the fan base, however hyperbolic that enthusiasm is.

      • You don’t give up 2 2nd round picks for a 5th or 6th defenseman. Thats absolutely crazy to think. If thats the case Shero should be fired.

        Strait was placed on waivers and picked up to be an every day defenseman for the Islanders before being injured.

        Lovejoy is logging 18-20 minutes a night for the Ducks and came at the cost of a 5th round pick. But your saying the Pens gave up 2 second round picks for a 5th or 6th defenseman?

        • Why?

          What pairing did Murray play in San Jose? Did he get matched against teams top lines? Was he a top 4 defender?

          • Explain to me then NMR. How do you give up 2 2nd round picks for Murray and only receive a 5th for Lovejoy if both are 5th/6th defensemen?

            • Because Murray is better than Lovejoy.

              That wasn’t very hard.

              • So the Sharks are that deep defensively that we give up 2 2nd round picks for a guy that was no better than a 5th or 6th on a depth chart?

                There is that much of a difference between the talent in Murray and Lovejoy?

              • Ask the boss, not me…

                “All Ray Shero gives up are two second-round draft picks, which, if you’re familiar at all with the franchise’s draft history, you’ll know is the equivalent of trading nothing.”

              • Really doesn’t answer my question. Your essentially saying we gave up nothing based on the Pens drafting skills not the actual value of the picks themselves.

                The biggest values that he brings are his size, his ability to kill penalties and block shots; all of which killed the pens in the playoffs last year. He may be a 5th/6th on this team but he certainly upgrades what they have.

              • Ok, I’m really lost now, TJ.

                I agree with everything you said in your last paragraph.

                Sounds like you’re arguing semantics. I could care less what you call him, I like a guy who does all those things you listed and am more than happy to give up two 2nd round picks to get him.

                Let’s go have a beer.

              • You buying? Or can we get Dixon since he just got an extension?

              • Why is everyone saying we “gave up 2 2′s to get Murray”?

                This is wrong.

                We gave up one 2, and one conditional 2. If we don’t sign Murray to a new contract, we don’t give up the 2nd 2.

                Bottom line: We gave up one 2nd round pick for this guy. Get your facts straight.

            • If LoveJoy is your 5/6, you are not a contender. This is no different than a quick comparison of #1 centers. They will have different trade values, depending on needs, the talent of the player, ETC. There would be a big gap between what you would get for Crosby versus say Artem Anisimov.

        • Nothing is more overrated than the NHL Draft. Players are hit and miss, even throughout the first round. Crosby has the top scoring line in the league and he’s flanked by Kunitz and Dupuis – two undrafted players who were solid NHLers in their own right before coming to the Pens.

      • Excellently stated.

  41. DWF–
    I understood the sarcasm about TGRS from the prior thread. I was merely asking how all of the less-than-stellar players that DK mentioned in his article actually got to Pittsburgh. Several of those traded away were drafted or traded for by Shero, who then sent them on their way. So he’s brought in some bad talent to go with the all the good he’s brought to the team.

    The thing with Shero is, he doesn’t hold onto the bad talent for very long (except for Martin… who, after a full season of uninspiring, bad play has finally found a semblance of a game). And in the NHL, one team’s bad talent is another team’s perfect fit for its style of play.

  42. yes shero I think is pushing the right buttons right now and going for it ! I also think you will see him make another deal involving some roster players to make room for playing time. They needed a gritty forward , he got it, they needed a big agressive d-man and murray is just that, so far I give shero high marks and once again, hes not done

  43. A few years back Murray was a premier physical presence 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…

  44. I don’t like this deal. Tyler Kennedy wasn’t traded.

    But in all seriousness, like the idea. Have no problem with trading draft picks a la no success there recently.

    • Draft picks are easier to give up when you’ve hit big on recent ones.

    • Ugh that mentality kills me. Lets trade 2nd round picks cause our scouting department sucks and we can’t ever pick up a good player in the round. Why does that sound more like the Pirates front office than the Pens?

  45. I’ll wait to see the guy play before I have an opinion….but I hope the Shark fan is incorrect that the guy is a slow skater. You must be a good skater to gain position and move people out. As I watch 44 slow down I think the same thing.
    I also wonder how he will fit into the schemes that require faster puck moving D.

    For me, deferring for now.

    • Sarah… do you remember Hal Gill? I can’t imagine he’s much slower. The one thing I saw in his stats is he averages over 3 1/2 minutes of ice time per game on the PK. To me that says solid defender.

      • Oh I remember SS Gill lol! Too well!
        They played a far more D-oriented scheme then however.
        And in fact RS seemingly went with DB’s general pref of smaller quicker puck movers…so we spent oodles in MnM and did not try to keep at least one of Scuderi or Gill.
        That to me says they we looking for a type that wasn’t Gill or Scuderi ….or Murray.
        But now, I guess they are again.

  46. Additionally, not worried if Engelland or Bortz out.
    Depres I hope they can find room for, and even Eatin over Nisky.
    Having a long bench on D is all good tho.

    • With the addition of Morrow and Murray; and Letang and Malkin getting healthy that means 4 players from last nights win are going to have to sit.

      If I had to guess it would be Jeffrey (had a good game just not a finisher), Bennett (only because I think they may try to deal TK), Engelland, and Despres.

      Also going to have to remove 2 from the roster which could mean Bennett and Despres being shipped back to the minors.

  47. I hope Engelland is gone. I see him contribute almost nothing. No offense, and his hits are fewer nowadays, same thing with Orpik. I love Orpik, but he’s slowed down, made a lot of mistakes, and doesn’t hit the way he used to. I’m excited about Murray, we haven’t had a player like him since Gill. I don’t care how slow he is, he’ll be tough to play against and players will think twice about going to the crease. My guess for d pairings go like this:
    Orpik-Martin
    Letang-Niskanen
    Murray-Eaton/Depres

    Hoping it works out the way all us pens fans hope!

  48. Time to name Shero Steelers GM!

    • Really kind of throws water on what one person above called an “incredible trade” by Ray Shero.

      • Yeah. The general consensus is indeed RS got Fleeced…
        And what a bad fit Murray is for our up-tempo style….which I have to say crossed my mind when I heard how slow he is….

        • I’m not saying anything one way or the other…I’ve honestly never seen Murray play, so I have no basis to judge. I’m just saying, the response here would lead one to believe that the Sharks are lucky Ray Shero left them the shirts off their backs.

          • Yep. Pretty much the total opposite of the consensus in SJ, including the writer who posted the article.
            They do seem to be over valuing the picks….but I’m more concerned about how awful Murray apparently has been the last 2 seasons.
            Hope it’s not true, and like you, I will defer til I see him play. He has been a devastating hitter in his prime. But that’s not the same as clearing the front of the net.
            Or even playing good D.
            Anyway, fingers crossed.

  49. Best comment: “murray is so slow he won’t arrive in Pgh for two weeks!”
    Sorry but I LOLd!

    • Again… Hal Gill was extremely slow as well. Did he not play in the same system under Bylsma?

      Its amazing how everyone else is an expert on what will or won’t fit our style. All anyone needs to do is go back to the year they won the cup. They were not run and gun in the playoffs and we saw what happened last year when they tried to do just that.

      Over the past 8 or 9 games we’ve seen them hold teams to 1 goal or less. How? By becoming defensive and blocking shots.
      How did Philly score last night? On the PP. What is one of Murray’s strengths? Penalty kill.

      For someone that everyone in SJ hated he sure did spend a lot of time on the ice when it was important to play the game the right way.

      • I think there’s a rather large difference between the team in spring 2009 and the team as its developed under DB 2010 til now.

        Under DB they are a quick up temp puck moving defense. They traded away the Murray style guys in order to get the smaller quicker puck movers.

        Reading the Fin site it would appear moving the puck is a weakness, and in fact theres an entertaining argument about whether Murray was good in the PK at all.

        And I didn’t say I was an expert, and I didn’t say FIRE BYLSMA.

        Good lord.

  50. Seriously… did someone in the Penguins office read my Twitter and Blog posts over the last few months?

    Brenden Morrow, Jarome Iginla, and Douglas Murray were the three guys I wanted on the Penguins and over the last few weeks, I added Coyotes center Boyd Gordon to that list.

    There’s talk the Penguins are still talking to Calgary about Iginla and I think there’s a good chance Ray Shero makes an offer like Dustin Jeffrey, Tyler Kennedy, Roberto Bortuzzo, and number one pick.

    Just for crazy fun talk the lines could look like…

    Kunitz – Crosby – Iginla
    Morrow – Malkin – Neal
    Dupuis – Sutter – Bennett
    Cooke – Vitale – Adams
    Extra: Glass

    Orpik – Martin
    Despres – Letang
    Murray – Niskanen
    Extra: Eaton – Engelland

    • One of the things that has been talked about is the Pens concern in demoting Dupuis as a big negative in the locker room chemistry because of his position and the year he is having.

      Did hear in last nights broadcast on that f’d up NBC channel that Dupuis is leading the league in 5 on 5 goals. That’s nothing to sneeze at. Not that Iginia wouldn’t be nice, just think Shero forced the bruins to over pay for him and don’t know that it makes sense to out bid them at this point.

    • Like your line combos if Iginla comes here, plus DK’s same defensive pairings. Would be surprised if Calgary does so for what you’re suggesting. That said, won’t discount Ray working his magic.

  51. So what some of you are saying is that you really didn’t want another “Hal Gill Type”. Guys that size generally don’t skate that fast, but also APPEAR to be skating slower because of their stride. Mario was not considered a fast skater, but I sure don’t remember him ever being caught (just stating an observation, not making a direct comparison).

    BIG Dude is coming in as a 3rd pairing. I’m sure GMRS and his boys looked at more than a little film on him and remember HCDB played/has connections out there. It isn’t a guarantee, but neither was Gill when he came in, was a low paring, UNTIL the playoffs.

    And for the record, Lovejoy was at BEST a 7th Dman, maybe 8th (remember, he wasn’t dressing when the D sucked!). That’s why the difference in trade value.

  52. I posted this in DK’s blog from this morning but it looks like it’s taken over here. Anyone think they try to move either Engo or Bortuzzo? They could still use that fourth line grinder DK mentioned above or they could try to restock some draft picks (though they’ll be later rounds). Disappointing to see Bortuzzo scratched but it’d be worse to lose him for nothing. I just don’t see them sending Despres back down or carrying 9 d-men

    • If Pens can’t get Iginla, then I could see a move for a veteran 4th line center like Boyd Gordon (59% faceoffs), heck maybe even with Iginla in fold, they could still go get him.

    • It does suggest that there are more moves coming. What they might be is anybody’s guess. LOTS of time left and now, GMRS can dabble from a position of strength, rather than compete or act in somewhat desperation.

  53. People people people, listen up! Did I just watch games on T.V. No! Do I have season tickets to HP Pavilion yes. T Mac doesn’t trust Murray enough to let him play against the big boys on even strength. PK is a different story, Larry Robinson is the guy that has fixed our PK, Sharks had one of the worst last year. Before you guys send me off a cliff please read the link to this article from fearthefin.com about his year in review last year.

    http://www.fearthefin.com/2012/5/24/3040236/2011-2012-san-jose-sharks-season-review-douglas-murray

    Here’s the thing after you read that you’ll be a little scared and then I’m gonna tell you something even scarier. He is worst this year than he was last. I really am a Pens fan as well, they are my favorite team right after the Sharks. This was a surprise move for me. I wasn’t surprised about Murray being traded. It was just to who and for what. Sharks fans couldn’t wait to see him leave. My summary is you win with the Morrow trade that was such a terrific trade but having Murray on your team will make you angry! It’ll make you want to try and fight him yourself even though he would kill you. He makes the worst passes I have ever seen from a hockey player. You will never want to see Murray ever again I promise you all that. He made all of our defenseman look like garbage. He is at best a 6th or 7th pairing defenseman. Please don’t underestimate my hockey “scouting” abilities. Haha thats such a funny thing to hear. I live for this game and played it for a long time. I don’t think there is one sharks fan that is going to miss him.

    • Respect your opinion, but have read multiple blogs of fin fans and the majority have viewed him favorably. It’s pretty obvious the writer of fearthe fin thinks he sucks, but willing to see what his actually role is in Pittsburgh. I just can’t believe, given that this was an early (not a deadline desperation) deal, that the Pens didn’t scout him pretty thoroughly and don’t have a plan.

      Could be wrong. Hope you stop back in a few weeks to revisit.

    • Not surprised to see San Jose fans ripping Murray…

      During 5-on-5 play, Murray is 120th in PDO at 984 and 25th in On-Ice save % at 936.

      The system Bylsma has (which drives me nuts) is asking their defensemen to pass the puck up the ice, forward tips it into the zone, and they forecheck. That lack of creativity allows Murray to simply use his skills to his advantage in this system.

      I’ve seen plenty of Murray and he’s pretty much Hal Gill and he had no problems moving the puck up the ice in this system. In fact, I think this system helps defensemen who lack offensive skills (i.e. Orpik and Engelland).

  54. Amazing how I see and hear every hockey expert on all the hockey shows now – both ones who’ve played and even won Cups and those who are paid to analyse hockey – saying both Morrow and Murray were great additions to the Pens, but the fans and bigger experts here who know all about both players somehow, and obviously have played pro hockey for years, have think otherwise and feel the need to point out all the negatives simply because some other know-it-all’s on another fan web site have to talk down the trade to make them feel better about it

    Sorry, but I’ll believe Shero, and the real experts out there who are quite sure these players will only make the Pens a better team. That, and what I’ve seen from Morrow over the years and even the small sample of game footage I’ve seen of Murray make me pretty excited to have these players on the team. I can think of players on the team currently that I’d rather not have than these two new members.

  55. I’ll check back in a couple of weeks I promise. Who knows what will happen, maybe he will be a stud for the Pens. I am just happy to see we get 2 picks for him. The Sharks do develop there players quite well so I do think one of those picks will turn into at least a solid NHL player. I honestly thought a 4th or 5th round pick at the most for him. He can fight that is for sure. He will also make some devastating hits and block shots. My problem is his outlet passes, speed (he is no Hal Gill) and decision making. Good luck to you all, if the Sharks don’t make it I will be putting on my Crosby jersey in support of the new Pens Dynasty!

    • Well, my theory on the two 2nd round picks is this: Shero wanted this guy pretty bad and was willing to give up a 2nd rounder for him since he’s getting a 3rd rounder from Dallas anyway. The Sharks played hardball since it’s still early and squeezed him for an additional, conditional 2nd round pick in 2014. If Shero wasn’t determined to get the players he wanted quickly and before other teams could beat him to it, he probably would have balked at the additional pick.

      Was it too much for him? Probably on paper, but if the Pens feel this was the player they needed and he can help get them the cup, then I don’t think you can put a price on Murray as much as it may have cost them.

      I like the aggressive moves made by Shero. It not only gets the players they had their sites on before everything really heats up and they stand a better chance of losing them to another team, it also gives the Pens an extra few games to get comfortable with the new players and vice-versa, allowing things to shake out and adjusted if needed before the playoffs start.

  56. “equivalent of trading nothing.” DK

    Gotta agree w/DK on this one. Pens more than likley will not have a pick high enough to have a shot at any “sure bets” just “prospects” so lets call it nothing.
    If Murray turns out to be a bust- nothing.
    So we got nothing minus nothing equals nothing -worst case.

    Best case both sides – Murray contributes a bunch, Pens win the cup – Sharks draft another Crosby.

    My silly math to me only indicates upside possibility even running it out six decimal points.

    The answer will be know in the nest 30-60 days.

    Feel free to double check my work! LOL

  57. I see people linking a site with a negative review of Murray. Is that site not considered to be a San Jose Sharks fan site? Of course they’re going to say they won the trade. Of course Murray suddenly is the worst defenseman to touch the ice in years. Fans are fans for a reason. Plus it’s an opinion article, is it not?

    I guarantee that almost all of the Penguin fan sites have this trade as a major win in favor of the Penguins.

    Who will I trust? The people who know hockey best. That means Ray Shero, and his assistants and scouts. And so far in their time in office, they’ve been correct majority of the time. I for one hope that this trade is a success, and the Morrow trade too, so fans can enjoy the games even more and have faith in Ray Shero!

    • and I haven’t yet heard one expert knock this trade on any of the radio/TV shows or web sites. Even Milbury loves it for Pete’s sake…whoever Pete is that is… ;)

      You just gotta think a big hitter nicknamed “Crankshaft” is going to be a huge fan favorite in Pittsburgh…especially after his first big hit. I guess they just don’t embrace that kinda player in Cali.

  58. The Pens showed they weren’t afraid to dress 7 d-men during the playoffs last year, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they kept Eaton active for games. But, I agree, DK, this probably pushes Engelland out of the mix.

  59. Sharks just played there best game of the year without him on Monday, just saying…Fans did like him, that’s why he was a fan favorite. But he fell out of favor with us because of all the silly mistakes he made. I personally love hitting and fighting but this a speed game now. Again good luck but I must say how impressed I was with the Sharks after letting him go.

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