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Morning Java: Who’s going? Why not Letang?

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Long-faced Lunatics …


>> The Monday column takes a rather dim view of Dan Bylsma’s press conference Sunday morning on the Penguins’ breakup day. I can assure I was all set with another angle for the column, but Bylsma changed that within about a minute.

Watch for yourself to see why. The third question is mine regarding Jarome Iginla.

I also spoke with Iginla on the same issue, here below …

Here’s our full Penguins coverage today, including all kinds of contract updates by Rob Rossi.

I do feel compelled to share at least a bit of what I was going to write before Bylsma went Bizarro on us, so I’ll condense it here …

The Penguins must prioritize signing Evgeni Malkin and Pascal Dupuis, they must trade Kris Letang, and everything else should fall further down Ray Shero’s list.

The reasons behind Malkin and Dupuis are obvious, so I’ll skip ahead.

Letang is going to want a contract with an annual value of $7 million. I don’t want to be mean here, so let’s leave it at this: He isn’t worth that. He wasn’t even the team’s best defenseman this year, Norris Trophy nomination be damned. That distinction belonged to Paul Martin. (And let the record show that I have never been more wrong in anything I’ve written in this role than imploring Shero to but out Martin last summer.)

More important, someone else will have such a need for such a player that they’ll think he is worth that — see the Stars just handing Sergei Gonchar $10 million — and they’ll give up something significant in a trade to have him for one year, along with the exclusive rights to sign him in that time.

The Penguins need to get younger. They entered the playoffs with an average age of 29.5 years old that was oldest in the NHL, and they emerged from the playoffs … well, you saw. Old and slow.

They’ve got a ton of young defensemen on the way, not least of which was Simon Despres, but the only young forward in their grasp is Beau Bennett. That’s not enough. Letang can get you a young forward or two.

By trading Letang and possibly Marc-Andre Fleury, you also wipe $10 million off the cap hit. With the cap shrinking by $7 million next year, that’s not just nice. It’s paramount.

As for the rest, sure, I’d like to keep Iginla, Brenden Morrow and Douglas Murray, the trade acquisitions. But only if it fits with Bennett being on the top six and all the money considerations. Would love to have Matt Cooke, too. But all that applies there, too.

>> If you missed last night’s ‘The Final Word’ on WPXI-TV, here it is in four user-friendly clips.

>> I’m taking today off, other than a quick hit with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m. And tomorrow, I’ll be using Google Maps to help me find PNC Park again for Gerrit Cole’s debut.

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. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    These days it’s fashionable to deny losing …LA or NE style.
    We’re moving on! ……

  2. Ed says:

    I didn’t come up with this myself. Someone on another blog posted this. I found this to be quite interesting:

    Player A is an international player, someone the Pirates badly wanted but failed to sign. He also became the subject of a documentary called Petolero.

    Player A @ A+ Ball
    227 AB
    29:73 BB:K

    Player B is someone the Pirates drafted, a failed pitcher, who is now a hitter playing 1B

    Player B @ A+ Ball
    206 ABs
    29:61 BB:K

    Interesting :)

  3. Ed says:

    About Bylsma….. wow. I wouldn’t put too much stock into it though. I have the feeling he won’t be around long enough to make Fleury the #1 goalie again. Fleury too, for that matter.

  4. Alex says:


    Don’t you think at this point Iginla’s misuse is a minor issue considering everything else? I understand he’s a great person, but he flat-out was not a good hockey player in his time here.

    DK: I don’t consider acquiring a 530-goal scorer, then putting him out of position, then not using him on the power play, to be a minor issue.

    Nor, for that matter, do I consider it a fair way to tell what kind of hockey player he could have been here.

  5. Scott says:

    Totally agree on Letang. Shero should be able to get a bundle for him, so go ahead and trade him because he’ll never accept a contract close to his actual value.

    The only one I disagree on is Iginla. He made $7 million last year. I can’t imagine he’d take a cut of more than 50% – and even $3.5 is probably more than the Pens can afford. I get that he played out of position, but he still looked old and slow and totally hopeless throughout much of the playoffs. I don’t want to see him spend another minute in a Penguin uniform.

  6. jtp2106 says:

    I agree with trading Letang. He’s a nice luxury to have, but his cap hit isn’t going to be worth it for the Pens. The team needs to play responsibly on defense and Letang isn’t the guy to do that. He puts points on the board, but his defensive breakdowns left Fleury and Vokoun out to dry too many times this season. It makes sense to trade him now when his value is at it’s highest and get some young, gritty forwards to infuse some speed into the lineup.

    I don’t see Fleury having much trade value regardless of what Bylsma says. Using their compliance buyout is probably the way to go with him.

  7. Chris says:

    Agreed that they have to trade Letang. I don’t think he’s worth the money, and in the salary cap era I don’t think you can have 3 players making over $7m. And you thought Shero got a good return for Staal? He’d get a king’s ransom for Letang. Montreal would pay it to get the best French-Canadian defenseman in the league, and there’s another French-Canadian guy out in Denver who’s already said he’s open to trading the #1 pick. I’ll hate to see him go, but in the end it’s necessary and the return will be worth it.

    I don’t know that I want a full season of Morrow. Terrific guy and still has something left, but will he be healthy for a full season and where does he fit? Murray I’d be thrilled to have at the same price or a little less, and I hope Iginla stays as well.

  8. Chris says:

    I disagree on Fleury. I think a team that isn’t in a “Cup or bust” mentality would be happy with him. He could be the difference somewhere like Edmonton, where just making it into the playoffs is a big deal. Another one is Phoenix. They play a defense-first style Fleury would thrive in, but they’ve had trouble hanging onto goalies because of their constant financial issues. 2 years of Fleury at a reasonable rate is something they’d probably jump at, and if you can get Yandle in return (whose name has been mentioned in rumors before) the Letang void is partially filled.

  9. Jan says:

    I agree Letang isn’t worth a $7 million cap hit, but a serious question in response to all the Letang trade proposals that I’ve seen bandied about after the awful-for-everyone-ECF. How does trading Letang improve Pittsburgh’s defense next year? Are we assuming it’s simple addition by subtraction? (And are we also, objectively, realizing it will be harder for the Penguins to score goals without Letang, because he’s one of the best in the league at driving possession for his team, and are we getting sufficient help to make up for what the team will miss there?)

    The Penguins only had THREE top-four defensemen this year. Defense has been their weakest point since Hal Gill and Rob Scuderi left. (Their goalies, whoever they end up being, could use a bit more insulation.)

    Giving Pittsburgh’s defense over to “kids” isn’t the way to win on a team built to win now, and using the “free” cap space to find “other defensemen” isn’t as easy as it is in a video game.

    Again, not opposed to trading Letang for the right return, but trading him for “forwards” for organizational depth screams “rebuilding,” not “I expect to win the Cup next season.” Are we assuming a trade of Fleury nets us a defenseman like Zach Bogosian (highly doubtful)? Because someone’s going to have to replace Letang’s minutes. That can be done by committee, of course, but expecting any of the youngsters to step in and replace what Letang can do when he’s on (see Ottawa series and Game 1 vs Islanders for those with short memories) is not realistic.

    Should Letang sign for anything in $6M range, I’d keep him. In the right role, and right team, he’ll be fine. That time may be up in Pittsburgh, of course, but in NJ, NY, Philly, Detroit–suffice to say there are a lot of teams that would benefit from Letang, and they might have the sense to invest in a defensive partner that compensates for the size he lacks (and not, you know, by pairing him against top-line opponents with 5th-6th defensemen and expecting that to go well in the playoffs).

    But–any trades actually have to be looked at objectively. If you’re making a trade, are you improving a TEAM built to win NOW? I have yet to see a Letang trade proposal that actually IMPROVES Pittsburgh next season, but that would be Shero’s job, not mine.

    One other note: Martin turned it around this year, and, Letang’s gotten better every year he’s been in the league. Seems a little dangerous to assume he’ll never find the right balance between defense and offense. This was a kid who played–well–against Marian Hossa at 22 in the Cup Finals.

    In the HFboards spirit, however, if Nashville wants to offer Shea Weber for Letang & one/two of Pittsburgh’s top prospects, I do it in a heartbeat. Have yet to see a deal that makes next year’s team better, though, by dealing Letang. “Trading” is a lot easier on paper than practice. I get the cap, I get not wanting to pay Letang $7M–but I also realize the Penguins are built to win NOW, and any trades the team makes had best improve a team built to win NOW.

    And there’s another option, too: You can always sign Letang–and trade him later for value. Worth considering, too.

  10. Joey_Pittsburgh says:

    Obviously, you sign Malkin and Dupuis.

    At this point, trading Letang is the most sensible thing to do. Regarding sense, this is the team that acquired a Hall of Famer in Iginla and then played him out of position or gave him the “best seat in the house” for the power play, so anything is possible…

    I’d love to keep Iginla but I think Morrow is a more pressing ‘need’. Cooke will get paid somewhere, and you shake his hand as he walks out the door and thank him for his service to the team. Adams has always been a favorite of mine, I hope he would take a bit of a hometown discount.

    You need “a Murray” on your team but I think his offers, as with the four in the previous paragraph, are all centered around the direction this team takes with or without Bylsma at the helm. Hopefully a lot of that is cleared up when Shero speaks. (keeping fingers crossed…..)

    Which leaves us with MAF, “Franchise Goalie” and Dan’s statements. I don’t think he intended to throw Vokoun under the bus but rather state his confidence that this won’t happen a second time. Fleury played poorly but I’ll take him for the next eight years over Vokoun next year and the pu pu platter of whatever is coming down the pipe. Do you trade MAF and run with Vokoun next year with Hartzell backing him up and then handing Eric the keys in the fall of 2014? That’s one hell of a gamble to take when you’re entering the latter half of #87 and #71’s primes.

    Fleury wasn’t the only one in vegas gold and black to drop a load on the ice this playoffs. The Pens need to make a lot of changes to get younger while still being responsible in front of whoever is between the pipes. Fleury has helped lead this team to 2 finals, winning one. Let’s not throw the flower out with the bathwater here….

  11. Brendan says:

    I’m assuming those players are Miguel Sano and Stetson Allie. Although I think you have their stats transposed. Sano is the one w/ the 1.079 OPS, etc.

    In any case Sano is A+ and Allie at A ball. Sano is also 20 and Allie 22.

  12. DJ says:

    You got this one exactly right. Used to be a big fan of Letang but even before the Bruins series I decided he had to go. For all his skating / stick-handling virtues, Letang is just too maddingly inconsistent (keeping shot on net, inability to cleanly enter O-zone, mental defensive lapses).

    On Iginla, assume they did their due diligence before the trade, and anticipated his speed had dropped, but frankly not as much as what we all saw. As much as his diminished speed, was even more disturbed by his “compete level”. Saw a lot of 50/50 pucks that others seemed to beat him to or outwork him for. Unless there are no better options and he would be willing to take Tyler Kennedy money, we should move on.

    On Fleury, I think they have done a rough assessment of the options and have determined to keep him. Not giving due credit to Vokoun was comical though.

    The interesting question will be if they are keeping Bylsma, then what will they be doing with the staff, including Meloche. Didn’t Chicago fire all their assistants last year? Look where they are.

  13. jtp2106 says:

    I’d guess there are a few situations that would work for a Fleury trade. Edmonton and Phoenix would be be decent landing spots for him. I was thinking his $5 mil cap hit might turn other teams off, but it’s possible some teams might want that to hit the cap floor (like the Islanders taking Tim Thomas’ cap hit last year). Maybe the Pens could even eat some of Fleury’s salary like the Canes did with Jokinen. Either way, it’s probably best for Fleury to get a change of scenery.

  14. Andy says:

    Dejan, I disagree with having to trade Letang (assuming he is willing to negotiate on contract). I feel that, if someone can come in and coach better defensive habits and teach him to make smarter offensive decisions (as well as pairing him with a player that complements him and can communicate well), he could be an absolute force going both ways. I would hate to see him turn into that force somewhere else.

    On the point of age, that would take several years to fix, and banks on the Penguins getting a number of high draft picks from trades. Beyond that, not all young players could be counted on to produce immediately and the best way for some of them to contribute would be to pair them with veteran skaters. We’ve seen the issues of trying to bring bunches of young players in all at once with teams like Edmonton and Florida (even Philly this year). While our core is better, there would certainly be a lot of growing pains.
    I’m not saying “keep all the old guys,” but having a mix of vets with still-active legs and some young guns is something I would be more partial to.

    One last thing. Iginla sounds like he wants to stay. Do you think it would be wise of the Penguins to sign him if the number is right, and he would play RW with Sid?

  15. chethejet says:

    first things first if Shero brings back Bylsma, then we will see who is interested in reuping with the pens. I think Malkin and Letang are going to have a say as to if the like playing for Bylsma or not. If they do, then he will be back and Malkin and possibly Letang will be signed. I believe the new contracts will be extension starting 2015 so Letangs new money will then be absorbed by Kuinitz and Orpik contracts ending. The young defensemen will be more prominent both contractually and style. Me I trade Letang for the number 1 pick from Colorado for MacKinnon. I like him better than Jones and he would be a great fit for Crosby.

  16. DJ says:

    Don’t think center (MacKinnon) is our greatest need right now. In Colorado’s position, they would also likely value much Seth Jones higher than Letang, even if they had to wait a year. Colorado would probably be interested in MAF but I don’t think he is going anywhere soon in light of Shero’s assessment of other goaltender options.

  17. DJ says:

    . . . see that Meloche is going to hand in his resignation. Wise decision.

  18. Deb says:

    I find it odd the names that are missing from the media availability: No Orpik, No Cookie, No Geno, No Adams; No Vokoun? Geno routinely dodges media. But Orpik, Vokoun and Adams? Plain speakers who generally tell it straight, missing media exit?

    A coach who appears to have joined Fleury in having a mental meltdown?

    It seems there is more amiss with the team than fans and reporters know.

    Did the dressing room disintegrate after Bylsma benched Fleury? or was it the week layoff and the team expected Fleury to start the Bruins series?

    Only two times I’ve really seen Sid off his game. Once was just before Therrien was fired. Second time was the first two games of the Bruin’s series.

    Geno got a pass from the media much of this year due to Rossi’s continual reports of a “bum shoulder” but was this real? since Martin was the only player noted to have a “significant injury.”

    I don’t see a role for Iginla. He’s too slow to skate with Sid. Geno doesn’t seem to like Iginla’s style. He’s not a 3rd line checking winger. I agree he should have been tried on the power play.

    I REALLY would love to see the unedited version of the Penguins “In the Room.”

    DK: Couple of those surprised me, too. Others had to be coaxed in.

  19. Alex says:

    I’m not trying to provoke you, but the general sense me and many others are getting is that the opinion’s on Jarome Iginla as a person are clouding the judgement of the Pittsburgh sports media when it comes to Jarome Iginla the hockey player.

    DK: Weighing Jarome Iginla the hockey player doesn’t require a judgment call of any kind. It only requires having paid attention to all he’s accomplished and all that he did show when put into positions to succeed — rarely — since joining the Penguins.

    But it’s pretty clear you have “many others” you’re speaking for, and I’ll never beat those kinds of numbers, so I punt. You win.

  20. Ed says:

    Sorry for the mix up of stats.

    Both players are still young enough to have a legitimate chance. Just found it interesting that Allie is putting up similar numbers.

  21. Konstantin says:

    On the same page re Letang. Call Roy now. Then Florida and Tampa as well. This draft is a solid three-deep (maybe four, even).

  22. Konstantin says:

    I don’t see any scenario where the organization could, in good conscience, put Fleury in goal for the first game of a playoff. It makes no difference what he does in the regular season. It would be malpractice to go down that road again, and to the extent it’s possible while paying him $5 million, borderline unfair to the player as well.

    And, since nobody but Vancouver will pay a backup goalie that much, he has to go.

  23. Joey_Pittsburgh says:

    Option A> Fleury for 60 games, TV for 22, Fleury starts game 1 playoffs at home
    Option B> Vokoun for 50 games, Hartzell/Thiessen for 32 games, Vokoun starts game 1 playoffs on the road
    Option C> ………. (I’m all ears)

    Vokoun turns 37 this year….if he were 32 this decision would be a lot more difficult.

    Crosby (remember, he’s the captain!) and Malkin arguably had a worse playoff given their Boston series 0-fer than MAF…nobody’s saying they shouldn’t start a playoff game for the Pens again…

  24. Brendan says:

    That’s not to diminish what Allie’s done so far. Just that there’s a big difference between putting those numbers up at High A as a 20 year old than as a 22 year old at Low A.

    Allie’s been an unexpected surprise and his circumstances are unique so it’s fair to argue that perhaps you can’t compare him to other 22 yr olds at his level. Mike Newman wrote a good piece for Fangraphs a month or so ago that goes into more detail discussing Allie’s success to that point and his future prospects than anything else I’ve read:

  25. Brandie says:


    Two words to sum up the Pepto Bylsma press coinference: Hot Mess!

  26. Mike says:

    That would all be nice if you could actually get the top pick for Letang… You can’t, though. Top 5, possibly, but it’s unlikely anyone within the top 3 would do that move.

  27. Mike says:

    DK, after Disco’s odd handling of the goaltender situation in his press conference is it safe to say they now need to look for a long-term solution that has the ability to play next year (like a Bernier-type)? If this postseason was any indication of how this coaching staff has faith in its players then you have to assume Vokoun could end up just as mentally shaken as Fleury. The fact that he was so grossly thrown to the side yesterday can’t sit well with anyone.

  28. Drew71 says:

    I rarely watch coach pressers. I’d rather watch, you know, sports.

    This was my first such Bylsma experience. So I don’t have a “baseline EKG”.

    Does he always talk like that? Halting, fishing for words or even direction?

    If that is his, um, ah (pause) communication, ah (pause) style, then so be it.

    If not, to me it came across as a guy squirming on a hook (as I have been for 25 years, 4 months and 18 days), unsure how to answer because he and his boss haven’t yet discussed these things. Add the job security worry and someone might squirm during a press conference, wondering if his boss might be thinking, ‘why did he say THAT?’ about any number of answers.

    But remember, without seeing his past press performances, I’m speculating without much to go on.

  29. Ed says:

    I do recall reading that article before. Hopefully, Allie has continued success.

  30. Thundercrack says:

    I mentioned this last night. Bylsma should have waited an extra day before going in front of the press. Get some sleep…meet the media today.

  31. Thundercrack says:

    Nice tie by DK.

    Someone needs to tell Ross: Early June = no turtlenecks

  32. JAL says:

    JAL’s Shake It Out Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 Go Buccos- Pirate News (from external sources)

    4 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    5 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    6—Pirates Prospects

    Ransom’s Late Homer Lifts Cubs Over Pirates 4-1

    First Pitch: Revisiting the Idea That the Pirates Have Been Unsuccessful in the Draft

    DSL Prospect Watch: Both Affiliates Put Up Ten Runs Each

    Prospect Watch: Glasnow Continues to Dominate; Lambo and Hanson Homer

    7 Bucs Dugout

    Cody Ransom’s 3-run homer the difference in Pirates’ 4-1 loss

    The probable fate of a 37-26 team


    Game 53: Cubs 4 Pirates 1

    9 The Green Weenie

    Bats, Bullpen Icy In 4-1 Loss

    10 Rumbunter

    Pittsburgh Pirates GM Neal Huntington Talks About Gerrit Cole Debut

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Cubs 4 Pirates 1

  33. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Chicago Sun Times

    Edwin Jackson, Cody Ransom help Cubs top Pirates 4-1

    13 City of Champions

    Cubs come back to take final game from Pirates, avoiding sweep

    14 Chicago Tribune

    Ransom propels Cubs past Pirates,0,6561487.story

    15 USA Today

    Dodgers still crash even as Yasiel Puig soars

    16 CBS Sports

    Cubs 4, Pirates 1

    17 Sweetspot

    How NL All-Star roster is shaping up

    18 PBC Site

    Locke flirts with no-hitter in loss to Cubs

    Notebook: Morton a candidate to start on Thursday


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week in Quotes

    20 Fangraphs

    15,000 days since Luzinski rings the Liberty Bell

  34. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Breaking down the Steelers fourth quarter woes in 2012

    Steelers WR Plaxico Burress’s career arc is still moving

    22 Steelers Depot

    - Steelers CB Cortez Allen- Secret Superstar

    Soccer(football) Will T

    23 Daily Telegraph

    Jose Mourinho returns to Chelsea: the full transcript of the Special One’s interview with Chelsea TV.

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 7th June, 2013


    25 CBS Sports

    Stanley Cup Final with Blackhawks, Bruins all NHL could hope for

    26 Forbes

    Boston Bruins Vs Chicago Blackhawks: Can The Original Six Create TV Buzz?

  35. JAL says:

    Shake It Out Florence and the Machine 2011 Of the 2nd studio album. Song has several musical stryles within it.

  36. Noel Gallagher says:

    I like the Gogle Maps line. I was going to get you a Hello, my name is . . . nametag for you to where tomorrow. I figure N. Walker and company will give you a hard time.

  37. pattonbb says:

    Did anyone see the story about the Diamondback’s 34th round pick last week? They drafted Cory Hahn. Hahn was a outfielder at Arizona State. In 2010, he was considered one of the top high school prospects in America. In 2011, he suffered a spinal injury sliding head-first into 2B and is now partially paralyzed. Diamondbacks said they plan on offering him a job in player development.

    Really cool story.

  38. Jandy says:

    +1. Thanks for sharing :)

  39. Pucknutz says:

    Blysma looked like he was “stunned” ,in shock or whatever you want to call it. He probably is totally disoriented. He is usually much more forceful and confidant.

    Just no way to “coachspeak” your way out of the Boston catastrophe.

    Shero may keep Blysma, but I think he is history by the end of the week. And I have been defending him all season. Just don’t see how he can stay.

    His remarks on Fluery and Vokoun struck me as completely robotic like he has been programmed for so long to say stuff like that and it just came babbling out. Really felt bad for the guy, sad, sad, situation.

    Thunder below is likely correct – shoulda got some sleep.

  40. Pucknutz says:

    Deb put it very well above:

    A coach who appears to have joined Fleury in having a mental meltdown?

  41. Dom says:

    Does anyone know if the Pirates will not obtain an extra year of arbitration by giving him the start on Tuesday?

  42. Dom says:

    Never mind. I looked it up and we’re still more than a week away.

    I’d rather have waited and have the ability for him to pitch here an extra year instead of him making this start tomorrow. It’s so difficult getting talent into our system to begin.

    I don’t like that at all.

  43. NMR says:

    I’m not sure how you can talk age but not talk experience.

    Sano had 534 professional at-bats over two years in rookie ball before hitting .258/.373/.521 in low-A ball.

    Allie had just 173 at-bats in rookie ball before tearing up low-A this year.

    I think their strikeout numbers are the more important comparison. Both players have had people predict failure as they’ve moved up levels due to their high strikeout numbers. Sano K’d 26% of the time in rookie ball, 26% of the time in low-A, and 25% of the time in high-A. He has not failed, he’s thrived.

    It would be great to see Allie cut down on his strikeouts, but it would also be crazy to keep him at this level all year while he continues to dominate.

  44. NMR says:

    Dejan, you kept misspelling “Pirates” in your column today. Everybody knows you’re only critical of them.

    Not to send you off before your work is done, but that was quite the prolific run of quality work throughout the playoffs. Enjoyed the coverage very much.

  45. NMR says:

    When was the last time a quality young Pirate played out the last year of his contract in Pittsburgh?

    Cole’s fourth year of arb will be some other teams problem.

  46. Dom says:

    True but that last year is now a year earlier.

  47. gregenstein says:

    I don’t see how trading Letang and keeping all the other old guys helps you get faster and younger next year, but I will say that, if by trading Letang they are able to keep much of the rest of team together, then I’m in favor of that. But it’s not going to save them $7M in cap money next year. The guy is already under contract for next year. Now, if you dump him and Fleury, now you’ve save close to $9M in cap money.

    I don’t have answers for how to beat Boston, but I can say that I’d like to see as many guys back as possible.

  48. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Wow. My prediction would be that Dejan predicted he’d take a lot of heat for suggesting trading Letang. I agree though. Guy’s just not worth 8 mil a year in this cap situation. Aside from his play, he has a horrible injury history as well. 8 is a lot for 45-50 games a season.

  49. SJB says:

    I said it at the end of last season and knew it would take another playoff disaster and therefore another wasted season with core players getting older for it to happen but Bylsma has to go already. His influence over the team brings little need for accountability from anyone not named Vitale, Bennett or Despres and his system in place magnifies the smallest problems unless everything is working at 100%. Throw a wrench into the works and that’s why you have what happened with the Flyers last season and the Bruins this season. Not just series losses but ones bordering on unimaginable. A simpler, more defensive first philosophy like they had in place before he was coach is needed even if Crosby never comes close to winning a scoring title again.

    The revolving door of players brought in to try to fix what is inherently wrong with the team needs to stop as well. It’s not the players. Not to the degree that causes them to lose so badly anyway. I swear they could clone 2 Lemieux’s, 2 Jagr’s, 2 Stevens, 4 Coffey’s and 2 Larry Murphy’s to add to the team and they still don’t sniff the cup.

    I’d like to see them keep Iginla under a new coach with a new philosophy, playing his proper position at right wing on Crosby’s line instead of being used as extra sprinkles on the already loaded ice cream cone and playing out of position because of the stubborn arrogance of one Dan Bylsma. I don’t think Iginla is that slow or washed up, I do think him playing an uncomfortable position after 13 years at another would make any player look off and I’d rather see him get $4-5 million or so a year over some others on this team.

    Letang must go. I never thought he was all that much of a defenseman and I’d never pay him much more than he is making now at the expense of letting other more important members of the team go. Let him go shoot some other team in the foot repeatedly while on his way to a Norris trophy. Orpik needs to be gone too. Not because he had such a bad playoffs, but because he’s reached that point where he’s at the downside of his career and it’s time to cut him loose before he’s an albatross they can’t move.

    Murray, as much as I like him, showed his game brings little in the playoffs. Maybe they can work a trade with him. It’s not his slowness though and I’ll keep saying it; some slower defenseman are worth having and they never should have gotten rid of Gill, It amazes me how they continued to pass on him every time he became available again. Maybe if Byslma is gone this approach to what it takes defensively will change the direction they go with defensemen. Less flash and more substance. No more fumbling Letangs please. I’d rather have more Scuderi’s and Ference’s back there with the game on the line.

    If Malkin wants what he made last that last time around I say fine only if that means they don’t have to let anyone like Dupuis go because of it. I seriously think he needs to take a pay cut and would rather they offer him less but that all depends on who they might have left or who they can acquire in his stead if he leaves. Again; a new coach might mean a better Malkin too so it all depends on how they handle Bylsma.

    All roster decisions mean little if the stay with Bylsma. Actually, cutting him now would be a favor to him. He can take his newly minted “fastest coach to how ever many wins” to another team and not have to worry about being out of work for long at this point. Another playoff appearance with this kinda results though and people might not touch him with a big ugly stick. “Wait, you mean you coached that team with those players and couldn’t get them any further than that for 5 years?” “Well, we have your resume Dan….don’t call us, we’ll call you” ;)

    Any coach with this team, with this supposed talent that can only win 3 playoff rounds in the last 4 years after back to back finals appearances and a cup win to cap it off, needs to be canned regardless of excuses. That’s not hard to calculate at all, that’s idiot math.

  50. Jandy says:

    Letang plays more than 45 – 50 games a season, silly. That aside, with the schematics of this team, no way should he be paid $8M. Now, if the coach/system were to change, perhaps look at making some type of deal.
    All I can say is I’m glad I’m NOT Ray Shero.

  51. SJB says:

    Don’t know what this has to do with speed. The Bruins are a fast team? Smart, confident and sound play makes any team look faster. Letang is not a smart, or sound defenseman. See my Gill comment below. As I recall, they won a cup with that supposed traffic cone.

  52. SJB says:

    Oh, and a Gonchar that brought the puck out slower than the paint on a wall dries.

  53. gregenstein says:

    Goals Scored Against Boston:

    Malkin: 0
    Crosby: 0
    Iginla: 0
    Neal: 0
    Dupuis: 0
    Bylsma: 0
    You will likely call this an excuse, but it is the hardest trophy in sports to win. Even with world class players. I agree at this point that Bylsma needs to go, but not for the reasons you state. He should go because he believes Fleury is their guy after (rightfully) showing no confidence in him.

    Let’s remember too that Martin Brodeur went 9 years between winning the Cup and winning a playoff series as a netminder.

  54. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yes, what happened with that? DK and Teke wearing ties in the same week? Same decade?

    Maybe Rossi’s was a a turtleneck dickie like Wolowitz?

    It was a good show last night. More talk, less gimmicks. Alby seemed more relaxed, too.

  55. 21sthebest says:

    I read yesterday that Super 2 status won’t be determined for sure until after the season ends.

  56. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    I should have looked that up- he did fine until 2011 (51 games played). Had only 35 out of 48 this year.

    Only one reason out of many that Pens best move is probably to trade him.

  57. Damon says:

    The Pirates Notebook piece today said Morton will start Thursday if Rodriguez can’t go. What if Wandy can pitch – where then does Morton go? The pen? Does Cole get sent back down since Burnett, Locke and Liriano not going anywhere, or is Cole up for good?

  58. danch70 says:

    Bylsma was either trying to emphasize the value of Fleury for trade bait, or he was figuring if Fleury is on the team, he is the number one goalie. There’s no reason to trash him now and then try to coach him after the summer. Vokoun? He can take the mind games better.

    On trading Letang and Fleury, I think you trade both. But I don’t think you air it out there. I wonder if it is best to let them play in the regular season and trade them midway through. Their trade value might be low right now – might be higher once the season begins. the problem though is opening up the season with those salaries counting against the cap. That’s a tough call.

    On Sidney. I realize he’s nice and patient with the media. But he is a specialist at flapping his gums without saying anything. We didn’t score because we didn’t execute. That’s not an explanation. It’s the same as saying we didn’t score because we didn’t score. Bylsma, too. “Iginla was used as he best fit with the team.” Huh? You just got swept and your not considering some of the moves you made were not the best for the team.

    On youth. Always important to keep the flow of young players, but I’m not especially concerned with their age. It seems the core is around 26-27 and the older guys that bring up the average are mainly peripheral players meant to add leadership or some specialty skill. Adams, Iginla, etc. As opposed to focusing on youth, they need to focus on rugged forwards. Power forwards, I suppose their called. Ones who can go to the front of the net, create space by using their bodies, and with speed and skill. Brooks Orpik as a forward. (Or, the plethora of those kind of players on the Bruins.)

    Upon a few days reflection, I don’t think it was the defensive mindset that caused them the series – although that is a problem. Yes, in the last games of each series they became more responsible defensively. That was the coaches work there. The problem was their spread and speed offense was shut down and they had no answer for it. No crashing, banging, and scraping out goals. Never did they try a north/south puck support all the way type offense. Instead as soon as they got the puck, everyone spread out – and then three bruins took away passing and skating lanes until the puck was going the other way. This was also on the coaches. No adjustment, no answer for a more rugged game offensively. Perhaps also personnel. Hence, get more fast, strong, large, skilled forwards.

  59. Dom says:

    Oh, yeah. You’re right. I found this link that supports what you’re saying. Other source online said otherwise.

  60. hockeymonster says:

    Dejan says “That distinction belonged to Paul Martin. (And let the record show that I have never been more wrong in anything I’ve written in this role than imploring Shero to but out Martin last summer.)”

    Dejan, don’t be so hard on yourself…you were totally wrong when you predicted a cup last season before philly series(and let the record show I laughed at your prediction) :)

    So it sounds like we’re building our defense with Martin as our #1 defensemen? 33 year old whose decent at passing but isn’t physical and has no shot from the point? If you guys don’t see that our defense is ill built due to the 5M we’re paying PM then clearly you guys haven’t learned your lessons from history. Definition of insanity anyone???

    As I said the other day…Seidenberg and Boychuk make 5.5M COMBINED!!!! I’d take either one of them straight up for PM let alone both of them for almost the same cap hit.

    YOU DO NOT TRADE LETANG!!! You try to sign him for 6-7M and coach him and the rest of the team up defensively. If he wants more than that or things resembles the Staal situation then thats different. The games Letang was bad in were the same games PM and everyone else struggled in. And anyone, including members of the media who think Letang is replaceable with any of our prospects doesn’t know hockey in the least and need to rethink their line of thinking.

  61. Damon says:

    I agree about not wanting to be in Shero’s position right now. This is where he needs to earn his money and make some tough decisions on the team going forward. I’m sure it will be tough for him to part ways with some players, but you can’t bring everyone back….salary cap-wise and because the team had two humiliating loses in playoff series two years in a row.

    If Bylsma is going to be his coach, he REALLY needs to sit down with him and make sure he is signing/keeping the players that work well in Dan’s system.

    If Bylsma is not going to be his coach, he better get rid of him ASAP and get someone hired because Shero will need to know what kind of system he will be running and build the team accordingly. The offseason deadlines and markets are fast approaching.

  62. 21sthebest says:

    By the way, Sano was promoted to AA yesterday.

  63. Dom says:

    Wouldn’t he stay in AAA for a few more starts?

  64. hockeymonster says:

    No way we should give up on letang…if you think coaching should be better then you want letang around for the end result. I hope your not one of the ones who thinks our prospects can replace letang. And fleury will be better behind a team that has a clue on d.

  65. Thundercrack says:

    If Wandy pitches I wonder if Morton stays down on the farm…continuing his rehabbing.

  66. NMR says:

    Saw that.

    Really looking forward to seeing how that works out.

    I believe Sano is much, much – much – more talented than Allie, but they’re hitting profiles are awfully similar. Both will test the high-K imminent failure theory.

  67. NMR says:

    If Wandy doesn’t need the DL then it would look like Cole is up for a spot start.

    Not sure what sense there was in stretching Morton out to be a starter only to send him to the pen.

  68. Bizrow says:

    You don’t have a tie on, do you ‘-)

  69. Bizrow says:

    Yes, that is a pretty cool story.

    Even baseball clubs can do something outstanding like that now and then …

  70. SJB says:

    I see; maybe another year of grooming will make those players good enough to score. ;)

    I think the Fleury statements were those of a coach who knows he’s out. Reminds me of the Andy Reid season ending comments in Philly where he was telling everyone Vick was the starting QB next season and so on even though everyone knew he was out as head coach.

    I will give him this; even on with his upcoming inevitable ouster (I truly believe), Disco is keeping a sense of humor, even if he’s kicking Vokoun in the nuts in the process.

    Still don’t see what Fleury (or Brodeur for that matter), has to do with any of this. This loss had nothing to do with the goalie, as neither did Brodeur’s play in those 9 years have anything to do with the Devils run of playoff disappointments. I did notice they changed a lot of coaches and players then. Don’t expect the Pens to be any different. Maybe like the Devils, we’ll see Mario come down and get behind the bench. ;)

  71. hockeymonster says:

    Looked over UFA’s and there’s a lot more help available at forward than defense.

    1st order of business besides coaching situation would be to trade PM and maybe nisky for younger players to free up 5-7.3M in cap space. Their replacements would ideally cost around 2-4M. Then for depth I’d look into signing Toni Lydman from the ducks along with Davis Drewiske from montreal.

    For our top 6-9 forwards i’d make it a priority to look into Mason Raymond, David Clarkson, Victor Stalberg and Clark Macarthur. For our bottom 6 i’d look into Antti Miettinen, Brandon Yip, Boyd Gordon, and maybe even Raffi Torres. Bringing dupuis back would be nice but if he needs more than 3M to stay don’t think we can manage.

    Most of you might remember my suggestion to trade for Roman Polak and Chris Stewart leading up to the trade deadline. That would still be a top priority for me.

    Flower and Vokooouuuun in the cage!

  72. BillyBaduka says:

    Bylsma is deliberate with his choice if words and is usually monotone. But this is more uh, ums, than usual. Many more.

    One thing that strikes me in the clip is DB switching between “our team” and “this team” when talking about Fluery as number 1 goalie. Later in the interview he sticks with “our” when referring to the Pens future.

    Since DB and Shero have not met, it makes this interview more awkward than it would be with just the sweep. It’s as if DB has to go through some of the questions before he decides he’ll approach questions on the future as if he will be here. We’ll see.

  73. Bizrow says:

    And isn’t it service time? So if you send him down, takes away days

  74. NMR says:

    Exactly, Biz.

  75. Jandy says:

    “If Bylsma is going to be his coach, he REALLY needs to sit down with him and make sure he is signing/keeping the players that work well in Dan’s system. ”

    Dan’s system DOES NOT work in the playoffs THAT MUST BE MADE ABUNDANTLY CLEAR IF DAN IS TO STAY.

  76. NMR says:

    -A guy with an actual name, Dave Perkins, says the Pirates won the draft. He did not mention the score.

    The unnamed NL executive could not be reached for comment and the longtime AL scout had no comment.

    -Sad to see Jeff Karstens essentially out for the season after having his rotator cuff repaired. Call me a glutton for punishment, but I still think he could be an excellent value if brought back at what one would assume an even lesser contract next year.

  77. Arriba Wilver says:

    Probably depends on how he pitches, too. If he pitches lights out (not saying I expect that) no way it will be a spot start IMHO. Not this year.

    Colin Dunlap, by the way, on the Showdown last night gave the Pirates a shout out for announcing Cole’s start early for them. He said they botched Pedro’s debut by keeping it a secret, but deserved credit for changing with Cole.

  78. SJB says:

    Letang isn’t worth $7 million. 6M is as far as I’d push it if they were to sign him for that but I think he’s going to go for the big payday in the end and some dolt of a GM will give it to him, so they might as well trade him if he balks at the Pens offer which I’m sure won’t be a huge one. Replaceable? No, but that’s not a bad thing either. I really don’t want another Letang. I’m sure they can find another defenseman PP QB who’s maybe not as gifted offensively, but can bring the puck up and keep it in the attacking zone without turning it over and even get a good shot on net without missing it completely…for less.

  79. BillyBaduka says:

    Yep, I want a new coach. Want to see if these players can be coached to play a more defensively sound style and improve decisions/turnovers.

    If Dan does stay, it MUST be accompanied with a change in strategy. Shero should also say “Dan, you won’t get fired or heat from management if you bench Sid or Geno for a few shifts in the regular season. If they start turning the puck over with regularity, they and the team need a message that this isn’t acceptable.”

  80. JohnS says:

    This is going to be a tough offseason for the Pens.

    I like the goaltending situation as it is. I think most fans undervalue Fluery. He needs to be back and he will be their number 1 goalie.

    On D you most likely don’t sign Murray or Eaton. They still owe Martin $10M so he isn’t going anywhere. Depres is a no brainer return. Engelland is still cheap and serviceable so he stays. Bortuzzo is restricted but with other youth he is a question mark. Letang is still under contract at $3.5m. Tough call whether to extend/trade/do nothing with him in 2013-14. Niskanen isin the same boat only at $2.5m. Orpick at $3.75m in his last year would be a nice piece to move. They won’t resign him after next year so I try to get something for him now.

    The situation at F is a mess. Almost the entire roster will be free agents in the next two years and they really have nothing coming on the horizon. Guys coming up this year I keep Adams, Dupuis, Cooke and Jeffrey for sure. Next year’s FA’s keep Malkin, Kunitz, and Sutter for sure. That leaves decisions on Iginla, Morrow, Kennedy, Glass, McIntyre, Vitale, and Jokinen. I think McIntyre, Glass, Kennedy, and Morrow are easy decisions if they keep Adams and Cooke. They are all gone. Iginla, Vitale and Jokinen are all worthy of consideration. It will be tough to build this roster moving forward.

  81. NMR says:

    Personally, I’m with you. I think Cole is more than ready to succeed at the big league level, despite having his flaws.

    But I also couldn’t fault the organization for sticking to their guns. They do not believe Cole has fixed his command issues, and they’re probably correct.

    If Charlie Morton can be a competent 5th starter while allowing Cole to continue working on command, I could live with it.

  82. Scott says:

    You want to re-sign both Malkin and Letang, AND keep Fleury on top of that? AND give Dupuis $3 million? AND sign a bunch of unrestricted free agents? Even if you do trade Martin and Niskanen, keeping everyone you suggest is literally impossible from a numbers perspective. You’d have this team about $10 mil over the cap.

    You defeated your own argument when you pointed out that decent D men are available for $2-3 million. That’s why this team cannot possibly pay Letang $7 million or anything close to it. I’d offer him $5 mil even, then trade him when he refuses to accept it. Losing Letang will be tough, but this team still has more than enough offense to go around (assuming they have a game plan that isn’t as predictable as it was against Boston.)

  83. 21sthebest says:

    I’m not certain about this and without doing any research, it seems like you might have to deal with the debuts of pitchers and position players differently. Obviously a pitcher will have 4 days off between starts and likely won’t get injured. What are you going to do if you announce a position player in advance and he gets hurt? And you’re certainly not going to sit a position player for those few days. See where I’m going here? Making any sense?

  84. Bizrow says:

    Sounds like there will possibly be 2 40 man roster moves this week, one to activate Cole and if Morton starts on Thursday, another one to get him off the 60 day DL.

    McPherson sounds like an option to go on the 60 day

    Any thoughts from the lunatics out there which way things will go?

  85. Damon says:

    That may just be what Shero talks to him about if he stays on. Not sure how to modify that system to make it work though. How do other teams beat the Bruins and Devils and teams like that? Is it possible to play a different system just against those kinds of teams? Who knows….guess we will learn a ton more this Wednesday when Shero speaks.

  86. Arriba Wilver says:

    I am wearing a turtleneck dickie with no shirt. ;-)

  87. Jandy says:


  88. Tim says:

    I have no problem with DB’s comments about Fleury. As a matter of fact, I respect it and give him credit for it. Vokoun will be fine. He will be a factor and things will play out just the way they did this year during the regular season. Both guys will see a lot of playing time. Fleury strikes me as a man that is very easy to like, so if Vokoun is going to bitch about playing time, which I doubt, then there’s your problem. A 37 year old starter for a whole year plus playoffs, I don’t know. Watched the DB video and you are right, I don’t know what the hell he was saying about JI. Sounded like a George Bush answer.

    Geno must stay. And will. I have to laugh at all this talk about his turnovers and defensive play. As if Mario or Jagr ever thought of defense when they played. Yeah, yeah Mario picked it up in the playoffs and Jagr never turned the puck over so much. HIndsight is a beautiful thing, eh?. Besides, Geno wasn’t as bad as it’s being made to look. He just wants it so bad, he will do anything to make a play. Does he need to dump it more? Sure. But if that is his biggest problem, then so be it. It’s the other mortals that need to be mortal. Or something like that.

    As for Letang, tough call. I’m a huge fan. But as a former defenseman, the Penguins defensive lapses are a kick in the gut. Sure the forwards need to play their part, but this is where I think DB fails, especially in the playoffs. The only way we trade Letang is if we can get two stellar defensive-defenseman, puck possession defenseman bedamned. I like Murray, love Orpik, Niskanen can go. Much like you DK, I thought Martin’s play was stellar. And I wanted him gone as much as you did. But for me, its’ got to be about constructing a team that can win defensive battles in the playoffs. Thats it. And if DB can’t do it, bring someone in who will.

    I can’t believe the season is over. In such a mind boggling way. 2 goals. 2 goals.

  89. chethejet says:

    Yes MacKinnon can play RW or C. For now RW with Crosby. Jones I watch a number of Portland Winterhawk games and while he is very good, MacKinnn and Brulin really looked better to me. It also gives the Pens a top younger forward along with Bennett to play with Malkin and Crosby and Neal. Dupuis may cost 4 million to sign and that is just to high a price. Kunitz has one year so Bennett and MacKinnon can give Pens two top lines. The issue is who moves the puck up without Letang and gives them a RH shot. Matta, Harrington and Derrick P are all LH shots.

  90. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yep. It’s a daily count. One reason you can’t tell the date for sure. Other guys will be sent down, too.

  91. Arriba Wilver says:

    I see where you’re going, but I don’t buy it. They botched it, pure and simple. You don’t REALLY want me to repeat my theory on that for the 171st time, do you? :-)

  92. NMR says:

    Seems like only a matter of time until McPherson is moved to the 60 day DL since it would only amount to bookeeping at this point.

    Otherwise, the big Zagurski looks to be the low hanging fruit.

  93. Karen22 says:

    I can’t get past Bylsma’s demeanor here. He looks like a totally defeated and lost soul. And punch-drunk. WOW.

  94. Jandy says:


  95. Jandy says:

    That’s because he IS all that…

  96. 21sthebest says:

    Gosh I don’t even remember your theory. I’m up for 172 though.

    Bryce Harper was announced April 27, 2012 and played April 28, 2012. But Zimmerman went to the DL.

    Trout was announced the same day as his debut.

  97. Arriba Wilver says:

    Howard Wolowitz

  98. Dom says:

    Bylsma said Fleury should be the starting goalie next year.

  99. TFunk says:

    Hey Dejan! I noticed that Pascal Dupuis said he met with Ray Shero yesterday morning. I also saw an excuse that said Bylsma hadn’t met with Shero, because Ray had a previous engagement in Canada. It’s like the Twilight Zone over there right now.

  100. hockeymonster says:

    Letang is under contract next season for 3.5M…I provided an outline I’d try to adhere to…obviously there would be give and take about what would be possible. But if you trade PM and nisky you have 7.3M to retool the roster…then AFTER next season you’d have some more reshuffling to do but the cap maybe going up and Kunitz is coming off the books. I mentioned that Seidenberg and Boychuk make 5.5M combined but neither are comparable to Letang! They are however very comparable to PM and IMO much better all around players than PM which is why I would use his 5M create depth instead of paying a 33 year old dman whose game if very replaceable. However I do think PM can help a team that’s on the verge of the playoffs and possibly help them go to the next level…isn’t PM and nisky from MN?

  101. Arriba Wilver says:

    Short version– Neal didn’t know, the decision was made by FC/BN

  102. Jandy says:

    I like my spin MUCH better! :p

  103. Jandy says:

    Yeah, well, Bylsma isn’t God :)

  104. stuart66 says:

    Count me among the (apparently) few who think that Dan mis-used Jarome. I would like to see him back. If not in a top six role, then definately in a PP role on the left point.

    I’ve always like Chris Letang, but I think it’s time to move on from him.

    We’ll be younger next year, another god argument for KEEPING Iginla.

    I see Dan getting a short extension, probably one year. Time for TK to move on also.

    Someone needs to have the stones to rein in our “stars” when they start getting too fancy, including my least favorite hockey play:

    THE DROP PASS. Let’s drop it.


  105. hockeymonster says:

    There was talk about the pens being interested Keith Yandle and he’s really the only dman I can think of that fits your criteria BUT phx isn’t gonna just give him to us and they’re not gonna trade for letang unless theres a 3rd team involved. His cap hit is a little over 5M.

  106. Arriba Wilver says:

    Where ya been, Dom? Read DK’s column.

  107. 21sthebest says:

    Ah, that’s right. I could definitely see that being the case.

  108. SeanAY says:

    Here’s the thing, and I don’t necessarily mean to single out Bylsma with this. In fact, I don’t want to take an insulting tone at all.

    Coaches are, inherently, somewhat egotistical. In-game adjustments are one thing, but overhauling the entire system is something else entirely. It rarely, if ever happens.

    If Ray Shero tells Bylsma, “your system doesn’t work in the playoffs, you need to change it to a more playoff-friendly system,” I don’t think Bylsma’s reaction is going to be, “Sure thing, boss!” It would probably be more like, “My system would work in the playoffs if the players executed it like it’s drawn up.”

    Coaches tend to have their philosophy and they like to stick to it. While in-game adjustments are a natural part of life, for right or wrong, major reinventions are few and far between.

    I can’t remember who said it – Jerry Tarkanian, maybe? – but there’s an old quote that says, “Coaches get too much money, too much of the credit, and too much of the blame.” Ask any coach out there, and their greatest fear is that the players will screw it all up. In a lot of ways, they’re at the mercy of their players, not the other way around.

  109. Arriba Wilver says:


  110. 21sthebest says:

    If Cole stays in the rotation, it’s set up to be opposite Lincecum, Kershaw, Weaver, Gallardo.

  111. Pucknutz says:

    Yes Karen,as Jandy says you are correct.

    Felt sorta sad last night watching that clip on ch 2.
    I like the guy but at this point he has way, way too much hanging over his head rightly or not. I will be surprised if Shero keeps him. As they say “you can’t fire “all” the players, 1 coach you can.”

    Gonna be an interesting summer.

  112. hockeymonster says:

    And for all Fleury bashers I ask you to think back to the Therrien days when the team focused on d…do you really wanna trade a goalie that’s more than capable of a cup run when the team has a clue on d?

    Last I checked we were still in the ECF…this teams doesn’t need to be blown up…it needs tweeks based on our flaws. If you wanna trade letang or malkin, fleury AND change coaches then you’re not thinking things through…unless winning the cup isn’t your goal.

  113. Jandy says:

    which is why I think the best thing is for Dan to go.
    I love the guy, really I do.
    But the playoffs don’t go well with him at the helm.

  114. Jandy says:

    Yeah, the Pens!

  115. Jandy says:

    “:However I do think PM can help a team that’s on the verge of the playoffs and possibly help them go to the next level”
    meant to put that in there BEFORE
    Yeah the Pens!

  116. hockeymonster says:

    If you move PM and nisky you have roughly 49M in 16 players with about 15M to work with for 6-7 roster spots. Very doable!!! Don’t forget cooke and several others are coming off the books and geno’s and letang’s extension wouldn’t kick in till AFTER next season….if there was a buyout candidate it would Glass. Then you’d another 1M to work with.

  117. stuart66 says:

    IMHO Chris Kunitz disappeared in the final series. Anyone here old enough to remember Warren Young?

    Lemieux made him, and guys like Robbie Brown also. The coach needs to be the one that makes the line assignments.

    I wonder is Dan is TOO much the “players coach” to make necessary decisions that may bruise someone’s feelings.

    If he gets a final year, Dan needs to toughen up and make some unpopular calls. I for one would love to see Duper and Iginla on Sid’s line to start next year.

    Looking forward to turning the page to the little round ball. Go Cole!


  118. hockeymonster says:

    Jandy, we’re not a fringe playoff team…we’re a perennial playoff team trying to win the cup. MN would be an example of a fringe playoff team.

  119. Jandy says:

    Hey Brandie girl! Good to “see” you this morning :)

  120. Jandy says:

    True, but that’s a minor point. He can still help the PENS make and go thru the playoffs.

  121. Brad, Indiana PA says:

    Have to give credit to Delusional Disco Dan. It’s not often you see a head coach alienate 2 goalies in one playoff run.

    My major question for Dejan and everyone saying Bylsma should or will be kept- what can possibly be the justification from Shero for that? The guy’s impeccable playoff record? The embarrassing defeats in the playoffs? Let’s be real- we haven’t been beat the last 4 years. We’ve been obliterated. If the Isles had a decent goalie we would have been done weeks ago.

    There’s been enough roster turnover yet enough stability over the past 5 years to see that the problem isn’t just the players. And the completely insane moves like keeping Niskanen in the lineup, misusing Iginla, not doing anything to change a PP with Malkin on the point where he doesn’t belong and inserting Tyler Kennedy to spark the team should be obvious enough problems to any sane GM.

  122. Brandie says:

    You are taking me back to my last two years of high school, which were the back to back cup runs. Can we all agree that the complexion of the team, from stars on down, needs to change in order to have a successful cup run. If the Pens had shown up, made it a series, then lost in 7, these conversations would have a much different tone.

  123. Arriba Wilver says:

    “Didn’t know” is the wrong word choice. “Overruled” would be better.

  124. JohninOshkosh says:

    You hipster, JAL.

  125. stuart66 says:

    Just to be a little more clear; I think that a true super star adjusts to the line he’s given by the coach. The coach needs to listen carefully to what Sid thinks, and then make his own decisions on what he thinks would be best.

    Some of the Boston papers unearthed the old “Sid as a whiner” characterization. He (Sid) needs to learn how to keep his mouth shut about his perceived bullying by the other team. A Good Captain speaks up for his team mates but almost never for himself. It did seem like he was pouting for most of the final series.


  126. Brandie says:

    If the current regime and playoff approach stay, then do the Pens become a fringe playoff team? By the way, I love your name, hockeymonster. It sounds like a character from a Pittsburgh version of Sesame Street.

  127. 21sthebest says:

    But AW, how does that go to them botching announcing Pedro’s call up?

  128. hockeymonster says:

    Thanks Brandie :) Basically was trying to think of a name that conveyed my frustration with pens mgmt. and coaching strategies.

    Bout the pens being a fringe playoff team…I don’t think we’ll be a 7th seed or anything but if we don’t trade PM and nisky we only have 7M or so to fill 5 roster spots next season…you think we have enough depth to replace TK, cooke and maybe dupuis with those kind of constraints? Or maybe we’d be better off giving ourselves 15M to work with for 6-7 roster spots?

  129. Jim S. says:

    Allie should got to High A very soon, IMO. He has blistered this level, even if the whiffs are high. The clock is ticking, and he has earned the right to move up.

  130. JohninOshkosh says:

    Seeing the pictures of Edward Snowden, I didn’t realize Dan Bylsma’s son worked for NSA.

  131. Dom says:

    Yeah, even I can’t understand why Fleury would be named the starter over Vokoun.

  132. Jandy says:

    Hell yeah!!!!

  133. Jandy says:

    haha good one

  134. JAL says:

    Karstens is done for the season. The 10 to 12 weeks the best scenario for when he start throwing again. Most medical people say 10 to 12 is not likely to be that soon. Even if it 10 weeks that takes us to about September. Once he starts throwing it will take time to build up his arm then he would need rehab starts.

  135. Jim S. says:

    I read it as well. Very nice gesture. Haan sent out a very touching tweet to the D-Backs in response as well.

  136. Jim S. says:

    I’d rather see them find a way to keep Letang. I know you can’t keep everyone, but he is so talented. Losing the offense and play making dimension he brings from defense is not something I take lightly.

  137. Milo Hamilton says:

    Tell Dave Perkins to give me a call in 10 years & I’ll tell him how they did. Why does everything have to have a list ?

  138. Jim S. says:

    I believe Cole goes right back down after this start, assuming he doesn’t go 7 shutout innings with 2 hits, 8 K’s and 1 BB or something ridiculous like that. They want him to get a taste of what he wants. I think Morton is being prepped to start.

  139. Karen22 says:

    I felt sad, too. That’s been my main emotion throughout this series. It’s all very sad…

  140. CWalton_67 says:

    Bylsma should have been fired exactly 5 seconds after declaring MAF as the number one goalie.

  141. NMR says:

    10-12 BEFORE throwing? Ouch. I read that and assumed total recovery time.

    Happy trails, Jeff.

  142. Jandy says:

    Class, some have it some don’t:
    Winger Jarome Iginla, another veteran acquisition who was captain in Calgary, stopped his car and signed memorabilia. Winger Pascal Dupuis, an impending free agent who fought back tears while conducting interviews, did something the autograph hounds say almost no player does: He parked his car and walked the line, signing every item.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

  143. Jim S. says:

    I think you are right, 21. Teams announce pitchers because they work on 5-day rotations, and not only the team but everyone else will ask questions if there is a hole several days away due to injury. With position players, they usually get inserted right away if debuting because of an injury. So, you just say he is coming up and he usually jumps in the next day.

  144. NMR says:

    Because us peons like shiny things. Nothing is shinier than a pretty list.

  145. Damon says:


  146. JohnS says:

    Piece of cake.

  147. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    -I dont know what to do with my hands

  148. Sisyphus says:

    Dan’s system worked just fine in the playoffs this year. It produced tons of chances. If a team can’t score goals with plenty of chances, it’s on the players.

  149. Jandy says:

    sit on them?

  150. Thundercrack says:

    Lookout below!

  151. CWalton_67 says:

    Very much hope to see both of those men back in black and Vegas gold.

  152. Leah Backus says:

    I love you for admitting you were wrong about Paul Martin. And bang-on about the rest of it all, too. Although I have to ask…if you get rid of Fleury, what’s the alternative. The devil you know and all that…

  153. Sisyphus says:

    Because that’s what humans do. They try to find patterns in everything, and they try to predict the future. Sometimes we see patterns where randomness is there, and we usually stink at predicting the future, but that doesn’t stop us from trying.

    The entire draft is essentially an attempt to predict the future five to ten years down the road. They take whatever information they have and make their best guesses. The alternative is just calling 30 or so people picked randomly from a phone book. I’d say that scouts are a bit better than that.

  154. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Ha Ha, movie reference……..I really have nothing to add about the Pens situation.

    At first, I was against of firing “Dan the Man” but if his system isn’t best for this team, then see ya later.

    On the flip side, was this the same system that they won with? I still say in 09 that MAF won that cup for them.

    Loyalty is non existant in sports, but if the dude (either one) has lost it, they lost it and its time to move on

  155. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Political, political, political……..

    I like to think that a old Clint Eastwood movie reference would take care of this guy.

  156. Jandy says:


  157. Sisyphus says:

    I think that John McDonald is a goner now that Chase D’Arneau is healthy.

  158. NMR says:

    Don’t you put that evil on Dan.

  159. NMR says:

    Speaking of two extra spots on the 40-man roster…

  160. Jandy says:


  161. Jandy says:

    you and me both!

  162. SeanAY says:

    You seem to have a rather pessimistic view of Bylsma’s employment future, saying that if a team of his is ousted in embarassing manner again he won’t be able to find another job in the NHL.

    Nonsense, it’s the NHL. They hire the same group of guys over, and over, and over again. How long did Mike Keenan keep finding work?

    I don’t dispute that Bylsma knows his hockey. All of these guys are experts. For whatever reason, he couldn’t quite figure out this group of guys. But the fact remains that he has a Cup, even if he was a midseason addition to the bench. The guy knows what he’s doing, and he’ll get another chance. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him succeed elsewhere.

  163. Jandy says:

    According to some, it’s not Dan’s system that’s the problem, it’s the players’ inability to score that is the issue.

  164. Jandy says:

    I agree, SeanAy. I like Dan Bylsma, really. But something isn’t “clicking” when it comes playoffs time. Since you can’t fire the whole team, it’s usually the coach that catches it.
    Dan definitely has a lot to offer another team.

  165. Jandy says:

    Wow. Just wow.

  166. Kris Letang says:

    Learning to spell the names of the players right would probably help the credibility of your arguments.

  167. Pucknutz says:

    When you have a team that is built for the long haul and it’s built a certain way with some of the highest skilled players in the game, and you lose in four straight and you only score two goals and you don’t score any power play goals and you never have a lead, the manner in which you lose really colors it,” said Scott Burnside, an NHL analyst for ESPN. “Fair or not, it distorts what the team accomplished.”

    True enough.
    The Pens went 36-12 – not too shabby.
    15 game win streak – that was a lot of fun.
    Sid on his way to a scoring title – cool -until the puck in the mouth.
    Made the Conference finals – only 4 teams did that.

    Still don’t make me feel any better, but I am really trying hard to look on the bright side.
    Sports is entertainment, a little bit of fantasy Walter Mitty style , we have all lifted that Cup. I have hit Maz’s homer a thousand times with a wiffle ball in the back yard !!

    I have been entertained this year. I have put a ton of goals in the net. I have flattened 40 guys like Crankshaft. Still feels a bit hollow.

    There is always next year !!
    GO PENS !!

  168. Jandy says:

    hockeymonster, what do you think about Scuderi possibly coming back? just curious.

  169. RobS says:

    I apologize in advance, I haven’t had time to read all of the posts today.

    My main contention is you deal with the coach before anything else. If you believe you assembled adequate talent to if not win the cup, at least be competitive at each stage of the playoffs, then the calculation is did the coach utilize the talent correctly, or not.

    Is the coaching philosophy in the playoffs a wining strategy? 4 years of failure all extenuating circumstances (injuries/acquisitions) noted, says no. Byslma’s answers to what happened against Boston are interesting to say the least. He had no answers during the series, and 2 days later he still didn’t have any coherent theories. If he cannot entertain the idea that playoff hockey requires a different approach with this roster or after off-season roster changes why would upper management be expected to think he will have any answers next year.

    Once you come to the decision that another coach and another approach to utilizing the talent on this team is required to win during the post season, you have to make the decision to change coaches.

    Once that decision is made you execute the change and you interview coaching prospects who have a coherent explanation as to why this talent was embarrassed against Boston. You then evaluate the talent based on the new strategic direction you will play going forward.

    The Penguins didn’t lose a hard fought series against Boston that could have gone either way given a bounce here or there or a timely penalty being called. The team was thoroughly shut down, the stars where reduced to ordinary players, the strategy failed and was unable to adjust, and if any tweaks were made, Boston had any answer for everyone of them.

    The regular season strategy/system is extremely successful in qualifying for the playoffs, but as has been proven 4 years in a row does not translate to the playoffs. Does not adequately prepare individual players, or the team for playoff hockey.

    IMHO Ray Shero has only one decision to begin this off-season and that is to change the system, approach, formula for wining post season hockey. I think it starts by changing the coach, but if not there must be some drastic philosophical changes made to the existing coaches theories to post season success, and how the team prepares for the 2nd season.

    Not having a coherent explanation is inexcusable at this point, and it is commendable that the players took it upon themselves to shoulder the blame against Boston. If this was just one series gone bad then sure we chalk it up as an anomaly, but the facts say otherwise. In fact this post season, save a poor goal tender for the Islanders, we would all ready have been posting on the subject of Dan Bylsma. We all know what happened in the 3 previous post seasons.

    It’s time to go Dan Bylsma.

  170. hockeymonster says:

    He shouldve asked him to listen in on Julien’s gameplan :)

  171. Jandy says:

    Actually, I am looking at it from Fleury’s perspective. He’s been mentally mauled the past several seasons. It’s possible he can’t get past that. Maybe he can who knows? But I’m thinking a fresh start somewhere else would be the best thing for the Flower.
    Just to clarify, I am NOT a Fleury “basher” :)

  172. hockeymonster says:

    Well how do we do that if we have less than 8M for 5 roster spots? Oh ya we can take the advise i’ve been preaching :)

  173. Jandy says:

    Nice.! :)

  174. hockeymonster says:

    Not according to NY times :)

  175. Sarah says:

    First domino….

  176. Mike says:

    So, for a team without serious, proven defensive depth, you want to trade 2 of the 5 veterans? A defensive core of Letang, Orpik, Engelland, Despres, Bortuzzo and Dumoulin would undoubtedly strike fear into the heart of opposing teams and rattle their offensive confidence.

    Letang is a great player, but one who has subpar decision-making skills for a guy commanding his role and contract. The Norris nomination is based solely on offense (much like Karlsson last season). Desres can fill the QB (that Letang doesn’t do well) over time. Letang probably is more valuable to the Pens in a trade than in his long term production.

  177. hockeymonster says:

    If we play the style i’ve been begging for since middle of last season Fleury’s psyche will be more than adequate. Either that or we need dmen that are way more mobile than PM, nisky and Murray.

    Then again what do i know? :)

  178. SJB says:

    This wasn’t the same system they used in ’09 that generated offense from it’s hard work and ability to force the issue at center ice, force turnovers, take away pucks and win puck battles on the forecheck while backchecking like demons. Like was mentioned by the former assistant coach at the time, all Bylsma did was open up the faucet a bit for a team with young offensive stars who craved for a little bit more leeway in that direction. Remember when Malkin was being mentioned as a Selke candidate with Datsyuk and led the league in takeaways? What happened there? Remember when Crosby even in his worst day was still better than most on the ice? What happened? Did they all forget how to play and $hit the bed collectively because the stars didn’t align? Sorry, but no team should need help from the cosmos to score more than 2 goals in any playoff series against anyone…No Team. Especially one with the supposed “best player in the world” on it and if it does, then either he’s not the best player in the world, or the coach is no good. Which will you have?

  179. Pucknutz says:

    I would not be surprised if Mr. Bylsma resigns.

  180. Jandy says:

    Let’s just say that I find it hard to believe that 4 of the top scorers in the league “forgot” how to score.

  181. Jandy says:

    that’s an intriguing thought.

  182. gregenstein says:

    I was referencing this part of Dejan’s post:
    The Penguins need to get younger. They entered the playoffs with an average age of 29.5 years old that was oldest in the NHL, and they emerged from the playoffs … well, you saw. Old and slow.

  183. hockeymonster says:

    Question/Poll for entire Pens Nation including media members:

    If we don’t trade PM and nisky we only have 7M or so to fill 5 roster spots next season…who thinks we have enough depth to replace TK, cooke and maybe dupuis with those kind of constraints? Or maybe we’d be better off giving ourselves 14-15M to work with for 6-7 roster spots?

    I think this is the PRIMARY question facing Shero, mario and whoever coaches the team! Would love to hear from the PM defenders…is he so irreplaceable that you wanna handcuff any and all options shero would have to improve our depth and replace the team speed we need?

  184. Oh, where to start…

    Coaching is the first question the Pens, as an organization, have to answer. I think Dan Byslma is a good motivator and a popular coach with the players, but when it comes to X’s and O’s he quickly gets out of his depth. There have been too many questions that Bylsma has not had an answer for. I think Bylsma was the right coach at the right time, but he’s no longer the right coach for this group and the expectations placed upon them. Alain Vigneault would be a perfect fit in Pittsburgh: he has a history of getting the most out of his stars and he’s very sound technically.

    It’s time to give Fleury a new start somewhere else. I like Flower and I think he still can be a top-shelf goaltender in this league, but his demons keep catching up to him here. I’ll stand by my belief that he was not the underlying problem, but he wasn’t able to back up his team when they needed him the most.

    Letang has to be given an extension. Even if Letang asks in the $7-8M range, the Penguins can certainly afford to pay him. The only reason he is not a lock for the Norris Trophy this season is because of time lost due to injury. For those of you who’ve forgotten, Norris-caliber defensemen are exceedingly difficult to come by. The Pens should know, as they’ve been trying to find someone as capable as Letang for at least a couple of seasons now. None of the endless list of defensemen, both young and old, the Pens have platooned in the past 3-4 seasons have even come close to the level of Kris Letang. Paul Martin had a great season, but let’s not forget he is one season removed from being virtually run out of town. And, for all the hope about Simon Despres, he failed to crack the lineup when it counted. Letang has defensive lapses and makes poor decisions in attempt to produce offense, but these issues can be corrected with the right coach. If the Pens trade him, they will spend the next decade trying to replace him. He is a must-sign. Maybe even above Evgeni Malkin.

  185. hockeymonster says:

    I think any and all moves depend on cap space shero creates. As is all we can do is re-sign the jeffreys of the world. Scuderi is one of my all time favorites and played great for LA. Not sure we can afford him given what we’re paying you know who :)

  186. gregenstein says:

    I’m just trying to keep things in perspective. The Devils had the quintessential world class goalie and yet couldn’t sniff even the Eastern conference finals since they won that 2003 Cup.

    Just don’t blow it all up because Boston has/had their number. I guess I’m advocating for more of a surgical precision approach. They’ve got some cap issues, so I’m sure some changes are going to be required. I like Fleury, but that’s one place I’d target to save space for other guys.

  187. Joni says:

    Perhaps he means on someone else’s team?

  188. Brandie says:

    Spend the 14 to 15 mil to beef up the defense. The Pens have quite enough offense as constituted,though you would not know that based upon the Boston series. Bylsma seems like a player’s coach when, maybe the situation calls for a firmer hand to teach defensive responsibility and to teach the leaders of the team to play a less self centered style of hockey (I.e. no crazy passes leading to turnovers and no stock handling through a stout defensive opponent).

  189. Brandie says:

    Mother Teresa would know. :-)

  190. Leah Backus says:

    I was going to respond individually to the PM detractors, but it’s not worth it. If you haven’t seen his worth to the team by now, you’re never going to.

  191. Jandy says:

    I will say one thing: Depres didn’t fail to crack the line-up, he wasn’t given the playing time to do so.

  192. SJB says:

    The players ability to score? Two previous scoring champs on the same team and they don’t have the ability to score? Maybe they just forgot, or as Vokoun would say, “just bad breakers”

    Sorry, but scoring is simply the end result of everything working the way it needs to all the way from stepping on the ice in practice to raising your arms in celebration during the game. It’s not simply shooting the puck into the net. If it was, most of us could all play in the NHL.

    I put the blame on everything working the way it needs to as a system and overall team mindset squarely on the coaching. I refuse to believe that a team with as much scoring talent as the Pens, can’t score more than 2 goals total against even the best defensive teams of all time and guess what folks, the Bruins aren’t the 2000 Devils in any way, shape, or form, and by all rights Toronto should have beaten them in these playoffs and had no problem scoring on them now did they?

  193. Jandy says:

    I leave all that to Shero, that’s HIS job. But I know I’d love to see Scudders back in black and gold.

  194. SJB says:

    Let’s just say you’re right. And that leaves us with what common denominator that could in theory, effect every player?

  195. Joni says:

    Good point! I think doing so would save face for Bylsma.
    my mom always told me to have another job lined up before quitting my present job. But then again, she isn’t the mother of an NHL coach.

  196. Arriba Wilver says:

    They should have made it an event, no matter who made the decision. Like they’re making Cole an event.

    I just heard a guy on the radio from Baltimore, and he said that his regional provider switched the game they had scheduled to show Giants/Pirates after the Cole announcement.

    And Vinnie said he thought we found out by accident about Pedro, because Colin happened to be in Indianapolis, and Pedro mentioned it to him. (Just passing that along, not vouching for it). It is consistent with what Colin said last night, though.

    (Drew– you’re welcome for the paragraphs)

  197. Joni says:


  198. Fair point, Jandy. I should amend my comment to say that Despres, when given the opportunity, did not overwhelmingly impress.

  199. Jandy says:

    Time for a change :)

    SJB, just to be clear, I agree with you in this instance. I was referencing something another poster said ^^ there, but of course, that poster didn’t catch this.
    That said, I don’t think Dan is a terrible coach, I think he can’t coach this group of guys to a better playoffs/chance to win the cup. Maybe he is too nice. I dunno. But I do know that 4 years of flaming out is inacceptable.

  200. SJB says:

    I enjoy the opinions out there that Bylsma should be kept but he needs to change things. Like there has ever been a coach worth his with in bad ties that has ever “changed” things.

    I also like numskull Ron Cook’s opinion that Bylsma should be given an extension instead. Remember; this is the same Yinzer who admonished the Pens for getting rid of Ryan Whitney.

  201. Joni says:

    Might it have been because he wasn’t given many opportunities?

  202. SJB says:

    not with, weight. Adios spellcheck. ;)

  203. Jandy says:

    LOL..ok RF, we’ll let it go at that ;)

  204. hockeymonster says:

    I think people are more fed up with the defensive lapses in general more than lack of offense in boston series.

  205. Jandy says:

    Amen, Leah. I sure hope Martin stays, and is re-signed when necessary. He’s very steady AND reliable, and I feel his turnaround this season was in spite of current coaching and management. I feel they combined the previous season to mess him up, and He TURNED IT AROUND himself.

  206. Jandy says:

    Why do you constantly have to bring everything around to PM and the people who have an opinion that he is a good defender? You kill it, hockeymonster, you just kill it.

  207. cherokee23 says:

    For the record, I think the problem is philisophical in nature, specifically the offense. They have shown they can play solid defense when they want to, the Bruins didn’t light up the scoreboard! To make this philisophical problem greater, don’t Bylsma & Shero communicate daily, or at least very often about players, gameplans & strategies. I seem to remember the HBO show portraying that Shero is heavily involved with Bylsma on a daily basis with regards to these things. What I’m getting at is do they share the same philosphy? Does shero approve of it? DK, do you have any thoughts on this? or was that HBO stuff too long ago, or not represented accurately?

  208. Jandy says:

    Bernier…trade Letang for Bernier…just an option.

  209. Arriba Wilver says:

    Guys–if memory serves, Pedro did NOT come up because of an injury. He came up because they were in the midst of the 9th loss in a row that ended up being 12, playing at home and were 23-41.

    Man, it’s tough to pay these guys a compliment around here.

  210. hockeymonster says:

    Jandy, as i said over n over again…its not about PM on an individual basis…its about the cap space we need to retool our depth. Currently he is not a bad defender…early this season and last he was but right now he’s adequate. He’s not physical, no heavy shot from the point but he is adequate. BUT like i said before would you take him for 5M or Seidenberg and Boychuk for 5.5M?

    Believe me i have a ton of respect for PM and even tanner glass…but you have to look at things from the outside looking in sometimes…and its been clear to me since last season that our defense was ill built…can you really say i was wrong?

  211. Brandie says:

    I would never say get rid of PM. Get some studs to support him…yes!

  212. hockeymonster says:

    Leah, please read my reply to jandy above.

  213. Arriba Wilver says:

    One can only hope.

  214. Sherry says:

    Finally getting to read all of the coverage. I’m pretty sure I am in the minority on this, but I didn’t see Dan’s presser as the train wreck many did. I think he’s (as many prob are) still reeling from the swift and sudden demise of the season. I certainly don’t expect him to two days after that debacle be able to speak very coherently to what went wrong. Everyone needs to take time to re-assess, players, coaches, management, ownership – lots of talent, exceptional regular season success, play-off flame outs.

    Maybe it was too much of a good thing this year, all those marquee players added at the deadline to an already great team. But no time or circumstances (with Sid missing the last month of the season) to become cohesive and develop chemistry. Up against the well-oiled machine that the Bruins had become by the time the Pens met them, all those talented individuals weren’t able to mount a consistent, coordinated attack. And when the usual approaches failed, there wasn’t a good plan B or adjustment (which is exacerbated by the fact that guys lost their composure and basically handed the first two games to Boston – too big a hole against a really well coached, structured, determined team).

    The last thing I want to see happen is for anyone within the organization to be reactionary about this failure. It was embarrassing enough what happened so let’s not compound that by popping off and making moves without thinking it thru. But I know that the measured approach is the way Ray will handle it, which I suspect is why we haven’t heard from him yet. He needs to do exit interviews and get input from the guys and talk to the coaches and ownership and figure out what’s best for the long term future of the franchise.

    I think everyone is culpable for how this ended, but they have a really great opportunity to analyze why the dream team couldn’t get it done, and I hope, figure out a way to retain as many assets as possible and use them as part of the solution. I don’t buy that the window is closing on Sid and Geno’s prime, I don’t buy that Fleury can only become successful again on a different team (and btw Dejan, I don’t agree with your assessment of what Dan said about Fleury equating with disrespecting Tomas either).

    Gotta go, kid was sick, but now better, and must get her to school…

  215. Joni says:

    I remember the HBO show (I liked it a lot). I also recall that Bylsma and Shero would sit down every once in a while to have a chat about the state of affairs. One would imagine that dialogue would continue, perhaps even more so during a playoff series.

    Then again I can see how Shero wouldn’t want to step on Bylsma’s toes. But when problems become glaringly obvious during the playoffs, I think an all hands on deck mentality would be admirable.

  216. hockeymonster says:

    Well getting a dman or 2 back for PM and nisky would be part of my plan. I do believe PM would bring back a decent return with 2 years left on his contract.

  217. SeanAY says:

    Although, to be fair, the Pens were shut out out in two games against Boston and held to one goal in the other two. That’s…that’s pretty troubling.

  218. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    And that’s what I was asking about. Thanks. I have no clue what type of “system” was/is in play with this. I have no clue, but if the overly problem is the players’ abilities to adapt to this system or the coachs’ inability to adapt to his players, then something’s gotta give.

  219. Arriba Wilver says:


  220. Jandy says:

    You’re missing my point, man. If you ask about re-tooling the defense from what it is, that’s fine. But you CONSTANTLY throw PM in everyone’s faces. We don’t all agree with you. Period. Let it go.
    Sometimes YOU need to look at things from a different perspective, as well.
    As do I. I am the one person on this blog who has fully supported Letang from the time he started playing on this team. It pains me to say it, but he is hurting this team as much as, or more than, he is helping it. I have come to acknowledge that it’s time for him to move on. BUT YOU DON’T SEE ME RUBBING ANYONE’S NOSE IN IT. We are all entitled to our opinions.
    Back to PM…maybe he had a rough year, because of the way he was coached. Maybe it was something else. Whatever it was, he has completely turned his game around, and is extremely responsible and dependable in his own end, as well as offensively.

  221. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    The best part of this post, which I totally agree with, is the fact that you used numskull….

  222. hockeymonster says:

    I cant be a volunteer GM? :)

  223. Jandy says:


  224. Jandy says:

    you can always try ;)

  225. Dom says:

    How late does school run if you’re not going to get them there till after 2?

  226. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Can we all just focus on baseball now? I’m sick of my baseball season being interupted with hockey. Keep that season short, I liked it that way, but please, start that in October!!

    Ya know, when northern areas actually get cold. Hockey should NOT be played in June.

    (I’m really not sick of hockey)

  227. Jandy says:

    Yes, brandie, because PM is responsible in his own end AND can pull the trigger on offense as well. No he isn’t overly physical. That’s not his game. It doesn’t matter because he makes up for it in other ways.

  228. hockeymonster says:

    Oh and NO WAY can despres fill in for letang as PP QB!!! And letang is still an improving player…bring in someone to coach him and the rest of the team up on defense. Looking forward to Despres playing top 4-5 minutes and chipping in on PP but he’s no QB yet.

  229. Jandy says:



  230. hockeymonster says:

    Ummm…your making comments on a blog basically titled “why not trade letang” So your 1st 2 paragraphs above are moot points. And for the millionth time…its about PM’s cap hit not PM individually. You say talking about retooling the defense “is fine” but how do you do that without moving contracts? Give me an alternative to my plan…and saying its shero’s job is silly cuz the cap numbers are what they are. Im simply looking at math, reality and using the hockey knowledge i have to assess what needs to be done.

    People are going and have been going ape poop about fleury but im not saying they dont have a right to voice their opinions.

    And keep in mind trading letang only saves us 3.5M next season…then what? Extend PM for another 3 years at 5M per? :getting dizzy: :room spinning:

  231. hockeymonster says:

    Jandy you just need to take my word for it that PM is more replaceable than letang…he just is.

  232. Hukeleah says:

    The Pens let Letang go they will be looking for someone just like him for the next 15 years. When he is focused on defense first he is one of the best 2-way defensemen in the league and will not be replaced by Simon Despres or anyone else. The argument could easily be made that this teams needs Letang more than Malkin. Personally, if I had to trade one of the stars it would be Crosby.

  233. Kevin says:

    If we are going to keep Iginla, Shero needs to make Bylsma put him on Crosby right wing. If you aren’t going to do that, you need to find a coach that will or kick a hallafamer to the curb.

    With Iginla (& Duper & Malkin), the top lines would then be:

    Throwing away Iginla, I think you keep Morrow and put him where he belongs as a netfront presence for Malkin. The lines would then be:

    The second of which is what I expected if they had never picked up Iginla. Of course, if you throw out both Iginla & Morrow, you do as DK said and try to pick up some young forwards to fill-in. I think you still re-sign Duper…

    As for D, I think you see if you can get Letang for 6mil or less. If not, he should go. I have no idea the price-tag on Murray but I want him back next year if possible. He adds a physicality that we need even if it didn’t really help us against Boston.

  234. Mike says:

    Right, but the quality of return for Letang far outweighs what Martin brings in return. As for power play I believe you have a high opinion of Letang. He is not elite in running the power play, struggles to consistently get the puck into the zone and far too often turns it over being cute or shots into shin guards. Martin is better for this team in that role. Despres will grow into a solid offensive defender. With Crosby and Malkin you don’t need a defender like Letang. A solid puck mover with sound decision making is more important… I don’t see Letang making improvement in that regard over the past 2 years.

  235. pattonbb says:

    Red Sox designated Pedro Ciriaco for assignment today. Guess he wasn’t the “one that got away” after all.

  236. Kevin says:

    exactly, the three best players in the world are clearly not the three best players. I agree the game plan that Bylsma stubbornly stuck to was not the best but to quote… somebody… players gotta play.

    I am still in shock that the penguins didn’t get a single bounce, deflection, whatever their way the entire series… with all the posts they hit, you had to figure atleast one of those should have gone in.

    I also remember when Crosby was the deflection king. You could put him on either side of the net and throw a puck at him and it had a good chance of finding net. Now, he has point-blank tries from the right side of the net (I counted 3 the whole playoffs), that he failed to bury. Just an example of something that’s on the player not the coach.

  237. Jandy says:


    I see other’s opinions on this blog that make sense. Letang will likely command $8M (Gonchar got $5 at his ADVANCACED age). The Pens can’t afford that. No way no how. And it’s not just that. It’s the way you present yourself in your posts. No doubt it’s just me, so I’ll just go back to minding my own business.

  238. Jandy says:

    Agree that Martin is a much better PP QB. And Martin could mentor Depres.

  239. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:


  240. hockeymonster says:

    I actually think letang has alot of room for improvement on the PP for reasons your state. BUT his ceiling is much higher than anyone we’ll get in return and he is an improving player. I just think we need depth on defense and trading letang’s 3.5M cap hit next season wont be enough. And lets not forget we need cap space for whoever we get back. Its conceivable that the 2-4 players we get back for letang will make more than the 3.5 for letang. What do we do then?

    I’d rather sign letang to an extension that kicks in AFTER next season when we only have 5 players under contract. If you give Malkin and letang extensions we’ll have 7 guys under contract after next season. Hopefully cap will go up and shero will still have flexibility to fill out roster.

  241. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    You lost me at Colin Dunlap…

  242. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    I don’t think its the compliment that’s being bashed as much as it is the bashing for the “mishandling” of Pedro.

    I agreed in the beginning that it was messed up and I dont remember all the details, something was fishy with it.

  243. Sherry says:

    I live in San Diego, so she got there at around 11:10. :)

  244. hockeymonster says:

    Clearly my demeanor would be better if i just :yawned: at people i disagreed with :)

    I’ll stick to using math, logic and hockey knowledge to present my opinions and arguments :)

  245. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Zach Duke just released as well

  246. Mike says:

    Its not this upcoming year that is the issue with keeping Geno and Letang it is the following years when you have $16-$17 million invested into two guys who are excellent but are both careless at times. Unlike Malkin, though, no defender can carry a team to continued success in Sid’s absence, should it occur.

    I am not anti-Letang but his future cap hit and offense-first mentality outweigh the benefit in my opinion. Whoever gets traded needs to bring in immediate defensive depth that could fit in a top 4 capacity. I just don’t know who that may be at this time.

  247. Jandy says:

    Please do.

  248. NMR says:

    I’d still take him over any of the Pirates shortstops.

  249. 21sthebest says:

    Arriba, I’m just not understanding how you make it an event like you can with a pitcher. Do we announce it and then keep him in the minors for a few days? That certainly can’t be done, can it?

    Do we bring him up and then wait to start him right away but announce the game he’s going to debut?

    Puig was called up Sunday and started Monday.

    Maybe I’m being thick here but I’m just not getting how you pull this off with a position player.

  250. 21sthebest says:

    I wasn’t saying or thinking he was called up because of an injury.

  251. stuart66 says:

    Way to “Man up” woman!


  252. stuart66 says:

    Take a deep breath Monster, your prejudice is showing. Any more PM comments will provoke yawns.


  253. stuart66 says:



  254. Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) says:

    Sadly, I agree with this statement.

    I would like to see Chase d’Arnaud 1. stay healthy 2. make it.

  255. Brendan says:

    That’s a fair point. There’s not a ton of precedent for evaluating Allie’s likelihood of success. You mention below that Sano is much more talented and that’s certainly the consensus–he’s likely to be one of the Top 5 prospects in baseball I think.

    As to the question of Allie’s inexperience as a hitter, the prevailing view among those who write about prospects for a living (Keith Law, etc) when it comes to guys who are ‘old’ for the level they’re tearing up but are relatively inexperienced seems to that being older and more physically developed gives them a lower ceiling for improvement, despite their inexperience.

    I recall Law mentioning this in regard to Evan Gattis, of course Gattis, of course Gattis is doing pretty well at the ML level for the Braves this year, so who knows (likewise who knows if that will continue) there will certainly always be guys who trump the conventional wisdom about prospect development.

    It should be noted that Gattis struck much less than Allie has thus far during his minor league career–about 15% vs. Allies 28% this year.

    The bottom line though is that Allie’s been an extremely pleasant surprise thus far, not that long ago it looked like the Pirates would get absolutely nothing from him.

  256. stuart66 says:

    55+ years of Pirate Fandom aside, I am finding it hard to give up on hockey just yet.

    I think we can expect to have a lot of comments Wednesday from baseball on Cole to Hockey on the Shero presser.

    Bring it on.

    BTW. so far only DK (on Martin) and Jandy on Letang are the only ones “manning up” regarding their respective Penguin opinions. That (manning up) is totally without disrespect for Jandy

    Torn between two Lovers Stuart

  257. hockeymonster says:

    I feel the same way bout all the trade letang and fleury talk…and coming to a conclusion after looking at the cap numbers and on ice product is not any form prejudice…just logic. Still havent heard a legit counter argument to what i’ve been saying other than people acknowledging PM’s improved play.

  258. Jandy says:

    Some posters are clearly bigoted and full of themselves. It’s their way or no way. Lesson learned.

  259. Jandy says:

    LOL Stuart, I’m not afraid to say I was wrong. For a lady, I have a set…unlike some,…
    ;) ;) :) :) :-D :-D

  260. stuart66 says:

    Just to be clear, my “Torn between two Lovers” remark refers to hockey and baseball, not Jandy and DK! (Both of whom I both like and respect.)

    Here’s a JAL-type link for you,d.dmg
    Hope that works Mary MacGregor


  261. stuart66 says:

    I know, and I also know you were really a Letang fan. Unlike some, I believe he can be a plus defender as well as an offensive talent. Just not sure about his decision making.


  262. Jandy says:

    My son-in-law states it succinctly, Stuart…he has all the tools, but no tool box…

  263. Jandy says:

    Just for you, Stuart:



  264. Jandy says:

    Thanks, Stuart, like I said, I “have a set” ;)

  265. Ghost says:

    Which of those emoticons resemble your “set?”

  266. Sisyphus says:

    The composition of the power play, however, is a whole different issue. I can’t say that Bylsma consistently sent out his best possible PP unit, and that’s on him. His lineup changes may as well have never been made, as he was replacing guys who rarely saw ice time with guys who would see even less ice time. He has a lot to answer for, but I don’t think the system was a problem.

  267. Matt says:

    I know you hate the trade purposals but what about Letang for Evander Kane? Fits both teams.

  268. stuart66 says:

    Thanks Jandy, one more “oldies” link

    my tribute to the season past for the Pens.

  269. Ghost says:

    You really go for those late ’70’s divas, I see.

  270. Jandy says:

    LOL!!!!!!!! I have to figure that one out, Ghostie :)

  271. Jandy says:

    I better not get myself in trouble with the boss ;X

  272. Jandy says:

    Bonnie sang it good..and it fits the bill, stuart!

  273. stuart66 says:

    Actually Ghost, much earlier divas like Grace Slick. Still, when the shoe fits.


  274. Ghost says:

    No, don’t want to get you into trouble. No pocket pool while at work.

  275. stuart66 says:

    Matt, DK would like your trade idea better if you made it a package deal like Letang, Tanner Glass, Jussi Jokinen, Engelland, and Bortuzzo for someone like Anze Kopitar.

    Just sayin,,Stuart

  276. Jandy says:


  277. Jandy says:

    Maybe catch you Loonies later…

  278. stuart66 says:

    Me 2


  279. Ghost says:

    Grace Slick was terrific! Loved each of her and the Airplane’s/Starship’s incarnations. Too bad she forswore singing rock any more, but I respect her personal sensibility on that. Something along the lines of: I’m old enough to be a grandmother and it just feels silly for me to be singing rock.

    My buddy and I paid an usher $20 and got a table at the stage to see her with the Starship in ’84 at Lake Tahoe. She, Mickey Thomas, and Craig Chaquico literally stood on top of the table where I was seated many times throughout the show. Best $20 bribe I ever paid!

  280. hockeymonster says:

    Kunitz won a cup with anaheim and here…warren young he is not!

    :Multi Yawns:

  281. Ghost says:

    I managed to clear everybody out of the room. Oh well. I guess I’ll go de-stink myself by splashing around in Hippo’s pond for a while.
    I’m off.

  282. pattonbb says:

    At first, I was going to reply with “No way”.

    Then, I spent quite some time trying to come up with a name, just one, that is heads and shoulders above Ciriaco.


    Couldn’t do it.

  283. pattonbb says:

    Uh oh…Some Pirates are shooting clay pigeons at Seven Springs today.

  284. Dom says:

    Even Mercer?

  285. Dom says:

    Who are they? Which Bucco?

  286. JRay3 says:

    Don’t know if anyone saw this but it appears John MacDonald has been traded to the Cleveland Indians reports Mike DiMauro of The New London Day.

    Well that gets one decision out of the way.

  287. Sarah says:

    Bull? Their Game never broke the Box, just like it didn’t v Montreal, just like it didn’t break a passive 1-3-1 trial v TB (and 1/35 PP) and after a who,e 40 mins they lost composure in G1 and p-seed away all of G2 this year.

    3 rebound attempts in 3 games.
    The coach is
    A) not being heard
    B) not sending the right msg.

  288. Arriba Wilver says:

    Probably to welcome Cole. “This is how it is up here, kid.”


  289. JRay3 says:

    Move makes sense to move McDonald to Indians with Cabrera injured for Cleveland and d’Arnaud back playing for Indy. Plus there could be Cole’s 40 man roster spot.

  290. Sarah says:

    Question for our Loonies today….
    Assuming we mostly feel that DB’s Our Game has proved mostly UNsuited for playoff hockey: 7-game adjustment-chess-match series, in mostly defensive-oriented opponents’ schemes, reff’d by mostly intereference dominated but non called action….

    WHEN did each of you get that nagging worry that – reg season Be Damned, this was NOT gonna work come May?

  291. NMR says:


    Ciriaco may not be able to hit much, but he is a legit MLB shortstop with the glove.

    Jury is still out on whether or not Mercer can do either.

  292. NMR says:

    Thanks for the heads up, JRay.

    I think this is more significant than some will think. Could very well change the way Hurdle manages on a daily basis.

    Will he still be comfortable pinch hitting for Barmes in the late innings knowing that Mercer will have to play shortstop with the game on the line?

  293. Sarah says:

    I think he didn’t much care to figure out his group of guys, which is the problem.
    He thinks his System is all the figuring out that is necessary.

    IMO he is a serious Fail as a coach in situations hat require player eval and proper fit, and ANY sit that needs adjustment in flight.

    Pretends the other team doesn’t exist.

    In short Epic Fail in many playoff scenarios.
    See Playoffs: last four years.

  294. Sarah says:

    That was absolutely delusional, DBs comments. Was he drunk?
    Or just knew he was done and didn’t care?
    Seriously WTF?

  295. Sarah says:

    Bylsma’s System requires players like Doug Murray to quickly get to the corners, control and accurately move the puck.
    Murray is not capable of that.

    Bylsma responds by sitting Murray and giving Letang 45 minutes.

    What is wrong? The players or the scheme?

    DK: In fairness, adjustments were made for Murray where he could spend most of his time parked in front of the net while his partner did a lot of what you describe.

  296. MadTurk says:

    Yippe someone stated the truth!

  297. MadTurk says:

    Double plus

  298. Chase’s average has climbed quite a bit lately in a small sample size.

  299. MadTurk says:

    The players still had shots on net or missed the net or hit the pipes that is not the coaches fault. Sure we can blame some on Dan B but a lot has to fall on the players. Where was Kunitz, Duper, and everyone else?

    This was a players failure against Boston. Not all but most. Where was the goaltending until TV was put in net? The defense showed up in the last couple games but the offense was nowhere to be seen.WE HAD shots they just did not go in. So the system must have worked to a fair extent.

    Beside our own issues on the team and coaching we have to give Boston some credit as well. They were playing well as a team. Call it the hockey gods or whatever but they got the bounces as well.

    Sometimes the puck just seems to move your way. Sometimes you have to be in the right spot at the right time.

    I am not for the firing on Dan B but would like to see some D adjustments like we did do for the most part against Boston.
    Everyone is speaking of D after this series, what was everyone concerned with at the beginning of the season. Offense to go with Malkin and Duper getting up in age and will have to be replaced at some point.

    Ah heck I could go on and on but what’s the use…

    DK: Shots have an easier time finding the back of the net when there is an emphasis on traffic and rebounds. That IS on strategy.

  300. MadTurk says:

    I nver had a question about the system, I had concerns about the players playing it after the trades. No time to get everyone on one page.

  301. DJ says:

    Agreed. That’s why I mentioned Colorado was not going to be willing to do any deal for Letang with their top pick.

  302. todd s says:

    That is why Jim we have been drafting elfish puck moving D man after Dman. Now we have a dearth of forwards in the system. Depres and Martin will help absorb the loss of Letang and hopefully they were right in making Pouliet a high draft choice

  303. DJ says:

    Ha! I would not even know where to begin.

  304. MadTurk says:

    Agreed it helps to have someone in front of the net. That is on the players as well as the coach

  305. DJ says:

    On Sid, he’s not going to call out teammates by names, or even by roles where they would be easily identified. For example, he’s not going to say if Kunitz had been in front of the net, where he was told to go 35 times by HCDB, we would have had a better result, or maybe I would not have to had to try to stick handle through 2-3 guys just to get the puck to a place where he or I might be able to do something with it. That would be an explanation, of course, but he’s not going to say that to the media. Too much class for that.

    On rugged forwards, I mentioned a guy like Bryan Bickell with Chicago, 27 yrs old, UFA in July. He has 8 or 9 playoff goals and would venture to say he scored every one within 4 feet of the net. Only problem now is he is in the SCF and would probably take less to stay with Chicago — win or lose. So either him or someone like him.

  306. DJ says:

    . . . by the way, I am not assuming HCDB ever told Kunitz to go to the front of the net, and to then stay there. From the looks of what occurred on the ice, it is doubtful he did, or he was not as emphatic in demanding it as he should have been.

  307. Kris says:

    Do not want Raffi Torres. Do. Not. Want. I do not care if he is the best d-man in the world, I do not like his style.

  308. Kris says:

    Okay, seriously, what do I have to do to make sure we keep Duper? Can we have an under-the-table fund? (Kidding.) I do not want to lose Duper.

  309. DJ says:

    Letang is not going to be taking anything less than $7 mill to sign, and will likely be closer to $8 million than $7 mill when all is said and done, particularly considering Gonchar got $5 mill at his age. I also think you get more this summer than you would at the trade deadline because more teams will bid for his services. So Letang needs to go for the overall good of the team.

    I would like to see Shero open to hearing all options for Martin. I agree with the assessment that Martin is best in open ice and not in the corners. And certainly his value will never be higher than it is after this year. However, if you are trading Letang (which I see as a necessity now), then they need to keep Martin because no one will have equal (in reality, better) ability to man the PP.

  310. Sarah says:

    Only Adams and vitale had less ice time in game 3.
    Murray 17 mins while Letang had 40. in 6 periods.

    That places a huge burden on Murray’s partner, making them play the whole of the lower end.
    I play beer leagues and we wouldn’t do that.

    Why did RS get guys that DB wouldn’t use?
    Or why wouldn’t Bysma adjust and use the guys RS got?

  311. stuart66 says:

    Good One!


  312. stuart66 says:

    Sarah, after the first two games, when we had next to no second chances even though there were rebounds I had the uneasy feeling that no one wanted to get in front of the goalie.

    I think the system can work if there is some commitment to pay the necessary price to some of those large Bruin defensemen.

    There were also lots of shots of Sid bending the ears of the refs, a sure sign that the other team was getting to him.

    To say that the Bruins “took away” Sid and Geno isn’t the whole story, as no one else seemed to want to help set up some chances on the net front. It often looked like Sid and Geno were skating by themselves, and they were.


  313. Sarah says:

    Hmm….I have had a question re inability to adjust and beat passive defensive schemes since the loss to MTL.

  314. Jandy says:


  315. Jandy says:


  316. Jandy says:

    agreed 110% !!!!

  317. Jandy says:

    Wasn’t you, Ghostie, my friend…trust me, wasn’t you :)

  318. Jandy says:

    Upward plane ;)

  319. Jandy says:

    I kinda think like Stuart…after the first two home games and such horrible results, then i knew we were toast.

  320. Sarah says:

    I have had that same uneasy feeling since 2009, when with a similar passive box, the Pens stayed on the perimeter and launched long shots at Halak with minimal follow up.

    I guess I am saying that sensations not new to this year. The Pens IMO have been prone to a perimeter scheme with minimal hard nosed net crashing, and the Bruins exposed us enormously in tha regard.

    What was it, 5 rebound attempts in 4 games ? Inexcusable IMO.
    But not new….

  321. Pucknutz says:

    I second that emotion Turk.

    When Sid got hit in the mouth I had a real bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.
    Gimmie a break, (not me actually but Sid) he gets to play all of 30 sec w/Iggiy and the new guys and then WAM, he is out for a month

    Sid don’t come back till the first playoff game – not near 100%. So you spend the first series playin w/the lines. Who is gonna work w/ who.

    So they get by NY, not pretty, but its playoff hockey. No chump teams, no matter the seed.

    Ottawa series – not bad – but they still have not found a spot for Iggy. To slow for Sid? No chemistry w/Geno? First PP unit ? etc, etc, etc ???

    Boston- they actually played 3 and 2/3 decent games. Just did not score. Why?

    Bad luck? Hot goaltender? Bad coaching? Boston actually was that good? Sid and Geno tried to do too much themselves- no team effort to crash the goal and clean up the garbage? I would throw some of the reffen in there, but thats just hockey, ain’t gonna change.

    After all that BS, the answer to your ? Sarah – when Sid took the puck to the face.

  322. John Lease says:

    It’s amazing that anyone would take that feeble old man, but it only takes one.

  323. Sarah says:

    What I was wondering Jandy was if anyone had that queasy feeling that DBs schemes we NOT cut out for Playoff Hockey at any time before this series?

    I’ve been queasy since MTL in 2010….ugh…..

  324. DJ says:

    Yes, that unbelievable deflection year was riding up to the Winter Classic, and then “that thing” happened.

    Unbelievable that even over 4 games, not one play on the ice seemed to go our way, setting aside Vokoun’s own play and the few times they hit a cross bar or post.

    Maybe over 7 games things would have evened out, but we never got to that point. One example was Sid’s behind the back backhander that hits the post. He probably makes 50 straight of those in his sleep. One inch closer towards Rask and it’s in the net, and maybe that game turns in our favor.

  325. DJ says:

    HM: So, let me get this straight. You say you want to trade Martin?

    I was with riding shotgun for you in having Shero investigate all options (including that one) but then you did yourself in with the statement that you have “…a ton of respect for…even tanner glass”.

  326. Arriba Wilver says:

    So, are you saying they played decent except in Game 2?

  327. MadTurk says:

    + many

  328. DJ says:

    I think he did, and I watched every game. But let’s just put it this way to make it easier because much of any analysis is relative.

    There is no way you are going to be able to convince me Depres was not a better option all yearlong than Engelland or Niskanen, and at times in the playoffs, when they needed what Depres could bring, a better option to Eaton.

  329. True and a home run tonight for him.


  330. DJ says:

    Jands: Martin was good but I would not re-sign him. He’s got 2 more years left. We have other d-men coming up through the system and, by then, they will likely present better options at less cost.

    Also, Martin is very good in open ice and less of a force (and sometimes a liability) in the corners.

    All of that said, I’m on record in stating that Letang needs to go for the good of the team, and that factors in his likely price tag. To me, this is the easiest of the calls for Shero to make.

  331. DK has been away too long. He said in a tweet above that this is the most visited post in blog history.

    Last week there was one with well over 500 comments.

  332. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think “visits” include looks, not just comments, Lucky.

    DK: Right. It’s all about counting hits from unique visitors. That doesn’t mean counting how many times Drew visits. It means if one person visits once or 10 times or 50 times, it still counts as one visit.

    Commenting doesn’t have any bearing on the number. The amount of hits is many, many times larger than the number of comments or commenters.

  333. Pucknutz says:

    Ya, pretty much. ( that shoulda been 2 and 2/3 , game 2 was a joke).
    And maybe that abysmal performance in that game was the back-breaker.
    I am as puzzled as anyone why they could not win.

    Game 3 was a heart-breaker. 1-1 into overtime – Its a crap-shoot in OT. They rolled snake eyes. Not for lack of effort.

    Game 4 – a 1 goal difference – frustrating – but Boston was really in a shutdown mode, and did it well.

    Decent – but not good enough.

  334. Jandy says:


  335. Jandy says:

    I had my doubts….but honestly, this is the first season it hit me square in the chest. BOOM!

  336. MadTurk says:

    Also the only thread today.

  337. Arriba Wilver says:

    Good point.

  338. I stand corrected.

  339. pattonbb says:

    That’s why the Pirates should never take a day off. Ever.

    DK: What did this have to do with the Pirates? Not understanding you.

  340. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hey, somebody has to kill those clay pigeons.

  341. pattonbb says:

    Absolutely nothing, Dejan. I just meant these pages get pretty big on days when there’s only one post (no Pirate, Steeler, Pens Games, etc). Wasn’t meant to be a swipe at any particular sport. Just used the Pirates because, well…it’s baseball season.

    DK: Oh, yeah, I could see that except that it’s unique visitors. Meaning the number is the number of DIFFERENT people who came. So if we had game threads up, that likely would have brought many repeat visitors.

  342. SeanAY says:

    I don’t know whether he cared to figure it out or not. I’ve never met the guy.

    I do know that they win a ton in the regular season, and he’s won a Cup. That tells me he’s not the terrible coach you say he is.

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