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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Vacation thread 2-27-14

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

On break until March 10. Please feel free to use this post as a discussion thread, as always.

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. Eric Bowser says:

    * Martin St. Louis has asked to be traded out of Tampa Bay and will only go to New York Rangers. Talk about screwing with an organization that is winning and been without Steven Stamkos. Great leadership.

    * Ryan Kesler has apparently asked to be traded since the beginning of the season. Kesler’s agent is denying the trade request and Mike Gillis, GM for Canucks isn’t denying the report but he’s saying he doesn’t comment on internal matters. Smoke…. fire…. and yes, there’s a lot of chatter about the Penguins interest. So far, more fan driven than anything. Kesler would be a better third line center than Brandon Sutter but is he going to turn crap into gold, I doubt it.

    * Tomorrow at Pens practice, Kris Letang will speak to the media. Unsure if he’s going to announce something big or not. I’ll be shocked if Letang ever plays again because of the stroke and hole in his heart. He’s won a Cup, made a nice salary for the last few years and has wife and kid. It would be a huge risk to keep playing, if you ask me.

    * Tomas Vokoun is back practicing with the Penguins but will be some time before he’s ready, question will be… can he be ready before playoffs?

    * Penguins need a first line right-wing, third line left-wing, and third line right-wing. I can’t see this team winning a title with Gibbons, Pyatt, and Kobasew in those spots.

    * I had high hopes (20-30 goal scorer) for Beau Bennett but he can’t stay healthy and after all that time off, he’s going to be out another three to four weeks because of his wrist. This is the second wrist injury and for a game that had his reputation as more of a skilled winger than grit, there’s been little substance to it with four goals in 38 regular season games. Heck, Jayson Megna has four goals in 24 regular season games.

    * Inbound, dribble, dribble, pass, run, pass, run, pass…. shot clock to 10 seconds and shoot a brick. Boston College was horrible tonight, no idea how they beat Syracuse. Amazed Pitt escaped with their turnovers and grade school offense.

    * Tony Sanchez is off to a nice start for the Pirates. It won’t matter as long as Russell Martin and Chris Stewart are healthy.

    * Edinson Volquez and Francisco Liriano started off well against the Yankees. Ok, I know, it was just one inning.

    * Andrew McCutchen is on another planet.

    * Since I don’t expect this to change, let’s hope Andrew Lambo hits 32 homeruns for the Pirates this season. I mean, whatever Greg Brown says has to be the truth. Hey Frank, since you are reading, figure out another way to lie to the fan base. If you come, we still won’t build onto it.

    * Great to see former Pitt defensive linemen Aaron Donald follow up a great regular season with solid combine and Senior Bowl game/practice. He’s projected to be in the first round now. I know he’s undersized for a 3-4 DE but I’m not sold on Louis Nix for DT and this team needs help on the DL to help free up those OLB and ILB.

  2. Ghost says:

    I agree about Tony Sanchez and Russell Martin. Less so about Stewart. They Pirates want Sanchez playing everyday. So if Stewart goes down, Sanchez still probably doesn’t replace him to become the once-or-twice-week-guy. God forbid Martin does go down. But if that did happen, Sanchez does then get the chance to show if he’s ready to catch everyday. (Which he’s not. That will be next year.)

  3. Ghost says:

    Last year’s sensation was the “Marte Parte.”
    When Polanco gets called up and does awesome things, how are we going to call it? Polancopalooza!…? Polanimal!…? Gregory the Great!..?

  4. CaptainCreepy says:

    Kesler would make sense if the problem was the third-line center. He would be great to get but the Pens only have the second and fourth line somewhat sorted and huge holes on the other two. If they would get him who would skate on his line? The fan rumor mill has Sutter going along with Despres and/or a first round pick. Can the Penguins afford to move Despres this season with Letang’s future in question and Martin injured until playoffs?

    I hope Letang is not announcing any kind of retirement tomorrow but maybe just getting put on LTIR and undergoing more tests. Either way hopefully he stays healthy no matter what gets announced whether he continues to play or not.

    Shero has made big moves in the past but he has his work cut out for him this year. Obviously what Letang has to say tomorrow will have an impact on any plans for this and the future seasons but who would they be willing to trade? Bennett, Despres, Sutter? I was hoping that they could get Blake Wheeler for the first line and maybe the third line could find its footing but the constant injuries dont help.

  5. Brandie says:

    I like Polancopalooza. Possibly Polancomania?

  6. The good news is that the Pens are 40-16-1 going into tonight’s action versus Montreal despite all these season long injuries. The bad news is the lack of continuity due to that long layoff due to the Olympics, the injury to Paul Martin during the Olympics, and the more challenging post Olympic schedule. Now let’s all hope that the Pens can do well enough to get some momentum going into the playoffs, since it appears that that is the best they can they can hope for now.

  7. It was good for the Bucs to be able to win the exhibition opener over the Yankees yesterday after falling behind 5-2. If the Pirates can keep the offense humming the way they did yesterday maybe they will have a chance this year.

  8. Pitt won over Boston College last night because Boston College played lousier than they did, obviously. Now if Pitt can win the games it has left, well, at least the Panthers will have saved some face whether or not they can do anything in the playoffs.

  9. As for the Knicks playing Raymond Felton despite his being arrested on those weapons charges, well, that team stinks so bad this season that hardly makes much difference. And as for the governor of Arizona vetoing that anti gay bill when faced with the threat of the NFL pulling the Superbowl out of Phoenix, well, the Christian right in that state will have to face the fact that gays will continue to come out of the closet regardless plus the fact they’d never win a court challenge.

  10. JAL says:

    JAL’s Wouldn’t It Be Loverly Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    4 Pirates Prospects Spring Training Tracker

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: The Annual “West Virginia is the Team to Watch” Post

    Spring Training Notes: Liriano Focused on the Sinker; Sanchez Does it Again

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates scouting Johan Santana

    7 Rumbunter

    Tony Sanchez Blast Lifts Pirates Over Yankees

    Pirates Need To Trade From Their Wealth of First Base Options

    8 Pirates 101

    Tony Sanchez’s Hot Start Continues Vs. New York Yankees


    A few things to look out for during spring training

    10 Saber Bucs

    NL Central Payrolls and Attendance Figures.

    11 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training: Tony Sanchez Blast Lifts Bucs To Win Over Yankees

  11. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 Bradenton Herald

    Pittsburgh Pirates | Prospect Gregory Polanco headed for talented outfield

    13 Rant Sports

    Tony Sanchez Proves He Is MLB-Ready As He Carries Pittsburgh Pirates To Victory

    14 Pirates Site

    Gomez prepared to be Jeanmar of all trades

    15 Boston Herald

    Pirates hope Gaby Sanchez is answer at 1B

    16 MLB Pro Blog

    B3: Big, Bald and Beautiful

    17 Bleacher Report

    What Pittsburgh Pirates Can Expect from Gerrit Cole in 2014

    18 St. Louis Post Gazette

    Bernie: Trusting the Cardinals and injuries

    19 Fangraphs

    The Most- and Least-Improved Teams for 2014

    20 Altoona Mirror

    Walker hopes to continue Bucs success this year

  12. DJ says:

    For a great defensive effort, “He made the batter walk the Polanc-o.”

    For a base on balls: “He’s walking the Polanc-o.”

  13. Sarah says:

    “It’s fun getting back here today, fun skating with all the guys you’re used to playing with. Sometimes you go over there to Russia, and it can be a (benefit) because you realize how good you have it over here and how exciting it is to come to the rink everyday with good teammates and good coaches and a good team, most importantly”
    – Patrick Kane


  14. Pucknutz says:

    Rather concerned about Tanger. Hoping he is just going on the long term IR for now.
    Does not sound goo to me long term, but I ain’t no doctor.
    As Eric notes above it may be a big risk to keep playing.

  15. BillyBaduka says:

    Sound a lot like Malkin’s sentiments on Olympics and return.

  16. Jandy says:

    Both of them were very frustrated playing in Russia. Geno more so.

  17. Wild Bill says:

    Eric, I am not a cardiologist, and don’t play one on tv, but I have a friend who had the same type of condition as Letang has. This fellow had his heart repaired with a patch inserted via a simple procedure and is living well today. Living well and being a pro athlete are two different things, however.

    Whatever Kris decides to do, I’m sure he will be well informed by the best doctors the Pens could find.

  18. Wild Bill says:

    I should have said “a relatively simple procedure”.

  19. JohninOshkosh says:

    I always forget Julie Andrews played iconic character, Eliza Doolittle, in the original cast of “My Fair Lady” on Broadway. That role seems eternally linked to the great Audrey Hepburn from the much beloved film.

  20. DJ says:

    It’s going to be very difficult for Shero to pull a rabbit out of the hat at the trade deadline. Would prefer they remain conservative rather than mortgaging the future trying to make a splash.

    Sutter + Depres + first round pick = Kesler? Ugh. I believe Ray is smarter than that.

    I agree with Starkey that this should be the postseason where the Pens reinvent themselves. HCDB should turn the game planning over now to Jacques Martin and tell him, “It’s all yours, Jacques, bring us home.”

  21. Sarah says:

    Yup very frustrated.
    “My coach and teammates here in Chi town better than what I got at the Olympics”


  22. I suppose that Pitt could learn to play angry like Wichita State and go 30-0 like they have this season , only Wichita State hasn’t played that strong a schedule and they haven’t really been tested yet, so that might not be much help at that.

  23. Sarah says:

    Agree. I would not be surprised if this means retirement. Hope not…..

  24. Jandy says:

    Shero WILL NOT mortgage the future. No worries.

  25. Brandie says:

    So then Patrick Kane will never be a Penguin.

  26. Sarah says:

    I agree!
    Interested in the “fave coach to play for” sweepstakes after this season…..

  27. Sarah says:

    Nor will Parise be a Pen…..

  28. Sarah says:

    I HOPE you’re right Jandster!!!!
    I think Despres will be gone though…..

  29. Brandie says:

    Good Morning Bowser Blast, Jandstar, Sassy Sarah, Billy Badazz, Big Willy Thrills, Mr. Thompson, Nutzie, JAL, DJ, Ghostavo, Captain Creepy, Hockey Monstar, and all of the other denizens of Dejan’s Magic Mirror.

  30. DJ says:

    Ship = sailed.

  31. Andrew says:

    Not sure how many saw Forecheck’s post later in the day yesterday, but the Penguins currently have about $1.2 million in cap space, assuming Letang goes on LTIR that number increases to $4.7 million. (I believe entire cap hit counts because the Pens are above the upper limit.) If Voukon comes off LTIR the space is down to $2.7 million. I think expecting significant roster moves is not realistic.

    This isn’t the Pirates, Ron Burkle cannot sell some supermarkets and add the proceeds to payroll.

  32. DJ says:

    I’d say Depres’ situation is tied this year to Letang.

  33. DJ says:

    Top of the mornin’ to ya!

  34. Jandy says:


  35. Jandy says:

    Happy fackin Thursday, Sistah!!!!

  36. Brandie says:

    You can Bank-o on Polanco!

  37. Wild Bill says:

    Greetings Brandie, queen of the monikers!

  38. Sarah says:

    Yes. Would not be surprised.

  39. JohninOshkosh says:

    Chopped liver?? :)

  40. Jim S. says:

    Una paloma polanco?

    Slim Whitman can sing his anthem.

  41. Andrew says:

    Tedy Bruschi suffered a CVA from a similar condition, had partial paralysis and then played football for three more seasons. I cannot speak to the prudence of the decision, Letang situation is extremely rare but not unprecedented.

  42. Jandy says:

    nah…you’re Wisconsin’s finest, she saves the best for last ;)

  43. Jim S. says:

    Players in glass houses. He’s as much at fault as anyone.

  44. Jandy says:

    No, I meant the hope not…;)

  45. JohninOshkosh says:

    Yikes! You betcha. I actually thought Kaner played pretty decently, on balance. Missed the penalty shots, obviously.

    I guess he missed the limos full of floozies available for him here in North America.

  46. Jandy says:


  47. Jandy says:

    Yeah, no taxi drivers to beat up LOL

  48. DJ says:

    Looking forward to tonight’s Montreal game. Hope everyone’s batteries have been recharged, especially Fleury’s. We’ll certainly need him. This could be a defining stretch in his career and I’m preferring to remain positive — well at least until another first shot goal in the playoffs. Ha!

    I’ve said this before but I think Geno will be ready to roll down the stretch. And with Neal well rested and the Juice confident, looking for great chemistry and performances out of that line.

  49. kr70 says:

    Any truth to the rumor Drew and DK are vacationing together in Winnipeg?

  50. DJ says:

    Banco Polanco Popular.

  51. Wild Bill says:

    Here’s hoping you’re right, DJ. We are about to find out whose organizations knew what they were doing in handling the break.

    I’m looking forward also to the frozen game in Chicago this weekend.

  52. DJ says:

    I’m not, WB. Very bad Kharma from the last one.

    Can we scratch Sid?

  53. Sarah says:

    Oh!! Of course I hope for Letang that he can be healthy!!!

    For the team/cap hits and trade opps….then yes, ugh, it’s true…..IMO having all of his cap to work with (such as if he retires) would give better opps for team-building.

    But really, no faith in RS anymore.

    I think he will extend Orpik, trade Despres. Cos a 39 year old Brooks is better than a 25 year old Despres….

  54. Jim S. says:

    Patrick Kane scored 30 goals once. He scored 80 points once. He’ll probably do both again this year because he’s having his best year. He’s an above average player, but hardle elite. He talks as though he is, but he’s not.

    Career +42 on a team that has outscored the opposition by a gazillion.

    Captain Shootout.

    Now, Toews … Different story.

  55. Jim S. says:

    Pittsburgh is the new Winnipeg this winter. He doesn’t even need to go to Winnipeg to experience Winnipeg.

  56. JohninOshkosh says:

    I hope Sid drops Kane with a nice clean hit!

    I enjoy watching the Hawks, and I like Kane as a player, but I hate it when athletes air laundry in public.

  57. DJ says:

    For a river shot over the Clemente wall: Pull-lanco.

  58. Sarah says:

    You’d think.

    But Tanger is out and Despres is still glued to the press box, meanwhile we get Engo.

    I HOPE that changes…..

  59. Jim S. says:

    So, here’s my dilemma on Saturday’s game. My son’s travel baseball team has its annual team bonding party that night. We go to someone’s house, have a ping pong tournament, a little sports trivia, some pool. It’s a lot of fun, and we really like all the kids and the dads are all good guys … except when it comes to hockey.

    The problem is … of the 24 dads and sons in attendance, exactly 2 of them will be Penguins fans. You can probably guess who. Everyone here in Chicagoland is now a crazy, rabid Hawks fan. No one went to the games or followed the team 5 years ago, but now everyone “has been a huge fan since they were a kid.” I guess that makes sense, since the team has been so successful the past few years.

    So, we’ll have the game on at the party, no doubt. If the Hawks are winning, it will be open season on the Pens fans. If the Pens are winning, it will be open season on the Pens fans. Most of these guys can’t name 5 players not on the Hawks. But, they can all name Sidney Crosby, of course. And, like all casual fans, they are all certain he is a big crybaby. We won’t say a word, either way, of course. We’ll keep our mouths shut. But, it won’t work.

    No win situation for me and my son. I wish the game was any other night. :-(

  60. Ok, so due to technical difficulties I’ve just caught up on the Kesler chatter. All i got to say is its not happening. His 5M cap is a big enough bargain that we’ll be priced out. And even if we weren’t priced out, i dont think kesler wants to be a 3rd line center. And even if he did and we got him that does nothing for our depth issues with bottom 6. I think kesler would rather retire than skate with kobasew and gibbons. No disrespect(in my jersey accent)

  61. Brandie says:

    I did not see you oh Wonderful Wisconsinite.

  62. RE: Despres

    If they think he’s expendable cuz they think pouliout is close to contributing then as fans, we have many issues and they are great.

    Poor despres…how many players in the nhl, let alone 1st picks/prospects can put a record of 50-16 on their resume while replacing the likes tanger, PM, orpik and maybe even randy carlisle? Including a couple of playoff games when he was 20 where he stepped in for 7 and 4 along with strait and helped the pens get back into the philly series with 2 straight wins. Like i said, if shero is being told we can trade despres cuz of pouliot or dumoulin then we have many many issues and they are great.

  63. DJ says:

    You and me both.

  64. Damon says:

    Bummer Jim. Only thing you can do in that instance is disarm them with your knowledge of hockey and the Blackhawks, and for taking the high-road. Especially in a large group.

    I know it’s really tough though – I went to Ohio U and dormed with a bunch of Browns and Bengals fans, and sometimes you just want to scream “you’re an idiot.” I’ve learned if you compliment both teams playing in a calm fashion, most of the others will follow suit.

  65. Thundercrack says:

    They may be vacationing but I can guarantee that:
    -it isn’t together
    – Drew is not in Winnipeg

  66. Brandie says:

    If that fails, go play with the kids.

  67. I’m looking forward to hearing the anthem at soldier field.

  68. DJ says:

    No one, including Ray, is thinking Pouliot this year.

    Next year, after starting out in WBS, that’s a different story.

  69. pattonbb says:

    Really pulling for Chris McGuiness to have some success. Watched him a lot when he played for the Greenville Drive a few years ago. Born and raised in Charleston, played at the Citadel…seemed like a really good kid.

    The guy hit with some power back then, but I don’t think he’s done much since. Sounds like he’s had a bunch of injuries.

    Red Sox eventually sent him and another minor league pitcher to Texas for Saltalamacchia.

  70. Damon says:

    Was Dejan’s Magic Mirror a Romper Room reference? If it was…whoa…blast from the past.

  71. Brandie says:

    Thank you for resurrecting floozies. I would have gone harlots myself, but I appreciate the floozies blast. :)

  72. DJ says:

    Is there a “Dads with beers” zone, Jim?

  73. Even next season DJ. I know you’re high on Pouliout, as am i, but he wont be ready next season either.

  74. Jim S. says:

    I hear you, Damon. I also went to college in Ohio. Browns fans, Bengals fans, Reds fans, Indians fans. Ugh!

    We’ll get through it. It just won’t be as fun as it could be.

  75. Brandie says:

    We don’t need another Shero,
    We don’t need another Engo…
    All we want is life beyond…
    The Consol Dome…

    All the Loonies say

    We don’t need another Shero,
    I can’t even spell Bortuzzo…
    All we want is life beyond…
    The Consol Dome!

    For all the hockey heads on this here blog!

  76. Jim S. says:

    Oh, the kids will be watching too.

    It’s basically all in good fun. At least, it will be after the game. But, I’d rather just watch the game without having to deal with it. Something about the Pens makes you a lightning rod in other cities. Same with the Steelers. With the Pens, I am quite sure it is Crosby. The idiots like Milbury and other morons who the NHL hires have seen to that.

    Even if it was just a regular Saturday night game, we’d be doing other things. But, the atmosphere of an outdoor game means the only thing we’ll be doing is watching it.

  77. Jim S. says:

    It will be a beer-friendly zone, DJ.

  78. Jim S. says:

    Ironically, Damon, one of the dads is from Cleveland. So, he doesn’t really care about hockey or the Hawks. Maybe we’ll hang out with him. Haha!

  79. DJ says:

    Yes, we’ve had this discussion already.

    And I’ve seen your comments on Samuelsson in the past about him coming up. To me, he’s not even close to a regular NHLer, and I doubt he ever will be. Too slow.

    All I can say is, we’ll see.

  80. Jim S. says:

    Option #2, maybe?

    What kind of glove does he bring, patton? Any idea?

  81. Brandie says:

    For many years, the Pirates organization was not thought of as a place to resurrect careers. Here’s hoping for Chris McGuiness that he captures a bit of that magic for himself.

  82. DJ says:

    Well there’s your answer then — heavy drinking.

  83. JohninOshkosh says:

    I happened to be at Wrigley Field the afternoon of Blackhawks Day when they were celebrating their Cup a few years ago. They sang the anthem in the Blackhawks manner. It was thrilling.

  84. Samuelsson comments?

  85. JohninOshkosh says:

    Good stuff, non-floozy one.

  86. Brandie says:

    Yes it was Damon Dawg!

  87. DJ says:

    I think Banco Popular was a Mets or Yankees sponsor back in the day.

    Maybe I shouldn’t link Polanco to the Yankees.

  88. DJ says:

    Yes, along with Orpik and Letang.

  89. Jim S. says:

    No, not yet. They’ll end up with him in about 6 years, anyway.

  90. Damon says:

    If you do, try and keep his attention to hockey and not football. I once had to argue with the Cleveland Browns fans that Barry Foster was better than Kevin Mack. You know, the year Foster had 1,690 yards rushing?

  91. Jim S. says:

    Too funny, Brandie.

  92. Brandie says:

    Thanks Johnster!

  93. Jim S. says:

    Jim Lange of Dating Game fame has died at 81.

  94. Brandie says:

    Thank you…I’ll be here all week.

    Besides it keeps me from cracking up over the dire Pens situation with injuries, cap space, and no quality wing for Sid. I hope for the best tor Letang.

  95. Jandy says:

    Good morning Oh Creepy One! have you posted your hometowm so Biz can add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum/

  96. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, those are always tough conversations. I don’t mind a little back and forth, but sometimes you end up arguing with someone who doesn’t have a clue. You can’t win those ones.

  97. JohninOshkosh says:

    “Contestant #1, If I was a present, describe how you would unwrap me ?”

  98. Is that Pink Brandie? Or Pink Champagne?

    Or Rosada Brandelita?


  99. Brandie says:

    With slow and deliberate care. Wouldn’t want to damage the goods.

  100. His Twitter moniker is ElCoffee. Maybe something along the Starbucks menu for the young man.

  101. Jandy says:

    The new Waldo game…where’s Drew?

  102. Jandy says:

    Simple. Don’t go.

    Go to a movie with your son.

    Tell them he’s sick and you’re both staying home so as not to spread the flu.

  103. Jandy says:

    You going Gremlin?

  104. Brandie says:

    You remind me of one of the best smiles I had in a long time. My husband and I were in a Giant Eagle in Johnstown. We saw a bottle of sparkling beverage called Champayno. Trying just a little to hard with that one. Makes me smile to this day. Thanks for the warm fuzzies Revvie!

  105. Jandy says:

    Preach it Sistah!!!

  106. Jandy says:

    I couldn’t answer that question on this blog, I’d be thrown off!!! ;X

  107. Baywatch says:

    Few people know that I met my first wife, Farrah Fawcett, as a contestant on The Dating Game … very few … only me, actually.

    Good morning, ALL!

    OK, Barmey’s in the lineup today. I’m calling a home run for him and TWO MORE for Tony! I see Clint is ridin’ the hot hand: “Heck, let’s DH the guy!”

  108. Jandy says:

    I wasn’t being ignorant, just know you don’t care for him. if he retired, that would solve many problems.

  109. Brandie says:

    Perhaps a tie in with PNC Bank….You can’t spell Polanco without PNC.

  110. Brandie says:

    Good morning Baystacks Calhoun!

  111. Ummm…i said i would use samuelsson as a trade chip.

  112. I share Eric’s concern about Vokoun being anywhere near ready for the playoffs. Rossi is saying that his return is imminent, but he’s going to need an awful lot of starts to just feel comfortable. Depending on what other options Shero has at the deadline, the best option may involve Ryan Miller.

    Don’t forget Martin’s $5M cap hit if he goes on the LTIR. Jury is still out on whether he’ll need hand surgery, so the 4-6 week estimate may be optimistic.

  113. My cuz invited me but i have too much going on with work. May visit chicago close to the summer.

  114. Brandie says:

    Or watch the game at home with your son.

  115. I’m a huge Ryan Kesler fan, but I have to crash this party: he’s not coming to Pittsburgh. He’s a natural center, and a bona-fide second line center at that. He’s never going to supplant Crosby or Malkin on the depth chart, so a 3rd line checking role is what he’ll be relegated to. Even if he would waive his NTC to come to Pittsburgh, is Shero going to want to commit $5M for the next two seasons to a 3rd line center? Sounds like Jordan Staal all over again.

    And that’s not even discussing what it would take to bring him here.

  116. Baywatch says:

    Good morning, ‘Lita! Are you familiar with the great Haystacks Calhoun? Big old-time wrestling fan? Used to watch him on TV all the time, growing up in NC!

  117. Jandy says:

    Shero is no dummy, he won’t mortgage the Pens’ future. I say that with a lot of confidence.

    As far as Depres, he made his own bed, I just hope he gets out of it soon. The lackadaisical attitude put him in the dog pound. Let’s hope working his tail off in WBS gets him out. If he’s trade bait, let’s hope he brings a good return. Borts will need to step up.
    That said, I’d like to see Depres in black and gold.

  118. Jandy says:

    ahh I wondered…and was prepared to be jealous :)

  119. Jandy says:


  120. Brandie says:

    I do have an appreciation for the history of studio wrestling. Where in NC did you mature?

  121. JD says:

    Be sure to drink all of his beer. If you can’t out-cheer them, try and out-drink them.

  122. JD says:

    DJ – see my reply to him above. We’re on the same wavelength. Cheers!

  123. Baywatch says:

    I don’t know about the maturation process but I was raised in the Charlotte area where we all got a big dose of “Championship Wrestling” with Big Bill Ward via Crockett Promotions on WBTV every Saturday, early ’60s through early ’70s.

  124. Pucknutz says:

    Saturday night I believe…. WIIC “the eyes of Pgh” …Chilly Billy Cardilly….Bruno…..

  125. Brandie says:

    Cool place Charlotte. Flew into there once on my way to Jacksonville.

  126. Brandie says:

    I remember WPXI being WIIC when I was a wee kid. Watched Chiller Theatre as well. Viva Bruno.

  127. Jim S. says:

    Ulf’s kid? From what I saw in his stint with the big club a few months ago, I’d be surprised if he is ever an impact player.

  128. Jim S. says:

    No, we have to go. Team bonding thing.

    We’ll record it and watch it when we get home.

  129. Jim S. says:

    I actually had a shot at some seats, but said no due to the party thing. But, it is going to be really cold and snowy, anyway. I’d prolly rather watch in a warm atmosphere.

  130. Ya, he looked better than i expected and got better with TOI but thats one of the reasons i believe he could a decent trade chip. Between Maatta and pouliot i always made it clear going back to last summer that maatta was much more NHL ready and never said that sameulsson was some kind of lock on our roster.

  131. Brandie says:

    Could use extra prayers Loonies. Just applied for a position with a good salary and many responsibilities doing what I love and believe in. Thank you all for your support.

  132. Brandie says:

    Then maybe go for a brief time. This can also be an opportunity to reiterate lessons on sportsmanship to your son and his teammates.

  133. Jandy says:

    Sending lots! <3

  134. Jim S. says:

    Good luck!!

  135. pattonbb says:

    When he was here, his defense was thought to be better than his offense.

    He’s a long shot to amount to anything more than “system filler”. I just like pulling for guys like that. Especially ones I saw play a lot in their early minor league days.

  136. Damon says:

    Done…..good luck!

  137. Brandie says:

    Thank you again Lunatics!

  138. JD says:

    Good luck.

  139. Jim S. says:

    I think he was better than a lot of people expected.

  140. Jim S. says:

    Well, if he can field the position well, and hit RHP, maybe he’ll get a shot.

    One thing to keep in mind, as NMR and others have pointed out, is that it really would be best, though, if they could find someone to handle 1b full-time so they don’t have to lock up 2 roster spots for one position where the guys usually can’t play anywhere else. With all of the pitchers they keep these days, the roster is pretty much half taken up by them already. Maybe that’s why they are having Gaby and his supple hands get some work at 3b. Lambo could definitely play RF as well. Two 1b who can’t do anything but play there and PH is not ideal.

  141. Jim S. says:

    Yes, for sure.

    Either that, or I can just start screaming like a mad man and breaking stuff.

    I probably won’t go that route, though. :-)

  142. Jim S. says:

    Could be at the Bucs-Yanks game.

  143. Karen22 says:

    UGH?! Born & raised in Cleveland here. Was once an avid Browns fan (and DESPISED the Steelers)…STILL a Tribe fan (we ARE in different leagues). I’ve lived in PA for 29 years, though, and learned that Steelers fans have more fun…so I switched. :)

  144. Jim S. says:

    That’s right. His twitter handle is El Coffee. He probably snagged it before Dejan could get it.

  145. Thundercrack says:

    I think Drew is taking a break.
    And I think it is going to last longer than the 2 week break I took in January.

  146. Karen22 says:

    You GO, girl!! :)

  147. Jandy says:

    Thanks TC

  148. Jordan White says:

    I hope he isn’t on the Lee Foo break. 2 of my favs right there.

  149. Jim S. says:

    Story about Stetson Allie, and how he feels he has matured.

  150. Quotes I’m hearing from the Letang presser indicate that he’s not calling it quits on his career, but would love to return to the ice this year. In between the lines, I read: don’t write me off just yet, but best to make other plans for the playoffs.

    I am beginning to think Rob Rossi was right: it may be time to lower the expectations for the Penguins this post-season. As the Pens list of needs piles up, the list of sellers isn’t changing much. There’s an awful lot of competition for the few scoring wingers and top-four defensemen rumored to be available. With limited assets to move and so many holes to fill Shero is going to have a difficult time treading water, nevermind improving the club for a playoff run.

    I don’t think the Pens should think about becoming outright sellers, but it may be time to start preparing for next season…

  151. Jim S. says:

    He rips him, then says how good he is. It’s like he caught himself in the middle of his attack, then decided to even it out.

  152. theplanisworking says:

    Another setback for DK in the coffee world. ;)

  153. theplanisworking says:

    Just show them your collection of muppets, and they will hire you.
    Or, tell them if you don’t get the position, you will unleash Haystacks Calhoun on them.

  154. theplanisworking says:

    My apologies for hijacking, no, destroying the Pitt thread last night.
    Milo and I turned it into high school basketball central.

    Don’t want any bold reamings from the boss……….

  155. Jandy says:

    It’s a sports blog. No need for apologies.

  156. Jandy says:

    Thanks for the insight, RF :)

  157. Jandy says:

    No he’s just being honest, at least, that’s my take.
    Kinda like telling him to shut up and play football since he’s so darn good.
    Quit embarrassing himself and everyone else.

  158. Jim S. says:

    Did he wear bib overalls, Bay? He was a big’un.

  159. No to rehash old arguments but you just summarized why i was pushing to move PM and his 5M cap hit last couple seasons. I wanted any upswing in his play to lead to a trade while he was at peak value. Not cuz he was bad but because he would be a valuable trade chip. Kinda like DK’s rationale for trading letang a few weeks back.

  160. Jandy says:

    Ha, Jim, did you read the comments at the end of the story>?

  161. Bring me Chris Stewart!!!! And not the catcher Jim :)

  162. Damon says:

    With all of Ray Shero’s recent comments, he may have already prepared the Pens to not make any additions at this deadline because it would cost the future too much.

    BUT….I wouldn’t give up on this team yet. Even if they don’t add anyone, this is a pretty darn good team. These guys might need adversity or the feeling that no playoff series will be easy in order to pay attention to details more and stop playing 80s Edmonton Oiler hockey. Plus they still could get Martin and Bennett back in April.

  163. Might be up to gibbons and megna to get it done on 3rd line if we get someone like my boye boyes to play with sid. Not the end of the world if tanger and PM come back at top form.

  164. Baywatch says:

    That was him, Jim! There was another guy I always got mixed up with Haystack, named Two-Ton Harris. I’m thinking he wore the bib overalls, too.

  165. Baywatch says:


  166. NMR says:

    “I don’t like people saying [I failed as a pitcher]. I was young. Where I was at mentally is what messed me up. I feel I could go out on the mound now and be way better, because I’d be mentally in it.”

    I liked this part most. Still say Allie ends up in the big leagues, but not as a hitter.

  167. theplanisworking says:

    Hey Bay!
    Top of the something to you!

  168. Jandy says:

    I’d like to see Megna a bit longer myself, I like the guy.

  169. Jandy says:

    someone basically said that Allie juiced.

  170. Jandy says:

    I’m rooting for Allie myself.

  171. Jandy says:

    Homer Polanco!!!!!!!!!!!!

  172. theplanisworking says:

    Ric Flair turned 65 yesterday.

    Who on the Bucs would be the “Nature Boy”??

    My vote is for Frank!

  173. Damon says:


  174. Jandy says:

    Sounds good to me :)

  175. Damon, the reality is they lack the depth for a sustained playoff run. If the stars aligned, I can see this squad taking the right second-round matchup seven games, but that’s about it. If you can’t roll four forward lines and three defensive pairings with confidence, you’re playoff lifespan is destined to be short.

  176. I’d love to see it, but we can’t afford to part with the kind of assets to make that deal a reality.

  177. scapper says: hiring a parody writer? You’ve got the job.

  178. If ottawa can consider so can we. IMO

  179. Sarah says:

    CRAZY CUTE ALERT my Peeps!!

    A little mini-Kesler!!!

  180. theplanisworking says:

    Can he play on Sid’s wing?

  181. Jim S. says:

    Hit him! No way you can allow someone to get a clean look from that close!

  182. Jim S. says:

    If Hanrahan was still around, I’d say him. Or, maybe Lunchbox.

  183. theplanisworking says:

    Goalie was soffffffffffffffffffffff

  184. Jim S. says:

    Exactly. 40-15-2, right? Let’s not give up just yet.

  185. Jim S. says:

    No I missed that. One of the comments?

  186. Jim S. says:

    Me, too.

  187. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, that’s a better take.

  188. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know him. But, I remember Haystack.

  189. When did flower play goal for Van?

  190. Pucknutz says:

    Your “BUT” (and don’t yinz smart azzs out there start w/the word play, lol you know who you are) is right on the mark IMHO.
    It is a pretty darn good team and the young guys have and will get a lot of minutes. So far I have liked the way most of them have responded. Will they be able to weather the cup grind – hope so.
    The team going into the playoffs with some adversity may indeed be a good thing…. details and focus.
    I don’t think Shero can pull off and blockbusters this year. Gonna have to go with pretty much what they got.
    Scary thing is…. can’t have “anyone else” go down. Knock on wood.
    Cautiously optimistic though at this point.

  191. Chris Letang’s doctors say that he’ll be able to eventually resume his career. We shall see, although you’d have to consider that wishful thinking although stranger things have occurred.

  192. At least the Pirates beat the Yankees again 8-2 this afternoon in exhibition baseball. It’s better to be talking about that than dwelling on that godawful Pitt ‘win’ over Boston College last night and speculating on whether Chris Letang will ever play hockey again since both are so depressing, at least at this point.

  193. Jim S. says:

    Go 5-hole, kid. He’s totally leaving it wide open.

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