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Morning Java: All or nothing

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> My weekly TribLIVE Radio show featured a half-hour of your calls, rapid-fire and mostly raging against the Penguins. The first dozen minutes of that are on that video up there, along with my crushing post-it notes into a nearby trash can.

Thanks to all who called and emailed, and especially to my guest Nick Cotsonika, national hockey writer for Yahoo! Sports.


>> It’s Mario’s move, writes columnist Joe Starkey.

Dan Bylsma is good as gone, but ownership is undecided on Ray Shero. Beat man Rob Rossi is all over this.

The Penguins must get younger, by Josh Yohe.

I’m not going to go on or pile on with the topic of firings. I wrote a column before Game 7 and another after Game 7 that spoke clearly to the topic of both men. But I will reiterate, based on the above reporting, that the Penguins’ various problems are of a singular thread. I can’t imagine a scenario in which they’re properly addressed without piecemeal change.

To get blunt, if Shero stays, it’s going to take a whole lot more than dumping a couple of scouts for things to change.

Check this out …

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 2.12.49 AM

That’s in eight drafts. Eight!

That’s a systemic failure that sinks to the absolute foundation of the franchise, especially when considering that Dustin Jeffrey and Luca Caputi are now officially NHL busts. With the Penguins themselves having all but thrown in the towel on Simon Despres — who had himself a big night in Rhode Island last night but otherwise is an afterthought — that’s three total players from eight total drafts!

Three players!

Regardless of how things play out this week, let that serve as a powerful lesson of how even grave organizational deficiencies can be whitewashed by success at the top level. If not forever.

In the other bracket, the Canadiens beat down the Bruins in their Game 7 last night, by the Montreal Gazette.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page, our Chipped Ice blog and our photo gallery by Chaz Palla and Chris Horner.

Here’s Rangers news from the New York Daily News.

Here are highlights from the NHL’s YouTube channel.

>> Jose Tabata, Starling Marte and Francisco Liriano overcome the House of Horrors, by Travis Sawchik in Milwaukee.

Gerrit Cole embraces change, by Sawchik.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Pirates page, our Bucco Blog and our photo gallery.

Here’s Brewers news from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Here are official game highlights on

>> It doesn’t count toward the league standings, but Collins John and the Riverhounds did finally get a W, this in a U.S. Open Cup game against the MLS New York Red Bulls’ developmental team. Matt Grubba reports from Highmark Stadium.

Far more important for the Hounds is Saturday against Rochester. If they don’t get off the schneid here soon, this season will start taking the shape of a disaster.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m., then write a hockey column off the Penguins’ getaway availability at Consol.

>> Thank you, as always, for reading.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.


  1. Mizery says:

    Wake me when the nightmare that is the Penguins is over.

  2. Jason says:

    Dejan, I read your articles and manage to track down and listen to most of your appearances on local radio today. You’re always great with Mark Madden.

    That being said, I understand the criticism of Shero but disagree that he should be fired. You keep bringing up and pointing out that the Penguins had 3 players in 8 drafts playing for them last night. From looking at other teams in the playoffs that may be low, but its not THAT low compared to others. For instance I count 4 players on the Boston roster playing that were drafted by them in the past 8 years. You must keep in mind that just last year Shero was universally considered and praised as one of the best GM’s in the league. You yourself and many others on twitter would always joke about Shero ripping off other GM’s and he has been a great trader no doubt. Suddenly, he has done so much in one year that he deserves to be fired? I can see the problems some have with his drafts but we do minimally have great defensive prospects and Maata. Plus, since Shero has stepped in the Penguins have been mostly in a win now mode which has been mostly been cheered by all in the fanbase and media. The penguins have thought they could win and have gone for it giving up many draft picks in the process. Shero hasn’t had as many draft picks to be successful and that is the price you pay for going for it. The pens have been close to the bottom in draft order nearly every year as well. Should the drafts have been better – yes. But, lets not act like we were finishing in last place year after year and have nothing to show for it. We also shouldn’t act like the drafts are solely on Shero as it must be an organizational mistake. Shero was praised by the vast majority for the offseason signing of Scuderi. The local media loved the signing, the national media loved it. Now, in hindsight it looks horrible but very few could have seen his play going down so much.

    Shero can also be criticized for the depth we went into this season with. But, with the salary cap problems we had post lockout I’m not sure how much that could have been improved either. I think he could and should have done better at the deadline considering the small price Vanek, Moulson, Gaborik went for – basically 2nd round picks and we definitely could have gotten more depth. Then again, we trade more picks and he’s criticized for mortgaging the future.

    To me, the biggest failure by far that Shero has made is keeping Bylsma. But, even you Dejan wrote a column last year before the playoffs about how this was Dan’s team praising him for his coaching. Putting myself in Shero’s shoes I can understand how he wanted to stick with Dan. Yes, this is another mistake now in hindsight but it is a mistake MANY great gm’s have made in the NHL.

    Shero has made some mistakes no doubt. However, do we really think we are going to find a better replacement for Shero 6 weeks before the draft? No way.

    Additionally I will quickly mention many calling to trade Neal. I think this is ridiculous. The pens have cap problems and you really think you will find someone better with Neal’s great cap number? Neal played all season with 71 and on the top power play and somehow he’s to be successful in the playoffs when those are taken away? his discipline is a problem but that could be fixed with a coach that actually holds players accountable. his past playoff numbers are actually pretty good. It would be near impossible to find a better wing at such a nice cap hit unless Winnipeg would give up Kane.

  3. Ghost says:

    Thought for today: Travis Snider, with his .221 batting average, still has a higher OBP than Jose Tabata (.309 v. .294), thus remains our leadoff hitter.
    Second thought for today: Could maybe one of the pierogies at lead off? Any one of them? Bueller???

  4. Stetson Provance says:

    Hey Dejan,

    Your show today was phenomenal. However, one question you seemed to brush off a bit really intrigues me. What is your reaction (and I know you have to have one) to the excerpt from Rossi’s column yesterday about Crosby, Malkin, and other vets not liking Bylsma’s methods (long practices, calling out players during team meetings, etc.) because they decreased the “fun” factor in the locker room? No one in the history of time has ever painted Bylsma as a disciplinarian. If the players disliked Bylsma because he was too tough on everyone, then what does that say about the players?

    Conversely, doesn’t that make finding a coach that can succeed next to impossible? That statement in the Rossi article is the type of indictment of Crosby and Malkin that leads me to believe two people, and two people alone, could coach this team: Babcock and Mario himself.

    And, we’d be kidding ourselves if we said either of those two men will be introduced as head coach later this month.

  5. Glen says:

    Hi Jason

    Thoughtful post there. I would say the main problem with your defense of Shero is that it only operates on the premise that he was good prior to this season, because he was lauded as such.
    The punditry and most certainly most fans are not immune to rash generalizations following perceived failures, but the failure here is really that he was considered great/infallible for so long. There has been excuses though, with the most appealing one being that Shero has been getting largely the right solutions available for the coach until this season, whereas Bylsma has been misusing them and installed a clownish system that looks bad in all three zones unless individual brilliance shade the weaknesses enough. Before this season Shero married those failures though, by inexplicably re-signing Bylsma and going 0-for at bat in the off-season.

    As an irregular poster here it is hard to point to having said “exactly as foreseen”, but it was. In this little sphere of commentary, “Sarah” has been on the ball… eh… puck… for years, and on hfboards there are lots more.

    That said, I think the Shero of 2007-2010 was a great GM. Some whiffs in the draft, but that goes for all. As for his priorities for the team, other than not being able to get a great compliment for Sid’s line (tried with Hossa at least), he got most things right. In latter years however… no such thing. Too little size and physicality. Too little pace. Too many had been’s, too little shake up to a core having gone stale and complacent as regards the complimentary players, and of course…. believing in Bylsma to more than a fault. Bylsma is a tragedy of a coach as has been plain for 3-4 years regarding of temperament. Likely a swell fella in person, but just woeful tactically and fully incapable of adjusting – both to the reality that his systems don’t work; to the reality that the playoffs allow obstruction at a level that defeats the usefulness of his transition/rush dominated schemes, and utterly clueless as to adjusting on the fly. Letting such a guy become the most tenured Pens coach ever is a massive blight on Shero… something he should now pay for as a part of the cleansing efforts needed.

  6. chethejet1 says:

    Mario is in a position of doing what he fought his whole career. Making the decision to no longer let the chickens run the hen house. Bylsma was a bad fit. Shero has to go. The first step is to hire a GM. Then hire a coach who can blend style and substance into a stale excuse making franchise. If that requires trades cuts and or attitude adjustments so be it.

  7. JohnS says:

    The NHL is hard. As someone wrote on the blog last week, the great Lemieux, Jagr, and Francis teams made it to exactly two finals. The only difference from the Crosby and Malkin teams is that they won both finals instead of splitting.

    My biggest gripe about Pens management is the lack of willingness to commit to playing younger guys. Players like Depres should by in lineup on a regular basis.

  8. Pucknutz says:

    Hey Stetson,
    Excellent point, question you have there. Same thoughts crossed my mind when I read Rossi. First I have heard of anything on the “fun” factor. If true…”Houston we have a problem”.

  9. Pucknutz says:

    Echoing Glen, very thoughtful post. :)

  10. JAL says:

    JAL’s Bicycle Built for Two Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 BFFL’s 2014 Pirates Stats Spreadsheet

    4 Pirates Prospects

    Pittsburgh Pirates Organizational Probable Pitching Chart

    BLOGS and such

    5—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: What Would Russell Martin Be Worth in Free Agency?

    Prospect Watch: Harold Ramirez Returning Strong From Hamstring Injury

    Is Tony Sanchez Throwing Away His Chance at Being a Starter?

    6 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates pitch well, get 3 runs in ninth to seal 4-1 win

    Pirates MiLB recap: 5/14/14

    7 Rumbunter

    The Daily Gregory Polanco Drool

    8 Green Weenie

    Frankie Sharp, Bucs Bang K-Rod For 4-1 Win


    Game 39: Pirates 4 Brewers 1

    10 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Must Put Short Leash on Wandy Rodriguez

    11 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Pirates 4, Brewers 1

  11. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    12 CBS Sports

    Pirates-Brewers Preview

    13 Chicago Sun Times

    Fresh paint on iconic marquee can’t mask Cubs’ futility

    14 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Could Double-digit Players Steal 50+ Bases in 2014?

    15 Pirates Site

    Stewart’s go-ahead knock, Marte’s double seal win

    Notebook: Mercer among Pirates heating up in May

    16 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds’ scoring woes can’t be pinned on Frazier

    17 Fox Sports Wisconsin

    Brewers’ Gomez drops appeal of suspension from Pirates brawl

    18 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bernie: What needs to happen to get Cards going?

    19 Fangraphs

    Earl Weaver and the Malleable Process

    20 Baseball Prospectus

    Recent History’s Most Cringe-Worthy Pitch Counts

  12. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Would being a prolific returner justify Dri Archer’s draft position?

    A day in the life of transition-tagged Steelers OLB Jason Worilds

    Linebackers continue trimming down, Steelers Ryan Shazier an example of that trend


    22 Bloomberg Stats Insight

    Squads named ahead of the 2014 World Cup

    23 BBC Football

    Tim Sherwood keen to manage again after Tottenham sacking

    Premier League: Ten things we learned from 2013-14 season

    24 World Soccer

    Greg Dyke the blowhard’s blowhard


    25 Pensburgh

    Wednesday Pens Points: Season Is Over. Now What?

    How do the Pittsburgh Penguins fix what’s broken?

  13. BillyBaduka says:


    As Glen states, that’s a thoughtful post especially at 3:00 am.

    Shero’s case is complicated, you raise some good points.

    Neal on the other hand is not. For me, getting rid of Neal should be priority one. Neal embodies everything that is wrong with this team. Malkin’s nickname for Neal, ‘Lazy’, says it all.

    Neal is a streaky sniper. Sure he gets goals in the regular season playing alongside Malkin. Aside from ripping a good shot from open space, what does he do to help Malkin? Does he create space or do the dirty things like retrieve pucks in deep?

    I see Malkin doing most of that. A LW like Kunitz would help here more than a Jokinen (who I like) but they didn’t have that so Neal should do more of that to free up Malkin.

    Neal had 34 assists this year, good but not great for a guy playing with Geno and getting top PP minutes.

    Neal makes $5 mil a year. A guy with that price tag should not require a $9 mil dollar center to produce. Will it dip, sure but Neal falls off the face of the ice without Malkin. That makes him more of a Rob Brown than a cornerstone of the franchise.

    Neal has 7 goals in 38 playoff games, not good enough. I bet he has as many if not more Offensive Zone penalties than he does goals in the playoffs.

    The Pens can make the playoffs without his regular season goals and need more than Neal has brought in the playoffs.

    Neal’s eligible for a buyout and I think the Pens should consider it if Neal can’t be dealt for a reasonable price. That $5 mil could go a long way to help re-sign Niskannen or Jokinen or for a replacement.

    The Penguins need to shift their focus to effort, discipline, commitment and consistency (never saw a team take so many games off in a 7 game series – take more than one off and you shouldn’t expect to win the series, the other team gets paid too). I don’t see any of those things in Neal.

    Is Neal all that is wrong with the Pens? No. But he does represent much of what’s wrong. The Pens are top heavy and I see moving Neal as the easiest way to free up some cap space.

    End rant…

  14. BillyBaduka says:

    Good quote Pucks.

    Yeah, the thought of Malkin and Crosby complaining about ‘fun’ frustrates me so much that I haven’t touched that topic yet.

    If that’s true, this franchise has much bigger problems than Neal and bottom 6 depth.

  15. BFD says:

    “Crosby and Malkin grew disenchanted with perceived harsh criticism they received from Bylsma during meetings, the sources said. They and other veteran players were unhappy with Bylsma’s numerous meetings and long practices and the decreasing sense of fun within the Penguins’ environment, the sources said”

    Boo freak ‘in hoo! There should have been mandatory practice and more meetings during this debacle of a playoff. I’d bring in the biggest task master i can find to take over the bench.
    I always respected Crosby for (what i perceived) as not having the huge ego and pulling a ‘Mario’ with the coaching staff.

    Ownership is to blame here too. Let’s not forget that they criticized Cooke for his ‘antics’ when he was here until he changed his game. Ownership was attempting to set the example of changing the way the game is played, yet no one else followed. This made the team “soft”….. now they are placing the blame for the softness on Shero.

    That being said, I’d get rid of Bylsma and Shero

    I echo others comments about keeping Neal. Gotta keep him. We are already short on top line wingers.

  16. radio wave says:

    Nice win last night for the Bucs. Must win today. But Wandy? Didn’t he get bombed. in a AA rehab game? Folks on here said Comton was MLB ready. I thought Sadler did well here, why is he at Indy?

  17. BillyBaduka says:

    No doubt it’s hard.

    I don’t think the comparison to Lemieux and Jagr era is apples to apples.

    Lemieux’s health issues severely limited him after ’93 and the team progressively shed salary after that too.

    I don’t think it’s like Bylsma said in his press conference that “people think you can just punch a ticket”.

    It’s hard, it’s grueling, it’s the hardest tournament pro team sports IMO.

    That is why fans expect so much effort and determination in the playoffs. And aside from a few rounds, I just don’t see that from this team since ’09. That team refused to quit, refused to give up on a game. Just don’t see that anymore and that’s gotta change.

    If you’ve seen the Montreal- Bruins series, that’s how a team plays playoff hockey.

    I agree with your statement about playing younger players. Maybe they would go a long way to infuse the energy and effort required in the playoffs.

  18. Arriba Wilver says:

    Lots of thoughtful posts on the Penguins.

    Good stuff.

  19. chethejet1 says:

    Wandy at some point has to show he can compete while it still means something. I am not in the camp off looking good in Sept when the team has no pressure. These guys get 14 million to pitch well in games that matter, not ones that are going through the motions.

  20. Jandy says:

    Might be a while…

  21. Jandy says:

    I tried to stay up and watch the Bucs, but of course I fell asleep. It was still 1-1. Read the papers that a few scrubs…errr..players pulled off a win :)

  22. I would certainly hope that the Bus can win more than one game at Miller Field this season. Now as for the Pens, Coach Dan Bylsma is apparently on the way out although they’re apparently divided on GM Ray Shero.

  23. Thundercrack says:

    That 8PM start time instead of 7pm makes a big difference to me too zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  24. Thundercrack says:

    Those two guys are at Indy because:
    1) Wandy is an experienced player who was a quality starter just a year or so ago. Managers like experienced players.

    2) Wandy is owed a lot of money. They are going to be COMPLETELY sure that Wandy doesn’t have it anymore before they cut him loose and eat that salary

  25. Thundercrack says:

    I think it was Mark Madden who said that Bylsma wouldn’t be fired until tomorrow at the earliest because today is the day when the players go and clean out their lockers and they don’t want to the players to have to answer a bunch of questions regarding the firing of their head coach.

    I guess that wouldn’t be too fun. How thoughtful.

  26. Jandy says:

    Not to mention I had a glass of red wine…

    Lights out!


  27. Arriba Wilver says:

    They still owe Bylsma what, one or two year’s salary?

    In hockey coach years he’s been here a working lifetime.

  28. Miss Inga Molar says:

    A little late, but…

    The *visual* broadcast of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball was captivating.

    Must admit to NOT having watched a Sunday Night ESPN game recently (no need to explain why)

    The extra cameras and angles(both static and during play) were put to good use and made PNC look all the part of a showcase ballpark.

    PNC looked to have better, brighter, lighting, greener grass, and the skyline views were exceptional. (maybe ESPN uses better cameras with more dynamic range)

    Perhaps my cable company compresses the ROOT broadcast more than ESPN and that makes the
    picture less crisp and appealing.

    Not certain that I liked the mic’d bat sounds on the ESPN game, but is was surely a different experience than ROOT.

    ROOT Sports, you do nice work, but you CAN do better. I’ve seen it.

  29. DJ says:

    Some good points, BB.

    Until this year, I thought Neal was an asset and you certainly don’t willy-nilly dispose of wingers who can put up 30-40 goals. Focusing on his play in particular in the post season changed my view based principally on lack of effort rather than results.

    I’d explore a trade and if it brought back at least equal value, I’d do it.

  30. Coach Bill Cowher was a guest this morning on 93-7 the fan and they used this occasion to announce that he’d be one of the anchors this season on the NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football and that they’d begin their telecasts with the Steelers vs. the Baltimore Ravens this fall. Also, the Steelers’ regular season will begin with the Cleveland Browns and Johnny Manziel, which should be interesting.

  31. Randy Cyphert says:

    Regarding the “fun”(lack of) comments. My take is a bit different. I think it is possible that Sid, Geno and others were frustrated with lack of adjustments, the benching of certain players, and not benching others. They no longer bought into DB’s system and for them the fun had been destroyed. IMO. Additionally, I believe Letang could flourish again under a different coach. He was a good two way player under MT. He has regressed every year under DB and Staff. Again, just my opinion. Will be be very interesting to see how everything unfolds. have a great day!

  32. Jim S. says:

    Bingo on #2, TC. Wandy would not be starting today if he made $1 million. I’m not saying they would dump him if that was the case, but Cumpton would be in the rotation right now.

  33. Jim S. says:

    Move out here to the Central Time Zone.

  34. Thundercrack says:

    That’s a dumb idea Jim.

    The East is where it’s at!

    Why don’t you guys start the games earlier in the CTZ

  35. Jandy says:

    Is there a house up for sale with at least a 4 car garage so hubby can store/work on all his toys?


  36. 21sthebest says:

    Casey Kasem has been spotted in Washington State on vacation with his wife.

  37. DJ says:

    I wonder if Ray should pay the Pens’ public relations “machine” on the side to save his job.

    They’re pretty good.

  38. Jim S. says:

    That looked a little more like the Bucs from last year. Frankie pitched great, although I didn’t understand why he got pulled after 6 innings and 87 (I think) pitches. I hope he isn’t injured. Did anyone hear anything?

    * It was nice to see Chris Stewart come through with a big hit. He’s a good catcher, but he has been struggling with the bat.

    * Great decision by Clint to pinch run Barmes for Ike right before the Stewart hit. Davis would have needed to be held at 3rd or would have likely been thrown out at the plate on that play. Who knows how it would have played out. Good call, Skip!

    * Hopefully, that double means Marte is just about back to full health. We really need him. Tabata and Snider in the same lineup is not a recipe for success.

    * I hope Cutch’s foot injury isn’t going to linger. He seems to be favoring it.

    * Pedro did not look good against Smith on that 3 pitch whiff, and I thought he pulled a couple of pitches in early at bats that he has been taking to LF this year. On one of them, he managed to roll it through the right side. He played well in the field.

    * Jordy’s bat continues to perk up.

    * Can Wandy somehow give us 6 innings of 2 run pitching today? That’s all I ask.

    * Did Bob Walk really say it would have been nice to face Tanaka this weekend? Is he out of his mind? Hey, Bob. Tape one of the Yankees games when he pitches against some other team if you want to see him so badly. I’m just fine with missing him.

    * If they can somehow eke out a win today, maybe they can get on a little bit of a roll. I keep saying that, hoping it will eventually be true.

  39. Arriba Wilver says:

    You think he’ll get another head coaching job? If Shero goes, he definitely will be picked up, I expect. Not sure about Disco.

  40. Jim S. says:

    We like to torture yinz folks back East ‘n at. It is kind of nice that the news comes on at 10, too.

  41. SeanAY says:

    When I think of Letang falling apart all of a sudden, I think to just how bad Sergei Gonchar was when he first got to Pittsburgh. Eddie Olczyk’s system had a complete lack of structure – in fact, if I remember correctly, when he got the job he boasted he wouldn’t employ any fancy systems and would let the players on the ice dictate play, or something like that – and Gonchar seemed completely lost.

    Therrien stepped in and laid down the structure, and all of a sudden Gonchar flourished. That’s because it’s easier to play fast when you don’t have to think about what to do next, you can just react based on how you’ve been conditioned to respond.

    Could Letang benefit the same way? As many have said, his physical ability and conditioning are beyond question.

  42. Jim S. says:

    4 car garage? Is your house the HQ for the NHL offices?

    I’m sure you can find one. But, for some reason, the houses cost too much money in this place.

  43. DJ says:

    Dan will land on his feet, I suspect, but it may take longer than this off season. Many GMs may consider his philosophies / strategies outdated.

    For me, his greatest failing was his inability to adjust on the fly. No Plan B.

  44. Jim S. says:

    Self-editor’s note. Please excuse my use of the term “tape” in the Bob Walk comment. Should have said “record” with it being the 21st Century and all.

  45. NMR says:

    Are we still really continuing this meme?

    Two words: sunk cost

  46. Jandy says:

    Yeah, they cost too much here too lol

  47. Gallon is not spelled g-l-a-s-s.

  48. Dom says:

    What was his claim to fame? I only remember guest starring on Save By the Bell when I was a kid.

  49. Arriba Wilver says:


  50. It’s CST here, too, which is ridiculous. Never light past 8:45 even in June.

  51. Reading says:

    Since the Bruins also lost Game 6 and Game 7 (at home), I suppose they’re getting rid of their coach and GM, too; right?

  52. DJ says:

    If not traded (first preference), I think Letang needs to be reeled in offensively.

    A sound D structure would be good.

  53. Milo Hamilton says:

    The over/under on the Pirates game today is 8. Considering the Buccos struggles with Gallardo, it’s going to fall mostly on Juan D. to make that over happen. Judging by his work last week in AA I’m confident he’s up to the task.

  54. Jandy says:

    Could the same apply to Scuderi? I mean, I don’t expect him to be lights out, but would a more structured “system” make him look better, too?

  55. Jandy says:

    I also think Dan will land another job…sooner rather than later.

  56. Arriba Wilver says:

    Never understood that, either, especially since on very rare occasions, he would.

  57. Jandy says:

    LOL SPunkster…hubby poured it for me, so what can I say? ;)

  58. Nate83 says:

    If they win today it will be 4 series wins in a row with an 8-4 record against some good teams. That’s definately a step in the right direction. If they can do that over the next 24 games they will be in good shape when the savior arrives. Just to clarify I’m talking about Polanco and not Grilli :)

  59. Arriba Wilver says:

    He did the top 40 on AM radio for years, I think, at least on the weekends. Yes, AM radio.

  60. DJ says:

    No. Get rid of him at all costs.

    Insist Detroit takes Scuds off our hands for letting Babcock out of his last year.

  61. Arriba Wilver says:

    We won’t tell Grilli.

  62. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    haha milo….day game. Alvarez shows up today and wandy hangs in there. All is right with the world. hey who’s that prospect by the way that they are saying will be up by the next homestand?

  63. Jandy says:

    he might throw his book at you!

  64. Arriba Wilver says:

    Oh, he’s going against Gallardo? As I speculated earlier in the week, this one’s already expected to be a loss, no matter who we put in there.

    Hard to argue.

  65. Jandy says:

    Your point?

  66. DJ says:

    I’m struggling to think of the last occasion.

  67. Jandy says:

    I pull up Sirius on my Dish, and listen to him all over again on 6007 for the 70’s :)

  68. Lad 9 says:

    LOL on the garage line. You have been on a roll lately Jim….

  69. Thundercrack says:

    It is a sunk cost, but don’t you think this owner and FO would like to do everything they can do maximize the return on that sunk cost? If not they would have cut him weeks ago.

  70. Jandy says:

    Jimster, you really got my avatar on that one, buddy :P

  71. Sarah says:

    Re Shero, good posts all…..
    Take a few minutes here and review his draft picks in Nash when he was there which was 1998 til 2006.

    He drafts:
    Tons of D, many in the NHL and several very good.
    Hardly any Fs….
    The ones he does draft, it is startling how few are contributing in terms of GP and GS for Nash…..most are not even in the NHL.

    IOW, this track record re lack of ability to eval forwards was out there with RS from the beginning.

    None should be surprised, and I don’t think this is all on the scouts (unless he brought all his with him, which I doubt….)

  72. Thundercrack says:

    I think Bylsma will definitely get another job. Look at all the other recycled coaches that keep getting jobs. And a lot them don’t have Stanley Cup winner or Olympic head coach on their resume.

  73. My earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed (Philippians 1:20) for Wandy today is get about 3 innings out of him with no harm and have a quick hook. Seems like he faultered in rehab after about 3 innings.

    They can’t expect him to be stretched out for heaven’s sake.

    Who is the “long man” these days, still Gomez?

  74. Nate83 says:

    Just to clarify by his book are you talking about the bible or his autobiography.

  75. I would hope that Wandy would be able to give the Bucs a decent effort this afternoon considering that he apparently didn’t do that well in rehab recently.

  76. Sarah says:

    Yay another Strawman!!!

    You take it, Jandster…..

  77. DJ says:

    Against the Habs I thought Pens had a chance. Against the Bruins I thought they had none.

    Which makes this year’s exit all the more frustrating.

  78. Nate83 says:

    Well Liriano should be available for 1 inning since he was removed an inning to early yesterday.

  79. He needs to pitch the 8th inning for a while when he does come back. Get back in the swing of things. We’re still climing out of that 10-18 hole and no need to crawl back in.

  80. Dom says:

    Thanks for the info but I’ll take DKs podcast over AM radio any day of the week.

  81. Wild Bill says:

    Canadiens players report that Milan Lucic said threatening things to them in the congratulatory handshake line last night. Big surprise, considering the source.

    Eastern Conference’s regular season top two teams gone before the conference final. The power of great goaltending and high compete levels.

  82. Sarah says:

    All good thoughts.

    And let take the opp to note that my rankings re Shero and Bylsma have been mostly very politely accepted here in this community, even when quite unpopular….so thanks for that guys and gals!

  83. After seeing that clip of him at that concert last year, I don’t think he’s talking about the Bible.

  84. 21sthebest says:

    I know a pitcher is allowed 30 days in the minors on a rehab stint. I’m not exactly sure when that clock would have started for Wandy. If it starts with his first minor league start, then he’d have until the end of May.

  85. Jim S. says:

    Yes, with Stolmy out, I think long duty falls on Gomez.

  86. 21sthebest says:

    There’s still news on TV? You heard of the internets out there in the midwest?

  87. Nate83 says:

    I’m not as anti-Bylsma as others on the blog but you can’t just continue to allow Sid and Geno’s prime years go by without at least making it to some Stanley Cup Finals. Something has to change. To much puck watching and to much not making the smart and easy play for my liking. Players like Sutter, Stempniak, Matta, Martin and Niskanine rarely if ever made decisions that could put their team in a bad position. They played the percentages and stayed responsible with the puck. I’m sure that was the exspectations the coaches had for all players but for whatever reason it didn’t happen. Hopefully a new coach and some different players can help change that. Unfortunatley I don’t think the right players will change.

  88. Jim S. says:

    He already knows.

  89. Milo Hamilton says:

    His last 8 drafts have produced 37 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL goals. Hockeymonster will be happy to know that Dustin Jeffrey leads the way with 15.

  90. 21sthebest says:

    I’m still laughing at Jim’s comment the other day:

    “[Steve Pearce] is not actually named Limas Sweed. You got me there.”

  91. strawman

    1. a person used as a cover for some questionable activity [syn: front man]
    2. a weak or sham argument set up to be easily refuted [syn: straw man]
    3. an effigy in the shape of a man to frighten birds away from seeds [syn: scarecrow]

  92. He’s pitched better lately, but that’s not from a good starting point. He was awful early on.

  93. Nate83 says:

    Cumpton should be starting today.

    Wandy has earned the right to have another shot but today was not the right spot. He still had a good 2 or 3 starts available during his rehab. He obviously has stuff that still needs to be worked on and Cumpton is a much better pitcher at this time.

  94. Sarah says:

    I think Scuderi, Letang, BB and even MAF fall into the category of players who are maybe hard to evaluate in the system they have been in under Bylsma. As a 5-6 D who is NOT expected to hit more than a 10 foot pass and always has puck support in his own end, dunno, “maybe” Scuderi could be OK….? Letang…? I think he has actually regressed, as Malkin has (emotionally) and might improve a lot under a more structured coach.
    Even MAF…..look at the Philly Gs who under different systems which had better D are doing very well….

    I mean really, the lack of structure and the lack of support in the Dzone, makes me not even sure what we’ve got.

    It was that bad.

    I do strongly suspect Scuderi is done though. Maybe not before the broken ankle, but certainly after.

  95. Jim S. says:

    I think he sits at least a year, but he’ll get another shot.

  96. Sarah says:

    How many of those goals were scored by D?

  97. Sarah says:

    God , I love it! Loooch can go F himself and the POS horse he rode in on.

    I will read all the Boston papers today and enjoy the schadenfreude !

  98. 21sthebest says:

    The trainer went out to Liriano in the 5th I believe. Haven’t heard anything but I was thinking that’s why he came out after the 6th.

  99. Milo Hamilton says:

    14. 9 of them by Maata this year. I’m getting the numbers from DK’s blog entry above. I just thought something that pathetic should be repeated. And by the way, I think he survives. He shouldn’t, he should be the first to go.

  100. Jim S. says:

    It’s an odd decision. Cumpton tends to keep the ball on the ground, and Wandy is more of a flyball pitcher. With his stuff currently playing the way it is, I don’t like him pitching today. Like I said earlier, though, I’d be thrilled if he somehow gave us 6 innings w 2 runs. Then, we’d have a fighting chance. That would be his best performance of the year – at any level.

    Seems like purely a financial decision to have Wandy starting right now for the big club.

  101. I think he pitched a maybe Monday, Nate. Or Sunday.

  102. Mike says:

    To me Shero needs to go. People mention that everyone was so excited and applauded his moves. I feel a lot of us in this discussion board could build a team around malkin and Crosby but, We are not the ones who are supposed to be educated on what is right or wrong for the team and how they will fit. We all get a little nastalgic when a scuderi gets resigned. If a manager of a company continuously makes bad decisions what do you think would happen to him?

  103. Jandy says:

    Animal!!! He should just go away!

  104. Jandy says:

    Not being mean, but let’s compare apples to apples, not oranges.

  105. Jandy says:

    both? ;)

  106. Arriba Wilver says:

    I had the same thought. Short term loss of one inning for long term benefit.

  107. Sarah says:

    God Milo, I hope not.
    inside sports is saying Pat Brisson is on the candidate list for GM, which would certainly complete the Country Club.

    That might actually be worse.

    They need outsiders. New sherries in town IMO.


    I know there’s been a lot of highlighting what Shero has done in the draft (or lack thereof), but I think it’s even more important to look at what Bylsma has done with players and prospects. The word on Bylsma before he took the head coaching job was that he preferred veterans whom he trusted (Mark Letestu, anyone?), and his tenure has done nothing to disprove that. There seems to be a gaping chasm between WBS and Pittsburgh where prospects are too good to benefit from more time in the minors yet on too short a leash to get any traction in the NHL.

    As for Letang, I firmly believe he has regressed. He’s a generational talent offensively, but he’s been given too much freedom and not enough structure and responsibility. He’s a very sharp player, though, and I think a few years under the right coach and he’ll be the defenseman we all hoped he could be… namely, Pittsburgh’s Nik Lidstrom.

  109. Jandy says:

    Thanks for the input you two!

  110. Arriba Wilver says:

    What, you don’t like the Disney channel, Dom?


  111. Sarah says:

    I think Maatta is in the Lidstrom mold.
    For Letang, he really needs to grow a brain. And I still believe his contract is crippling and as a D man he cannot contribute much to what the Pens really need, which IMO is talent on W.

  112. Jandy says:

    Good stuff, RF

  113. JohninOshkosh says:

    Excellent point, Reading!

  114. Nate83 says:

    Thanks for the info. I was watching on gamecast so I didn’t know that happened. Definatley better to error to the side of cation in that situation. Very nice outing by him. Morton has looked better of late. Them plus Cole pitching well will be the only way this thing gets turned around.

  115. Milo Hamilton says:

    That would be awful. But hey, no one gets into Bushwood without first being screened by the committee. It’s increasingly looking like a committee of one. What a mess. Oh well, maybe a new coach could institute 2 mustache boys a month. Or instead of West Point, they could go to Kennywood instead. Gotta up that fun quotient.

  116. Jandy says:


  117. Dom says:

    The Disney Channel has nobody as knowledge about Pittsburgh Sports as much as DK.

  118. Jandy says:

    You have quite the memory, SPunkster!

  119. Arriba Wilver says:

    Excellent point. MM’s been doing fine, too.

  120. Jandy says:

    Dom, you are soooo cute :*

  121. Nate83 says:

    I think it was Monday but the decision was made before that and he would have been held back if the decision was to go with Cumpton. I’m not giving up on Wandy I just don’t think he should have been brought back based on what he needed to work on and what he showed in his few AAA starts not to mention the nice little stretch the Pirates have put together. This is a very important game today. Really not the time to be rolling the dice that Wandy has regained his control.

  122. Nate83 says:

    That is an excellent point. He is all knowing.

  123. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m sure DK is flattered by the comment.

  124. Sarah says:

    Billy, I bet that was just Rossi making shite up.
    Long practices ? WHAT practices? They didn’t hold any, the entire NYR series.

    I think they got sick of Bylsma, not of practicing hard.

  125. Scott says:

    I would have agreed with you on Shero until a couple days ago. I couldn’t care less about the lack of wingers he’s drafted – that’s irrelevant when you’re such a master of trades that you can pick up Kunitz and Neal in exchange for spare parts. Also, despite the criticism, his draft strategy of always taking defensemen is brilliant – we’ve seen how he’s been able to flip those defensemen for higher-value forwards. And I don’t even necessarily blame him for the draft – the buck does stop with him, sure, but he’s not the one going to watch 17-year-olds play – his scouts are. Clearly the draft problems go way beyond Shero.

    But… as people have pointed out, Shero allowed this team to get old, slow, and soft. And he gave out too much money to the wrong players. I’m not bothered as much by the Letang deal as I am the Adams, Scuderi and Dupuis deals. (We all love Dupuis now, but in 2016-17 when he’s a 38-year-old fossil with no speed and no value, the Pens will still be paying him $3.75M.) So at this point I’m ambivalent about Shero. Perhaps a new GM is the way to go.

    There’s no question Neal must go, however. I’m surprised this is even up for debate. Neal is lazy, has a bad attitude, and is a stupid-penalty machine. Do you not see that he’s exactly the type of player that destroys this team in the postseason every year? Trade him now while his value is still high.

  126. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    Remember how long we were all screaming “GET GENO A WINGER!!”

    Do we all not remember the ranting and raving that occurred for 4 years prior to Neal’s arrival?

    Not saying Neal should be retained, i actually agree, just reminding everyone that filling the LW slot next to Geno isn’t quite as easy as we would like it to be. Or as easy as it SHOULD be for a player of his talent.

    (insert personal opinion/explanantion here)

  127. Scott says:

    Minor point, but Neal actually has 11 career playoff goals. They have all come in 7 games, which is what people are referencing when they say that he’s scored in 7 of 38 playoff games.

  128. hockeymonster says:

    Milo, I’m effin tickled. :)

    And bringing in Sid’s agent? Soooo….cliche….

  129. Arriba Wilver says:

    C’mon, Reading. You know better than that. The Bruins beat the Pens last year in 4 games to get to the Stanley Cup finals. They lost then, but . . . We aren’t really talking about similar situations. And they don’t have the best hockey player on the planet.

    You think Bylsma and/or Shero should be retained?

  130. hockeymonster says:

    I think the stuff we read about players being unhappy cuz of lack of fun and criticism is a counter-insurgency play disco and his people.

    Cue the Quinton Tarantino circular firing squad!

  131. hockeymonster says:

    …by disco and his people.

    Why would ownership undermine the players if they want to replace the coach and possibly the GM?

  132. Jim S. says:

    I missed that. Thanks for the info.

    I hope it’s not going to always be something with him now for the rest of the season.

  133. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    Mandatory practices during days off in the playoffs are a bit extreme.
    1) by May if the players still haven’t “gotten it” they need benched, not coached.
    2) See games 2 and 3 as for the amount of rest hockey players need after 90+ hockey games. The Rangers were wearing lead skates. More practice was the last thing they needed.
    3) NOBODY likes practice. Win or lose, playoffs or pre-season, all players hate them. It’s like saying hockey gear smells bad, or they get annoyed when their stick breaks. It’s hockey. It happens. Connecting players dislike of practice to a reason for their dislike of Bylsma is akin to saying they dislike him because the ice at CEC is cold and wet.

  134. Jim S. says:

    But, I think we all know that probably won’t fly with Grilli’s veteran ego. At least, I’d be very surprised if it did.

  135. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m going to shock you, Nate. I expect the Pirates have their reasons beyond finances for putting Juan D in today. The Cumpton love on here is overwhelming. Did you see Gallardo is pitching? A 10-1 loss is the same as a 3-1 loss. Not that I’m suggesting they are punting. To quote Daq, let’s see how it plays out on the field.

  136. Jim S. says:

    Thanks, Lad. Blind squirrel theory.

  137. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    Dan won’t even have to leave the Metro division. If Washington doesn’t snap him up the Hurricanes will. I can bet Shero and Bylsma wind up in the same town, my bet is Washington. The players on that roster fit with their style. If it is only Bylsma to bear the brunt of failure then I’m guessing Carolina and the Staal Brothers.

  138. Thundercrack says:

    I think results in rehab starts may be just behind ST starts.

    Unless you are James Macdonald

  139. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    Am i the only one that saw Letang play his best hockey in 2 years this past month? Back in November I echoed this same sentiment, but in these past playoffs he played quality minutes, IMO.

    And really, the value of Letang and his role, like every other player, is COMPLETELY CONDITIONAL on the next coach.

    If it’s Barry Trotz, he stays and wins a Norris.

    If it’s some horrid Tortorella/Keenan clone….not so much

  140. 21sthebest says:

    That has merit but I’m not sure why they aren’t milking the rehab time they have left.

    As far as the finances go, if they cut Wandy right now and go with a league minimum player for the rest of the season, the incremental cost to the team is around $400k. I guess they could be that cheap.

  141. NMR says:

    “…but don’t you think this owner and FO would like to do everything they can do maximize the return on that sunk cost?”

    Sure, but how would throwing him to the dogs be maximizing anything?

    Wandy is pitching today because somebody making baseball decisions wants him to.

  142. Arriba Wilver says:

    F ‘em. I don’t think Clint’s worried about Grilli’s ego.

  143. NMR says:

    Absolutely agree, 21.

  144. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    And i don’t think Bylsma favored veterans as much as he favored “his guys”. Remember one of Bylsma’s first big decision was when he was still “interim coach” and he benched Petr Sykora. Sykora was a proven NHL scorer, with playoff experience and beloved by team mates, fans and the media. He was Geno’s best friend and at the time was one of the few players they had who could even grow a playoff beard.

    Bylsma benched him in favor of Miroslav Satan, who hadn’t played hockey in a month and wasn’t that effective when he did.

    Bylsma’s doesn’t neccesarily favor veterans (he did just bench Tanner Glass in favor of Bryan Gibbons, after all) as much as he has his idea of how hockey players need to play. And maybe that mold is a little to one-dimensional. Perhaps his definition of hockey player is to shallow? predictable? redundant? Perhaps his idea of a hockey player isn’t diverse enough and embrace players to fit specific roles?

  145. NMR says:

    It’s not like they milked his rehab time for every minor league start they could get him and are now being forced to add him back onto the major league roster.

    Baseball people want him to pitch today in Milwaukee.

  146. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    +++ Claude Julien hasn’t won a stanley cup in 4 years!! What a hack….what a bum…

  147. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    Shero’s draft strategy has been what it should be when you pick at the end of the draft: best available. It happens to be that near the end of the first round that has been defensman. If there is one thing i would be critical of their recent drafting is their foreign scouting. The penguins used to be at the forefront of over seas scouting and did very well getting guys like Nedved, Lang and Stratka while everyone else was still drafting square-jawed lumberjacks from Moose Foot, Alberta.

  148. Jim S. says:

    He’s a peach, that one. Anybody who would skate up behind another player, and take his stick and …

    I just can’t imagine a real competitor ever doing something so cowardly and cheap. There has to be a line you don’t cross and he has no idea where it is.

  149. BillyBaduka says:

    Thanks for the correction Scott.

  150. Jim S. says:

    Maybe they see something about him turning a corner that isn’t showing up in his performance. That’s what I’m hoping for. But, he’s pretty much been rocked every time out.

  151. Jandy says:

    He’s a p*ssy!

  152. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    His drafts have been small because he has spent them in trades. It is a short term vision and makes it difficult later on when you get older, but lets all remember we called Shero a Hero and magicain when he was getting Iginla, Murray, Leopold and all the other deadline deals he made. He also got Billy Geurin and Gary Roberts in similar deals. Those all seemed to work out pretty good. This hand-wringing over the loss of draft picks is the simplest and cruelest form of hindsight being 20/20 type of thinking.

    He was a genius when he made the deals and now he is a fool that they didn’t work out. Sorry but you can’t have it both ways….

  153. Milo Hamilton says:

    Beau Bennett needs another wrist surgery.

  154. Jim S. says:

    I don’t think Clint’s worried about it, either. But, veteran guys can be a disruptive influence if they aren’t happy. I thought Grilli seemed to be setting it up that he was not going to be happy with a rehab stint.

    I would hope he would put the team first once the coaches and mgt. make the decision, whether he likes the decision or not.

  155. BillyBaduka says:

    I think he definitely gets another shot. I hope he does. He should.

    If he does go, he should think long and hard about adherence to his system, changes in the game the past few years and come up with a plan B, C and D.

    He’s a good coach if not a great coach just not what the Pens need at this time.

    Jesse Marshall at Face Off Factor lays this out far better than I could:

  156. Arriba Wilver says:

    Rossi making things up? Rossi?

    And you cite Madden as an authority lots of times?

    Actually, Rossi was banned from talking to Sid for a while. I was actually beginning to think that the marketing department had something to do with that.

    But suggesting Rossi made things up? Any evidence from anything previously? That’s a pretty serious allegation.

  157. Jim S. says:

    That’s where I was coming from, TC.

  158. hockeymonster says:

    Taking all those hooking and holding calls in offensive zone must have taken it’s toll.

  159. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    I will risk the admosnishment of my companies IT administrator and post during work hours. It hasa been to long my friends,…Anyways.

    When Sid makes comments on any or all changes that are made are going to be the most telling to me. If Sid vehemently denies clashing with coaches or bad feelings in the locker room then I will believe him. The whole thing with this “source” from Rob Rossi is we are all supposed to assume that it’s credible. What if this “source” is Bylsma’s wife’s spin class partner. Mrs. Bylsma makes some off-hand comment about how Dan got in a fight with Sid over something, and someone that never even met Crosby blows it out of proportion.

    And since when is it Armageddon if a coach and player have some friction? EVERYBODY has a rub once in awhile with their boss. Especially in a stressful situation. The assertion that the relationship is beyond repair is PURE SPECULATION unless Rob Rossi’s “source” is Bylsma or Crosby. I know it isn’t polite to come on a trib sponsored blog and blatantly question their professionalism (sorry Dejan. Sorry Rob. You had to know people would question this though…) but why is this the first we have ever heard of this? Literally just 7 days ago we were still calling Sid and Shero the best at what they do.

    I’m not saying Bylsma won’t be fired, or even that he doesn’t deserve to be. Bylsma and every coach understands the accountability that comes with the title. I’m saying that all of the rumors and gossip going on in the media is just that. Until somebody credible in the Penguins organization makes specific, public comments all of the drama and accusations being thrown around by the local media is reckless and selfish. If this all comes out as even 80% true, then I’ll have a new level of respect for Rossi, Prisuita everyone else making these claims. And the next time they cite “sources” I’ll be more inclined to believe them.

    Right now, all they are doing is causing permanent damage to the reputation and careers of people, that as recently as last week, were some of the most highly respected people in their profession and in all of Pittsburgh.

    All of a sudden Shero is a hack? Didn’t he just win GM of the year? GM of the US Olympic Team? Is considered one of the top executives in all of hockey? THAT Ray Shero?

    All of a sudden Bylsma is a hard-ass and poor coach? Didn’t he just win more games than any other coach in Pens History? Fastest to 300 wins in NHL history? Win a Stanley cup? The coach that was voted as the coach a vast majority of NHL’ers want to play for? THAT Dan Bylsma?

    All of a sudden Crosby is a poor captain? Isn’t he the youngest captain to win a Stanley cup? The youngest to captain a Canadian Olympic team to a Gold medal? They take hockey pretty seriously up north, and they don’t let just anybody wear the “C” on their Olympic team. I’m thinking if Mike Babcock, Canada and the best players in the world think Crosby is good enough for captaincy, then he is good enough for Pittsburgh, the Penguins and everbody freakin’ else.

    Crosby is a choker? The guy who scored the OT winner for an Olympic gold medal? Only current NHL player with an Art Ross, Hart, Rocket Richard AND Stanley Cup ring? THAT Sidney Crosby?

    In fact, while we’re at it….. Everybody does know that Henrik Lundqvist is a pretty good hockey player too, right? So was Tuuka Rask last year. In fact, if Rask wins this year as expected, then the last 3 goalies the Penguins have faced in the Playoffs will be the last 3 Vezina trophy winners (Lunqvist, Boborvsky and Rask).

    There are other teams with good players. Some of them actually have the nerve to play extremely well against the Penguins rather than just roll over as we would like. Just sayin…..

  160. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    I would trade Neal and another top 9 Forward for Lucic TOMORROW. He is EXACTLY the type of player we are all saying the Penguins need.

    All that abuse Crosby took from Dubinsky and Staal would NEVER, EVER happen if Lucic was wearing a different type of black and gold. Lucic isn’t some hack goon either. Dude actually can play. he just doesn’t put up with any BS.

    When you’re 6’3″ 240 you don’t have to.

  161. hockeymonster says:

    Any word on Orpik?

    Tough break for one the best and most consistent all time Pens. His loss was bigger than most people would care to admit and hope he’s able to come back at 100%. Hope Brooksies contributions don’t get lost in the wash of the chaos.

  162. BillyBaduka says:

    + many Sean

    Great point about Gonchar.

    I remember that with Gonchar well.

    Not many can flourish in “open” systems. Improvisation is a skill in and if itself and not all have it. And using it doesn’t make one good.

    Gonchar is a great player but needed a system, needed to be able to rely on players being in a certain spot in certain situations.

  163. Milo Hamilton says:

    Brian Gibbons has been sent to Wilkes Barre. The AHL, a hobbit’s natural habitat.

  164. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    I don’t think Rossi completely fabricated anything. That would be grounds for termination and exiled from the profession. I DO QUESTION the validity of his source. Is it Dana Heinze?

    Or one of Bylsma’s daughters friends that overheard half a conversation, told her mom who also happens to be Rossi’s sister’s spin yoga partner?

    You can see how one of those is infinitely more reliable than the other. But in terms of journalism they would both be called “a source”. I’m not saying it’s one or the other either. But it seems convenient that we hear everything isn’t happy in Camelot days after another heartbreaking loss.

    I also have heard Mike Keenan is rumored to be the next coach in Pittsburgh. I’ll believe Bylsma and Crosby are mad at each other because of a love triangle involving 3/5ths of the Spice girls before I believe Keenan is announced as the new coach.

    Point is…when failures like this happens…LOTS of things get said. A lot of times most of them are BS. Remember all the Kordell Stewart rumors?

  165. Dom says:

    I just found out that the Habs beat the Bruins. I never bothered looking at score or watching the game after the Pens were eliminated. I can’t help but to feel that since we didn’t have to face the Flyers and wouldn’t have had to face the Bruins, the stars were in alignment for a Stanley Cup appearance. If we played as good as we did in December, we would have had no problem with the Islanders or with Montreal.

  166. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    As always, Orpik will speak only when he has something important to say. I thought Bortuzzo played well in his sted but Orpik does bring a more stable element to his game than anyone other than Martin. He has a obvious calming influence on games when they get loose and start roaming to much.

  167. Jandy says:

    Nice to see you, Patrick, and a new handle too :)

  168. Jandy says:

    Why do you think everyone is so p*ssed off, Dom? lol


    Agreed. It will be interesting to see what happens when the dust settles if Orpik is still a Penguin, although I have a suspicion that he will be more valuable to a young team in need of a veteran presence on the blueline. Still, that look in his eyes, man…

    Lots of UFAs on the roster and a rapidly approaching entry draft (June 27)… the Pens better figure out their direction and who’s going to guide the ship… quickly.

  170. Jandy says:

    I don’t mind you calling everyone out, (me included), but if you think for one minute that ANYONE is going to acknowledge problems in the locker room, well, then, I’m Mother Theresa :)

    And many times, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

    Not saying everything SI true, I’m just sayin’

  171. Sarah says:

    Hope I didn’t sound like I overlooked his contributions!
    Great contributor for many years, great first pick, great difference maker, by all accounts a great guy.

    Admire him on many levels including his stance on getting fighting out of the NHL.

    Wish him nothing but the best….but it sure sounds like a bad injury.

    Good luck to Brooksie.

  172. Jandy says:

    errrt IS true…darn jandy typos ;grumbling:

  173. Sarah says:

    And LAK and ANA tied 3-3…..

    Good luck to Mike Therrian.

  174. Jandy says:


  175. Jandy says:

    Well, if you’re going that route, I’d much rather have PK Subban…

  176. hockeymonster says:

    Ya, been meaning to congratulate Coach Therrien! Talk about overachieving?!?! Weaver, Crankshaft and Markov on fake knees in your top 6….that’s the definition of overachieving! Goes to show what minding the NZ and moving the puck with support can do.

  177. JD says:

    + many!

  178. Naterosboro says:

    I don’t think it’s that crazy that Ray Shero & Dan Bylsma are kept (if they are). They do have somewhat of a track record of success in terms of Ws/Ls.

    FWIW, I’d like to see a new coach. GM? I’m fine either way.

    Organizations like stability. They like to find something that works, and stay with it. From that standpoint, I could see 1 or both staying.

  179. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    Subban is all talk, no action. Nobody in the league is afraid of PK Subban. He’s never stepped in to defend anybody. Subban is more talented IMO, but in terms of who i would rather have as a Penguin, I would still say Lucic. The Pens already have talent. They need some attitude. Someone who plays angry as a matter of principal, not just after your captain and team mate has taken the 23rd punch in the mouth from some half-assed Scott Hartnell wanna-be like Marc “stop calling me Jordan” Staal

  180. cmat0829 says:

    Game 1 vs. Browns may be interesting but only if Manziel while holding a clipboard does something funny…. zero chance he starts for the Browns before the bye week.

  181. Jandy says:

    We have one of those right on our roster now. Bortuzzo. All you have to do is let him play.

  182. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    Well no, Sid will not publicly say “God, i’m glad they finally fired that unbearable so-and-so…” but what he doesn’t say will be as telling. When they fired Therrien you didn’t hear any kind of talk about how they felt bad about letting their coach down, or how they felt responsible or any kind of guilt driven hand-wrining.

    Remember how quick they are to defend MAF when he had his gaffes? They never let the fans or the media drive the bus over him even when it’s deserved.

    I’m not saying Sid has to be the one driving, BUT, If the first Post-Bylsma presser features Sid and the rest clearing the way and letting whomever wants to drive the bus over their coach that will tell me what i need to know.

    They don’t have to admit it, they just have to NOT deny it…if that makes sense.

  183. Andrew says:

    Rossi is working on the official Malkin biography, but I don’t know what to think of that report.

  184. SeanAY says:

    In the process of this rambling, Pens-fan blinded rant, you managed to insult the credibility of everyone in the Tribune-Review’s editorial process, from writer to columnist to editors.

    You make some pretty bold claims that the reporting of Rossi and Kovacevic, among others, is ” reckless and selfish,” and accuse Rossi of using bunk sources for his story, with no basis for your argument other than “that doesn’t sound like the Pens organization I know!”

    You’ve accused all the reporters bringing us this story of openly LIBELING AND SLANDERING Dan Bylsma, Ray Shero, Sidney Crosby, et al, and your support for that is “The Pens would never do that!”

    I’m just saying, if you want to talk “reckless and selfish,” take a moment to think about what you’re accusing these people of doing.

  185. steelercrazy says:

    When you look at the amount of goals scored by NHL draftees from 2007-2013, regardless of which NHL team the goal was scored for, the Penguins numbers look terrible as well (data from

    Edmonton Oilers 420
    Colorado Avalanche 371
    Los Angeles Kings 363
    Tampa Bay Lightning 347
    New York Islanders 320
    Chicago Blackhawks 305
    St. Louis Blues 270
    Montreal Canadiens 248
    Columbus Blue Jackets 242
    Carolina Hurricanes 230
    San Jose Sharks 217
    Nashville Predators 213
    Buffalo Sabres 194
    Winnepeg/Atlanta 191
    New York Rangers 186
    Ottawa Senators 184
    Dallas Stars 181
    Phoenix Coyotes 179
    Philadelphia Flyers 173
    Anaheim Ducks 150
    Boston Bruins 130
    New Jersey Devils 127
    Washington Capitals 118
    Toronto Maple Leafs 116
    Florida Panthers 105
    Detroit Red Wings 82
    Calgary Flames 68
    Minnesota Wild 66
    Vancouver Canucks 65
    Pittsburgh Penguins 53

  186. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    Like all the FA’s they have i think whomever the new coach is (if there is one) will have a huge say on who goes and stays. Not to many coaches in the league wouldn’t want a solid Dmen like Orpik…but when there is change like this you never know.

    If it’s who we all assume it will be, Barry Trotz, then I can’t imagine Brooks going anywhere. If Barry were to chisel a hockey player from stone, it would be Brooks Orpik.

    Well…ok it would be Shea Weber or Ryan Suter…but you get the point.

    Which brings up a interesting thought:

    Barry Trotz is hired. He and new GM X call Mike Yeo up in Minnesota and propose a straight swap: Malkin for Ryan Suter.

    Would you do it?

  187. JohninOshkosh says:

    Wasting the core years of all that talent in Boston with just one measly SC championship!

  188. Some of you who have been longtime readers will recall how during the whole Hoka Hey fiasco this blog suddenly, magically became flooded with richly knowledgeable people passionately, angrily defending the front office. People who had so much information, so much fire they couldn’t possibly have been outside the operation.

    Looks like we’ve got the sequel here.

  189. Dom says:

    I thought the Bruins were going to win their series and then easily have beaten us, so I didn’t think on Tuesday that there was a chance to make the cup.

  190. hockeymonster says:

    Better chance that Weber would be available. Excuse me while i clean up the drool…But it won’t be for Geno.

  191. Reading says:

    AW, I’m not a live and die Pens fan like I am with the Pirates and Steelers. That said, it was obvious when the Pens got smoked in that Chicago outdoor game that the Pens weren’t winning anything this year. Whether that is the coach or GM’s fault, I don’t know. I know based on the Polanco narratives that it would be econonic malfeasance to pay a guy millions of dollars not to coach. No, he is only one person, and even though another better coach may be out there, the Pens just have to continue to suck until they can bring in a new coach without losing millions of dollars. Besides, a new coach is only one guy. He can’t score, be a goon, etc. by himself. No, the Pens have to wait ti get rid of him.

  192. Arriba Wilver says:

    Patrick–love the name.

  193. Andrew says:

    Same coach who once lost a 3-0 series lead. Bruins also have a $3.5-4.5 million cap penalty due to Ignila’s signing so they are basically capped out next year.

  194. Jandy says:

    Well, I DO remember one having his own blog, not that that means one isn’t a sequel…

  195. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    Well they would never trade Sid. I can’t think any other player the Pens have that could fetch Weber or Suter.

    Maybe Letang + Neal or Kunitz…..MAYBE…

  196. Arriba Wilver says:

    Thought crossed my mind, Boss.

  197. Arriba Wilver says:

    And, there HAS been the issue of controlling the message raised . . .

  198. Andrew says:

    Douglas Murray was terrible, he could not skate and Shero gave up two 2nd round picks for him. The issue with Shero and his constant trades is they were necessitated by the inability to develop NHL level talent and it as at the point were is has become a cycle.

  199. hockeymonster says:

    I think weber would need to say he wants out first and foremost. May need to involve 3rd team. Have ideas but don’t want to get into today.

  200. Jim S. says:

    Yep, we have internets here now.

  201. hockeymonster says:


  202. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    To be fair I don’t actually think Claude Julien is a bad coach or even coached badly this past series. The Bruins would be crrzaazzzy to get rid of him, and I’m sure they won’t.

    But there are a lot of talented teams that haven’t won a SC in a long time. Anaheim and San Jose come to mind. They have had stacked rosters for the better part of a decade and have 1 SC and one appearance period since 2004. In of itself failing to win a SC in 5 years isn’t grounds for dismissal.

    Failing the way DB has is. But maybe that’s just semantics…

  203. Andrew says:


  204. Jandy says:

    Reading, first of all, I wasn’t trying to be mean. If I came across that way, I apologize.
    Second, the salary of the coach doesn’t count against the cap. Mario and Burkle could elect to eat that. (I gleaned this from what I was seeing here yesterday).
    Third, for not being a fan, you are rather astute at gleaning that the Pens were going nowhere after the Outdoor game fiasco.

  205. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    I thought the Murray pick was a bit steep, too. especially for a blatant rental player. If Murray had come with just 1 more year, then maybe. But 2 months of anyone for two 2nd picks is pretty harsh. The Pens aquirred Billy Guerin for a CONDITIONAL draft pick.

    But one trade does not a legacy make, IMO.

  206. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:


  207. SeanAY says:

    I mean, you knew it was bound to happen, right?

  208. steelercrazy says:

    Jeffrey (17G, 15 with Pens) and Jake Muzzin (12G with Kings), the two most prolific goal scorers to come out of the last 7 drafts for the Penguins, were taken in the 6th round (pick 171) and 5th round (141), respectively, of the 2007 draft. Yep, those same type of mid/late round picks that this team has recently given away with some regularity.

  209. JohninOshkosh says:

    ????? I don’t see a lot of strange names here defending the FO. Most of the strange names I see are squarely in the throw them out camp.

  210. JohninOshkosh says:

    I know Reading doesn’t work in any Pittsburgh front office! Lol.

  211. Jandy says:

    Nah…Reading isn’t a Ninja Turtle

  212. BillyBaduka says:

    See DK’s response to that question in the chat on Tuesday.

    The comparison is laughable.

  213. Arriba Wilver says:

    Of course it’s not Reading. Reading’s been around back to the PG.

    Patrick the prodigal malcontent?

    Could go back to yesterday, too. I’m not going to bother to look.

  214. Jandy says:


  215. Arriba Wilver says:

    Hey, I have no idea who the source is or the veracity of the report. But I AM confident he didn’t make “shite up.”

    That’s a very reckless statement in my view. (And Rossi and I aren’t related, I just respect his work).

  216. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    Eh…that’s a fair reply.

    To be fair, i don’t think DK or Rossi are hacks or slandering whatevers….just that this sudden revelation of discontent is rather startling.

    It wasn’t that long ago Bylsma and his players were playing wiffle ball at practice. Not that feelings can’t change in 9 months, but for a pretty successful working relationship between player and coach to degenerate to the point where the coach has “lost” his star players in one season seems surprising, to say the least. Like I said, if it’s a legitimate source inside the Penguins, then I’m a tool and should go back to doing what my boss thinks he is paying me to do, rather than worry about who gets to be the next Penguins coach.

    Lots of things get reported by sources. A national reporter said last year the Steelers were angry with Ben. People once reported all kinds of things about Jagr, a lot of which were true, but some weren’t.

    I’m not defending Bylsma either, if that wasn’t clear. Failure at any coaching position over a period of time is unacceptable, no matter the reason. It comes with the job. My whole point was that the reason being presented currently, that being one of anger and dissention, isn’t something I’ve ever heard before.

    If it was being reported (by sources or otherwise) that DB was losing his job simply for failing in another post-season I wouldn’t have even thought twice and accepted it as gospel. I can’t remember the last ime i even doubted anything the trib sports writers said about anything…anywhere.

    This is just surprising. Maybe my previous post was a bit harsh on the guys reporting it….but so is what they are saying about the Players and coaches really. They are journalists and I’m sure this isn’t the first or last time someone has questioned their sources.

    Reckless and selfish were over the line, and I should have chosen more carefully. I don’t think anyone is making anything up or outright lying.

    Over-emphasizing certain aspects of the Penguins post-season? Maybe…again…i don’t know. But to your point, no, it doesn’t sound like the Penguins or people i have grown to know through the media.

  217. Andrew says:

    Here is a breakdown of Shero’s tenure with the Penguins it has not been good of late.

    I see a lot of revisionist history concerning Bylsma and his “system.” but I accept that many of the opinions on Bylsma have reached the level of partisan political beliefs. NHL coaches, fair or unfair, are based on playoff success and without it, they become expendable.

    The issue with the Penguins is the lack of bottom six depth, without Crosby or Malkin on the ice the Penguins were one of the worst teams in the league this season and the problem started with the loss of Staal and the inability to piece together a suitable 3rd line. Over the last two seasons the Penguins became a two line team reliant on special teams. It is on Shero or the new GM to fix this issue, no new coach or system can make up for a lack of talent on the ice.

  218. hockeymonster says:

    Patrick, i agree that Tanger really played well for those 10 or so games before stroke and definitely played borderline excellent after. I know PM was great but really don’t think we get by columbus without Tanger being dominant defensively, down low and along the boards. If he keeps this up his cap hit won’t be an issue.

    Anyone who supports trading him probably has a great deal of faith in 20-22 year old dmen who much like bortuzzo will prove to be inadequate in the playoffs. Trading dmen in the mid 20’s who are entering their prime should be down the list of things to consider.

    Based on how things shook out i really think PM would consider a trade. Not because he’s a bad fit, to the contrary PM has been excellent for good chunk of the season and definitely in the playoffs. However, there is something to be said for selling at peak value but I would only CONSIDER it if we get an offer that’s too good to pass up. Don’t think PM would be offended if such a scenario presented itself.

    And since i went down this road, let me suggest that possibly we can show maximum appreciation for PM and the way he turned his game around by offering him to his home state of MN. Wouldn’t want to send him somewhere he doesn’t want to go and along with MN being an up and coming team, he may want to join their squad and provide the leadership and stabilizing presence we’ve come to see from PM. And in the process he’ll get the contract extension that he’s earned the hard way. Watching PM take it upon himself to turn his game around was a tremendous accomplishment and should be an example for the entire organization.

    I’ve been a huge Real Deal supporter but the careless penalties are a concern and will make any team wonder if the juice is worth the squeeze? I believe his issues to be correctable so any trade involving real deal should warrant very very careful consideration.

    That said I’d consider Real Deal and PM for Coyle, Brodin, Folin, and either Gustafsson(goalie) or Olofsson. I presume Granlund and Dumba are off limits.

    P.S. PM’s agent can send a check payable to Jandy, c/o Queen Brandie @ Consol Dome

  219. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    My wife had a baby. Don’t have time to blog anymore.

    And I don’t work for the Penguins. Or anyone inside the operation of anything. Hell i don’t even own season tickets.

    Sorry if my tone, message or fire makes everyone uncomfortable.

  220. Jandy says:

    Congrats on the little one, Patrick. I do remember reading your blog.
    Don’t be shy, if you’re not a troublemaker, we’ll debate you and slam dunk you an d anything else that might come up :)


    Wow, that’s a lot of speculation at this point, Patrick. First, ownership has to decide on the direction the organization wants to go. If they allow Shero to stay and just replace the coach, then I’d expect only minor re-tooling to the lineup and a coach brought in that can work with the existing core. If ownership decides to wipe the slate clean and bring in an entirely new approach, expect at least a partial rebuild.

    As for Barry Trotz, I really hope that’s not the direction the Penguins decide to go.

  222. Andrew says:

    No, another year of Murray would have been worse, the guy bleeds possession and cannot get out of his own zone. He should have never been traded for in the first place, he cannot even find time in Therrin’s more defensive system in Montreal. Of the deadline moves last year only Jokinen was good fit for the Penguins roster, and that might not have happen if Crosby’s jaw wasn’t broken.

  223. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    With only a year left and being 34 I think moving PM would be hard unless the Pens wanted to basically give him away to clear cap space. I can’t imagine the return being that high for a guy that age that isn’t a real points getter.

    I’ve thought A LOT about what I would do if i were the Penguins GM and it really comes down to: Who is my next coach. I just read Starkey’s article and like the title; “what kind of team do you want”? Whether or not Orpik, Letang, Fleury or anybody else stays or goes really depends on who the next bench boss is. Imagine the locker room purge that would happen if someone like Tortorella or Mike keenan was actually hired.

  224. BillyBaduka says:


  225. BillyBaduka says:

    Come to think of it, you’ve got a strange name…


  226. hockeymonster says:

    X factor would be whether or not he signs affordable extension and obviously by including Neal you would increase return and clear cap space to sign or trade for forwards such as my boye Stewart, or a Vrbata, Mason Raymond perhaps, maybe B. Pouliot or Winnik. And i would explore re-signing Goc for sure. Even if it means letting Glass and vitale go.

  227. SeanAY says:

    I’ll agree to tone down a bit as well.

    I get emotional over journalism. I work with a lot of sports writers, and the job they have to do is difficult, especially with the current financial state of the newspaper organization. As a result, I tend to fall on their side on matters like this – and maybe overzealously at times.

    I’m going to take the beat writer’s word for it nine times out of 10, especially over national guys. The person that’s there every day knows what’s going on, typically, and they can’t report on everything they hear at the time they hear it because it could destroy a source.


    Again, it all depends on what direction the ownership wants the organization to go. If they’re not happy with Shero mortgaging the future to win today and decide it’s time to stock the cupboards again, we may see these types of sell-high moves to bring in younger assets. If ownership thinks a contender can be solidified within two or three seasons, PM may be worth more than what he’s able to bring back in trade. Of course, either way, Paul Martin’s future may have a lot to do with how the Penguins handle Matt Niskanen…

  229. hockeymonster says:

    Yes, thanks for reminding me. Part of calculation is having chance to re-sign Nisky and maybe bring back Brooksie if he doesn’t get a crazy offer.

  230. Jandy says:


  231. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    Really? You don’t like Barry Trotz? I mean not that we are on a first name basis or anything…but just from reading todays posts i would think he is the kind of coach you would favor.

    And yea the whole Malkin for Suter thing was total “What would you do if..” speculation. So why not Trotz? If not him, who?

  232. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    I think Goc is definately worth a look. He is certainly more than just a 4th center and a guy to handle faceoffs. But from looking at cap space they have 55 mil dedicated to only 14 players next year. That about 15 mil left for another 10+ players. Assuming Jokinen and Niskanen get deals that eat up a combined 6-7 mil (that’s conservative) that leaves roughly 9 players sharing 8 mil. Thats a lot of guys making league minimum or entry level deals.

    I don’t know…i just don’t see any way the blueline looks anything like it did this year even if DB and RS are back. A lot of tough choices. Whoever takes over is going to have some sleepless nights.

  233. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    Really? Is he really writing his biography?

  234. Andrew says:

    Agree on Orpik, he has great for a long time, but this is a business and the Penguins do not need to be signing a 33 year old defenseman to a multi-year deal. Especially when your system has a lot of defensive talent.

    We will always have this.

  235. JohninOshkosh says:

    Well, I am strange, there is no doubt about that, Bill !!!!


  236. Jandy says:


  237. Arriba Wilver says:

    I just thought the Boston comparison was going at low hanging fruit with no real purpose other than to stick a finger in the eyes of people who rationally think a change is needed.

    No offense intended, but that’s how I took it.

  238. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    I like DB. I do. I think he is a good coach. I refuse to believe you can accidentally win a Stanley Cup. In my mind you either can coach, or you cannot. I don’t believe in flukes at the highest level. And Db has proven many times he is a good coach.

    With that said at some point you have to draw the line. Any coach worth a darn knows the job and knows the expectations. His team failed. He has to be held accountable. Same with Shero. Same with everyone in the whole organization. Jeff Jimerson’s job should be under review as far as I’m concerned. (especially since his last rendition of the anthem he basically left the crowd do it…but regardless…)

    Bring DB back would be akin to accepting mediocrity. In Florida or Phoenix they would be erecting a statue to DB at this point, but in Pittsburgh….

  239. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    Poking people in the eye is the entire purpose of the internet, no?

  240. Jandy says:


  241. BillyBaduka says:

    Nice comeback Osh.

    Hope you’re recovering from a rough Tue night.

  242. hockeymonster says:

    Ok so i couldn’t help myself and came up with a short list of coaching candidates….so i hope you all are seated.

    Dave King: highly knowledgeable and respected. Known as a tactician and someone who can maximize a rosters potential. As far as i know has a mellow personality that would probably mesh well with sid, geno and co. And if teamed up with JM would make for a formidable combo behind the bench.

    Larry Robinson: Somewhat outside the box name and he’s currently in SJ so please dont throw any rotten tomatoes at me. But he is an accomplished coach with defensive credentials.

    Scott Neidermeyer is a name worth keeping an eye on. One of my all time favorites when it comes to all-around play and hockey IQ. Not much experience behind the bench but most be doing a decent job in anaheim cuz we all know it can’t just be ice cream Bruce.

  243. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks! Never better!


    I like Trotz approach and I like his defensive mindset, but I don’t think he’d be a good fit for the Penguins. My biggest concern is he hasn’t had to work with the caliber of offensive superstars that Pittsburgh has on it’s roster. This is not to criticize Nashville, but it’s one thing to commit to a very conservative defensive-first scheme when your team doesn’t have a lot of offensive firepower. It’s another thing entirely to stifle the creativity of some of the most gifted offensive players on the planet. I think Trotz’ system, much like Therrien’s, is much to restrictive to work with the Penguins current core.

    Another big concern is Trotz’ limited playoff experience, especially in the later rounds. Any coach that comes into the Penguins locker room is going to have to earn the players’ respect: he’s going to have to have answers and he’s going to have to have proven experience to back up what he says. If this team is gunning for the Stanley Cup Finals, then they better have a man at the helm who has been there.

    This is where Mike Babcock is an intriguing fit. He’s a very structured coach and preaches defensive hockey, but he’s no stranger to working with superstar offensive talent and he’s no stranger to winning at the highest level of competition. He comes with the resume and the respect that few other coaches can provide. Further, having worked directly with Sid in Sochi, he immediately has an inroad with the most important Penguin in the dressing room.

  245. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    All interesting coaches. Especially Neidermeyer. If hockey starts following the trend in other sports the most successful coaches will be recently retired former players. (Doc Rivers, Jim Harbaugh, Girardi, Patrick Roy) He would certainly have the instant respect of everyone in the room.

    Though all of the coaches on that list would also be considered a “players coach”, which is kind of what they just had.


    I’ve always been a Larry Robinson fan. Great mind, careful, metered approach, good feel for the game, and solid credentials. Not sure quite how the strategy he employed in NJ would work in Pittsburgh or whether he’d consider jumping back behind the bench, but it’s an intriguing thought.

    I’d find a way to hire Neidermeyer as an assistant just to work with Letang.

  247. Patrick the prodigal malcontent says:

    Well if Mike Babcock becomes available that would be a no-brainer. There would probably be 3-4 teams willing to fire their coach if they could get him. But Pittsburgh and Washington would have to be on his short list of teams he would want to go.

    But there is almost zero chance he would leave Detroit or that Detroit would let him go.

  248. Reading says:

    Jandy and AW, It’s all good. My Polanco-based argument was an attempt at a little fun, since I’m on the beaten-down side (some say unenlightened, moronic, etc.) that Polanco should have been here from day one. Tried some teverse rationale.

    Anyway, my point about Boston is that they were the #1 seed, defending champs, and were favored to win. (I think those are all true). They massively underachieved, too, by not even getting to the Conference Finals and blowing a 3-2 game lead to a lower seeded opponent. So, their fans should demand change also.

    One thing I believe should be accounted for the last two years are that both seasons had disruptions: a lockout and the Olympics. Those things screwed up team chemistry, unity, momentum, etc. I think that’s why the past two seasons might be aberrations. Now, the other seasons since the Cup, who lnows?

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