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Morning Java: The Raleigh Syndrome

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Tuesday chat will run from 1-2 p.m., right here on the blog, though entries can be submitted as soon as you see the post. That’s usually around 11 a.m.




>> The Penguins still don’t have a coach, but Jim Rutherford kept right on making waves by openly discussing the imminent fates of Matt Niskanen, Jussi Jokinen and even the team’s first-round draft pick, as beat man Josh Yohe reports.

Some will find that off-putting, Rutherford’s candor. Myself, I’ve already found it ill-advised on at least a couple occasions, not least of which was the blurting out that Willie Desjardins had been his No. 1 choice for head coach before bolting for the Canucks.

The GM has come across as looking like he’s got no filter. And maybe he doesn’t.

But I’d like to toss in here this morning that it’s possible Rutherford is simply conducting business as he’s always needed to do in trying to sell hockey in North Carolina.

Think about it: Rutherford wasn’t just the Hurricanes’ GM. He always was team president. He ran everything, including the business side. And he always had to be in tune with the fact that the only way to get more hockey revenue was to sell more tickets. So, in his dealings with the extremely small media contingent there — almost never more than one reporter traveling with the Canes, even in their Cup year — he surely had a set way of handling things, one that clearly doesn’t fit here. He likes to be honest with reporters. He likes to have trust. And there’s nothing wrong with that, as any of us will tell you. But he’s also got to understand that in a market with much greater interest and much more competition between the many outlets covering the Penguins, the stuff he says is going to get out. It won’t be filtered.

Not making excuses for Rutherford here. Just trying to underscore that being the GM in Raleigh, or even Hartford before that, isn’t the same as being the GM in Pittsburgh.

Elsewhere, R.J. Umberger for Scott Hartnell? Yes, really. And wait till you read what the Blue Jackets have to say about their motivation for acquiring Hartnell.

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page and our Chipped Ice blog.

>> Pedro Alvarez and the Pirates rout the Rays and climb back to .500. Rob Biertempfel reports from St. Petersburg.

Neil Walker returns today, by Biertempfel.

Here’s Rays news from the Tampa Tribune.

Here are official game highlights on MLB.com.

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

>> Thank you, as always, for reading.

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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.

 
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