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On location: NHL Entry Draft, Day 1, Penguins trade Neal

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

PHILADELPHIA – Looking ahead to the Panthers being on the clock

Event: NHL Entry Draft, Round 1

Time: 7 p.m.

Site: Wells Fargo Center

TV: NBC Sports Network (national), TSN (Canada), RDS (Quebec)

Penguins’ pick: 22

Here’s the NHL Entry Draft 2014 official page on

Here’s TribLIVE’s Penguins page and our Chipped Ice blog. Rob Rossi, Josh Yohe and I are on the scene.

UPDATE 4:47 p.m.: Here’s the scene right now as front-office types head toward the 30 tables:


5:08: Bad news for the Penguins already. The NHL and NHLPA just jointly announced the salary cap for 2014-15 will be $69 million, well below some expectations. The current payroll is $55 million for 14 players signed to date. That’s an ouch.

5:55: The Penguins don’t have a trade in line for the 22nd pick, at least not at the moment. They’ve listened to offers. Their scouts have a handful of players they’ve identified for the No. 22 spot, but it’s impossible to even guess at who they might be.

6:54: Leave it to Flyers fans to start a new draft tradition and yell ‘SUCKS!’ after each team is announced. Just wait for Pittsburgh.

6:57: Ha! Well, they at least get credit for making the Penguins feel special. They bypassed the sucks and wait straight for passionate booing.

7:17: Man, I’ve seen Gary Bettman booed, including in Pittsburgh. Never like this. They aren’t letting the man speak. Incredible scene.

7:18: I’m actually enjoying the hell out of this. I’d almost forgotten where I was. Never change, Philly. Never change.

7:20: And the Panthers select — amid a cascade of continuing boos — defenseman Aaron Ekblad of Barrie (OHL) with No. 1 overall pick.

7:22: Give the Philadelphians a break, everyone: They haven’t seen an actual hockey event in June in, what, 40 years?

7:39: Much activity at Penguins table, and it’s unusual to say the least. Rutherford in intense talks with David Morehouse and … Ron Burkle? Yes, Burkle is seated right at the table corner, by the GM. Wow.

7:51: Rutherford’s back. Apparently had some communication with Colorado. Not that this would necessarily support that, but Rutherford also was in a long talk with Patrick Roy a half-hour before draft began.

7:58: Now Winnipeg comes up. Of course it does.

8:03: Whoa. Leafs just drafted the lead singer for Flock of Seagulls.

8:06: James Neal to Nashville, hearing.

8:08: Confirmed: Neal to Predators for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling. Both are wingers. Have to rewrite column completely. Gotta go from here. Sorry.

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. hockeymonster says:

    PM and Neal to MN for a package of players–you know which ones!


    Neal and Kuni to COL for ROR and picks(including 1st)

    DO IT!!!!!!

  2. hockeymonster says:

    Oh and bring me Scherbak, Vanier and the Mayo.

    That will be all. Good day.

  3. DJ says:

    Hope Rutherford has Cheveldayoff’s cell number on him.

    Or they’re splitting a suite.

  4. Pete in Dayton says:

    Salary cap at $69 million. So much for the predictions of $71.
    Cap Geek’s Philly page just got a lot more amusing. I dunno how the Flyers get away with having Pronger on “LTIR” when is obviously retired, and should have some of his salary count towards the cap.

    On good news the floor is $55 million- so hopefully someone will want Scud’s contract to get there. I’m looking at you, Garth Snow.

  5. DJ says:

    Only if Rutherford fed Snow shots all night and he’s got a wicked hangover.

  6. Pete in Dayton says:

    The Islanders are getting sold, and when that goes through, Snow will probably be out of a job. Figure he’s got a chance to get a hometown guy back on the island, AMIRITE??
    The “Giving-Snow-shots-until-he’s-blind” plan sounds like it would work as well.

  7. DJ says:

    Yeah, I know. A once proud franchise.

    Hope they don’t mess with their colors but some marketing geek will add Barclays Black. “Bank” on it.

  8. hockeymonster says:

    Wouldn’t mind taking Hamonic off their hands.

  9. hockeymonster says:

    Really hope we’re chatting up the agents for Vrbata, raymond, winnik, Goc, evil stewie, Fayne and Kostka. And if Kevin Hayes or his agent is out there, we’ll have a primantis sandwich ready for you on august 16th. Wicked good.

  10. theplanisworking says:

    I have heard the prospect of GMJR trading the 1st round pick.
    I have also heard him drafting a forward.

    I really don’t have an opinion of what he should do, just don’t make it another one of the clown-car moves by the Pens this offseason. That would make me happy.

  11. Max says:

    Penguins will probably take Brett Pollock. Mark it down :)

  12. Adam Smith says:

    Does the cap number make it more likely for Rutherford to try to move Letang’s contract?

  13. JA says:

    No, Letang is tailor-made for Johnston’s system. No way he’s traded.

  14. Max says:

    Rutherford will probably keep Scuds they are old timers in their respective position. So they have something in common.

  15. Rbilak says:

    Hope I am wrong but I am betting Rutherford does nothing. Guy does not seem able to make decisions quickly. I do not understand trading pick if it happens, was the concern not Shero and his drafts? Do not get where character and grit are going to come from. We will see but totally unimpressed w Rutherford so far.

  16. Brad Minoski says:

    Yeah the concern was with Shero and his drafts, and his recent FA signings, trades, asset management and salary cap handling. Basically he’s partially responsible for the state this team is in by putting out a out line team with no toughness or quickness.

    I don’t know why your unimpressed with JR. Guy has done nothing yet to earn your disain. So he took long to select a coach. Big deal. God forbid the Pens take their time, go through all their options and go through the selection process instead of making a hasty selection in order to placate a manic fanbase.

  17. Brad Minoski says:

    So DK if you were GM who would you select with the 22nd pick.Personally I like Brenden Lemieux or Adrian Kempe. You?

  18. Purple Moose says:

    I am not anti Letang but all of our assets are on D, Poiliot and Maatta can replace Letang. So you keep Neil and trade Letang for two wingers.

  19. Brad Minoski says:

    Do not get where the grit and character comes from? It comes from the fact this team is incredibly soft (thanks Ray and Dan!), gets pushed around, does not fight back and has zero locker room guys that can hold the team accountable like Bill Guerin did in 2009.That’s where it comes from.Not hard to figure out.

  20. Purple Moose says:

    I like the thoughts of Claude’s son

  21. Cyhm says:

    Ryan Malone, he would play his heart out to be given another chance; and it’s home.

  22. Purple Moose says:

    Would be the start of a good 4th line. If I ever see Craig Adams play another game, I’ll know we are in deeeeep trouble.

  23. theplanisworking says:


    I like this version myself ……


  24. Chris says:

    Sutter(RFA, will probably get between 3-4) and Neal(5 per) for Ryan O’ Reilly(RFA 5-6 per) and Max Talbot(1.75, 2more years)?
    I am not even a big Talbot fan but, man, would he be welcomed in that locker room. O’ Reilly would be a huge asset to this team. Super hard working player but would cost more than Neal. Also doesn’t take dumb penalties (see his Lady Byng this year for more of his non boneheadness – yup, its a word, Neal helped created it.) Reilly is a RFA and would have to be signed to a new deal (7 year 39 million deal would be music to both party’s ears) . This also frees up money though not much ,75 to 1, still in our cap state that is a win. Along with getting tougher, character, and a top 6 winger.

  25. DJ says:

    Yeah, that’s a keeper. I recall someone (Jandhi?) posting it a few months back.

    You’d swear there was a hole in the deck and someone was funneling them up.

  26. Milo Hamilton says:

    That barber’s strike in Calgary has certainly taken it’s toll on Brian Burke. Eesh.

  27. DJ says:

    Would go Kempe but not sure he’s there at #22.

    If not, Scherbak.

  28. Purple Moose says:

    No more Grilli, now if we can only get a 3rd baseman and a 1st basman, we’ll be okay.

  29. hockeymonster says:


  30. hockeymonster says:

    Although would rather trade kuni than sutter. Would be deal breaker for me. We need to get younger and COL would want the wingers. Please no parenteau.

  31. Milo Hamilton says:

    Pens & Nashville got something brewing ? Predators have the 11th pick.

  32. hockeymonster says:


  33. Rbilak says:

    Where and how are they going to acquire it? That is the question. As for Rutherford, his record in Carolinia the last 5 years and the fact that team was softer than the a Pens + his head coaching search that resulted in a redo because he thought the guy he wanted was taken without talking to him. So yeah, I have concerns. Plus the failure to deal Nisky’s rights when he knew he could not sign him.

  34. Milo Hamilton says:

    God I hope not, isn’t he about 50 ?

  35. muzzburns says:

    Jim Benning, the life of the party

  36. Ricky Sledgehammer says:

    Watching the NHL draft. Have noted some seriously hot hockey moms. What’s up with hockey moms?

  37. hockeymonster says:


  38. hockeymonster says:

    plan b?

  39. Milo Hamilton says:

    Neal traded to Nashville. I believe I had that.

  40. Purple Moose says:

    Neal traded

  41. hockeymonster says:

    Seth jones and 11th?

  42. Milo Hamilton says:

    We need Mike Fisher for obvious reasons.

  43. hockeymonster says:

    Giddy up

  44. Milo Hamilton says:

    Patric Hornqvist & Nick Spaling.

  45. muzzburns says:

    Leafs take a big chance on 12 year old William Nylander

  46. Clint says:

    The shakeup has begun

  47. DJ says:

    I just dropped my spaghetti.


  48. Milo Hamilton says:

    Hornqvist signed at $4.25 mil per through 2018, Spaling is an RFA.

  49. chethejet1 says:

    neal traded

  50. twentytwo22 says:

    Awful trade.

  51. Jim S. says:

    Good or bad trade, monster?

  52. DJ says:

    Hornqvist: 22 G, 31 A

  53. twentytwo22 says:

    Poile looked like the cat that ate the canary.

  54. Purple Moose says:

    Dont like it at first glance without knowing anything at all about Spaling

  55. hockeymonster says:

    We just picked up the modern Tomas Holmstrom for Real Deal. Spaling may be a decent 4th line center or bottom 6 winger.

  56. Purple Moose says:

    Who is going to play wing on the top 2 lines…….Craig Adams?

    And we continue to have 38 potential NHL defensemen.

  57. DJ says:

    Spaling: 13 G, 19 A

    4th line center on Pens?

  58. muzzburns says:

    James Neal must’ve been a bad bad man in that room otherwise that’s a questionable move at best.

  59. Ricky Sledgehammer says:

    Neal gone?!!! Addition by subtraction. Toxic player prone to take selfish penalties that hurt team, causing suspensions that hurt teams, and goes silent in the playoffs. I have no idea who the 2 former Nashville players are, but I like casting off a head case.

  60. Don says:

    Uh, did I miss something, or did we just lose out badly on that trade? Maybe a washer/dryer coming too?

  61. Andrew says:

    No cap space, just traded the only top six forward under a reasonable contract, and Spaling will need a new contract, and there is no draft pick. If that is what you get for Neal keep him.

  62. Andrew says:

    Not for this return.

  63. Mike says:

    There goes about 20 goals, eh for 750k. Maybe Hornqvist will be a better net front guy eh Purple? Man, you gotta figure Geno has to be pissed. Why do Pens have Tocchet if not to coach attitudes like Neal? Neal is one dimensional though. Playoffs must be priority.

  64. Purple Moose says:


  65. DJ says:

    Shero was on phone giving Poile tips on Rutherford.

  66. Mike says:

    There has to be more coming, you think? I could never figure out the defenseman “assets” that never resulted in dividends. Pens may not have picks but maybe a big deal making day. Taking tons of calls for Neal and this is the best? GMJR gave away Doumolin, Sutter and 8th pick. Hope Pens aren’t the next Santa Clause for some team.

  67. Pens in AZ says:

    3 Months ago Pens were in contention for Eastern Conf title. Now, what are they? Who are they? Not sure I’ve ever seen this much chaos and dysfunction emerge so quickly….. and that was before the Neal trade.

  68. DJ says:

    Seems Colorado’s offer not sweet enough for us.

  69. chethejet1 says:

    Kinda a head scratcher but there must be something in Neals game or condition that was a potential issue. Maybe to be hopeful Neal clears the physical. Does seem teams would kill for a 40 goal scorer who has size and has in the past been physical. We will never know what the real deal on the real deal is, but pens were anxious to move him for sure.

  70. Nick says:

    Good riddance. Neal’s a twenty goal scorer at best without Geno and the rest of the league knows it. What did you expect Evander Kane for Neal?
    Not even going to bring up the bigger fact he’s a huge piece of trash on the ice; a distant second to Sean Avery but second none the less. I’ve seen unics with a bigger pair. Goes a long way to me actually believing the eye-vomit inducing play by the pens after the Olympic break is on its way out.

  71. DJ says:

    “Alright Dave, now throw in Spaling and I guarantee Jim will bite.”

  72. Milo Hamilton says:

    I can’t believe Joe McDonnell is in Dallas’ front office. Highlight of the evening.

  73. DJ says:

    We may be getting something on the “what / why” from DK in next column.

  74. hockeymonster says:

    Was definitely hoping for more cap relief. Spaling will need a new deal and hornqvist makes 4.25M. Decent nhl players for now but kind of mediocre return. Hornqvist will need geno or sid as much as neal did. Maybe more so cuz he’s not as fast. BUT he will get to the net in a straight line and has touch. With Duper’s speed coming back he could be a good fit. But i think he’s making a bit much and with spaling needing a new deal it seems kind of underwhelming. But he is a decent bottom 6 player.

    Fact that we didn’t get cap relief makes me think we may have more 2 for 1’s in the works. Well, one can hope.

  75. Pete in Dayton says:


  76. Milo Hamilton says:

    This looks like a pretty good deal. The most goals Neal ever scored in Dallas was 27. Hornqvist had 30 in Nashville. No reason he can’t improve on that playing with Sid or Geno. Spaling is just the type of guy they’re looking for as a bottom 6 guy. 13 goals for him last year.

  77. hockeymonster says:

    Eh, hoping for more cap relief. But both of them can play. Hornqvist is a bit overpaid. He may score 30+ but needs geno and sid more than neal does. IMO. Wrote some more below.

  78. Milo Hamilton says:

    And now Ville Siren. Old Pens d men night at the podium.

  79. hockeymonster says:

    Its a move for now for sure. But with no cap relief i hope there’s another 2 for 1. Or maybe 2 more 2 for 1’s. Not the worst trade ever if we make more moves for depth. Especially on D.

  80. MarkV says:

    Why is it we are just now hearing that Neal was not good in the locker room?

  81. muzzburns says:

    Dang, I’d forgot about that!

  82. cherokee23 says:

    There’s been talk about him. His nickname was “lazy” I believe

  83. Mike says:

    Hope our Pens didn’t get softer if not smarter/composed. Coach did say the playoffs is why everything is done. I like the puck support comments too. Too many long passes and blue line give aways. Hopefully DuPuis is ok.

  84. hockeymonster says:


    Don’t think either one of those guys are considered soft. Hornqvist might be missing some 1st step acceleration but he’s willing and capable of going to the net with decent touch. So i’m willing to give it a shot. If i recall Spaling is speedy and his metrics don’t look horrible. Just hope we get younger with more 2 for 1’s.

  85. JohninOshkosh says:

    These kids being drafted are really…, lol.

    As my dad used to say, “I’ve got bunions older than him.”

    Love Bob McKenzie, though.

    Philly orange….still ugly.

  86. cherokee23 says:

    I don’t think it was a locker too issue as much as he’s not the tough playoff type player that they want. This team can score goals without him. It’s missing other things that it needs to be serious contenders in the playoffs

  87. JohninOshkosh says:

    Here’s the Mild’s pick.

  88. Andrew says:

    I have to disagree at bit Neal’s goals/game with Dallas was .34, Hornqvist with Nashville is .29. Spaling doesn’t look to be a very good bottom six option he has on ice goal numbers comparable to Vitale.

  89. DJ says:

    If nothing else, we’ll be heading to the front of the net.

    A good thing.

  90. cherokee23 says:

    IMO, Neal was not a tough player. Dirty and cheap at times, but far from tough

  91. hockeymonster says:

    He plays much more than Vitale. Sample size n all…

    Wins 54% of FO’s and had 30some points. In the west. Not vitale. His QoC isn’t bad either.

  92. Milo Hamilton says:

    Molinari’s story says Hornqvist “has the penchant to irritate opponents.” Something we’ve been missing.

  93. DJ says:

    Still trying to recall his last goal from 10′ or in.

    Still pondering.

  94. DJ says:

    That piece of the trade I love.

    Question is whether we got enough.

  95. Andrew says:

    Yes, Vitale is a bad comparison, I was just looking at Goals For%. But he puts up some pretty poor puck possession numbers and I am looking at 3 to 4 year numbers.

  96. Milo Hamilton says:

    Let me start by saying that I like James Neal and I applaud him giving Marchand the shining wizard. My point being that Neal is being called a 40 goal scorer and he was, once. Never even scored 30 otherwise. You can give me goals per game but that tells me he misses games. Doesn’t do me any good in the press box for whatever reason.

  97. JohninOshkosh says:

    Good lord, Bettman is such a weasel.

    Acknowledges the boo’s with a sarcastic “Oh, now you stop booing” when he says he has a trade to announce. Obviously, the booing grates him a bit.

    Be the bigger person, Gary. You are supposed to be the adult in the room.

  98. Max says:

    It’s 9:15, not update since 8:08?

    I thought this was live blogging!

    Nothing has happened for an hour?

  99. Max says:

    Yeah, mostly they just irritate fans.

  100. DJ says:

    Spaling is an upgrade over Vitale, for sure.

  101. SeanAY says:

    Eh, doesn’t bother me. Do you remember David Stern doing the NBA Draft? He RELISHED getting booed.

  102. hockeymonster says:


    Spaling is wild card. He did improve year to year and is only 25. He has some beef and can skate. Can accomplish some of what cooke did without the suspensions. And his 32 points aren’t unimpressive on that team. If he keeps improving and gives us 20/20 or close to it that would make this trade decent for now and the next few seasons.

  103. JohninOshkosh says:

    I don’t know, it just bugged me for some reason.

  104. hockeymonster says:

    Being relative -3% on that team isn’t horrible. Especially with his QoC being around 29%. He could still be improving at 25.

  105. SeanAY says:

    I mean, the first thing you said – “Bettman is such a weasel” – is 100 percent true. It can paint perception haha.

  106. Milo Hamilton says:

    Would it shock anyone if Rutherfors took Sami Kapanen’s kid ?

  107. DJ says:

    Does it seem all the “heavy” teams are going lighter?


  108. hockeymonster says:


  109. DJ says:

    Our six GMs putting heads together.

  110. hockeymonster says:


  111. JohninOshkosh says:

    Philly fans.

  112. hockeymonster says:

    DAMN IT MILO!!!!!!

  113. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m so surprised. ;)

  114. cobra39 says:

    Agreed. But I will always be grateful to Bettman for holding out for a salary cap. Something Selig, or even Nutting, would never do.

  115. Pete in Dayton says:

    He is not an adult.
    After all, if no one wants to own a hockey team in Phoenix, the league takes it over and holds the city hostage.
    However, if no one wants to own a hockey team in Winnipeg, Quebec City or Hartford, the NHL can’t help them pack the trucks fast enough.

  116. DJ says:

    Looks like Olli’s twin.

  117. JohninOshkosh says:

    One of the great calls ever on this blog, Milo.

  118. hockeymonster says:

    Didn’t take best player.

  119. Andrew says:

    Those Dallas numbers are 79, 78 and 59 games, (he played 20 with Pittsburgh that year,) completely agree on the 40 goal label. I have no problem with trading Neal, I just think the return is somewhat underwhelming.

  120. Dave G says:

    Kasperi Kappinen.

    I bet they felt that, of all of the remaining prospects, he was the guy most ready to play in the NHL.

  121. theplanisworking says:

    In honor of you, can I say “stinks” ? ;)

    My fave NBA team took a severely injured player, along with a bunch of stiffs, and now the Pens take Kapanen.

    Milo, send Fieri over to cook me something to forget the past 2 days.
    Or, send over a case of hard liquor. ;)

  122. Dave G says:

    Also the third forward picked up by the Penguins today.

  123. muzzburns says:

    “I told you it wouldn’t work Jim”

    Yeah, nice try Jim…you putz :)

  124. hockeymonster says:

    Would’ve rather had Ho-sang and definitely Scherbak. Maybe we trading the pick? I know he fell to them but there’s a reason. If i recall he’s not the fastest or biggest and is several years away. Scherbak and ho-sang are playing on NA ice and are much closer to helping.

  125. cobra39 says:

    Kasperi Kapanen. I like alliterative names. Zarley Zalapski. Louis Lipps. Jussi Jokkinen.

  126. Milo Hamilton says:

    From now on I dub him “Son of Sami”.

  127. cobra39 says:

    Judging by his photo on, he is approximately 11 years old.

  128. cobra39 says:


  129. DJ says:

    The 3 “experts” on had Kapanen going between Nos. 9 – 12.

  130. DJ says:

    Olli lookalike.

  131. JohninOshkosh says:

    Let’s hope he doesn’t have a dog.

  132. chethejet1 says:

    No problem with a RH shot who has great wheels and has the ability to put the puck in the net. Pens need skill, speed, and he has great bloodlines. I like the selection. He is years away, but Pens don’t have enough really good skilled forwards in the system. After Tuch went I like RH shot with skill.

  133. The Greg Hallaman Show says:

    Kapanen–a top ten pick on many pre-draft boards. I have no problem with adding speed and skill (and a NON-defenseman)…

  134. hockeymonster says:

    Now i’m thinking i didnt see him. I think i confused him with another father son combo. He wasn’t on finnish world junior team like i thought so i didn’t see him. I think i saw a highlight but have no idea who he is.

  135. hockeymonster says:

    Scherbak to Bergevin and Iron Mike in Montreal.

  136. hockeymonster says:

    Kapanen missed world juniors cuz of injury. But they won the gold. So at least he was good enough to make that team. Crafty winger thats well coached on D isn’t a bad addition. Just question how quickly he can help playing overseas. But we’ll see…

  137. Milo Hamilton says:

    Rutherford says he will get someone to play with Geno July 1st. Sounds like he has someone lined up.

  138. Pete in Dayton says:

    Setoguchi? Kulemin? Booth?

  139. wayne Burnside says:

    When are the Pens going to get some size ? I’m tired of watching them get steam rolled by these bigger teams like the Bruins.

  140. chethejet1 says:

    The roster this fall will be different and the Pens management wants to go in a different direction. Dupuis is a key for next year. No question Pens will add grit and heart especially third and fourth lines.

  141. Milo Hamilton says:

    Don’t they prescribe Kulemin for blood clots ?

  142. Jim S. says:

    Do the Pebs have any more draft picks? Seems like they are all Finnish now. :-)

  143. Bizrow says:

    Dam, I should have posted the Lunatic Nation list

    Lots of us in here tonight ;-)

  144. hockeymonster says:

    Just hope he’s not angelo esposito, who also fell in the draft for some reason. Don’t recall Finns having a lot of individual talent past teuvanian(chi prospect) and ristoleinan(buffalo). Actually think sweden had better talent even though they lost to finland in gold medal game. But this is a while ago so could be hazy on the details. He missed WJC cuz of injury so unless this kid was the beast of the bunch, I dont see him being further along than teuvanian. But he obviously has talent and im sure is well coached so he could be a steal.

  145. DJ says:

    Hurt his shoulder I think a week before.

  146. hockeymonster says:

    For what it’s worth, Spaling’s metrics line up very favorably to Fischer’s, who’s a very good player. QoC is just 1% lower but his PDO is higher than fischer’s, relative CF is identical but spaling’s GF% is better. He wont score as many goals as fischer and wont be a top 6 center but if he’s a poor mans fischer for bottom 6 that would be big boost.

  147. hockeymonster says:

    Sounds like he’s one of the younger players which explains why he possibly slipped in draft. Will be interesting to see how he does in WJC this year.

  148. DJ says:

    I can absolutely guarantee you he won’t score as much as Mike Fisher, HM.

    [smiley face]

  149. DJ says:

    An admitted bias but if there are two players of close to or equal talent, I’m taking the Finnish player 9 times out of 10. Responsible, respectful, hard-working, generally well coached, team-oriented, no office-ice problems.

    Plus hot looking wives / girlfriends as added bonus.

  150. DJ says:

    I like the pick.

  151. hockeymonster says:

    My bias is anti carolina south. But he obviously has talent and room to improve. Making finnish league as 17 year old isnt easy but CHL players might be closer to playing in nhl.

  152. DJ says:

    Office-ice, DJ? Really?

    Yeah, no problems skating around our 6 GMs.

  153. DJ says:

    Although Rutherford had the final call, I’d wager it was a foregone conclusion and a consensus pick.

  154. Pete in Dayton says:

    It seems a lot of people hate this trade, but I’m not as down on it. I’ve liked Hornqvist as a player, and anything better on the bottom 6 is great- Thanks to the salary cap era, you have to give to get- while this doesn’t go down as one of Shero’s steals, it’s not as if the Pens gave up a future HOFer for a slug either. Neal scored 40 when he was playing in the defacto top line with Malkin and on the PP- which he wasn’t go to do anymore, given that the role that Neal played on the PP was where Crosby and Malkin play- and moving Malkin to the point just seems to invite short handed goals.
    I’m not sad he’s gone, wish we would have gotten more for him, but I’ll accept it.
    Any bets on Kulemin coming to play with Malkin?

  155. DJ says:

    Kulemin may the guy that Ruths has targeted.

  156. hockeymonster says:

    For what it would cost i’d rather go after Vrbata. But we still need to trade Piece, PM or kuni to make any signings that can be even remotely impactful. Would’ve been nice to force adam’s contract onto nasheville.

  157. DJ says:

    From SBNation:

    “Kasperi was ranked as the No. 1 international skating prospect by the ISS in its year-end ranking. Listed at 6’0, 181 pounds, the right-handed shooting prospect is praised for his dynamic skill and explosive speed:

    Battled through adversity this year whether it was injuries, a disappointing U18 team performance or being forced to lead the last place KalPa team in the SM-Liiga. His statistics with KalPa don’t give a true representation of what he is able to produce as he had a limited supporting cast and was looked at to lead the offense as a 17 year old. He grabs your attention every time he has the puck as his explosive speed, creativity and lethal offensive weapons show game breaker potential. His lower body strength and ability to maintain possession while being harassed by opposition checkers is excellent. Kasperi takes charge on the puck and displays the potential to be that go-to forward who can get the job done on the puck and puts a lot of pressure on himself to step into that role regardless of what team he’s playing for.”

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