Penguins 101 pt 1

What can I say about the Penguins that hasn’t already been said.

Well first off that maybe they won’t finish in last place next season, yeah I think I’ll say that for starters. How about maybe they are better off having traded Alexei Kovalev and his 7 million dollar a year demands to the Bermuda triangle of hockey known as Broadway. Or that maybe Eddie Olczyk will make a damn good coach. Yeah, I think that I’ll make all those bold statements, and probably some more as we go along.

Welcome to the class that I’m sure many of you never cared to take: Penguins 101
I guess where I’d like to start is with the whole Alexei, oh wait I’m sorry, Alex Kovalev, soon to be known as the hockey player formerly known as Alex Kovalev. I’m sorry my mind wondered through the many symbols that could represent Kovalev if he were to go so far as to shun his given name. But back to the topic, many of you are probably thinking,

“Did this guy just say that a team is better off without the wonderful, amazing, electrifying Alex Kovalev?”

And to that I would say,

“When he is asking for 7 million a year, yes, yes I am.”

Yes Alex Kovalev is a wonderful, amazing, electrifying player, he slices, he dices, he makes mounds upon mounds of fresh cut fries, but like many players his best days will be those that he spent as a Pittsburgh Penguin. Put him with on the list with guys like Jaromir Jagr, Robert Lang, Peter Nedved, Martin Straka, Darius Kasparitis, and even the Great Ron Francis. Go farther back and add the likes of Kevin Stevens, and Robbie Brown to that list. All of these guys had their best years in a Penguins uniform. Straka bounced from the Islanders to the Senators to Florida before coming back to the Penguins and putting up a 92 point season. Lang was a nobody who bounced from La to Boston to waviers and a possible return to Europe before the Penguins pulled him from the scrape heap, now the Caps would probably take a roll of tape from someone if it meant that they’d take either Lang or Jagr off their hands. Nedved had 96 points his last season as a Penguin, Nedved has only broken 75 points once since then and that was 3 years ago.

To all you Ranger fans out there that held their breath waiting for Nedved’s stats to break that 80 point mark again, to all you poor blue faced hockey fans, I say, don’t make the same mistake twice .

I will admit that the Penguins lost a great player in Alexei Kovalev, but they got to inforce a little addition by subtraction when they were able to lose the likes of Mike (a cinder block would make a better hockey player then me) Wilson and Janne (I’m hurt more then Samuel L Jackson in Unbreakable) Laukannen in that trade. Also in the deal the Penguins acquired Mikael Samuelson who later became the “disgruntled Mikael Samuelson” that was traded to the Panthers for the draft pick that became future Ubergoalie Marc-Andre Fluery.

Also with the player that the team actually kept from the deal, winger Rico Fata, the Penguins shouldn’t be ashamed of the deal they made. Fata will probably never be the player that Kovalev was, but a fun little factoid for the day: Fata did outscore Kovalev after the trade. Fata is younger the Kovalev, and like Kovalev when he first was traded to the Penguins from the Rangers, Fata is an enigma. He is a tremendous talent that just can’t seem to pull it together. But at 23 years old Rico will have every opportunity to step up and be the player that the Flames thought they were drafting in the first round 5 years ago.

In three years ask any Penguins fan if they would rather have

1. Kovalev, Wilson, and Laukanen

or

2. Fata, Lintner, Fleury

and see how they answer.


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