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


2. Fata, Lintner, Fleury

and see how they answer.

23 Responses to Penguins 101 pt 1

  1. swedishvoice says:

    Good post, altow I think that the Pens will end up dead last. I’d like Fata in the Devils, but you have have a better player Abid…

    And to correct and update one thing… you don’t have Lintner anymore, he signed a three year contract with Djurgarden (Stockholm) and won’t be back, he want’s to have his baby home in Sweden…

  2. -MJ- says:

    There are a few prospects in the Penguin system that could bring some hope to their fans, but let’s get serious here. Logically, the Penguins have one, maybe two players besides Mario who can score 20 goals, and that’s it. Having a team with little to no offence is never going to get you into the playoffs, let alone win them. What do you think, the Penguins are going to rely on their new goaltending acquisitions to carry the team? I think Kay Whitmore and Glenn Healy could have made better replacements. Caron has potential, but you can wish in one hand, and crap in the other, and see wich one gets filled first.

    It is a true shame how the Penguins have dropped into such an obscure low in the NHL. As a fan of the game, I would like to see them climb out of the basement, but they have dug themselves so deep that I cannot see them digging themselves out. Mario is the only string holding that team together. After he leaves, I think so do the Penguins.

  3. Lint07 says:

    Pens articles are always fun to read!

    I think they should do what I stated in my last post ”Hedberg On The Way Out??” and trade Hedberg to go with Caron & Aubin.

    They know they won’t make the playoffs anyway, why bother keeping Hedberg then…

    Nice Article.

  4. overdrive86 says:

    “he want’s to have his baby home in Sweden…” – swedish voice


    anyway, the pens young talent doesn’t seem all that great, sure fata put up some points at the end of last year but he was playing with mario. they do have a lot of other young talent but when that talent begins to show a shread of production will they be gone too?

    Straka to vancouver for Ruutu and nathan smith

  5. PantherPaw says:

    One of the best ways for the Pens to move forward is for Lemieux to retire for good. There is no point trying to move forward when you keep looking back at the old days. His presence intimidates his own young team, who are more in awe of him than they are willing to learn from him. Many have the attitude of “why should I bother when Mario can do it all?” Whether he knows it or not, he is a liability that is preventing the team from growing properly.

  6. PantherPaw says:

    Nice thought, but Straka is seen as injury prone and I doubt anyone will trade a lot for him AND pay him a high salary.

  7. swedishvoice says:

    Thats right but he have lived in sweden for 15 years, his house is in swe.

  8. Bishop7979 says:

    A big part of Lintners departure has to do with the fact that the penguins wanted him to play right wing and not defence. Linter considers himself a defensmen and refuses to play at any other position, but I actually felt he made a decent winger at the end of the season.

  9. Bishop7979 says:

    As far as players who can score 20 or more goals next season, I could see Mario, Straka, Tarnstrom, Morozov, Fata all easily breaking the 20 goal mark and guys like Surovy, Abid, and maybe just maybe Kraft as possible second line scoring threats.

    As far as goaltending, something that i get into in a later part to this article, I think Caron has the talent to keep the team in games. hes quick and flexible, has an outstanding glove hand, and he plays the butterfly so well that he covers most ot the bottom of the net. His biggest question marks are his ability to play more then 40 games a season being as young as he is, something that was addressed this offseason by a strenous workout reginment in which he built up his upper body a bit and really worked on his stamina. The other question was his ability to cover the upper part of the net. But being a somewhat tall kid, that added somewhere around 20 pounds to what was a very very lanky frame, he seems to addressed that problem as well.

    Of course its the goaliending is a big question, but it is for many teams from the Aves to the Bruins to the Islanders, the ducks dont even have J.S signed yet.

    But I hope that your reference to Healy and Whitmore are in reguard to the two guys the recently signed who are a 20 year old 7th rounder who will start for the AHL team and nothing more, and a 30 year old career minor leaguer who will be his back up. Nether of those guys will see any NHL time this season.


  10. Bishop7979 says:

    I totally agree. I actually broke a long article into 4 parts, I hope all of which get posted, but the last part i touch on the goaltending situation, probably restating many of your comments earlier this week.

    As far as the playoffs, you know, the east is always a question mark. Injuries, players haveing off years, problems with coaches, all it takes is a team like the islanders or the bruins to take a nose dive and a young hungry team like the thrashers or the penguins can slip right in.

  11. Lint07 says:

    Actually you are right. I expect Morozov to break into a career year big time and Straka to play a full season without any weird/creepy long term injuries. Tarnstrom should be good as well and add Mario to the mix and you never know.

    The rest of the team though is like rollin the dices…

    They shouldn’t rush Fleury though.

  12. ranger_fan says:

    The Pens just traded Hedberg to Vancouver

  13. Donovan says:

    Really? Where does it say?

  14. B-man says:


  15. Donovan says:

    For those who say the the Pens will be good in the future, guess what, they’re not. Look at thier prospects. Fleury, he could be a bust. Beach, Petersen, Kraft. All heading toward bust-dome. Morozov looks alright. He’d be a third winger on a real team though. Melichar and Rozival. I think they’ve reached thier potential.

  16. JBE365 says:

    Hedberg has been traded to Vancouver for a 2nd round draft choice next year.

  17. Donovan says:

    A second rounder. He could of been worth more. I’d take a couple of NHL (or even AHL) players instead of a pick. Pittsburgh needs help now.

    I would be an improvement over some of the fowards.

  18. JBE365 says:

    Probably could have, but I guess they’re still going for the long term gains.

  19. JohnFlan22 says:

    Great trade for the pens! They get uni-brow value for him and everything! I would def take the second rounder over some AHL Squid players they could have gotten any day of the week. Also good move by Vancouver. The article says that Hedberg is goin as a back up on the yahoo sites but i think Hedberg will end up taking the throne from Cloutier because, to let everyone in on a lil’ secret, he sucks donkeyballs!

  20. Slavik says:

    well after giving us hedberg for a 2nd rounder,i was wondering if you would take a 1st rounder, brad may and ryan ready for straka?

  21. Donovan says:

    Brad May is too expensive.

  22. OldNord says:

    I don’t think so, playing beside a hockey legend like Mario Lemieux is a huge experience for the young players. And when the boss is in the locker room with the players, they must play hard if they want stay with Pittsburgh and not with Wilkes-Barres. Doing the great life with the big team is more exciting than a 6 hours bus trip in a hole.

  23. RangerSteve says:

    Ask any Penguin fan in 3 years if the Pens will still be in Pittsburgh…that’s another realistic question. Anyway, as a Ranger fan, i NEVER thought Nedved would hit 80pts let alone that 75 you speak of. Ever since Kovalev was shipped for him we all cried murder. As for Fata, I must agree. He’s still young and if he can just fit into a system/get the time..he can still be a player for Pittsburgh.

    Pens just shipped Hedberg for a 2nd Round pick 2004 from Vancouver…Can’t say they could have gotten much more out of him. The Pens are set in net, should be interesting how they rebuild from here on out…like i stated earlier, especially their financial situation.

Leave a Reply