Penguins 101 pt 3

Addition by Subtraction

The Pittsburgh Penguins are a better team today then they were 4 months ago. I’m sure many people are wondering how a team that has made no significant signings or trades this off season can be a better team?”

To that I would respond, “Addition by Subtraction.”

There are 21 players who wore Penguins sweaters last season who have sine move on. Of Course there were a few players on this list I am sorry to see go. First off Alex Kovalev and his 77 points from last season will be missed, as will the gritty play and hard work of guys like Shean Donavan and Dan LaCouture. And Ian Moran’s loss will be felt on the bench and in the lockerroom, just not so much on the ice. But the injury problems of Jan Hrdina, the poor work ethic and additude of Ville Nieminen, and the sloppy defensive play of Jamie Pushor, Hans Jonsson, and Richard Lintner will all not be missed. And well, Joel Bouchard, we never knew you thanks to a broken jaw during your 7th game, and Daigle and Vujtek, well, maybe not getting to know you two was for the best.

Clearing out space for new players was a priority for Craig Patrick and when comparing the above list with the players below I would think many of you can understand why.

First off-season additions Kelly Buchberger and Mike Eastwood are expected to be healthy scratches more often then not and the speedy Konstantin Kolstov and the gritty Matt Murley and Colby Armstrong probably need another year in the AHL before being ready for any significant NHL duty, but that still leaves many underated yet hardworking and skilled players to fill the NHL roster with.

Ramzi Abid, if signed by the start of the season, would make an excellent physical addition to Mario’s line. He showed his ability to reek havoc in front of the net both against the Penguins and for them.

Milan Kraft and Michal Sivik showed flashes of skill and chemistry last season, hopefully both of them along with the 21 year old winger Tomas Surovy can continue to develop into offensive threats.

And Brooks Orpik, the Penguins 1st round pick a couple years back, is expected to break the line up this season. His simple hardworking physical play will be a welcome addition this season.

But it’s Matt Bradley who is the biggest question mark for Penguin fans. He arrived from San Jose complete with a broken arm that never allowed him to join the team last season. He is a versatile player that could fit on any line and play in any situation and it will be interesting to see where he fits into the puzzle. He showed the promise of a power forward in 2001-2002 season but was pushed back on the San Jose depth chart last year and played the part of checking line forward until his injury half way through the season.

Also there will be 2 players returning from injury that were sorely missed last season. Alexi Morozov was one of the most productive players in the first 25 games of the season, then he was lost to a broken wrist. He is already back in Pittsburgh skating with Mario in preparation for the beginning of a season in which he will be expected to fill the role of Mario’s go to guy on wing.

Big Josef Melichar was lost for the season after only 8 games to a shoulder separation. He is a big, physical, reliable, defensive minded player that the team was missing all season. His presence will be a big boost to a defence lead by “The Great” Dick Tarnstrom.

Plus the emergance of former first round pick Dan Focht (6-6 240 lbs), as a physical yet mobile defensman , helps to round out what should be a strong group of defensmen.

7 Responses to Penguins 101 pt 3

  1. vlad27 says:

    Ever since 2000 when the Penguins made the playoffs with Lemieux and Jagr (albeit losing to my Devils) I’ve respected them. Best of luck to a team in need of some serious financial management. One more year till the CBA, Penguins Fans =)

  2. great_one98 says:

    Who the hell cares about pittsburgh. We want to learn more about “The Trap”!

  3. great_one98 says:

    *wink* *wink*

  4. CechmanekForVezina says:

    You fool, the Pens lost to the Flyers in 2000, how could you forget the 5 overtime game? “Your” Devils then beat the Flyers. I figured someone who claims to own a hockey team would remember who they played on the post-season.

  5. dt28 says:

    the devs beat the penguins in 2001.

  6. DaveG says:

    Good article. I also think Kris Beech deserves mention. In my mind this a bit of a make or break year for him.

  7. Bishop7979 says:

    Well today the penguins signed defencemen drake berehowski to a one year deal. Call this a last minute addition to the above article.

    Drake Berehowski is a dependable physical two way defensman who will make the penguins defense better then it was last year. Given a starting 4 that include Tarnstom Rozival Melichar and Berehowski the penguins will be able to rotate Marc Bergivin, Brooks Orpik and Danny Foct in and out of the line up as needed.

    Now the addition of Reid Simpson, well that I cant even make sound good.

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