Pittsburgh and the big Decision!

With 24 games left the Pens WILL make a playoff push, but at what cost?
With the firing of Therrien and the uncertainty of the coaching staff next season, has GM Ray Shero thrown in the towel? I dont believe so, with names like St. Louis, Kovulchuk, and Kovalev being thrown around its no surprise that Hockey fans see at least one of them coming to Pittsburgh. What i don’t understand though is why wait so long? The firing of Therrien has shaken up the team, but it is very obvious that Crosby and Malkin are both very aggravated with the lack of quality wingers on the lines currently. Injuries hurt the Penguins this season, going most of the season without their top two defencemen is part of why they have struggled defensivly, Fleury has played very well all season, but the lack of defense is aggravating him. Shero noticed and knew in November that the Pens where struggling and it was even more obvious in December. Every fan and every sports writer saw what was going on yet no moves were made. Granted the Penguins have a lot of depth in the system its just unfortunate and very noticable that most of those players in the system are one or two years from making the Pens on a full time basis. This waiting game that was played all season with Satan and Fedotenko was old real fast, and yes before Fedo went down with an injury he was doing rather well, but it doesnt explain why there wasnt a shake up on the team prior to Feb 15. I am not saying that Firing Therrien 2 months ago would have been the answer or even if firing him now was/is the answer, what i am saying is something should have been done when it was obvious that the team was not anywhere close to the team it was last season when we didn’t have Crosby, Fleury, Hossa, and much more. Remember last season Shero believed it was the year to go for the CUP, does he believe that now, will he make a big move, and at what cost?

The cost that will have to be made for a solid push will be huge, one or two of our “FRANCHISE” players will have to be set on the trading block such as Staal and Whitney. I’m sure there will be prospects thrown in there as well as draft picks. Again the names of St. Lois and Kovulchuk have been thrown around for about a month now and i could see a big impact they would make on the team, but Kovulchuk is on his final year of his contract and the Penguins could possibly be put back into a Hossa situation. St. Lois is 33 years old with more than this season left on his contract, could be a nice fit with Crosby but to get him i believe we would have to trade away more than we can afford currently. Kovalev is another one who recently has been mentioned, and as a Pens fan i still remember 10 years ago when Kovi Straka and Lang were lighting up the score sheet, but i know that is the past, would he be a good fit with Malkin? Yea i think so because Kovi wouldnt be “THE MAN” and he would calm down and get back to his game, he is 35 years old has a couple years left in him so its a possibility. Finally i get to this name, some one who has a very good history with the Penguins, Jagr. Being thrown out of the Russian league due to being in a bar fight, there has been a lot of different things said, such as Jagr stating “If Lemieux asked him to come back he would”. Now is that what the team needs a 37 year old winger who’s play has been declining over the past few seasons? This could be a resurgence for him, but i think the Pens have taken enough chances with Satan this year.

This is not the Pens year, and with Shero obviously not even sure what he wants to do it may not be their season for another couple years. I am shooting for the first year in the New Consol Energy Center in 2010.

Let me know what you think.

11 Responses to Pittsburgh and the big Decision!

  1. RossCreek says:

    Fedotenko and a 2nd for Kovalev and a 4th — [+2.0]
    Satan and a 1st to Atlanta for Armstrong and a 3rd — [-2.3]
    4th round pick to Tampa Bay for Mark Recchi — [+1.5]

    Shake it up a bit. Kovalev would likely play well with Malkin or Crosby. Clearly a better fit than Satan. Bring Colby Armstrong back because they’re not the same without him. Bring in a veteran guy like Recchi who was there last season. Look at Staal or Whitney options in the off season unless you have an offer you can’t refuse. And see what happens. Not too sure that St. Louis or Kovalchuk will be moved before the deadline.
    Bill Guerin, Keith Tkachuk and Erik Cole would all be good fits, but I’m certain that the demand for those guys will be high.

  2. leafy says:

    You definitely need more offense.  After you remove the top 2 guns, there's a huge drop off.

    Almost the entire Pens roster beyond Crosby and Malkin averages about 1 point every 2 games.  Even the Leafs have more scoring depth. The stats speak for themselves.

    Losses to the Leafs and Islanders the past 2 games. Not good.

    On the plus side, you already have 2 franchise players and a franchise goalie. That's huge.  This means you don't have to suck for years to rebuild the team.  You just need a smart GM to make the right moves on secondary depth.

  3. LEAFS_54 says:
    I think the issue with having Jagr is the opposite of your positive with kovi. Jagr may be a little bit annoyed that he isnt the "BIG" man… i mean he would be great i'm sure but the way he plays it would be awkward because he is more of a playmaker now he likes to hold the puck. i feel this would take away from malkin and crosby. also the same deal with getting kovalchuk. 
    st. louis is interesting but i feel the last thing the penguins need is another super star.
    i think the pens need to part with jordan staal or whitney and draft picks to pull in multiple players. for example Antropov and Poni and a 3rd for Staal.
    maybe flip the 3rd into a roster depth player
    maybe trade whitney for a Phillips and Kelly and Neil.
    With trades similar to these, the pens would be nicely set up for a playoff 
    now the lines…from memory of the healthy Pitts line up sorry if i forget anyone on it would be…
    obviously some mistakes but this is a great line up built for special teams and to play a full four lines so the top guys dont tire out on the PP. having kelly and phillips should help the PK in theory. at the very least they will battle hard. 
    Crosby would have a hay-day with all the time and space that antropov and satan could make for him. they just might have trouble keeping up with him on the rush.
    They may have to make minor trades for some right handed forwards. they might want to look into that.
  4. LEAFS_54 says:

    i like your reasonings but the first two trades are stupid.

  5. LEAFS_54 says:

    so combine Pittsburgh's Elite players with Toronto's abundance of 2nd and 3rd liners and you get a stanley cup team… i think thats the only way i can legitamatly put the leafs and the stanley cup in the same positive sentence.

  6. Veggetto19 says:

    Since when was jagr kicked out of the russin league does anyone have an article link to info on that?

  7. hockey_lover says:

    I have mentioned this before but I dont believe the Pens need nor want another $8mil guy (which is what Kovalchuck will ask for).

    They already have two guys that will cost over $8m and get over 100pts. To me personally, they need 2 more guys like Sykora. Guys who will cost about $2.5 – 3.0mil, pot in 25 – 30 goals/60-65pts. There isnt much different between having two 100pt and two 60pt guys than four 80 pt guys.

    I dont mind the idea of St. Louis. I also like the rumours of Hejduk even more. Averages about 33goals/65pts a year. Thats perfect. I do like the idea of Antropov, as he does have the talent, but his injuries worry me. He is much like Havlat .. good talent, body of swiss cheese. In 9 years, he has lost about 2.5 seasons for injury. But he averages about 1.7 ppg that he DOES play. Thats pretty decent. If the Pens could sign him to a bonus driven contract, that would be sweet. Start at say $1.5 mil and then bonuses for games played and blah blah. Wont happen but its a nice thought.

    I heard chicago was looking for a center. Staal for Versteeg (25g/65pts – can probably sign him for $1.5mil) and a 2nd.

    If Anaheim is looking to dump some salary and get rid of Pronger AND Scottie decides to retire, they might want to look at Whitney to start the "rebuild" of the defensive core. Whitney and a 3rd for Kunitz and a 2nd? Maybe Pahlsson .. not for scoring but a good shut down guy to replace Staal if he goes?

    Or I have heard that John Madden wants out of NJ. That would be a nice start to a shut down line as well.

    Its widely known that the Pens would like to have Colby Armstrong back. At $1.2mil, he is a good bargain for next season.

    I think Satan might do better in the "attack" style offense that the new coach wants to instill but at $3.5mil thats a big gamble. Fedotenko, after a terrible start, was starting to come on a little when his injury happened. If they can resign for the same or less ($2.2mil), I say give it a shot.

    So again, The pens dont NEED another 90pt/$8mil guy. They have two guys that are capable of that. They need a decent supporting cast.

    Also, try not to cry too much at my trade ideas. I really do try to not to be biased and over-evaluate the Pens talent.

  8. intelligentscorpio says:

    I like your creative thinking regarding Versteeg(Chi), Pahlsson, Kunitz(Ana), and Madden(Nj). All sounds good to me. Shero are you listening?

    Again, agreed that we do not need a St. Louis or Kovalchuk at $5.5/7.5 to compliment Crosby/Malkin. Taht can be done quiet nicely with Sykora type wingers for $2.5 approx.

  9. hockey_lover says:

    Glad you like my ideas. I was hoping I wasnt over rating the Pens players and over stating the return that they would get.


  10. M71Geyno says:

    I would hate for shero to do anything rash or desperate. (Kovalchuk is a free agent after next year btw) I would rather the pens be smart and wait it out till closer to the deadline. Let’s see how the new scheme works for a few games. Even in a loss we still put up 37shots on net a season high. I think this is a start. Maybe our current roster will be better with the added scoring chances. The luxary we have is that we can see it in action for the next 2 weeks to see if we should buy and try to make another run or if we should sell and restock our depleted prospect pool. I agree if we do make a move we need sykora type players and some added grit to the mix these ramblings were just my thoughts but if a move with chicago would be possible some names shero might be able to kick around may be.
    Versteeg. I’m loving this idea
    Byuflien. Has some what fallen out of favor with quinville and was rumored to be part of a deal for nylander earlier this year. But could give us some grit infront of the net
    Skille. Also seamingly in the dog house but has very high upside and could be a 25 30 scorer on crosby or malkins wing

    Just some thoughts let me know what you think

  11. jonnygf40 says:

    First off, the Pens have to get some offensive players who can play with Crosby and Malkin.  First move I would make, trade Staal for St. Louis.  In my opinion Staal is WAAYYY overpaid.  No 3rd line center should make $4 million, and it screws every team who does it.  Just look at Ottawa.  Paying Fisher $4.2 million a year is crippling that team.  In addition, the Pens desperately need some major offensive threats to put with Crosby and/or Malkin.  The Lightning get a young player who is 14 years younger than St. Louis, and can hopefully find a niche in Tampa Bay with Lecavalier and Stamkos.

    Next, I would trade Whitney for another offensive power forward, perhaps a Lupul or Horton.  With Crosby and Malkin in your lineup you have to think offense.  And that's what this team should focus on.  Just look what this lineup could look like:
    Fedotenko Crosby St. Louis
    Sykora Malkin Horton
    Cooke  Kenedy Satan
    Dupuis Talbot Godard
    Gonchar Goligoski
    Orpik Letang
    Scuderi Eaton
    Gill Boucher
    That lineup is one hell of an offensive juggernaut.  Will they win the cup?  Probably not.  But they would make the playoffs, and could make another long playoff run.
    Just a thought.

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