Pittsburgh needs a new GM

The current GM for the Pittsburgh Penguins is Craig Patrick, and it’s about time management finally let him go, for one thing, he’s the guy that’s run this team into debt, and assured that they have finished at the bottom of the division for many years now, still his bonehead decision and signings are hurting the team today. Ok he did help Pittsburgh win Stanley Cups in ’91 & ’92, but since then? They’ve made it to the playoffs 9 times out of 15, BUT they’ve never made it to the finals, and over the years this GM has acĀ¢umulated so much debt, even their highest paid player had to take over as part owner of the franchise. Let’s consider his decisions this year…

Signing of Jocelyn Thibault, who I should mention is still on injury reserve, and hasn’t played a game since who knows when, but why would you sign Thibault, if you have Sebastien Caron, who has some NHL experience from last year and Marc-Andre Fleury, a goalie who’s slowly becoming a Star Goalie in the NHL, intead, they send down Fleury, who goes 1-2 with a 1.57 GAA .939 save %, while Caron too goes 3-3 with a 1.18 GAA .954%, this may be the AHL, but usually players playing this good will be playing in the NHL, so what was the need for Thibault?

Secondly, forwards, I’d like to make a point Don Cherry made on Coach’s Corner when Ed Olczyk was fired as the Head Coach of the Penguins, obviously management had lost its patience with the head coach, but to be honest it wasn’t his fault. The players he had playing for him, weren’t the type of players he wanted, he loves hard hitting grinders that score goals, finesse and charismatic scoring from the likes of Sergei Gonchar and Zigmund Palffy aren’t what he was looking for. It doesn’t fit his style… put it this way, looking at the Penguins in their last 10 games of the 03-04 season went 6-3-1, Cherry said they went something like 10-3-1, but the point was at that point, management had told Olcyk he can call up whomever he wanted to play for him, and he threw out there players like Malone, Talbot, Ouellet and others similar… But instead, Craig Patrick goes out and signs players like Palffy and Gonchar, which some would say were overpriced, but in my opinion it was fair because that’s what the market price was for those players… but signing players like LeClair, or Odelein, players clearly out of their prime, ready for retirement… the team has young talented players, young players defenseman like Ryan Whiteny, and Brooks Orpik. Furthermore young talent with Michel Ouellet, Maxime Talbot and rising star Evgeni Malkin. Signing of Reechi was a win-win situation, considering, he was to help the team with his veteran presence, but in the end signed him for free and received pics and prospects for him at the trade deadline. But other signings were clearly uncalled for.

Lastly, about Olczyk, I get the feeling he wasn’t able to coach who he wanted, and had the axe coming, he played players Patrick signed and wasn’t able to play the players he wanted to. That’s why when Michel Therrien took over his job, he immediately called up Michel Oullet and Maxime Talbot, two players he believed to be NHLers and right now are succeeded, expecially Oullet who has 30 points in 45 games, and Talbot mainly used in PK or Defense, and even LeClair and others were bentioned for a few games by the new Head Coach. The point being, the problem isn’t the Coach, its the GM, had he stuck to his original team, added Crosby, and somehow convinced Malkin to come to Pittsburgh, the Penguins would be in a better position financially and developing into a playoff team.

Also, I thought I’d just tell about some trades Craig Patrick has pulled the trigger on in the past…

In the 1991 Draft Pittsburge Drafted Markus Naslund 16th overall, in 1996 they traded him away for Alek Stojanov, I don’t know who Stojanov is, I think he played a few years in the NHL, but Naslund is the Captin and Leading Scorer for the Canucks for the past 3 years…

At a time when Pittsburgh was going into debt because of high priced players like Jaromir Jagr, he traded Jagr and Frantisek Kucera to the Washington Capitals for Kris Beech, Michal Sivek and Ross Lupaschuk and future considerations, Jagr was the leading scrorer in the league the year before… the last time a leading scorer was traded teh following year was in Edmonton when Wayne Gretzky was traded to LA along with McSorly for THREE 1st round pics, Jimmy Carson and Martin Gelinas… I mean Patrick didn’t even get a first round pic out of the deal… even Doug Weight was traded for a 1st, two prospects and a player this year from St. Louis to Carolina…

That’s my rant about GM Craig Patrick, thank you for reading.

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