Pittsburgh's Foundation

A look at the Penguins’ building blocks

Since a lot of people who are not familiar with the Penguins’ depth chart seem to see Pittsburgh circling the drain, I figured I would take it upon myself to shed some light.

Obviously, the Penguins have made it clear to the hockey world that they are in a re-building process. Following is an analysis of the Penguins’ depth chart, from the crease on out.Goaltending:

This has been the one strong point in the penguins recent history, although so far they have been unable to cash in on it, yet. Some of you may remember a guy by the name of Patrick Lalime, who is probably the most successful Penguins draft pick since Jaromir Jagr in 1990.

Jean-Sebastien Aubin-

Seabass has never amounted to anything more that a backup goalie, but we all know that goalies can suddenly become solid and reliable later in their careers. However, the depth the Pens have in goal and the removal of Robbie Tallas suggest that Aubin will remain with the Organization for at least a couple more years. If he can overcome his penchant for allowing untimely and flukey goals, he could be a reliable backstop in the NHL. However, the Pens aren’t counting on him as the future of the franchise.

Jean-Sebastien Caron-

This kid has a very enthusiastic nature and will probably share starting duties with Johan Hedberg for at least the first part of the season and perhaps even take over the job, relegating Hedberg (who consistently has had a Save Pct. over .900) to the role of backup. It is hard to say at this point, although the rookie’s stellar play at the end of last season shows some serious potential.

Marc-Andre Fleury-

He is really the only player in the Penguins system that has the potential to become a superstar, at least overtly. He plays a hybrid style, favoring the butterfly but also employing the two pad stack and a tendency to stay on his feet. If you look at the best goalies in the league (Martin Brodeur and Marty Turco), they both employ a style very similar to one another and Fleury is no different. He has Brodeur’s mental toughness, and enough speed to put him in a pretty select group of goaltenders. None of this will matter if the Penguins do not allow him to mature naturally. Even St. Patrick didn’t see regular NHL action until age 20. Nonetheless, Fleury remains the brightest prospect in the penguins’ system

Defense:

Brooks Orpik-

Initially, this defenseman was drafted for his ability to play very physically and throw crushing body checks. However, during his time in Wilkes-Barre, he has improved his skating ability as well as his vision and passing skills. He can make a good first pass and was helpful keeping the puck in and the pressure on during the power play. He is the Baby Pens’ most reliable defenseman.

Michal Rozsival-

Initially billed as a two way d-man with decent physical play and great speed, as well as the ability to jump in on the rush, Rozsival has endured some injuries that, coupled with the penguins’ sagging fortunes, have stunted his development. Look for Eddie Olcyk to help establish Rozsival as the two-way D-man he can be.

Ross Lupashuk-

A purely offensive defenseman, Lupashuk was among the AHL league leaders in defenseman scoring and is without a doubt a power play specialist. While this offensive skill is a definite upside, his downside easily offsets it. He has consistently shown poor defensive habits and does not make good decisions without the puck.

Josef Melichar-

Almost purely a grit player, he possesses decent speed, and a hunger for the game. Hopefully under the tutelage of Edzo and crew, he will improve as an all-around team member, and be a regular contributor at the NHL level for years to come

Ryan Whitney:

Viewed by many as being strikingly similar to Tom Poti, he has one element in his game that Poti has lacked. Whitney has been working on increasing his physical presence on the ice, and to go along with his large frame he is a very fast skater with good puck handling and movement skills. However, it is unlikely that he will initially receive steady work in the NHL, should he choose to forego his senior year in college.

Richard Lintner:

This is a guy who has no place defending the blue line. That said, his offensive skills are a tremendous asset. He moves the puck well in traffic and possesses both blazing speed and a very shifty style. At this point, Craig Patrick wants him to convert to forward, and has strong enough belief in his potential as a forward to retain him and allow many other, more valuable team members to depart via free agency. If he chooses to make this transition, he could provide some of the playmaking and scoring that the penguins direly need up front.

Micki DuPont:

Micki Dupont is a jack of all trades and a master of none. He has good puck movement ability and some offensive instincts, but tempers that with a sense of defensive responsibility. To accompany his good hands, he has a lot of speed. However, his small frame could hinder his development when he makes the leap into the NHL. It is worth noting that he was the MVP for Calgary’s minor-league affiliate and a finalist for AHL Rookie of the Year two seasons ago.

Forwards:

The penguins just might have the best overall depth when it comes to encouraging forward prospects. However, they probably have the largest amount of enigmatic youngsters in their system than any other NHL. Many have loads of potential, but their futures remain unclear.

Milan Kraft- Out of all the penguins prospects at center, Kraft has shown the most promise, albeit in short bursts. With regular work in an open, learning-oriented environment, it is likely that he will mature into the lynchpin of a strong offense over the next several years for the Penguins. He is very fast, and has a very accurate wrist shot with a sometimes deceptively quick release. Like all Penguins forwards though, he needs to learn to play team defense and be smarter on the other side of the puck.

Toby Peterson- He is probably the Wilkes-Barre fan favorite and one of the steadiest contributors for the baby pens over the last two seasons. He led the team in scoring in ’02-’03, while playing 80 games. He has displayed many leadership qualities and deserves a legitimate shot at a full-time NHL gig, something he hasn’t had since Lemieux’s return to the ice. He has clearly grown and matured over the last two years more than any other penguins prospect.

Kris Beech- While he has incredible potential and performed well for the Baby Penguins (finished 4th on the team in scoring despite playing only 40 games), Beech has suffered at times from a lack of confidence and little help from the penguins coaching staff, which has hindered his ability to play in the NHL. Hopefully that will not be the case this year. Now that there is very little pressure on the Penguins to win gamesand more emphasis on building a team from the ice up, hopefully he will be able to relax, and focus on improving his personal game. He is extremely strong on the puck, probably more so than anyone on the team not named Mario Lemieux. He has absolutely no fear of traffic, despite having paid the price in the form of lung contustions when he charged 3 defenders alone into the offensive zone. His willingness to sacrifice himself gives him an excellent team-oriented attitude and provides leadership by example.

Michal Sivek- Sivek is the closest thing the penguins have to a pure goal scorer in their prospect pool at the moment. He has excellent speed, good hands and great vision. He has very little NHL experience, but did nothing to discourage Penguins management during his brief stint with the Penguins toward the end of last season; a stint which was likely a move designed by penguins management to ascertain their prospects’ progress.

Tomas Surovy- An oft overlooked piece of the Penguins depth chart, Surovy has good offensive upside and has shown a penchant for scoring in pressure situations. He has good hands and very quick wrist shot, and also possesses decent size. He can pass the puck very well also. His most valued asset, is his persistent instinct for forechecking, and producing offense from forced turnovers. His passion for the game and his up tempo style fit in well with Pittsburgh’s image of what they want the team to be.

Colby Armstrong- This kid is a middle of the line power forward. He has displayed decent offensive skills, although the 02-03 season was a disappointing one. However, he can bank on his ability to deliver crushing hits, especially on open ice. His hitting ability has been compared to the likes of Rob Blake, and if he’s anywhere near that good, it is an encouraging sign. He could easily be a 25-35 point scorer whose offensive stats would be paired with 100+ PIMs a season.

Eric Meloche- He ended the season with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but had no chance to make an impact on the Major League roster. He is a somewhat skilled offensive player, more known for his forechecking and grinding abilities. He is only 5-11, but at 195, he looks more like a freight train on skates.

Konstantin Kolstov- He is definitely an on-the-bubble player. He has decent defensive and offensive instincts, but his most recognized trait is his blinding speed. The only player on either the major or minor league roster that can compare speed-wise is Alexandre Daigle, now a free agent whom the Penguins have no plan of retaining. He most closely resembles Jaromir Jagr. Unbeknownst to many, Jagr had great speed and good instincts, but did not learn to shoot the puck well until he came to Pittsburgh. With some guidance and a lot of practice, he could be a potent offensive weapon.

Matt Murley- Murley is one of the more well-rounded players not on the major-league roster. He possesses good offensive skills, finishing 3rd in team scoring for Wilkes-Barre; and was a standout at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the ECAC. He averaged over a point per game during his four year career there. He is a natural leader and has decent size. He is considered by his teammates to be a scholar of the game.

Top Kostopoulos- Kostopoulos is easily the most exciting prospect in the penguins system not named Marc-Andre Fleury. He finished second in team scoring and racked up 131 PIMs while missing 11 games during an assignment in the NHL. He led the Baby Pens in Assists, while still scoring 21 goals. He possesses good speed and a fiery spirit that endears him to teammates and fuels him on the ice. Look for him to resemble a poor man’s Jere Lehtinen.

This concludes my review of the Penguins depth chart. Keep in mind that all of this is relative, and i’m not saying that any of these players are going to be stars, or even necessarily earn regular NHL work.


15 Responses to Pittsburgh's Foundation

  1. DG says:

    “Top Kostopoulos- Kostopoulos is easily the most exciting prospect in the penguins system not named Marc-Andre Fleury. He finished second in team scoring and racked up 131 PIMs while missing 11 games during an assignment in the NHL. He led the Baby Pens in Assists, while still scoring 21 goals. He possesses good speed and a fiery spirit that endears him to teammates and fuels him on the ice. Look for him to resemble a poor man’s Jere Lehtinen.”

    He looks like he could be a keeper soon…and I’m hoping so. “Top Kostopoulos” has to be the best name I’ve encountered so far.

    RealityCheck

  2. Flyers_01 says:

    The Baby Penguins need to start producing, it’s a pretty clean slate at the NHL level. I’m glad they hired a new AHL coach. The coaching at that level wasn’t getting it done.

  3. guinsfan4life says:

    Don’t think I’d call goaltending a strong point in recent history. Recent history indicates inconsistency with the goaltending position–the penguins have no clear number one established goaltender, which is why Caron was brought up and stayed while Aubin was sent back.

    Roszival is hardly even remotely physical and was criticized by the coaching staff last year as perhaps not being tough enough and not wanting to play through injuries.

    Peterson is horrible. No way he makes the team this season. He gets thrown around like a rag doll.

    I don’t really believe that Sivek is a pure goal scorer; if he was then why wasn’t he the key to the Jagr deal and Patrick has said that Beech was? Sivek is, at best, projected to be a third line center.

    Last time I heard Armstrong was still trying to put on some weight so he could fulfill his role in the league. Don’t think he’ll be ready for the NHL this season, perhaps in a couple years or after the lockout.

    Koltsov, I believe, was a waste. He does have speed, which I think will help him make the team because Eddie O plans on generating offensive chances from speed and forchecking while using a tight defensive system. I think Koltsov makes the team based on just that.

    I have heard good things about Murley, but Kostopoulous?? The most exciting in WB??? Ouch, I guess that pretty much tells us about what we have in the minors?

    YOu may have seen Beech play or some of these other guys play at WB but when I see them play here in pgh, Beech has shown me next to nothing but that he can take a pounding, and I mean pounding. He is NOT strong on the puck–and is second to Mario Lemieux in nothing he does. If he was that strong on the puck, don’t you think he would have at least finished out the season with the pens? Beech, from what I have seen is extremely weak on the puck, lacks the strength to go one-on-one with someone bigger in the boards.

  4. MantaRay says:

    I am sorry, I used to really like the Pens, but I think Craig Patrick has lost his touch in recent years. Too me, they don’t have much on the farm and even less in the big leagues.

    I think this is a franchise mired in cheap, mediocre players without much direction.

    Guins4life: Please review my comments on your last post, I am curious about your take.

  5. penjunkie23 says:

    “Don’t think I’d call goaltending a strong point in recent history. Recent history indicates inconsistency with the goaltending position–the penguins have no clear number one established goaltender, which is why Caron was brought up and stayed while Aubin was sent back. “

    I’m not saying that goaltending has been a stength at the NHL level by any means. But when you look at Caron, and now Fleury, you have to respect the depth of thier backstop prospects.

    ” Roszival is hardly even remotely physical and was criticized by the coaching staff last year as perhaps not being tough enough and not wanting to play through injuries. “

    I agree that he needs to toughen up. However, if you’ve ever had a herniated musscle, you’d know the acute pain that can be caused by rigorous action. I’m not trying to make an excuse, but I would hardly say that it is time to call Rozszival a wash. I believe that with the new coaching system, his upside will be emphasized and he will be getting constant guidance and feedback, something all players need and no penguins in recent memory has had access to.

    “Peterson is horrible. No way he makes the team this season. He gets thrown around like a rag doll.”

    So do a number of players in the NHL. I don’t believe that he will be considered an impact player ever, but he could provide some decent 3rd line scoring if he learns to play defense. He is hardly considered to be one of the Penguins’ better prospects, but he could develop into a decent player.

    ” I don’t really believe that Sivek is a pure goal scorer; if he was then why wasn’t he the key to the Jagr deal and Patrick has said that Beech was? Sivek is, at best, projected to be a third line center.”

    I don’t believe he is a pure goal scorer, I said he is the closest thing the Penguins’ prospect pool has to a pure goal scorer. I think you are wrong about his potential. He is an on the bubble player to be sure, he could go either way. I think ruling him out as an effective top-6 forward is a little extreme at this point.

    ” Last time I heard Armstrong was still trying to put on some weight so he could fulfill his role in the league. Don’t think he’ll be ready for the NHL this season, perhaps in a couple years or after the lockout. “

    I never said that he should would or could make the NHL roster at this point. But I would say that he projects to be a reliable defensive forward who can make occasional contributions on the scoresheet

    ” Koltsov, I believe, was a waste. He does have speed, which I think will help him make the team because Eddie O plans on generating offensive chances from speed and forchecking while using a tight defensive system. I think Koltsov makes the team based on just that.”

    Koltsov has good instincts, but his execution is lacking. When you see him play, you can tell that he is seeing chances, but is not able to capitalize on many of them. The biggest aid to his development at this point is learning to harness his speed properly. He expends too much energy zipping around uneccesarily when he could be saving that top gear to break into the offensive zone with an unexpected speed burst. His hands definitely need some intensive work, hopefully under the new, prospect oriented regime, he will get the help he needs to become a decent contributor.

    ” I have heard good things about Murley, but Kostopoulous?? The most exciting in WB??? Ouch, I guess that pretty much tells us about what we have in the minors? “

    Perhaps I used the wrong term. Kostopoulos has a spirited game, can be a steady contributor offensively and also get his hands dirty and set a fierce, physical tone against the opposition.

    ” YOu may have seen Beech play or some of these other guys play at WB but when I see them play here in pgh, Beech has shown me next to nothing but that he can take a pounding, and I mean pounding. He is NOT strong on the puck–and is second to Mario Lemieux in nothing he does. If he was that strong on the puck, don’t you think he would have at least finished out the season with the pens? Beech, from what I have seen is extremely weak on the puck, lacks the strength to go one-on-one with someone bigger in the boards. “

    Beech has a ways to go before he is a complete player. He’s in a bit of an in-between stage right now. In the minors, he can force the puck into the zone on a regular basis and create chances with his bravado. What I believe is holding up his development at the NHL has largely to do with his conditioning and his physique. He must gain some weight, and bring his endurance up to par with the NHL’s gameplay. I believe that if he makes these adjustments, by the time he is done growing, he will be ready to truly begin his development in the NHL.

  6. TrojanMan says:

    I dont know what your smoking pal, but Tom Kostopoulos sucks. If he is ” easily the most exciting prospect in the penguins system not named Marc-Andre Fleury” then the Pens are in SERIOUS TROUBLE. My God man, the loser can barely skate. He is a career minor-leaguer and will NEVER find steady work at the NHL level.

  7. guinsfan4life says:

    I suppose if you mean that the goaltending position has gotten better then yeah of course the addition of Fleury has improved that. As far as the NHL goalies, which I thought you were referring to–I don’t believe it is a strongpoint of the team right now especially when you are comparing it to other positions.

    Perhaps the new coaching staff can work with Roszival and he can recover from his injuries. I realize the pain he was in, however each day players are in pain after the long grueling season. When a coaching staff labels you as not wanting to play through chickenshit injuries you get labeled as soft. He has.

    I agree that Kostop. has a very spirited game. He definately has hop in his legs and the style of game he plays is exciting.

    I think Surovy is more of a pure goal scorer than Sivek. IT wasn’t my opinion that he wasn’t going to be a top six forward, that was Craig Patrick’s after the Jagr trade was consummated. I haven’t seen enough of him to suggest that either way.

    As far as Beech I believe we feel the same way. He just looks very overmatched in the NHL, especially physically. I hope that has changed and he is ready for camp, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he doesn’t make the team out of camp.

    I think one thing we have forgotten is that Patrick has said in a recent interview that he is going to try to get some mid-low level free agents into camp to push the younger players, so it is not going to be easy or automatic for them to make the team right out of camp. I have heard talks of Ian Moran coming back, Bergevin has already been traded back. So, those two right there takes two d-spots away.

    I also heard that LInter may be move to forward or go back to play in Europe.

  8. penjunkie23 says:

    I definitely meant that their drafting of goaltenders in recent years has been a strong point. I also agree that their NHL caliber goaltending isn’t necessarily a strongpoint, although on a better team, I believe Hedberg could do reasonably well, considering his SPCT was .904 this last year on a terrible defensive team that relied on goal support.

    I think roszival is on the soft side, but while he will never be regarding as a tought D-man, I think he can be at least somewhat of a physical presence, but will end up relying more on his finesse to make plays at both ends of the ice.

    I agree that Surovy is a bit more of a goals scorer, but he also has good skill creating turnovers on the forecheck and is unselfish with the puck.

    I think that when Beech’s body reaches an NHL-calibre level, he will make a big difference for the penguins’ offense. I think he will be the 2nd line center behind Kraft, once lemieux is gone.

    Patrick wants lintner to be a forward, but Lintner adamantly claims to be a defenseman. I believe he would do well as a forward, far better than he would do as a D-man.

    I would love to see Moran back. He’s a great lockerroomn presence and can help to lighten his team’s spirits as well as agitate opponents.

  9. penjunkie23 says:

    You’ve obviously never seen Kostopoulos play, jackhole. If you had, you’d know that he will be at least a good blue-collar 3rd or 4th liner with some offensive skill. And as for his skating, I’d have to say you’re the one smoking hash, he may not be flashy, but he skates reasonably well, and well enough for that not to be a significant problem.

  10. TrojanMan says:

    Jackhole, huh? The few times hes been in Pittsburgh he has done squat; scoring, hitting, defense-wise. Hes a nobody and a waste of an AHL roster spot. Blue-collar 3rd and 4th liners are a dime a dozen in the NHL and their a PLENTY that are a ton better than he is. The only thing he has done which I can recall was score on his first NHL shot, since then hes been about as noticeable as you arer knowledgeable.

  11. Kraftster says:

    I agree with pretty much every comment that guinsfan4life had….I think a lot of your evaluations are a little skewed, but you did say all was relative, and that makes a difference…

    here’s my take on the Pens up coming season…

    As far as goaltending goes, a lot will depend on MA’s showing…If he is sent back to Juniors he cannot be called up all season correct? Well I don’t see the Pens choosing to have him in WB if he’s not going to play, I think for the most part it is regarded better for a prospect to remain in juniors if they are not in the NHL correct? So, I think that if he is in WB, he will get some time this season, also, if he is in WB, one of the goaltenders has to be traded at some point.

    Say he makes it, there are 4 goalies that can play in the NHL. You don’t want to see 2 of them in WB, and I don’t think you will. If MA makes the pens or baby pens, look for a goalie to be dealt early in the season. Either to a team who really has struggling goaltending out of the gates, in which case it would be Hedberg most likely, or to a team looking to solidify a back up in their system (or for injury), Aubin…

    I don’t think it hurts the team to much to trade either of these guys, MA is obvioulsy the gaolie of the future, and saying he makes it, 4 goalies is too many if we could get something in return.

    If LA ends up signing fedorov and cechmanek isn’t working out, they may pull the trigger for another goalie, I think their current back up would be the guy from france whose name I can’t recall….With so many draft picks this season, maybe LA would be willing to part with one of their older prospects/young nhlers. Could always bring Jason Crain back toward the burgh with a draft pick.

    The defensive corps are very interesting….I don’t know what to think…

    First of all, I think Lintner is awesome, I don’t really know where his huge defensive faults that everyoen talks about are?? I think he is super quick with the puck, and remember he doesn’t have much NHL experience, he’s only 25 I believe, he’s got lots of time…I am royally pissed about Craig’s position change suggestiion!!

    That being said, from what I’ve read, Lintner will not be a Dman on the Pens, so I guess with him out it looks like this:

    Tarnstrom and Bergevin are pretty much locks…

    Ian moran would be a lock, but I think that is a bad move, don’t get me wrong, I love Ian, but it’s time for the young guys to step in…and adding ian would leave pretty much one spot…

    Rozsival and Melichar should be partnered up…good dpartners in my mind…I think Melichar is very promising, I expect a HUGE step up season by him considering he stays healthy.

    This leaves 2 spots for tons of guys….Last year’s pick ups in Focht and Dupont, Former draft picks, Orpik, Lupaschuk, Whitney…

    Orpik I feel has to do what it tkeas to make the team, I think he’s ready, I think he will have a solid season, and prove to be more than just a physical presence.

    From there I don’t know…I think lupaschuk has the least chance of all to make the team, because if CP doesn’t want Lintner back there, he sure won’t want Lupaschuk…personally that seems like more of an Edzo call to me, but so did the Lintner BS!

    I’d like to see Whitney make the team, I think a sixth overall pick has gotta be NHL ready after a year (excluding goalies).

    Oh the Offense…hmm…what a mess this will be.

    I am actually really looking foward to this season, I think it is going to be very enjoyable to see who steps it up. I expect there to be tons of energy on this team, because with the surplus of fowards, you don’t perform with at least some desire, you should be sent down quickly! here are my predictions for line combinations opening night….

    Abid – Lemeiux – Morozov

    – this line might surprise some people, I think this is by far the best combination, I really expect a lot out of morozov and Abid this season, and if Mario centers either of them for any considerable amount of time, they should be doing quite fine…

    *watch for Meloche or Lefebvre on that line instead of Abid, Mario has a thing for Lefebvre and Meloche caught my eye at the end of last year, as a possible mario line mate….

    Straka – Kraft – Fata

    Could be a solid combo…I see all these guys being on the roster no doubt

    Surovy – Beech – Lefebvre

    this line wouldn’t be to gritty of a third line, that’s for sure, I don’t like Beech being the leader of a line either, as far as experience, but I think these guys will be on the roster too…

    Meloche – Holzinger – Murley

    tons of *’s on ths one…

    1…Lintner will be here on the 4th if he makes the team, unless mario falls in love with him, he’ll be #1 line, but if he isn’t on here, he’ll be in Slovakia, because he wants to be in the NHL or Europe, not the minors…

    2…Steve Mckenna, damn he doesn’t fit into rebuilding, but he signed an extension, and will probably make the team…

    3…Holzinger may be considered to old to be in the rebuilding process and be WB, but he may be considered a good veteran guy to have around…

    4…I think Murley will be lights out in pre-season earning him a spot…

    5…Meloche performs anything like the ned lf last year, I see it being very tough to turn him back to WB…

    6…Hell anyone could be here….this roster is very up in the air, look for any number of guys, Koltsov, Sivek, Endicott especially to fight for one of these last spots…

    I am upset at the releasing of Matthias Johansson, I really liked him, I thought he fit with the Pens will, and was looking forward to seeing him this season, although I’ve heard they might try to re-sign him…

    …finally a breath….geeze….that’s a mouthful, hopefully this season will be that breathtaking…I am honestly excited to see these young guys finally have the FULL oppurtunity to show what they’ve got….

    while I’m at it, why not make a prediction for the record…

    I see the record being similar to that of the Flordia Panthers last year, LOTS of ties…I think this pens team will hang around in a lot of games, and force OT often, but struggle getting that push to get the w’s…

    27-38-12-5

    MA makes the team…

    Edzo stays coach…

    Aubin traded…

    Breakout year Abid….

    Finally comes around Kraft…

    Morozov shows some good stuff…

    Proves to be a bust–Beech…

    Surprisingly decent D…

    here’s to a good season

    ☼KRAFTSTER☼

  12. penjunkie23 says:

    If you’ll recall, the pens chose to let go of Tallas, freeing up an AHL roster spot that can only be filled by Caron, Aubin, Hedberg, or the goalie from their Wheeling affiliate. Fleury cannot play in the AHL, because he still has a year of junior eligibility and AHL rules stipulate that you cannot play if you are still junior-eligible. So, for MA, it is pittsburgh or Cape Breton.

    I think Lintner’s biggest problem is defensive miscues and a little too much eagerness to start the rush without first clearing the zone. He may be able to develop a defensive style but from what I have seen, his speed, his puckhandling ability and his skill for creating space in the offensive zone would make him far more valuable at forward.

    I would rather have Moran on the roster than Bergevin, not because of any ill will towards bergevin, but because I think Moran is more of a team player and he has an enthusiasm for the game that could really help the youngsters.

    I think on D, it should look like this:

    Orpik-Tarnstrom

    Roszival-Melichar

    Moran-Whitney

    I think Orpik’s good puck movement ability will make him and tarnstrom a good fit, and I think that his physical presence will bolster that pairing.

    Roszival and Melichar have good chemistry, there’s really not much more to it. Melichar is a hard-nosed, tough D-man and I think it would help roszival to be paired up with someone who possesses those traits.

    I think Moran’s willingness to self-sacrifice will help Whitney to mature as an NHL D-man. That said, as much as I would like to see Whitney make the roster, I can easily see him choosing to finish out his college career and/or starting his pro career with a year of development in the AHL (although it is unlikely he will forego his final year in college just to play in the minors when he is guaranteed a spot on either WB or with the Pens when he completes college. He had a so-so year, getting off to a slow start but turning it around later in the season. I think he could benefit by waiting one more year, but at the same time, he is good enough to compete for a spot on this rebuilding team.

    I think that as long as Abid is playing with decently talented forwards, he will do well. He was one of the few bright spots for the Coyote’s otherwise dismal year this past season.

    Lefebvre would do well with Mario, he provides some amount of physicality on the ice and has good offensive instincts that can only be heightened by playing with lemieux.

    I would really like to see Surovy on the roster, he has the ability to generate turnovers in the offensive zone, and to generate chances from those turnovers.

    Think you could be wrong about beech, but you may also be proven correct. He has the skill, he needs the body, the guidance, and a healthy dose of confidence. He was able to gain some confidence, considering how well he did in just 40 AHL games. He finally displayed his abilities for the first time since he’s been with the penguins.

    I agree that morozov will do well. He did well before his injury and I expect he will continue that, starting the season off OK, and improving as the season continues on. Hopefully he will finally establish himself as the player who was billed as the best talent not playing in the NHL when he was drafted. I applaud the penguins for sticking with him and I believe it will pay off.

    My predictions:

    25-40-6-11

    MA won’t make the team

    Edzo stays

    Aubin goes

    Kraft shows up

    Suffering D will mature this year and come on strong next year.

    I think this team could suprise a lot of other teams if they can play the up-tempo, hard-forecheck system that they are hoping to employ

    A good season indeed.

    I actually in some ways hope they finish last again so they can have a good chance of nabbing Alex Ovechkin this next year.

  13. penjunkie23 says:

    Well, since you’re such an expert, and since you’ve seen him play soooo much, I guess I’m just stupid and have no idea what I’m talking about…

  14. TrojanMan says:

    Youre finally right about something

  15. guinsfan4life says:

    I heard on ESPN radio 1250 that Patrick has said the team has no plans on bringing Moran back.

    Heard it this week.

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