by Patrick Hoffman on 06/16/09 at 03:16 PM ET
I was able to do a brief e-mail interview with Scotty Hockey to get his thoughts on the Pittsburgh Penguins as Stanley Cup Champions and the Rangers’ off-season plans.
Read below for more:
PH: First things first, can you actually believe that the Pittsburgh Penguins are the 2009 Stanley Cup champions? Why or why not?
SH: I can sadly believe it because I saw Cindy raise the Cup, so it happened. And, after the trade deadline, they were one of the best teams in the east and fired on all cylinders through the playoffs. No other team did that - we were an offensive disgrace, the Caps never really had everyone going all at once, the Bruins shot themselves in the foot (and got screwed by the refs) and the Canes defensive deficiencies killed them - Cam Ward could only hold on for so long. The Pens won four out of five against the best team in hockey, so the Cup is theirs.
PH: Alright, pretend your GM Glen Sather (May be we wish you were!) - what moves do you think of making to help make the team better for the 2009-10 NHL season?
SH: First off, I find someone to take Scott Gomez. He is the most tradeable of the big three (Drury, Redden). We will definitely have to take a contract back but even a $5 million deal is better than a $7 mill one. Everyone keeps harping that by getting rid of him there will be a void at center but he never really was a first line center anyway. We don’t have one, and likely won’t for a while. And that’s fine. Re-sign Dubi and give him a chance to earn that slot. Give Anisimov a shot as third line center and re-sign Bettsy for fourth. Also re-sign Cally, Sjostrom and Orrsie. I loathe lackadaisical players like Zherdev but I can’t imagine another team taking him so I guess we are stuck with him for at least another year. While his upside is Kovalchuk-esque, we can hope for at least a Fedotenko and pray that Z also captures the clutch aspect of that particular Penguin. Hopefully for Gomez we would get a winger back so we wouldn’t need to overspend on Borat but if we gotta, there are worse alternatives. Then again, perhaps Grachev is ready for the NHL? He definitely deserves a look in camp and shouldn’t be added just for the sake of adding him as he will need a top six slot to flourish. Let Mara and Morris go, giving Sauer, Potter, Gilroy and Bobby’s World a shot to battle for their spots. I liked Mara but since Redden isn’t going anywhere, the wily vet has to hit the road.
PH: In which direction do you think the team should go in the upcoming NHL Draft?
SH: Draft the best available players, no matter the position. The Rangers never draft NHL-ready players anyway so skill is skill. Hopefully grab a goaltender at some point since that 07 second round kid fell apart.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.