Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Damien Cox of the Toronto Star,
The cost of paying so much to so few, as Tampa Bay found out with its now disbanded Big Three, will be instability and yearly turnover with the other 60 per cent of the roster. This summer, the Pens lost unrestricted forwards Gary Roberts, Ryan Malone, Jarkko Ruutu, Marian Hossa, Georges Laraque and Adam Hall, as well as goalie Ty Conklin.
In their place, the club brought in forwards Miro Satan, Ruslan Fedotenko and Eric Godard and will give some farmhands a chance.
The Penguins can expect similar roster churn next summer, with nine more unrestricted free agents.
Still, many have anointed the Pens as the No.1 team in the Eastern Conference. But Crosby and Co. do have some speed bumps ahead.
from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,
While Stamkos, the first overall pick in this year’s draft, is easily the biggest and most intriguing name to watch out for on Tampa Bay’s roster tonight, Koci could provide the most entertainment. He’s a fighter and he’s battling for a roster spot on a team with a ton of NHL-caliber forwards. Plus, he’s the guy who bloodied the knuckles of Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara last season with… well… uh… his own blood.
So should Koci cross paths with Godard, a guy who’s not afraid to tangle with anyone, things could get interesting.
more on the game tonight…
from Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
“Hopefully, I can fulfill everybody’s expectations,” Satan said yesterday as the team was finishing up its preseason physicals and medical tests.
Those expectations run fairly high for Satan, who signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract as a free agent over the summer.
For one thing, Satan is penciled in as the replacement for Marian Hossa, who signed with Detroit. That makes him the top candidate to be the new right winger for captain and top-line center Sidney Crosby. Coach Michel Therrien has said Satan will see time on that line.
from Bob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Q: What did you learn last year about your core players?
A: They’ve very resilient, and I didn’t just learn that. We’ve shown that the past two seasons, especially last season with all the injuries and adversity, including the slow start. These players know how to handle tough spots. I look at our game in Ottawa last season on Thanksgiving: We were three games under .500 and down, 0-2, on the road to a team that had the best record in hockey at the time. We won that game, and it was the start of getting it going on the right track
from Seth Rorabaugh of Empty Netters,
Which brings us to Jordan Staal who, according to rumors, is related to Eric in some fashion.
He’s a restricted free agent after this season. How does he get his first big pay day?
Does he need to hit the 30 goal/60 point mark? Does he essentially need to be Ryan Malone’s replacement on one of the first two lines? Does he need to ride shotgun on the wing of Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin? Does he need continue his sterling defensive play?
If you ask us, the answer is yes to all these questions. This is why we expect a big season out of Staal.
from Kevn Allen of Mucking & Grinding,
Staal said he understands why Therrien plays him on the third line, “he believes it’s a better fit at center for me and we were winning games.”
He hasn’t even talked to Therrien about moving up permanently to the wing. “But for my future I believe I’m a top six guy and I want to play up there,” he said. “I want to fit somewhere in that puzzle. Hopefully I can stick around in Pittsburgh and find a good spot.”
From the Pittsburgh Penguins,
As a show of their appreciation for tremendous fan support, Penguins players once again hand-delivered season tickets to 35 season ticket-holders throughout the Pittsburgh area. Also this year, head coach Michel Therrien joined Sidney Crosby, Jordan Staal, Marc-Andre Fleury, Pascal Dupuis, Sergei Gonchar, Jeff Taffe, Brooks Orpik, Maxime Talbot and Tyler Kennedy in making stops around Western Pa. to distribute season tickets.
“I don’t think there are a lot of teams that do this in any sport. It’s a pretty unique thing we do. As players, we appreciate it and it’s a way to kind of give back more on a personal level. I think people appreciate that,” Crosby said.
from the CP,
NHL star Sidney Crosby leads the list of Nova Scotians honoured Thursday with the Order of Nova Scotia.
Crosby, who recently turned 21, is the youngest person to receive the award which recognizes those who’ve made “significant contributions to the province and the country.”
from Spector at Fox Sports,
Unlike the defending champion Detroit Red Wings, the Penguins lost several key players in the offseason — moves which can have an adverse effect on team chemistry this season….
Recent Cup finalists unable to keep their rosters intact fail to return to the big dance the following year. Even losing several lesser lights can have a potentially adverse effect on team chemistry. With their established young stars the Penguins should remain a dominant club this season but it remains to be seen if their new players can mesh well with the rest of the roster and help them return to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Three keys in my opinion are Crosby, Malkin and Fleury. How they go, so do the Penguins of 2008-09.
from Mike Toth of Sportsnet,
With all the garbage I’ve been eating this summer, I shouldn’t be trusting my gut. But something tells me the Pittsburgh Penguins are headed for a huge fall. The darlings of the NHL last year when they gave Detroit all it could handle in the Cup final, the Pens go into the new season missing some key pieces to the puzzle. Marian Hossa and Ryan Malone are gone and key defenceman Ryan Whitney will miss the first three to five months with a knee problem. To make up for their missing offence, the Penguins are counting on getting some big minutes and big goals out of the mercurial Miroslav Satan, who lit the lamp just 15 times for the Islanders last season.
more NHL bits…
from Dan Stefano of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Whitney’s troubles aside, Therrien was pleased with the results of a busy offseason for the Penguins, which saw fan favorites Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts leave for Tampa Bay, veteran forwards Matt Cooke and Miroslav Satan come to Pittsburgh and young stars Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fluery sign long-term deals.
“We really concentrate on our young players as the core group of this team, and the future looks really bright,” Therrien said….
“Compared to years in the past, when we have seven or eight exhibition games, which gives you a chance to have more young players to participate in those exhibition games, that’s going to be a bit tougher this year,” Therrien said. “We only have four exhibition games, so I’m going to concentrate a lot on players that are really close to making it to the NHL.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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