Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
He has worked hard at his conditioning and he has challenged himself to become a go-to guy on the ice and in the dressing room.
"I think it's not only putting up points and being an offensive guy," explained Letang, who suffered a stroke during the 2013-14 season and missed 10 weeks before returning to action.
"I think what I want is to make sure the coach behind me is never going to have a question mark in his head [about playing me in any situation]. ... I want to be the guy that he knows that I'm going to do the job and I'm going to do it right."
With Martin signing as a free agent with the San Jose Sharks and Ehrhoff now in Los Angeles, the Pens' blue line is in a state of flux. Youngsters Brian Dumoulin and Derrick Pouliot look to be slotting in somewhere in the top six. There's veteran Rob Scuderi, Adam Clendening and 41-year-old Sergei Gonchar, who's on a tryout.
General manager Jim Rutherford acknowledged they will have to keep an eye on the blue line and the implication is that he might look to add depth via the trade market. But it's better, obviously, if he doesn't have to. And how this plays out will be determined in large part by how Letang and Maatta shoulder the burden of leadership.
As for Letang, Rutherford shook his head when asked if anyone outside of the Pens' room knows how good Letang was for the Pens last season.
"Nobody knows," Rutherford said.
from Dave Molinari of the Pitsburgh Post-Gazette,
It’s doubtful any other NHL training camp will feature a power-play practice session with as much firepower as the Penguins displayed Sunday.
The Penguins worked out a power-play unit featuring forwards Phil Kessel on the left half wall, Evgeni Malkin on the right half wall, Sidney Crosby in the slot and Patric Hornqvist in front of the net, plus defenseman Kris Letang at center point.
Heck, there are medal-contending Olympic squads that might be jealous of that type of firepower.
“I think you’ve got to get used to it,” Kessel said. “I think we’re all going to feed off each other and learn off each other. We’re going to do whatever we can to make it work and be the best power play in the league.”
Aside from the considerable addition of Kessel, the most notable change in that alignment was Crosby in the slot. Throughout his career, Crosby has predominantly played on the right half wall or toward the side of the cage.
from Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
It’s easy to understand why the Penguins, who will convene at their new practice facility in Cranberry this morning for physicals and photos, are confident about how the coming season will play out.
Although it’s been only a few months since their five-game loss to the New York Rangers in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, their roster has undergone a major overhaul.
While a few prominent contributors, such as defenseman Paul Martin and center Brandon Sutter, moved on, the Penguins added a game-breaking goal-scorer, Phil Kessel, and upgraded their third and fourth lines.
“Not to take anything away from the team that we had previously, but it’s just exciting,” defenseman Ian Cole said. “Obviously, you’re getting some big-name splashes with Phil Kessel, and some of the guys who are going to be vying for some of the other spots, like [Nick] Bonino and [Eric] Fehr.
“It’s very exciting to look around and see the potential we have, and how deep our team is.”
"I know him as a sniper, he likes to score goals. He's flying every game. I think if he plays with Sid, he can score 50 goals at least. He has everything."
-Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Phil Kessel. More on the Penguins from Shawn Roarke of NHL.com.
from Mike Ozanian of Forbes,
The sale price of the Pittsburgh Penguins is heading south. Morgan Stanley is on the verge of botching the sale–probably by overhyping it at the get-go.
While there have been reports in recent days that owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle want $750 million for the NHL team, those reports are wrong, written by folks who know nothing about how team sale prices are calculated.
Team values should be calculated as enterprise values. That is, the value of the team and the economics of its arena are the sum of equity and net debt. Period.
from Rick Westhead of TSN,
The owners of the Pittsburgh Penguins are asking $750 million (U.S.) for the team, but face long odds of finding a buyer who’s willing to pay that much because of the flagging North American economy and uncertainty over the future of the Canadian dollar, sports investment bankers say.
A $750-million transaction price would mark a record for a U.S.-based NHL team, said Drew Dorweiler, a Montreal economist who has been hired by the owners of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Manchester United and other sports teams to estimate their franchise values.
“It does seem a bit steep with the economy and for that market,” Dorweiler said. “Pittsburgh is certainly not one of the largest cities in the U.S.”
from Jenny Menendez of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
The process of buying an NHL franchise is long and arduous, and the sale of the Penguins will be no different.
Industry experts, including a former Penguins counsel, contend they are not at all surprised little has surfaced regarding the sale as the calendar flips to September. Primary owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle retained Morgan Stanley in June to begin the process of exploring a sale, but virtually no significant information has emerged since.
“I’m not surprised at all, because these are very valuable assets and there are complications, particularly if the buyer is someone who hasn’t been involved in professional sports in the past,” said Bob Caporale, a former Penguins lawyer and founding partner at Game Plan, a sports finance, investment banking and consulting firm. “It may take time to do their due diligence. Frankly at this time of year, as you know vacations and so forth will always slow things up. I’m sure in the fall things will get more active.”
Caporale was the lead attorney for the Penguins from 1991-97, and the club’s Alternate Governor to the NHL during Howard Baldwin’s controversial tenure as owner.
via Jason Mackey tweets,
Asked GMJR if he was pursuing a trade: "Not really actively pursuing it. There’s not a lot going on right now.
"You can’t even find a lot of guys if you call them now. It’s really when we get into camp, and teams see what they have."
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Let’s start with this: For our money, Sidney Crosby is still one of the top two or three best hockey players, if not the best player on the planet. That is a given. And it will not shock us at all that if Crosby wins another scoring title playing with Phil Kessel.
But if the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team strangely adrift since back-to-back trips to the Stanley Cup finals in 2008 and 2009, are going to get back to relevance -- never mind seriously contending for a championship -- then the key is the blue line. And the blue line begins and ends right now with Kris Letang.
For most of last season, Letang and the now departed Paul Martin were the top pairing on a defense that for most of the season was a top six or seven team in goals allowed per game. A late-season swoon that coincided with injuries to their top defensemen saw the Pens finish 10th in goals allowed per game. All in all, not too shabby. Still, the Penguins were ousted in five games in the first round by the New York Rangers, losing all four games by a 2-1 count.
from Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,
Troy and Trina Crosby sat side-by-side on the same blue couch they've owned for more than a decade. Cards celebrating their son's recent birthday were displayed on the mantle. Photos of their hockey-playing children framed the room.
Now an empty nester and looking every bit the part in capri lounge pants, bare feet and a pair of glasses pushed above her forehead, Trina Crosby seemed genuinely surprised she has spent about one-fifth of her life as the mother of an NHL superstar.
“I think for some people it will always be ‘Sid the Kid,' ” she said. “But it doesn't really stick as much as it used to.”
Ten years into his career, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby is no longer a kid. He's a mature 28, celebrating his birthday on the final day of his first hockey camp for kids held to much acclaim in his hometown, at his home rink.
Crosby also is the proud owner of college credits for a World War II history course he completed online last season. He's a philanthropist and has started thinking about his legacy outside of hockey, something he hopes to shape through charity and his foundation.
No longer Mario Lemieux's tenant, Crosby is a homeowner twice over, including lakefront property in rural Nova Scotia that he showed off recently to a Trib Total Media reporter and photographer.
Yet Crosby, the NHL's top earner who pulled in about $17 million last season in salary, endorsements and memorabilia, remains most comfortable in sandals or sneakers, athletic gear and a cap.
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.
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