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Craig Custance On The Penguins, Gaborik, Refs And More

Craig Custance of ESPN just finished up an online chat...

Your gut on the Penguins' GM situation? Still can't believe they let Shero go and didn't let Bylsma go. And what's the murmur around the league about what's going on with the team? Just so weird.

Craig Custance   Miller - Yeah, it's still surprising the way it all played out. I absolutely agree with you. I still wonder if the other shoe will fall eventually with Bylsma. I've talked to some people who believe that the Penguins won't give up on Brisson, even though he's said he wants to keep his current position. He's done a great job at CAA and I definitely understand why he wouldn't want to give that up. Penguins may end up staying in house like the Capitals or hire a guy like Julien BriseBois who many believe is a GM in waiting. I honestly don't have a great feel for it though, very curious to see how this plays out.

What do you think of Gaborik resigning with the Kings? What does that do to guys like Zykov and Prokhorkin who are chomping at the bit to play in the NHL?

Craig Custance  Ryen - Gaborik brings that element of speed and finish that this team really needed. I love the fit in LA and think they'll find a way to keep him unless his price gets too expensive because of his big postseason. Dean Lombardi made a calculated gamble there and it's been a great fit. It makes sense for everybody involved to extend the relationship.

My biggest gripe with the officiating throughout the whole playoffs is the sheer number of penalties called. The best games are usually the ones that the officials don't get involved in, like the 1-0 game 7 between the B's and Lightening in 2011 that had zero penalties called. I have seen too many games this playoffs that are just rotating special teams contests. Please just call the blatant ones and let the other stuff go. I think the Jackson and O'Rourke officiating crew has been the most glaring example of this. They had games 2 and 7 of the B's-Habs series, they had game 2 of the WC finals which saw 6 powerplays in the first period alone, and they had game four of the Rangers-Habs. And they still get game assignments.

Craig Custance  Look, I think NHL officiating is one of the toughest assignments in all sports. We have the benefit of slow motion replay at home and in the press box. I'm amazed they get as much right as they do. It's a fine line. I don't particularly like calling the regular season one way and then swallowing the whistles in the postseason. You have to let your skill players play and part of that is calling penalties.


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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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