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 Post subject: What now?
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 2:44 pm 
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Pretty good summary, IMO. The Pens just ain't at the level of the truly elite teams anymore.

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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 2:58 pm 
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Y'know, I've witnessed first hand this year what a goalie playing at an elite level can do to cover up a team's many flaws. Fleury ain't that kind of goalie. It's frustrating that he always teases that he has another level. In the end, he ain't terrible, nor is he very good. He's just mediocre. And the fact that Shero can't seem to realize that is one very big reason this team just isn't a legit contender anymore.

There's other issues of course, but the Pens can't address all their flaws, so they should definitely go with the most glaring one.


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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:04 pm 
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Fleury needs a fresh start. They may not find anyone better, but I think for both his and the team's psyches, a fresh start would be best.

They should sign a consummate pro like Gionta. Or Saku.

It's not really possible to blow up a team with Crosby, Gene and Letang entrenched at the top, nor should they. They do need a new coach, and they need to improve the farm.

Niskanen's going to get crazy money on the open market.

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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:49 pm 
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Av-merican wrote:
Y'know, I've witnessed first hand this year what a goalie playing at an elite level can do to cover up a team's many flaws. Fleury ain't that kind of goalie. It's frustrating that he always teases that he has another level. In the end, he ain't terrible, nor is he very good. He's just mediocre. And the fact that Shero can't seem to realize that is one very big reason this team just isn't a legit contender anymore.


The problem may not be that Shero can't seem to realize it. If he realizes it, he needs another GM to not realize it and be willing to take on that contract. Or he needs a GM to be willing to take Fleury thinking that they can fix him and take his contract, and Shero have a suitable replacement ready. Or he needs to buy him out and have a suitable replacement ready. I think it is more complex than Shero not being able to recognize the situation with Fleury. I don't think this is a Brian Burke refusing to be wrong with Dan Coutier kind of a situation, either.

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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 3:54 pm 
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Bylsma hasn't exactly lead the team to the promise land either save 2009 where he came in end of season. He took an underachieving Pens team with 25 games left in the season and rallied them to the Stanley Cup championship. With Crosby and Malkin just 21 and 22 at the time, it looked like the Penguins were in line for multiple Cup repeats. But in the subsequent five seasons, Pittsburgh has failed to return to the final – falling short in the 2nd, 1st, 1st, 3rd and 2nd rounds respectively. Not exactly sizzling post season results.

But I think Shero should be getting the most heat, criticism being that he didn’t provide the right mix of support players for his two superstars. This is where ownership should be looking.

To echo the article, I would tend to agree that Crosby is still more than capable.

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Sid’s the canary in a coal mine. When the best player in the world goes 13 games with one goal, ends his series without a point in three games and is clearly rattled by his opponents’ physicality and pest behavior, there’s something wrong.

I don’t believe that glitch is with Sidney Crosby, who will collect another Hart Trophy this June, but rather with what he’s been surrounded by.


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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 5:04 pm 
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Av-merican wrote:
Y'know, I've witnessed first hand this year what a goalie playing at an elite level can do to cover up a team's many flaws. Fleury ain't that kind of goalie. It's frustrating that he always teases that he has another level. In the end, he ain't terrible, nor is he very good. He's just mediocre. And the fact that Shero can't seem to realize that is one very big reason this team just isn't a legit contender anymore.

There's other issues of course, but the Pens can't address all their flaws, so they should definitely go with the most glaring one.



whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa......have I not heard you say many times that to be successful all a team needs is average goal tending? And Fleury is definitely average.

IMO for how little it is worth, a team doesn't need the Dominator to be successful but it has to be very, very good if it only has average goal tending, ie// Detroit for many years (ok slightly above average for the most part but never really elite, or Chicago with Niemi.) The Pens need an elite defensive dman or an elite goalie, I think you have to have one or the other to consistently challenge every year. Although you maybe can get away with less and consistently challenge if your team in located in the east.

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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 5:30 pm 
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Fogghorn wrote:
whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa......have I not heard you say many times that to be successful all a team needs is average goal tending? And Fleury is definitely average.

IMO for how little it is worth, a team doesn't need the Dominator to be successful but it has to be very, very good if it only has average goal tending, ie// Detroit for many years (ok slightly above average for the most part but never really elite, or Chicago with Niemi.) The Pens need an elite defensive dman or an elite goalie, I think you have to have one or the other to consistently challenge every year. Although you maybe can get away with less and consistently challenge if your team in located in the east.


Yes, and I stand by that. But the team up front can't have a ton of holes. The Pens do. I'm just saying an elite netminder covers up for a lot of flaws on a given roster, steals games and what not. Hell, look at Lundqvist. For years he's gotten Rangers teams before this latest iteration that frankly weren't all that great. He covered up for a LOT of the team's flaws over the years, as did Varlamov for the Avs this entire season. It's only when a team has as much talent and depth (and coaching) as the Hawks do that you can get away with a "meh" netminder and still win it all. And for all the ragging I give Chris Osgood (some of it deserved), he at least stepped up when he needed to.

As far as defensemen, some would consider both Letang and Martin to be elite in their respective roles (well, maybe Martin's not "elite" but he's damn good), so again it comes to depth. The bad news is that they'll be losing some of that depth on the back end with Niskanen almost assuredly gone, and probably Orpik as well. I suppose if Maata and Despres are legit top-four guys and Bortuzzo doesn't suck, then they're okay. I suppose Shero could ditch Neal for a quality two-way center and just go back to having strength up the middle and a bunch of grinders of varying quality on the wings.


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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 7:55 pm 
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It's probably, as much as anything, a function of the salary cap. Pittsburgh built a potential dynasty by sucking for years. The trouble was they had to start choosing who to keep, Crosby, Malkin and Fluery. Fluery got his big contract shortly after winning one Stanley Cup and taking Pittsburgh to a second Final. Nobody argued with the signing when it happened. He looked like a lock in goal for years. The trouble was the other guys who had to be allowed to leave, Stall and Malone, and other key free agent pickups who would have made Pittsburgh much stronger. I'll give Chicago credit they had pretty much the same MO to work with as Pittsburgh i.e, sucking for years and getting great players in the draft but Chicago seems to be better able to work the cap issues and keep their key players on their roster although they may hit the wall after next year.

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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 8:02 pm 
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Is a function of the salary cap these days, that a team has to suck for 4-5 years in order to build a championship calibre team?


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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 8:27 pm 
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Logical Progression wrote:
Is a function of the salary cap these days, that a team has to suck for 4-5 years in order to build a championship calibre team?


Not at all, SJ, Detroit and Boston have been very good because of good drafting. On the other hand Edmonton is truly awful and it seems to be because they simply can't find players outside the first round, their record for rounds 2-7 is pretty much the worst in the NHL. AV and I have been back and forth about this for a couple years but it seems you need to find elite talent. If like Boston and SJ you can do that with picks beyond the top 5 or good trades (Rask) then you're golden, if not time to get on the Connor McDavid bandwagon (please Trevor, hitch that wagon).

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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 10:13 pm 
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Go ahead and tell me sucking for 3 to 5 years doesn't help. If you stock pile early first round picks, have a good scouting department that identifies young talent to the teams need then you quickly become a contender. Edmonton kept drafting the same kind of forward at No. 1. They never shored up the defense or goaltending. Edmonton is just a clueless franchise. They are the Dead Wings of this era. They couldn't spell cat if you spotted them c and the a. Detroit has been successful as a result of good scouting, but, they also had a core of elite veterans until the class of 1991 retired, Lidstrom, etc. Detroit has not been a Cup contender since 2009 / 2010 really. Now they're trying to rebuild on the fly but they better do it fast because Datysuk and Zetterberg are on their last legs. The whole point is, you can't buy a team anymore as in the pre cap days, so conversely there is only one way to do it, the draft and add a key piece through free agency until the kids hit their first big pay day as UFA's. Then teams have to cut their losses and make choices on their great youngsters. It's really too bad. I'd really like to see teams be able to exploit their talent after sucking for so long. Hopefully the Salary Cap will keep going up in large chunks so teams can keep some of their talent. It's going to be ugly in Chicago next summer with Toews and Kane hitting UFA status.

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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 10:56 pm 
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RW wrote:
Go ahead and tell me sucking for 3 to 5 years doesn't help. If you stock pile early first round picks, have a good scouting department that identifies young talent to the teams need then you quickly become a contender. Edmonton kept drafting the same kind of forward at No. 1. They never shored up the defense or goaltending. Edmonton is just a clueless franchise. They are the Dead Wings of this era. They couldn't spell cat if you spotted them c and the a. Detroit has been successful as a result of good scouting, but, they also had a core of elite veterans until the class of 1991 retired, Lidstrom, etc. Detroit has not been a Cup contender since 2009 / 2010 really. Now they're trying to rebuild on the fly but they better do it fast because Datysuk and Zetterberg are on their last legs. The whole point is, you can't buy a team anymore as in the pre cap days, so conversely there is only one way to do it, the draft and add a key piece through free agency until the kids hit their first big pay day as UFA's. Then teams have to cut their losses and make choices on their great youngsters. It's really too bad. I'd really like to see teams be able to exploit their talent after sucking for so long. Hopefully the Salary Cap will keep going up in large chunks so teams can keep some of their talent. It's going to be ugly in Chicago next summer with Toews and Kane hitting UFA status.


Definitely not trying to say that sucking doesn't help. It is the most likely path to SC success, all I'm saying is that it's not an absolute that it has to be that way. Boston had one season in 2006 where they were bad enough to get a top 5 pick (Kessel) but a Presidents cup and 2x SC finalist with one win shows that it is possible to do it without sucking for long periods of time.

Detroit has issues now because they haven't managed to draft an elite player since Zetterberg, although they now have a couple young players that may actually turn that around. On the other hand it's not just Edmonton, how long has Florida and Columbus been bad? Lots of high picks and not much to show for it. On the other hand LA, Chi, Pens managed to turn their long periods of suckage into something special. Some hits, some misses and some luck no doubt and all 3 are poised to challenge for the SC for the next 3-5 years.

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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 11:47 pm 
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Well Kyle I think we are largely in agreement on the draft / make good trades / sign effective free agents. My original contention was that teams that have great success after sucking for a long time, i.e., Pittsburgh, are finding it harder to keep their young, very talented, players that they'd love to keep, Jordan Stall, but instead, because of the salary cap they have to trade or lose these players that were a key part of their early success and possible parts of a dynastic team. I think Chicago better win it all either this year or next year to cement a modern dynasty status because after next season that team is going to be broken up and some of the best pieces sold off in order to remain within the cap. The salary cap is a dynasty destroyer. If Chicago falls short and doesn't win at least once in the next year I think the last dynastic team in the NHL will have been the 1995 - 2009 Detroit Red Wings.

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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2014 11:55 pm 
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Chicago and Kane can be signed for $9 mil and still have room. Unlike Pittsburg this is a team that has acquired lots of later round draft picks and is finding excellent talent later. They're poised to contend for quite awhile imo, but one thing is for sure we'll be around to see who is right. ;)

And btw, Stall insisted he would be trade or go to UFA, not much Pittsburgh could do about that.

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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 10:42 am 
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Sucking only helps if you have good management in place. And that's tough to find. The Oilers started their tanking with the very people still running the team that took them from G7 SCF loss to worst overall in four years. If you have incompetent people who fail that badly, don't trust them to turn the ship around.

Really the key to everything is to build a good team, and the best way to do that is to have the best guys running the team possible.

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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 11:06 am 
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Fogghorn wrote:
Chicago and Kane can be signed for $9 mil and still have room. Unlike Pittsburg this is a team that has acquired lots of later round draft picks and is finding excellent talent later. They're poised to contend for quite awhile imo, but one thing is for sure we'll be around to see who is right. ;)

And btw, Stall insisted he would be trade or go to UFA, not much Pittsburgh could do about that.


Chicago has Kane, Toews, Rozsival and Oduya going UFA with Saad and Leddy among a few others going RFA next summer. Currently they have 29 Million USD of cap space in summer, 2015. I have read, on Capgeek.com, that there may be a buyout of Hossa this summer to free up space because they have Handzus and Brookbank going UFA and a some other guys going RFA this summer and they only have 3.7 million available for this summer. That's kind of what I mean about the cap damaging teams. Hopefully you are correct and we will be around to see it.

Do you remember why Stall asked to be traded? Was it cap related or was it personal, i.e. he wanted to play with his brothers in Carolina?

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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 11:15 am 
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RW wrote:
Fogghorn wrote:
Chicago and Kane can be signed for $9 mil and still have room. Unlike Pittsburg this is a team that has acquired lots of later round draft picks and is finding excellent talent later. They're poised to contend for quite awhile imo, but one thing is for sure we'll be around to see who is right. ;)

And btw, Stall insisted he would be trade or go to UFA, not much Pittsburgh could do about that.


Chicago has Kane, Toews, Rozsival and Oduya going UFA with Saad and Leddy among a few others going RFA next summer. Currently they have 29 Million USD of cap space in summer, 2015. I have read, on Capgeek.com, that there may be a buyout of Hossa this summer to free up space because they have Handzus and Brookbank going UFA and a some other guys going RFA this summer and they only have 3.7 million available for this summer. That's kind of what I mean about the cap damaging teams. Hopefully you are correct and we will be around to see it.

Do you remember why Stall asked to be traded? Was it cap related or was it personal, i.e. he wanted to play with his brothers in Carolina?


Skip, who is suggesting that Chicago will buy out Hossa? Chicago has already used both of their compliance buyouts so they can't buy him out without a cap penalty. Hossa is 35, but is still an elite wing and well worth his money. They have Bickell on the books for $1.275 mil less than Hossa, and he has a modified NMC so I would say that he gets moved before Hossa goes anywhere.

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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 11:28 am 
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The Hawks might have a tight year in 2016, like they did in 2011, but still be very good. Teravainen is coming up and might get pushed into a bigger role to fill in for one of those wingers you mention (it won't be Hossa).

If one Hawks mainstay goes in the next few years I wouldn't be shocked if it's Seabrook.

If one of Toews/Kane were to walk that'd obviously be a huge deal but that seems unlikely. They'll get paid $9m+ but they'll stick around. The cap will be at $75m that year or so.

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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 11:38 am 
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They have $25.5 million tied up in Malkin, Crosby & Letang for quite a few years now. Another $5 million each to Martin (only next year), Kneeal and Fleury. $40.5 of their $71 million cap space in 6 guys. Their 3rd/4th lines are going to be ELC guys for a while to come, and that was their biggest problem. Next GM is going to have to move one or more of those guys.

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 Post subject: Re: What now?
PostPosted: Thu May 15, 2014 12:45 pm 
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RW wrote:

Do you remember why Stall asked to be traded? Was it cap related or was it personal, i.e. he wanted to play with his brothers in Carolina?


If your memory is anything like mine as you age, well as you know all our recall is iffy. :D Best I recall the Pens offered the money he wanted, he just wanted to go to Carolina to presumably play with his brothers. It was the fit not the $

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