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Thread: Pens going forward

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    Default Pens going forward

    It’s clear that the weakness is D.

    First off, let's get the goalies out of the way.

    UFA
    B. Johnson – 600K – Drop
    RFA
    B.Thiesson – 525K+ - Keep

    Fleury isn’t going anywhere (not that he needs to) and the best case is that they get a capable backup that pushes him to perform while giving him plenty of rest. Last season Fleury sucked in October and Johnson went on a role and started a lot in November, Fleury rebounded from sitting on the bench and was stellar to end the season. Him losing time when he sucks + being pushed by back-up + getting more rest = near elite status MAF.

    Thiessen is a RFA and would need a raise on his 525K (plus bonuses), so long as it’s kept close to 1M, I could see him riding the pine at the end of the Pens bench. He’s played well in the AHL and deserves a shot at some more NHL starts. He played well when Johnson was “sick” for a few weeks (I think he was evaluating whether or not he wanted to keep playing this season and beyond, retirement is pending) except for getting shelled and giving up 8 in his last start. I think he could serve well especially if Bylsma lets him get some starts in October and November and builds up his confidence.

    Now to the players.

    UFA
    A. Asham – 775K - Drop
    S. MacIntyre – 600K - Drop
    B. Johnson – 600K - Drop
    S. Sullivan – 1.5M - Keep
    R. Park – 550K - Keep

    Of their UFAs that are coming up, there isn’t much cap room opening up with only 3 players likely to come off the books at a hit of about 2M.

    I would have to agree with Stu Neft that if Sullivan will stay on for another year at the same 1.5M, he will stay. With his ability to stay healthy, chemistry with the Big 3 and his late season scoring pace, it looks like he might be worth keeping around.
    Park has played great this season considering he was an NHL castoff for the last few years. If he doesn’t expect much of a raise, say 200K or less, he is another player I can see staying on.

    Notable RFA
    E. Tangradi – 845K - Keep
    M. Niskanen – 1.5M – Trade

    B. Strait – 862K – Keep
    Or
    R. Bortuzzo – 550K – Keep

    As much as he has grown on me and has played really well at times this year, Matt Niskanen will be on a different NHL next season. He will want at least another 1-1.5M and there are plenty of teams that I am sure could use a part-time PPQB with some potential. I hope Shero can move him for a pick or depth forward.

    I think that Tangradi will stay although at what cost? Again, if he doesn’t expect big dollars but wants a one-way contract, he could find some time on the 3rd line with PP2 time in front of the net. He hasn’t been as great as he projected to be but he is a power forward and they do take time so keeping him around might be a good idea.

    A decision will have to be made in regards to the direction of the D. IF they can move Martin/Michalek then things open right up and lots can be done but if not, I am sure they will lose one of Bortuzzo or Strait. If Bortuzzo didn’t suffer from a concussion this year, he probably would’ve seen some more time in the NHL but it was a year lost.

    Strait played well when called upon but doesn’t add anything dynamic to the D whereas Bortuzzo has the size. If Shero wants to play it safe, Strait will be the keeper but if he wants to keep the size in his depth chart Bortuzzo will get the contract. If they manage to keep them both on two-way deals, there is no reason they can’t keep them both.

    End result
    If Shero wants to shake things up, Martin/Michalek will get dealt (for what remains to be seen) but if there aren’t any takers or there isn’t getting back for them and they stay put, it will be another off-season of small tweaks and focusing on developing the players they already have. Depres will be in the top 6 and will likely take Niskanen’s spot.
    Orpik-Letang
    Martin-Michalek
    Depres-Engelland
    Lovejoy

    Shero will then have to tweak the bottom 6 but if Tangradi gets a contract (Shero HAS TO push for a two-way) and Sullivan is retained, there won’t be much to tweak. Tangradi in for Asham and Park stays put because he is cheap and did his job well.

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    Dupuis-Crosby-Sullivan
    Cooke-Staal-Kennedy
    Tangradi-Adams-Vitale
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    Unless the D is blown up and by D I mean Martin and Michalek, don’t expect much to happen this off-season…..unless Staal truly is unhappy then WHO KNOWS! Staal for Suter?
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    Nice post.

    I think the team needs to:
    1. Find a top 6 spot for Jordan Staal.
    2. Upgrade the D.
    3. Cross their fingers that Fleury's mind is in better preparation next year.
    4. Do what they have to do to WIN the Atlantic. Another 4/5 match-up is going to be the same-ol-fight.

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    I agree with most of what you are saying but I don't think Michalek needs to go anywhere. He's not a problem IMO. I think it would benefit the Pens to trade Martin though. It's not that he's bad its just that he's not very good offensively and his cap hit is bad considering what he offers to the Pens. In which case I could see the Pens keeping Niskanen who has looked good in the past few games in particular. I could see the Bolts being interested in Martin.

    As far as the number 2 goalie goes I don't think either Johnson or Theissen are the answers. I've never been a Theissen fan and I think if he makes the NHL it will be as a low tier backup. The Pens definitely need someone better than that. I'd say free agents Biron and Hedberg could be potential targets.

    I also think that they could use another winger with some scoring ability. Maybe a D'Agostini or a David Jones like player could help but I'm not sure if they could manage to get that to work without moving Martin to free up cap space.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guinnies_Moustache View Post
    Shero will then have to tweak the bottom 6 but if Tangradi gets a contract (Shero HAS TO push for a two-way) and Sullivan is retained, there won’t be much to tweak. Tangradi in for Asham and Park stays put because he is cheap and did his job well.
    Doesn't matter if it's one-way or two-way as Tangradi will lost his waiver exemption so he won't play a game in the minors anymore after this season.

    The D needs an overhaul. Letang and Engelland should be the only ones who are safe. Despres should become regular next season. Martin and Lovejoy needs to be gone. Orpik and Michalek better step up or their asses should be shipped somewhere. Niskanen - well depends on his contract requests.
    Last edited by Carcillo; April 23, 2012 at 12:54 PM.
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    Great points.

    I didn't have any issue with Michalek's play really or Martin's down the stretch but for Shero to make the most impact, he would have to ship out that 9M he pays the two of them to really change things.

    Orpik looks like a shadow of his old self as he was more focused on punishing players as opposed to defending against them. He put himself out of position too often.

    @Carcillo
    i was unaware of that. in that case, i think they should move him because really, where does he fit in? James Neal is what they were hoping Tangradi would turn out to be and with Kunitz, Dupuis and Staal (possibly Sullivan too) in the top 6 wing spots, it seems as though he isn't going to fit in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guinnies_Moustache View Post
    @Carcillo
    i was unaware of that. in that case, i think they should move him because really, where does he fit in? James Neal is what they were hoping Tangradi would turn out to be and with Kunitz, Dupuis and Staal (possibly Sullivan too) in the top 6 wing spots, it seems as though he isn't going to fit in.
    He doesn't need to be a top-6'er. He's not even ready for that, yet. He can start on the 4th line and try to work his way up. He was very noticeable in the games he played against the Flyers and definitely deserves a roster spot in this team. Much rather Tangradi in the 4th line than any of Asham, Adams or Park. While those may bring "the experience or leadership", and in Adams' case the "PK ability", Tangradi brings more aspects to the table and can move up in the lineup as necessary whereas those as just your basic 4th liners.
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    What about Joe Morrow? He almost made the team this year and had a kick @$$ year in junior (PPG numbers). I think he could make the team with another strong camp.
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    staal is getting traded
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    Quote Originally Posted by praba View Post
    staal is getting traded
    To the Wild

    Edit: I also liked the way you laid out your initial post Guinnies_Moustache, very well done.

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    This may be long so sorry in advance :-) and thanks for the patient read

    Based on what I have seen of the Pens this season, don't think offense is a problem so I agree that the D needs some overhauling.

    They need a good shut-down / experienced D or two in addition to adding grit, playoff experience and locker room leadership (especially the last piece which I thought was clearly lacking in the PHI series). Someone who could not just keep the stars focused and not run amok (which Malkin and Neal did for the most part in the series) in the game but also be the vocal leaders off the ice.

    They also need a capable back-up for MAF - clearly the 82 game regualr season takes it toll on top notch goalies (although Lundi and Rinne are exceptions). It seems pretty obvious (to me personally, others may disagree) that more and more teams are starting to build their sucecss around legit goalie tandems (Thomas/Rask, Halak/Elliot, Quick/Bernier, etc.) and the days of 1 major goalie with semi-capable back-ups doesn't quite cut it anymore.

    This year's playoff also speaks to the parity in the league between the teams that make it that numerous forum members have also pointed out. The difference between seeds 1 and 8 isn't that much - in fact, if anything, better D with a G at the top of his game with a workable Offense in front has a better chance of winning than the "all out, get as many Goals as possible, run and gun" hockey.

    In a 7 game series, there are many tools available nowadays that allows coaches and players to get used to the other team and react to what makes them tick, but good D and Goaltending (Nashville, LA) still appears to get the job done.

    It's high time therefore that PIT invests in building their D (and G), their F is already top notch. IMHO, Staal should not be traded, he is the best defensively aware C the Pens have (few mistakes this series notwithstanding, especially Couturier's OT goal in Game 1!)
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    I won't get too much into it, but as has been said I think that the Pens need a capable back-up goalie to push MAF. Should that goalie push hard enough to force a trade (think Vancouver here) then so be it, the more assets the better.

    I would sign Cedrick Desjardins and see what he can do. He is a UFA and I think that he could do some damage in the NHL. He has shone almost everywhere he has played, look up his numbers.

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    I will keep my answer short, but it's obvious these Penguins can play only one way right now...especially given Letang's proclivity to join the rush. Such a battler though.

    Trade Michalek, Martin anyone for picks/prospects/rights to Ryan Suter Shea Weber or some defensemen who can clear space in front with more than a haphazard stick check. TBL or Calgary could work, so long as someone good comes back in return....I miss you Rob Scuderi.

    Move TK, resign Niskanen, Staal and Sid. See about moving Matt Cooke. Sign a good goalie to backup MAF.

    Pens need more help around their net and with their PK. Philly beat the Penguins by powerplay goals alone, otherwise, that series is a completely different series. But the D on the PK needs to battle harder in front of Flower and keep guys to the outside.

    And, uhhh, let's get Sid up to speed this offseason.
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    Quote Originally Posted by praba View Post
    staal is getting traded
    BAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHA, No way is he getting traded.
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    I agree with Carcillo on Tangradi. Start him on the 4th line and let him work his way up. Wherever he ends up long term is fine by me. He could be a 4th liner, a third liner or a second liner.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigmamadog317 View Post
    BAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHA, No way is he getting traded.
    why not? pens have more than enough offense, and they can easily sign a veteran forward to bring what staal does to the table defensively. wouldnt staal be the perfect defensively forward that trotz would love to have on his team? maybe staal + martin for weber?
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