Monday, June 30, 2008

THIS JUST IN (Update on Orpik Deal)

The Insider on Pittsburgh Sports has recently posted an update on the Orpik deal that could be a beneficial edge for the Pens to sign him.

Orpik has a partial NTC [no trade clause] agreement that allows him to pick some cities.
TIOPS's "sources" are telling them that Pittsburgh is really pushing to close the deal with Orpik "and have made a revised offer of 5yrs that will pay Orpik 3.6 million annually."

If TIOPS's "sources" prove to be legitimate, it sounds like a start of the good news we've been waiting on! This revised deal appears to be one that would appeal to Orpik; and with a partial NTC in his agreement, it could give us the advantage we need.


I guess we'll know soon enough (I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve - don't you?!)!

UPDATE: is also adding to the speculation by posting, "Orpik staying in Pittsburgh? Now it's looking like Brooks Orpik could remain a Penguin after all."

And although TIOPS thinks that there are teams willing to offer him $4 - $4.25 million and if he doesn't sign the contract by the start of free agency then he is gone, I don't feel all hope is lost just yet because the "hometown discount" hasn't been taken into consideration (couldn't $3.6 million be a reasonable discount for Pittsburgh if Orpik is offered $4 million elsewhere?).

Are You READY?

It's the eve of Free Agency 2008; there's less than 24 hours to go -

Are you ready? No - are you really ready?

For all of you die-hard hockey fans and / or those of you that have to KNOW the minute your team picks up an UFA, I found the perfect tool:

This is a real-time list of all the UFA signings as they are reported, so you may want to bookmark it and keep it handy for tomorrow at 12 noon!

I'll also try to have updates on the blog as UFA are signed by Pittsburgh.

Orpik to BUFFALO?

While it appears that the Penguins continue to actively pursue resigning Brooks Orpik as discussions with his agent continue, the Buffalo Sabres are looking to sign him to their team according to the Buffalo News. This was obtained from The Insider on Pittsburgh Sports (TIOPS) today:
"Buffalo is a place he'd definitely want to come," Andrew Orpik, Brooks' brother and a Sabres prospect, told The News. "He grew up here, and he's got a special bond with the place."

LATEST on Malkin's Deal from Rossi

Rob Rossi reports today in his "Chipped Ice" sports blog that he spoke with Malkin's agent, J.P. Barry, over the weekend. Barry told him that talks with Shero are "going well" and that he feels the contract will still be signed in "early July."

Rossi said that he's learned that Malkin's deal "will likely be worth at least $42.5 million over five years – an $8.5 million cap hit for the Penguins."


This morning, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featured an article on Jarkko Ruutu, " Penguins Free Agency: Ruutu understands Shero's tactics, plight" in which he 'reiterated his desire to remain with the Penguins --'

"Pittsburgh is a great team and, hopefully, we can work something out" -- and said that the Malone-Roberts trade did nothing to change that.

And when asked where he saw himself fit in to the Penguins lineup next season, he was quick to answer Dave Molinari with his Ruutu wit that I've come to LOVE, "First-line right wing," he said.

The article continued by touching on other aspects of his UFA:

Shero has, until now, taken a fairly low-key approach to trying to re-sign most of his free agents. Ruutu, who came to the Penguins from Vancouver as an unrestricted free agent two years ago, noted that waiting until a deadline looms is a common negotiating strategy.

"I kind of expected it," he said. "I've been through stuff like this before." While that approach leaves little time for give-and-take, Ruutu isn't sure that's a bad thing.

"You have to put your best offer out there, and that's it," he said. Ruutu reiterated his desire to remain with the Penguins -- "Pittsburgh is a great team and, hopefully, we can work something out" -- and said that the Malone-Roberts trade did nothing to change that.

"It's part of the business," Ruutu said. "Every team, it happens."

Ruutu, who made $1.15 million in each of the past two seasons, is one of hockey's top antagonists and bolstered his bargaining leverage by playing well in the stretch drive and playoffs.

Even if the sides agree on money, the length of a deal could be a point of contention for him. The Penguins generally make long-term commitments only to players who are part of the team's core, but Ruutu, who will be 33 Aug. 23, might seek more than a season or two on what could be his final NHL contract.

Still, Ruutu insists he won't take it personally if he can't find common ground with the Penguins, just as Shero says he doesn't when players who qualify for free agency elect to see what they can get on the open market.

"It's a business for them," Ruutu said. "Just like it is for me."

Let's Not Forget ROBERTS

In addition to Malone, it's been reported that Gary Roberts has also penned a deal with the TB Lightning by

His contract is said to be close to $2 million for 1 year.

Ruutu, Laraque, DuPuis, and Orpik

I got some updates on a few more UFA from TIPOS today. Here's what they're posting:
It appears Brooks Orpik is going to test free agency but Ray Shero is making a strong effort to get a deal done before July1. Throughout the day Shero has been in discussions with Lewis Gross. A revised offer of 5 years has been made.

According to a source, Georges Laraque and Jarkko Ruutu will test free agency but have indicated that they will give the Penguins the chance to match any offer.

Pascal Dupuis wants to stay but from what I'm hearing I don't know if the feeling is mutual based on talks with sources close to the team.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

TSN Reports Malone is Now TB Player

Speculation on whether or not Malone will sign with Tampa Bay ended today. TSN has reported that "MALONE INKS SEVEN YEAR DEAL WITH LIGHTNING."

The contract which was completed today is for 7 years / $31.5 million - YES, that is correct (I read it several times and made sure I got the numbers right)!

That's amazing! What's interesting is that last week TB hired Malone's father, Greg, as the team's head pro scout. A deal Ryan couldn't refuse? Obviously (in more ways than 1)!

This was the first year Malone actually stepped up and improved his play and, in my opinion, there's no way he's worth this money. I really think TB is taking a chance here since the consistency (or inconsistency) of his play hasn't really been seen over a long period of time. With that being said, I do feel that Malone is a good player and I'm certain that we'll miss him on the ice this coming season, but I think Shero made a wise decision with standing firm on his offer and getting a third-round draft pick out of it!

THANKS for giving us your all this year Malone, I wish you nothing but the best in your venture with TB - we'll definitely miss you!

Ron Cook = JOKE!

I know that originally one of my reasons for starting this blog was to alleviate some of the hatred I have for Ron Cook (a.k.a. "Grumpy Old Man Cook"); however, if this blog diminished any strong hatred I had for him, it didn't take long to refresh my memory or the hatred today. All I had to do was read his ridiculous article, "Penguins have right to sign elsewhere," and I began to envision forks sticking in his head!

Honestly, I don't know why I even wasted my time reading the article, but I did. And it left my blood boiling just because of what an idiot he is! Why does he cover hockey? He knows absolutely nothing about it! All he ever likes to do is complain and cut on fans - that's the only thing he's good for!

Yes, the Penguins, or any other players in the NHL for that matter, do have absolutely every right to sign elsewhere, but do we need to be so dramatic and anti-fan about the entire matter? He's the crock!

Gee - that feels better (mission accomplished)!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

OK - You GOT Me!

In my previous post I said that I read on a message board that Ruutu was going back to Finland (I've never seen it mentioned before) and that it was just pure speculation.


I've never seen it mentioned before because it was a joke (and pure speculation)!

Corvidae wrote:
No, I heard Dupuis was going to St. Louis and Ruutu was going back to Finland. Also, my sources tell me that Brooks Oprik wants a 7 year deal. The Penguins will pursue RFA Corry Perry if not signed by July 1st.

LiveWire6687 wrote:
i already knew you didn't have any sources but the information you just gave confirms it even more so.
Corvidae wrote:
It was a joke. I was imitating the crap you get from Buzz on the Turd.

I've been looking so hard for news on Ruutu that I'm willing to spend time on rumors (but I guess that's the fun of it this time of year)!

I want to start out (and remain) a half-decent, reputable blog, so I wanted to post this so anyone reading my blog doesn't think I'm a joke (I'm just a really passionate Pens fan AND TIRED OF WAITING FOR NEWS!)!

MORE Speculation Abound

With the trade of Malone to TB, it would seem that Pens fans have less rumors to worry about, but NOT SO FAST!

The Insider on Pittsburgh Sports is now reporting the following new rumors to keep the embers burning!

It appears that Tampa Bay has money to spare and are willing to frivolously spend it (I guess Malone wouldn't necessarily be considered frivolous, but spending that kind of money is).

The following is from Tampa Bay Lightning's official webpage (Oren Koules in one of TB's owners):
"We said earlier this week we would be aggressive in our pursuit of free agents in order to win and compete," Koules said. "This trade today doesn’t guarantee anything, but we believe it gives us a leg up in our attempt to sign these two impact players."
I would assume that Malone signing with TB also depends on where he [and Mrs. Malone] sees fit for the family. One thing is for sure, Malone will add a spark to the already charged bolt of Lightning in St. Louis and LeCavalier; that would honestly be something to see! What will also be interesting is the chemistry Malone will have with the TB team (and whether or not it will match that of the Pens) and how much of an impact it will have on Malone's playing.

And as far as Ruutu is concerned (for me anyway) - the wait is over and I'll finally be able to get some answers on his status with the Pens. [[UPDATE in post above regarding this next item] I just read on a message board that he may go back to Finland which is the first time that's ever been mentioned, but of course it's pure speculation.] Honestly, I'd rather see him go back to Finland than see him on another NHL team (sorta like if we can't have him then no one else can either). I'm just happy we've moved on from concentrating on our "big name" UFA and moved onto the role players!

And how TIOPS wrote the post, "I've also been hearing Shero might not be done for the day," it would seem that I might not have much longer to wait!

It won't be long now, folks (I'm hoping it'll be worth all the wait)!

I Didn't See THAT Coming!

BREAKING NEWS from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (1:41 PM):

The Penguins have traded the negotiating rights to forwards Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts to Tampa Bay for a conditional draft choice.

The draft choice is supposed to be a fourth-rounder unless Malone signs with the Lightning, in which case it becomes a third-rounder.

We knew it was coming as far as Roberts and Malone were concerned; but TAMPA BAY - who would've guessed?!! And with the trade being for a conditional draft choice, it would seem that Roberts could still be dealt to another team and Malone is still considering his options "testing UFA".

This could actually be good for Pittsburgh -- it frees up some money before July 1st; gives them more options / possibilities (and, of course, there are still those fans who are talking that signing Hossa is imminent - I still don't think it's a good idea, but freeing up more money is allowing the thought to grow on me! All I want is to sign as many of our UFA as we can - THAT'S ALL!!)

At least it's some Pens NEWS and the speculation ends for Malone!!

As It Stands NOW (2007-2008 Penguins Payroll)

I obtained this salary infromation from (TFP). It's pretty interesting stuff:

Sidney Crosby $850,000.00
Tyler Kennedy $550,000.00
Evgeni Malkin $984,200.00
Jordan Staal $850,000.00
Maxime Talbot $640,000.00

Pascal Dupuis $880,000.00
Ryan Malone $1,450,000.00**
Gary Roberts $2,500,000.00**
Jarkko Ruutu $1,500,000.00

Adam Hall $525,000.00
Marian Hossa $7,000,000.00* / **
George Laraque $1,300,000.00
Petr Sykora $2,500,000.00

Mark Eaton $1,600,000.00
Hall Gill $2,075,000.00
Sergei Gonchar $5,500,000.00
Kristopher Letang $560,000.00
Alain Nasreddine $525,000.00
Brooks Orpik $1,075,000.00
Rob Scuderi $700,000.00
Darryl Sydor $2,500,000.00
Ryan Whitney $2,500,000.00

Ty Conklin $500,000.00 **
Marc-Andre Fleury $1,600,000.00
Dany Sabourin $500,000.00

*highest paid Penguin player (Marian Hossa)
** money [possibly / definitely] free for 2008-2009 season

Salary Cap for 2008-2009: $56,700,000.00

Friday, June 27, 2008


I came across this and it's TOO GOOD not to post (even though it may be old news to some of you)!

Sean Avery is interning at Men's Vogue (what a fruitcake)!! BUT the pictures are worth a thousand words - take a look for yourself!!

I honestly don't have much to say about this -- actually, there's so much I want to say that I just can't decide, so I'll let Avery speak for himself (some quotes from an article he wrote for Men's Vogue) - [and my own comments in blue]:
  • Strange as it may seem, I think women's clothes are especially interesting — there are so many options, and they can tell more of a story. [especially when I'm behind closed doors in a room all by myself!]
  • Generally, other than spending a lot of time in dressing rooms both at home and on the road, I don't hang out with other athletes. [Do you think he really means spending a lot of time 'in the closet'?]
  • To have two full trays in the Condé Nast cafeteria is like seeing a hockey player wearing skinny jeans — it just doesn't happen. And while my stick-handling on the ice keeps getting better and better, my tray-handling leaves a bit to be desired.
  • As I watched the shoot progress, I had to wonder: Was the feeling this designer had — the pride of having his creations shot for the pages of Vogue — anything like the feeling I had after we beat the Devils in round one? To have done something to make yourself happy, and to have given others enjoyment too, was so great, so satisfying. [SO queer!]
  • I added a few ideas that ended up in the photos — try to spot the leopard-print Alexander McQueen vest that pulled the outfit together. [OK - I was always told that men don't care WHAT shade of a color something is, it will always be that color -- maroon, pink, chartreuse, whatever -- to a man, it's RED; unless, that is, he's gay! Now - "the leopard-print Alexander McQueen vest that pulled the outfit together." - that's just gayer than gay!]
  • And if you'd like to learn something, consider this: If you feel like teasing this hockey player about an obsession of his that you might think is a little unusual, go right ahead. Just know that you may get your ass kicked by a very expensive pair of shoes — and that they'll probably match both my belt and my shirt. [unless you're another hockey player named Roberts, Ruutu, Laraque, etc. - then my expensive pair of shoes, matching belt and shirt will be strewn all over the ice while my ass gets kicked!!]
To be fair, these quotes could possibly be taken / read out of context, so do yourself a favor and read over the article (it's worse than the quotes)!!

CALM Before [the Storm] Sunday?

No news is good news, right?

Let's hope! That's all Pens fans have been doing these days - HOPING (and waiting - patiently).

The only new and interesting speculation I came across today was from The Insider on Pittsburgh Sports who reported:

I'm hoping by the end of this weekend Pens nation will be a lot happier and relieved with some word on signing some UFA (RUUTU!)!!

Making it BIG in Blog City, Baby (a PuckDaddy Reference)!!

For just starting and as small as this blog is - having only 1, maybe 2 fans at the most (1 being my lovely mother), I never thought anyone else would be reading it. I just saw it as a way to enjoy some free time and allow me to get my thoughts down about what's currently going on (or not) with the Pens; and never expecting it to be read by other fans. But maybe there are a few others that are paying attention --

What am I babbling on about? I just got referenced on PuckDaddy today for my "OBVIOUSLY the candy is not free!" line in my "SHERO: 0 / UFA: 2" post yesterday (about 5 paragraphs down in their "On Orpik, Jagr and their respective piggy banks" post)!!!

Believe it or not, this line was actually an "afterthought" that I added this morning.


Thanks to PuckDaddy for making this novice blog writer's day (and giving it a chance)!!

I think I better end this post now before I get all "Sally Field" on here ("You like me, you really, really like me!")

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Since Hossa's announcement that he will test free agency, there are many Pens fans that are holding on to hope that he will still remain in Pittsburgh.

My thoughts: FORGET IT!

IMO it would be much more beneficial for the Penguins if he doesn't sign (and many fans just don't realize yet that his choice not to sign is probably a blessing in disguise). Why? I think that to spend that much money on one player is ridiculous especially when we could take that money and resign more players.

To paraphrase Rob Rossi, Hossa is a luxury; not a necessity! Let's take care of the team's necessities first!

2008-2009 NHL Salary Cap

NHLPA, NHL announce team payroll range for 2008-09

SHERO: 0 / UFA: 2

Both the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Tribune Review have reported that Orpik has turned down Pens offer. First, Hossa; now, Orpik - HOWEVER,

Unlike Hossa, talks continue with Orpik (which is a good sign)!

"We did receive and offer and we turned it down," Gross said. "We're still talking, and we'll see where it goes."

I think this can only mean good things, but we'll have to wait and see.

OBVIOUSLY, the candy is NOT free!!

OFFICIAL Word of Orpik Negotiations

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review released official word regarding talks with Orpik reporting that "Today could bring developments involving on-going dialogue between the Penguins and representatives for defenseman Brooks Orpik."

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Orpik wants to remain in Pittsburgh and he is currently Shero's top priority. Orpik's agent, Lewis Gross, would not comment on a contract yesterday; however, PTR has indications that the Penguins will make him a formal offer soon (if they haven't already).

FINALLY some good news!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The LATEST "Word" on Orpik

"Sources" have told The Insider on Pittsburgh Sports that Pittsburgh has made an official offer to Brooks Orpik. The offer is believed to be in the range of 4yrs / 14 million.

And in an earlier post, they give a "heads-up" as to what to expect this week:

  • Contract offers to Jarkko Ruutu, Georges Laraque, Adam Hall, Pascal Dupuis
  • Talks between the Penguins and Marc Andre Fleury to heat up; the two sides are working off of the Penguins latest offer of 6yrs - 28 million.

as well as "report" that their "sources" provide the following information:

  • The Penguins will make two year offers to Jarkko Ruutu and Georges Laraque. Shero doesn't like giving role players more than two year deals. The issue with Ruutu is his ice time. He was not happy with the way he was used in the regular season. With Max Talbot a lock on the third line, Ruutu may have a hard time cracking the top three lines.

Weekly Rumor Chat

I just so happened to stumble upon Puck Daddy's weekly live rumor chat with Lyle "Spector" Richardson of Fox Sports and The Hockey News, and Dave Pagnotta of

It was just at the right time too! Someone asked where they thought Orpik would be come next week - they all agreed it would be Pittsburgh (and here's part of the transcript for more of a feel of the chat):

[Comment From Jonathan] Where will Orpik land? (please say
buffalo, please say buffalo)
Spector -

DavidPagnotta - Is Buffalo spelled P-I-T-T-S-B-U-R-G-H?
Wyshynski - Yeah, I agree Lyle. I think despite all the Therrien talk, it'll be the Burgh.
Spector - Buffalo Street, Pittsburgh PA

So then I got the bright idea of thinking they would provide me with a more definitive answer about Ruutu - WRONG; nothing even close and I probably would've done better asking one of my big toe (here's the short transcript for that):
[Comment From Stephanie] AWESOME that you think Orpik will
remain in Pittsburgh --- how about my favorite, Ruutu?? I've seen "rumors" go both ways on this one.
Spector -
Ruutu tests the market
DavidPagnotta - Spector's right on the money with Ruutu.
Gee, 'tell me something I don't know, ***hole!'

Give me a break, "right on the money"? I don't need to ask so-called "experts" to get answers like these! Maybe it was because I started the question with "AWESOME"? OK - I lose a point, but come on!

Anyway, as you can tell, I'm getting a little anxious over free agency especially when it comes to Ruutu (its been long enough and no announcements have been made about any of our UFA yet)!!



My hope of Ruutu staying in a black & gold jersey could be a possibility!

He is one of my favorite players and I have been searching non-stop for anything relating to talks with him unsuccessfully for the past week other than a mention here and there (and nothing definite on whether or not he will / wants to be resigned to Pittsburgh).

My husband just found this from TFP (
With the chances of the Penguins re-signing Hossa diminishing with each passing day, and the team unlikely to bring back sniper Ryan Malone, the Shero will attempt to keep defenseman Brooks Orpik and winger Jarkko Ruutu.

Shero and Orpik's agent, Lewis Gross, have spoken, but the Post-Gazette claims no formal offers have been made. Shero expects to meet with Ruutu's agent, Don Baizley, before July 1.

Although, according to a few message boards I've visited, TFP doesn't appear to be more than a place for rumors (and not one of the highly regarded sources for them); however, it's SOMETHING and that's all I can ask for!

I've always thought Ruutu is a totally underrated player who doesn't get nearly the amount of credit he deserves! Granted, he isn't 1st- / 2nd-line material but he is definitely one of those "go-to" guys on the team that makes things happen for the Pens; not to mention his above average shoot-out goal scoring ability! I think the Penguins need to keep him especially in light of the fact that Malone has all but signed a contract for his departure. I know, I know, I've heard it before - a player like Ruutu can be replaced. Can he?

He's a smart player and it takes alot of finesse to know how to get under opponents' skin with enough sense to know how far to go and when to draw a penalty. Yes, he does get alot of unfair calls based solely on his name (and an undeserving reputation which precedes him), but would you rather be playing against him?

I can only hope that the Pittsburgh Post Gazette or Tribune Review will have more on Ruutu soon! In the meantime, I stand firm IMO that Ruutu is a player they need to keep (it wouldn't be the same without him)!

Another Penguin to STAY?!

This could be BIG and the start of better things to come for resigning some of our UFA!

If Orpik resigns will others follow suit? We can only hope! With less than a week to work with, there's alot for Shero to get done before July 1st hits and the remaining UFA dive into free agency waters.

It's also been reported in Pittsburgh Tribune Review that Penguins offer to Orpik may be made sometime today.

After a few weeks of only disappointing news concerning our UFA, let's hope this will be the turning point today (my hope is that we hear [a positive] word on Ruutu's future as a Pen next).

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Light at the End of the Tunnel (Is that a Train?)!

Seriously, there remains HOPE for Pens fans.

Despite Hossa's recent announcement that he will test free agency, Malkin continues to stand firm on his decision to stay with Pittsburgh as reported in another Pittsburgh Post Gazette article.

HE REMAINS A MAN OF HIS WORD -- a TRUE Pittsburgh Penguin!!

I wish more players would feel this way about sticking with a team (but then again, most players will probably never see the kind of money that Malkin will be making regardless of whether he agrees to less or not)!

Anyhow, no matter what happens this off-season and no matter who we lose to free agency, we will always have Malkin (and Crosby, and Fleury, and ...)!

The Penguins "Core"

It's a SAD Day in Our Neighborhood!!

Yet again, PENS fans take another blow!

Gary Roberts has announced that he WILL return to hockey, but it WON'T be with the Penguins (read more in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette's article)!

Is it just me OR does this team appear to be falling apart at the seams? When I asked my husband that question this morning, he merely chuckled at me and mocked, "oh yeah, Stephanie, the team is crumbling; the Pens are going right down the ol' crapper!"

Afterwards I thought, "gee, what a lucky woman I am!" [sarcastic humor] and then, "maybe he's right."

Hear me out (and allow me to convince myself a little more!):
In the not-so-distant past, the Pens were just an OK team and free agency / trades enabled the team to pick up someone / something they needed; and, being in need of so much, any player they picked up created a Christmas-like atmosphere to Pens fans during those times (which is why, my husband recently told me, it is / was one of his favorite times of the year as a fan).

Just within the past couple of seasons, the Pens have blossomed into an extraordinary team, fitting all the pieces of the puzzle together to make it "complete" -- there really hasn't been a real need for anything since the depth has been so amazing (way down to the 4th line -- players that you can actually count on to get the job done)!! And what they did need, Shero took care of within minutes of the trading deadline this year.

As I've said numerous times before, this team (especially this past season) was special; so we became accustomed and somewhat "attached" to the players (I know, that's such a "girly" word; but I think it's true in a sense). NOW we have what we need (shouldn't we keep it the way it is / why fix it if it ain't broke?), and so we've been spoiled and so has the excitement of free agency.

And it still comes down to the very basic concept once again: the cap was set up to benefit both players and teams alike; when you're set to gain something, it's GREAT, but when you're on the "losing" end, it just plain SUCKS!!

Make sense? After thinking about it for awhile, it makes sense to me (even though it still makes me want to vomit to scratch another player of our UFA list)!! But I suppose we should feel lucky to have witnessed such a great team come together and play if for only a short time! Do you think it would be less drastic losing UFA if we would've won the Stanley Cup? Maybe so.

And let me remind ALL Pens fans:
When Gary Roberts decides ANYTHING, it shall be so!

So to this end I shall say, "Goodbye, Mr. Roberts, it was fun while it lasted and THANKS for all the good memories!! You will be missed!"

Sunday, June 22, 2008

From Russia [to Pittsburgh] with LOVE!

It was reported today by Pittsburgh news station WTAE-TV, and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that Malkin is close to an extension deal with the Pens (article: "Malkin nears new deal with Penguins").

Although it isn't anything we haven't already heard this weekend, it gives specifics on the deal. I would assume this means that Malkin would be close to signing the extension shortly after July 1st since they are not allowed to due so prior to this date according to the NHL collective bargaining agreement; and Malkin himself said, "he expects the extension will be signed 'soon' after that date," in a Rob Rossi article.

And it continues to be made clear that Malkin wants to STAY in Pittsburgh!

"He came here for a reason," Shero said. "He came to the National Hockey League
to play in Pittsburgh.
The deal is said to be for 5-6 years at $8.5 million per year.

"He wants to stay in Pittsburgh," said J.P. Barry, his agent. "He wants them to
keep as many players as they can, so we're working on a term and a structure
that will hopefully do that.
It seems as though Malkin and I are on the same page at least (but I think Malkin is in a better position to have action taken on what he believes is best for the team!). So somehow I feel like Malkin will act on my behalf in the interest of the team (don't I WISH!)!

2008 Draft Results

This past weekend, the Penguins signed 4 new players in Rounds 4 - 7 of this year's draft in Ottawa.

ROUND 4: Nathan Moon, Center (120th pick overall)
ROUND 5: Alexander Pechurski , Goaltender (150th pick overall)
ROUND 6: Patrick Killeen, Goaltender (180th pick overall)
ROUND 7: Nicholas D’Agostino, Defenseman (210th pick overall)

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reported today that "Late picks could pay off for Penguins."

Gone, Baby, GONE?

Yet another player lost to free agency?!

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reported on Saturday, 06/21/2008, "Hossa to test free agency, declines Penguins' offer." and even though it really doesn't confirm whether or not he will be returning as a Penguin, it's seemingly all but official that he won't - at least that's my opinion. And I'm not sure this actually bothers me.

Now, losing Ryan Malone bothers me!

Freeing up approximately $50 million creates a greater possibility of signing alot more of the long list of free agents which allows more of the team to stay together.

I know Hossa is a great player and brought alot to the Penguins and, without him, we may not have gone as far, but I was never really sold on the idea of his staying, especially when it took SO MUCH money away to sign more of our valuable FA.

But, then again, this is why I'm not a GM and why Shero was hired! So I guess I'll have to trust in "the powers that be"!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

And On a LIGHTER Note!

OK - it's time to lighten the mood a little. This has to be the ultimate PENS fans' response to all these larger-than-life rumors. Courtesy of The Pensblog (aren't they awesome?!):

Friday, June 20, 2008

STOP the Madness!

Am I wrong, or is this the worst off-season for trade rumors (now that I think of it, hasn't this been the type of season for acquiring a multitude of "bandwagoners"?)?

These Malkin rumors have gotten a bit out of control - the press is even covering them! How many times do the rumors need squashed before they end? Let's take a look:
Malkin isn't going anywhere, people! What has happened to PENS Nation and what more do we need to end this panic? Are we that bored already? I know the past season was one to remember and we're probably all still on a little "high" from the SCF, but isn't there something better to do (the NHL draft is on for crying out loud!)? Malkin himself has said that he sees an extension coming (and that he doesn't need "Sidney money" and is "easy to deal with"!)!

Let me just say to long-time Penguins fans, don't let all of this panic sidetrack you from what you know to be true. Shero will get the job done (he's done it before) and we will once again have a Cup-contending team by the start of the 2008-2009 season -- it may not look the same, but the majority of it will be back together with a few tweeks. And to the bandwagoners, lets stop for a moment and take a deep breath, let it out and listen to me tell you that it will be OK. This is the way the cap works. Teams cannot remain the same year after year which is why it was put in place (to make it harder for organizations to stack teams). Yes, Malone will be a big loss; and it's always tough to lose players (especially when they are your favorite), but if you're going to become a true PENS fan, you have to roll with the punches and stick by the team year-in and year-out!!

Even though it's actually the shortest in a few years and we only have about 3 months to go - THIS IS GOING TO BE THE LONGEST OFF-SEASON EVER IF THE RUMORS CONTINUE!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Experience the EVOLUTION

From the very moment the last seconds ticked off the clock during Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final and after the thought of "OMG, they're going to pull it off again!" was overshadowed by the reality of all those close shots missing the net, I began to miss hockey! Don't get me wrong, I am very thankful that the post-season lasted as long as it did and I LOVED every minute of it (even though we all know it would've been much sweeter with a different ending), but in the back of my mind the thought of the season coming to an end lurked.

The end of the season is not something I look forward to. Not only do I miss hockey, but it's the fear of uncertainty that free agency brings. It's my least favorite part of being a huge hockey fan (or football fan for that matter) -- losing players and changing the dynamics of a team (I still miss Joey Porter AND his big mouth!). So, another thought that was never far from my mind was the fact that, after this season, the PENS will never be the same again no matter what happens and the fact that they will never have another chance to win the Stanley Cup with this same group of guys is very real. On rare moments during the first 3 rounds of the playoffs and especially during the SCF when the PENS lost a game or weren't playing to the best of their ability, I often asked my husband, "Don't they realize they'll never be playing with this group of guys again? Isn't someone mentioning this in the locker room?!" He assured me that the veterans were taking care of business during those important occasions.

Now all of these thoughts that I unsuccessfully tried to push into the deepest corners of my mind become reality on July 1st and what leads up to that point will be a nightmare of rumors that leaves a knot the size of Chris Osgood's head in the pit of the stomachs of all true PENS fans.

I knew that this season was special and that the team had a chemistry you don't often see. It made PENS hockey that much more amazing to watch. Watching a lot of the interviews with the guys, and seeing them or reading about how they interact with each other off the ice made you want to hang out with them just once. THAT'S special. And the veterans, the way they guided the young ones through the ranks of the playoffs and SCF - Sydor telling them not to panic on the bench; Hossa's description of getting goosebumps every time they skated onto the ice and heard the roar of the fans; and did you catch that picture (if not, it's below) of Gary Roberts with his gloved hand on top of Fleury's head and leaning over while MAF hung his head in disappointment -- you just know GR said something wise!) - again I say THAT's special!

For this very reason, I didn't want to see the season end and I will continue to miss hockey [in every off-season]!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

STARTING OVER in the Off-Season

During the past couple of weeks, I've been visiting the Pens webpage for any new information I can find -- and maybe any signs of PENS life! Most times I've been disappointed by the lack of updates, so I ventured into the realm of message boards and blog sites. I have been very inspired by the creators of The Pensblog, a blog site that I've been reading for the past several months, but only more compulsively over the last several weeks.

This blog is a creative take on the PENS as well as the entire hockey world and has attained somewhat of a cult status with a very impressive following (even selling their own clothing / merchandise) -- many of the "lines" that have become popular over the course of this season and that you may have noticed on various signs around the arena have started right there on their very blog site - "WWGRD" (What Would Gary Roberts Do); "Gary Roberts for President". As far as I'm concerned, they're kicking ass and taking names; making no apologies for the blunt, but true, postings (this is by no means a "G"-rated blog or intended for children; or the faint of heart for that matter). No, this blog was created for passionate PENS fans by passionate PENS fans which is why it has become so endearing to me! I feel as though I've finally found someone who understands and thinks like me -- "Hey, maybe I'm not crazy after all!"

With all of this in mind and becoming highly motivated by reading The Pensblog, I've decided to start my blog back up again even though my first attempt lasted for only a day; this time my plan is to have a different spin on it than the one I was going for before. It's a great solution to many of the problems I'm currently facing in the off-season:

  1. occupies the free time I have until next hockey season (or football season at least); and God help me I'm not going to be bored enough to watch Pirates baseball!

  2. allows me to talk about and discuss the PENS (and Steelers) with other big fans

  3. gives me a place to get rid of all these racing PENS (and eventually Steelers) thoughts in my head

  4. may alleviate the hatred I have for Ron Cook and the rest of all those grumpy old sports writers that have nothing better to do than complain

This will be FUN, I promise,