Thursday, July 31, 2008

NEW Tyler Kennedy Message Board / Forum

I never realized that there was enough stuff on Tyler Kennedy to lend itself to his very own message board / forum, but someone else at thinks differently!! It's a whole forum devoted entirely to Kennedy (and the Pens)!!

There's not much going on there yet, but hopefully there will be soon (or maybe not). Maybe I should let them borrow a few of my Kennedy posts, "here's a topic - Tyler Kennedy; talk amongst yourselves ..."

[The Pensblog posted the site courtesy of a reader]

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Penguins and Staal STILL TALKING

IT MUST BE JORDAN STAAL DAY ON TSCSF BLOG TODAY (all my posts just happen to be about Staal -- I'm sure this amuses his fans)!!

According to TIOPS, Jordan Staal and the Penguins continue to discuss and "sources" expect the talks to increase as training camp approaches. The current sticking points for Staal are his longterm and power play positions on the team. TIOPS reports that he is "fine" with being the Penguins' third-line center but wants to be moved up to the first-line during power plays. [ah - GOOD LUCK with that! Is he serious? I suppose since Crosby and Malkin were willing to accept less to remain in Pittsburgh, it could be possible that they would give up their positions on the power play too -- I don't know about this one -- this could actually be Jordan's last season in a Penguins uniform!]

I guess what he could be asking for is more consistency and wanting to avoid being "flopped" back and forth on lines. I can understand that since it probably allows you to "step up" your game when you get to know your linemates and have a chance to click with them (that was one thing I never could understand about Therrien's gameplan -- how he changed lines constantly, but that's not for me to question -- they did make it all the way to the SCF)!!

In terms of money, Staal is looking to sign a contract for a little more than was R.J. Umberger recently signed for (4 years / $15 million). As you may recall, the Penguins initially offered Staal 4yrs / 13.5 million as a starting point to begin contract talks. That's a slight difference.

TIOPS also reported that both the Leafs and Panthers have approached Pittsburgh to inquire about Staal.

WISE Suggestion Made by TSCSF Commentor!

After my first post about the Pittsburgh Casino on July 27th, "Penguins Fans Experiencing Roller Coaster Ride with Casino License," I received a comment from Mark Rauterkus who posted the following:

Call it a slots parlor, not a casino -- and -- move it into the Convention Center. Sell the convention center as soon as possible to the license holder. The convention center costs the public too much money, will never be used well, and we don't have the flights to town to hold any events -- as it was designed.The convention center is built and could hold conventions and slots.

This idea could actually be a possibility according to the article posted in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this morning:
Not only does Mr. Ferlo want the board to rebid the license, he also believes it should give some company the right to open a temporary casino to get slots revenue rolling in while the fate of the North Shore venue is decided.

With casinos statewide generating $136.1 million in gross terminal revenue in July alone, Pittsburgh should be getting a cut of the action, he said.

Potential locations for a temporary facility could be the David L. Lawrence Convention Center or the boarded-up Boardwalk entertainment complex in the Strip District, he said.
Nice call, Mark!

Pittsburgh Casino - May Be Built in 2-4 YEARS

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato met with the State Gaming Control Board as scheduled today to discuss the current situation with the $780 million casino project which was halted over the last several weeks because developer / licensee Don Barden failed to come up with $10 million for to continue construction on the casino.

Referring to Neil Bluhm's warning that the board has a week to approve his takeover plan, the Board's Acting Executive Director Frank Donaghue and Acting Chief Counsel R. Douglas Sherman, stood firm in the fact that they will not compromise their process to review Bluhm's takeover application. And they're calling his bluff; the deadline Bluhm set for the Board is July 30th and they have yet to take action.

It was reported that no other casino operators have contacted the control board with an interest in taking over Barden's license and it just seems to be getting worse:

If the application is rejected, gambling officials could attempt to revoke Pittsburgh's lone casino license held by PITG Gaming, led by Detroit millionaireDon Barden.

That could open the license to other interested casino operators, but Barden likely would challenge the revocation in court, and that could take years to resolve, Ravenstahl said.

"If the slots license would be revoked and reissued, we're looking at one, two, three maybe four years for the reissuance and that process to take place. It could involve the (state) Supreme Court."
It was also reported that the longer this takes, the more construction may cost since they will more than likely hike up the price.


The more I read about this, the more I just can't believe what a mess this has become, and if I hadn't read the fact that the new Arena deal is not firmly dependent on the revenues from the casino - I would be panicking right now. But, again, we Penguins fans must all keep in mind that they were smart enought to include a "fail-safe" part in the agreement which dictates that if funds are not available from the casino, it would then shift to PA taxpayers to come up with the difference for the new arena. Although this doesn't seem to be the best news since we'll ultimately be footing the bill for this arena, we can at least be certain that the Penguins will remain in Pittsburgh for another 30 or so years - for a price!

[Post based on information from The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Staal Among 30 Golfing for Charity

Jordan is on the far left

On July 24th, the third annual Freedom 55 Financial Thunder Bay Hockey Celebrity Golf Classic was held at the Whitewater Golf Course. Each team of golfers was joined by one celebrity golfer to play 18 holes. Jordan, Eric, and Mark Staal were among a total of 30 hockey celebrities to take part in the event.

Glenn Craig, President & CEO of the Health Sciences Foundation, was impressed by the continuing effort and dedication put forth by the event organizers and supporters. “The Freedom 55 Financial Thunder Bay Hockey Celebrity Golf Classic is one more great example of this community coming together to support excellence in cancer care in Northwestern Ontario.”
Proceeds for the golf tournament benefit the Northern Cancer Research Foundation and in the past two years, the event has raised over $50,000.

[Information taken from The Chronicle Journal, Thunder Bay's Source, and]

Jordan and Staal Brothers Skate for Charity

The 7th annual Skate for Easter Seals was held back on July 15th at the Thunder Bay Tournament Centre in Thunder Bay Ontario.

The highlight of the event is always the local NHL players who participate. Jordan Staal along with his brothers Eric and Mark joined the other local hockey stars Trevor Letowski, Patrick Sharp, Alex Auld, and Taylor Pyatt to skate around and meet all the children and their families.

To date, this Easter Seals event has raised over $62,000 in addition to the $15,000 raised at this years event. Proceeds benefit children, youth, and young adults with disabilities.

“It‘s amazing that they‘re here giving their time,” said volunteer and event chairperson Matt Villella said of the seven pros. “They love being here and they love giving back to their community.”

Which is probably part of the reason the kids, as well as their parents, look up to their hometown heroes:

As Jordan was about to be announced, a father more excited than his child screamed out “Here he comes, look!” The remark drew some smiles from the Pittsburgh Penguins centre as he hit the ice.

Jordan is second from the left

[Information taken from The Chronicle Journal]

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Savran and Paulsen added to the 1250 ESPN Lineup

Bob Smizik reported yesterday on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette webpage that there will be 2 new additions and a movement in the lineup to the 1250 ESPN all-sports radio show.

Former WDVE "Morning Show" host, Scott Paulsen, will be one of three men filling in the 3 PM - 7 PM timeslot made vacant when controversial sports radio show host Mark Madden was fired in May. Paulsen will be joined by Eddy Crow and former Steelers defensive back Mike Logan. Crow was part of the "Junker and Crow Show" which aired at 10 AM - 1 PM; his departure from the show will make way for the other new addition to 1250 ESPN, Stan Savran which reunites him with his former co-host buddy from FSN "Sports Beat," Guy Junker. Savran is well known for his longest running TV sports talk show "Savran on Sportsbeat" and in one of my FAVORITES! Eventually, I am hoping to create a section in my blog devoted to him because I enjoy him and his show SO MUCH!!

Sykora to Practice with Straka's Team

Even though I was able to get a translation of this "Sport" article via Google Tools, the translation provided by Tomas Jandik of ('s "Resident Czech") is somewhat easier to understand. You can click the links above to view both versions OR simply continue reading as I posted Jandik's translation below:

  • Q: Wasn’t Martin Straka, due to his General Manager position, persuading you to sign with Pilsen? A: I told 'Stracha' that I’d like to play in America for 3-4 more years and then I’d come back. I gave him a clear signal to keep himself in shape until then so that we can play together.

  • Q: And what did he say? A: He said that in 3-4 years he probably won’t give a damn about playing. {laughing}

  • Q: What is actually your relationship with Martin Straka? A: I like Martin very much and he’s been my role model for a long time. He is one of the first Pilseners to make it in the NHL and I always wanted emulate him. I see myself in him a little. {smiles}. It’s great that now I can be with him in one locker room and practice. I still have a lot to learn from him; one could not refuse that.

  • Q: So you are getting ready to go back on ice. Is that so? A: I started practicing only on July 1, which is the 4th week of the classic plan. It was because I was playing almost until the middle of June. That’s the reason I wanted to give it some time before I’d go back on ice. Last year I was in Beroun, but thanks to ‘Stracha’ being in Pilsen this year, I will be practicing here. In a week, two at most, I’ll join the guys on ice.

  • Q: So does it mean you feel good? A: Yes, I’m healthy and I am already getting used to the regular workload. I’m just fat as a pig. {laughs}

  • Q: Let’s turn a page. Before Jaromir Jagr’s fate was sealed, there were speculations about him signing a contract with Pittsburgh. Did you pay attention to it? A: I definitely followed that closely. I’m sorry that Jarda won’t be playing in the NHK, because it is still a top-caliber player. On the other hand I have to say I am glad he won’t be coming.

  • Q: Why? Wouldn’t you be interested in working with the famous countryman? A: Yes, I would, but if he signed with us, I’d probably have to move out. {he smiles – in Pittsburgh, he lives in Jagr’s house}

  • Q: Do you know why Jagr’s deal with the Penguins has not worked out? A: I did not see into that problem so deeply, we don’t even talk to each other on a regular basis. I think that ‘Dzhegr’ will be satisfied in Russia. The team will be relying on him, he will be a star there. That’s what fits him.

  • Q: Have you been following the Penguins? A: I have been following everything regularly. Newly, we have Satan and some Russian on the roster. I think our team will be at least as strong and we have a real chance to repeat the last season’s success. Maybe even to add that one more winning series.

  • Q: Thanks to Satan signing you don’t have to be that disappointed about the loss of the productive Slovak Marian Hossa. Is that so? A: I take it a little differently. For me, it’s better that Hossa left, because now I should get back on the first power-play unit again. That’s the best place how my productivity can help the team.

Malkin and Gonchar to Train with SKA - St. Petersburg

In August, Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar are to begin preparing for the upcoming hockey season by attending the SKA pre-season training camp in St. Petersburg.

The article found on the Russian website, "Sport Express Online" has been translated using YAHOO! Babel Fish (click the above link to read the entire article).

Monday, July 28, 2008

Penguins Game Dates Released for Half-Season Ticket Holders

The Pittsburgh Penguins released game dates for those season ticket holders who have purchased a half-season plan (Plan A or Plan B). It looks like each plan received 7 weekend games each.

CLICK HERE to view the game dates!!

Still nothing yet on the Promotional schedule (due to be released "later this summer")

Penguins Among Few Who Avoid the "Dark Side"

The FAN590 (Toronto's Sports Radio) Blog is reporting on the return of the alternate jersey for the upcoming 2008-2009 season after the league's contract with Reebok eliminated the 3rd jersey to introduce RBK EDGE jerseys last season. The blog is giving a description of each of the alternate jerseys after obtaining photos for most of the NHL teams and Puck Daddy comments that "regrettably, the black jersey trend has returned." However, Pittsburgh remains loyal to retro:

PITTSBURGH: Kudos to the Penguins for staying with the jersey the club wore during the Outdoor Classic in Buffalo last Jan. 1st. It’s a replica of the home jersey the Penguins wore starting in 1968-69, their second year in the NHL: Predominantly light-blue in color, with broad white stripes trimmed in dark blue on the sleeves and uniform base. A large, dark-blue stripe is at the tip of each arm. The neckline is dark-blue with the lace-up feature. The dark-blue, circular Penguins’ logo is on the front.

Former Penguin Possible ESPN Replacement for Melrose

Going Five Hole discusses part of the Matthew Barnaby interview with LCS Hockey when he talks about the possibility of his replaing Barry Melrose as an NHL Analyst for ESPN.

Not only does Barnaby talk about his playing days and his long feud with Lyle Odelein he also drops a little nugget of information about his possible future endeavors.

Barnaby, who makes the occasional appearance on TSN, noted he was going to meet with ESPN executives about the open position as lead NHL analyst with the WorldWide Leader. I did a poll over at Puck Daddy about who should replace Barry Melrose as the puck-talking head over at ESPN. While Barnaby wasn't included as one of the choices, he is an interesting option. He's definitely an out-spoken character with plenty of NHL experience, but I just don't see ESPN selecting him. It does baffle me why the need for a big NHL analyst on a network that barely covers the sport anyway.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Penguins Fans Experiencing Roller Coaster Ride with Casino License

This month has been a stressful roller coaster ride for those who have been keeping up with the Casino deal and Penguins arena news.

At the beginning of July, Don Barden was struggling to come up with the $10 million in late payments owed to contractors in order to continue work on the Majestic Star Casino after he was given a grace period extending to June 30th to become current on payments or construction would come to a stop. Construction on the casino began back in December with a strict schedule for the building to be completed by opening date set for mid-May 2009. Construction eventually stopped in early July due to the lack of Barden's funding and talk turned to his taking on Neil Bluhm's Walton Street Capital as a new equity partner which kept Governor Rendell optimistic that construction would quickly start up again on the North Shore but the State Gaming Control Board would need to approve Bluhm's investment.

The construction of the Penguins new arena is closely tied to the casino because part of Barden's agreement includes his promise that a share of casino profits will be put towards arena construction which began eariler this summer.

"That's something that no one will waive," Rendell said.
Although it's easy to understand why many Penguins fans would be nervous about the hurdles this casino deal has had to overcome along the way, it must be understood that for this very reason, the Penguins, Rendell, and the city of Allegheny County made sure to include precautions when drafting their arena deal in 2007 and planned for the possibility of losing the revenue promised by Barden; however, the bad news for us is that it would then become the responsibility of PA taxpayers to pay $225 million of the casino bill as a last resort. In my own humble opinion, I understand this would greatly raise our taxes, but I would rather pay to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh then not to increase taxes and go through the anguish of what we went through trying to keep the Pens here in 2007 with an even greater possibility (an inevitability, perhaps) that they would be anywhere else but Pittsburgh.

County Chieft Executive Dan Onorato continues to remain optimistic and believes it will not come down to taxpayers making up the difference.
"The value of that license in Pittsburgh is still there," he said. "Somebody is going to want to operate this, even with the commitment of $7.5 million for 30 years."
Recently, Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl has requested that the Gaming Control Board hold off on switching the license to Bluhm, or any new developer, until his concerns for slots tax revenue for the city are addressed.

"Every commitment that was made needs to be honored and lived up to, and we need to make sure that it's a reasonable expectation that this new group can do so," Ravenstahl said.

"I think we need to be careful and balance the need for, obviously, opening the casino as soon as we possibly can with the reality of, ''We have to get it right this time,' because we're in the pickle we're in now because we didn't get it right the first time," Ravenstahl said.

PA State Senators Jane Orie and Jim Ferlo have asked the Gaming Control Board to revoke Don Barden's license and start this entire proces over from the very start beginning from awarding a license as they previously did with Barden. They are opposed to the current license being transferred from Barden to a new developer. My question is, "why?" Why can't we just pick up where we left off -- employing the most convenient and efficient way instead of wasting more time and money starting the whole process over again from square one? However, I suppose I do not know enough of the facts and politics of this whole story to make such a simple rationalization like this.

"This is something you've got to put the brakes on," said Orie. "They've made an error in giving him this license. The last thing they can do is make an error like this."

"They need to go back to square 1 and begin all over again with due diligence and allow all interested parties to once again compete for this valuable license," said Ferlo. "It's clear that Mr. Barden does not deserve to hang onto this license. He's totally abrogated and reneged on every commitment he's made. So, it's time to pull that license."

"Mr. Barden and Mr. Bluhm filed this petition saying it's all confidential, everything from who are the partners, what is the financial arrangements," said Orie.

"The transparency is totally lacking," said Ferlo.

I suppose I can see the logic in the Senators' thinking. But, again, I don't know enough about how these things run to give an educated view on the matter. City Council President Doug Shields provides his own opinion - one that appears to be contadictory to Orie and Ferlo and along the lines of my own thinking (wouldn't those who are directly involved have more of a grasp on the issue than Senators who work in Harrisburg?).
"This is a vitally important issue. I would hope that our friends in Harrisburg would reach an accord, get to a point where this is totally resolved amicably and without having the license have to be reissued."

And reports have made mention of Dan Onorato's skepticism with changing the casino ownership.
“I think everybody in this room, everybody in this town, we must be skeptical now based on the history to this point,” Onorato said. “Not skeptical of Mr. Bluhm – skeptical of the process.”
“What I am going to demand is that the gaming board gives us a financially sound
owner who’s going to do and follow through on all of the commitments – that’s
the only thing I’m focusing on. If we get that, this region wins,” Onorato said.
What we can all agree upon is that the casino deal has turned out to be one big mess; and so, this saga continues; however, Penguins fans must remain confident in the fact that the Pittsburgh Penguins will get their new arena no matter what the result of who the developer or how the license is awarded. The Penguins will be playing in a new arena for the 2010-2011 season. Period.

[this blog post is based on articles posted on the WTAE-TV webpage]

SIDNEY CROSBY On the Ice and Beyond

I know I'm probably late with this post, but if you're unaware that Sidney Crosby will soon have a new biography on DVD released - NOW YOU KNOW!! The DVD (pictured to the left) will be released October 7th.

Would you like a "Release Reminder?" Click the link below to submit your e-mail to be reminded!!
Several sites are already taking pre-orders (which may also include special deals). - $21.99
Barnes & Noble - $22.49
Best Buy - $19.99
DVD Empire - $19.73
f.y.e. - $20.87 (member price $18.78)
Movies Unlimited - $22.49
VH1 Shop - $19.19

Following is an overview from the DVD Press Release.

From the DVD Press Release:

First there was Orr, then there was Gretzky, now Sidney Crosby has emerged as the face of the NHL at only 20 years old. Warner Home Video (WHV) and the NHL are teaming up to give hockey fans a special DVD, On the Ice and Beyond. The DVD gives fans an exclusive look into the life of hockey’s newest prodigy, Sidney Crosby. On the Ice and Beyond hits shelves on October 7, 2008 and will be available for $24.98 SRP.

On the Ice and Beyond details Crosby’s meteoric rise to the NHL’s elite. The DVD captures his historic 2007-2008 season, where he captained the Pittsburgh Penguins all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in only his third season.

“Crosby is establishing himself as one of the elite athletes of our time,” said Eddie Scannell, WHV Director, Sports Marketing. “On the Ice and Beyond capture’s a star that has had a profound impact on the league and has captured the hearts of hockey fans worldwide.” From the demands of superstardom to life on and off the ice, On the Ice and Beyond gives an up close look at the NHL’s newest phenom in his third year. The behind the scenes footage covers Crosby’s life from the start of training camp through the Stanley Cup Final. This DVD scores a hat trick for hockey enthusiasts young and old.


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Player Listed on Roster but Never Announced

When I recently took a look at the current Pittsburgh Penguin's roster on, I noticed that there is a new player listed that was never announced by the Penguins / the media but has been mentioned briefly on a couple of message boards.

Center David Gove is / was member of the Carolina Hurricanes. He spent the 2006-2007 season playing the majority of his career on Albany in the AHL. There were no stats listed for the 2007-2008 season on; however, I checked the Baby Penguins site and it shows that Gove spent part of the 2007-2008 season with the Albany River Rats and the other with Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins.

Interestingly, Gove also played for the ECHL Johnstown Chiefs (my hometown) in 2001-2002! I'm not "up" on Chiefs news / info so I can't really elaborate on this player.

Player's Blog

Over at, they have an Athlete Blog Central where they have a directory of athlete blogs from around the net.

I came across a blog by Danny Richmond. Richmond's rights were acquired by the Penguins from the Blackhawks on July 17th in exchange for the rights of Tim Brent.

The last update was made in December 2007 so if he stays with Pittsburgh and plays in the lineup, lets hope he posts some new entries - it would be interesting!!

Second Thoughts for PESONEN?


An "NHL Source" told TIOPS that there's talk in Europe that Janne Pesonen is considering returning. TIOPS other "sources" including a "main source" have denied the rumor and TIOPS feels that until something is officially announced OR confirmed that we'll be seeing Pesonen at training camp.

I checked the Penguins roster on and Pesonen is no longer listed as a player. According to TIOPS, this doesn't mean anything.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Do You Value MESSIER'S Opinion?

I definitely do especially since he thinks Crosby is the best NHL player right now!! recently interviewed Mark Messier via telephone and the one thing that did catch my eye was this: Putting you on the spot now, who do you think is the best player in today's game?

MM: I believe it is Sidney Crosby. Everybody has their own styles and likes and dislikes, but for me the first time I saw him play you could see he was something special. He plays with a lot of courage and in all the tough areas on the ice. He's tremendously skilled and uses the people around him unbelievably well. Not only is he an excellent playmaker, but he scores the goals, too.

MARK MESSIER could see Sidney was something special! Which is obviously why he chose him to receive the Mark Messier Leadership Award at the start of last year's All-Star game in Dallas. Messier is not the only elite NHL player to speak so highly of Sidney. Here are just a few of the others:

New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur said one thing that impresses him about Crosby is his leadership on the ice. "You can tell when he talks out there," Brodeur said. "I'm right around him, and I hear him a lot." Asked to expand, Brodeur said the level of communication rises when Crosby's on the ice. "You can hear at faceoffs, he's setting up guys and doing a lot of different things that sometimes young guys don't even think about," Brodeur said. "They're just worried about winning the face-off. He's thinking about winning his faceoff and doing the things to get the other players to have a chance to be able to play with him."

"To see how he absorbs the attention and handles himself and genuinely wants to sell the game," Olczyk said, "it's quite special to see. He's the best player in the game, but he's an unbelievable kid, too, who knows who he is and where he wants to get to.
"He's just a solid person. Between the ears and inside the chest, he's a special guy."

When asked by The Arizone Republic if a player might one day break some of his NHL scoring records, Gretzky said, "Yes, Sidney Crosby. He's the best player I've seen since Mario [Lemieux]." Gives a Rundown of Penguins Players Lost & Found writer, Scott Cullen, recently posted the article "NUMBERS GAME: PENGUINS SHOP ON THE ISLAND."

Cullen specifically talks about what Pittsburgh picked up when they signed the three forwards Miroslav Satan, Ruslan Fedotenko, and Janne Pesonen.

"While these signings certainly make the Penguins better than they are without Hossa and Malone, they're also not productive enough to make the team as good as last year's Stanley Cup finalists."


  • Moving to a more talented Penguins lineup will give Satan an opportunity to bounce back. It's not often that a player approaching his mid-30s can reverse his recent trend, but playing alongside Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby should be enough to get Satan back into the 60-point range (say, somewhere between Malone's 51 and Petr Sykora's 63 last season).


  • Fedotenko, 29, has established his value as a complementary winger who can chip in a little offensively, just once surpassing 20 goals in his seven NHL seasons.
  • Perhaps, if planted alongside a superstar centre, this could be the year that Fedotenko goes for 50-plus points for the first time in his career but, given his track record, it's much safer to expect him to handle some second-line and third-line duty and perhaps put up 15-20 goals and 35-40 points.

  • Despite his success in the Finnish Elite League (where Tony Salmelainen was a star not so long ago) Pesonen may not be a game-breaking talent, so expectations have to be kept in check.
  • Nevertheless, if he impresses early on and gets an opportunity with a scoring line, Pesonen could be a 20-goal sleeper in his first year in the NHL.

New PPG Poll

What grade would you give Penguins general manager Ray Shero for his offseason work?

Poll ends today!

WHAT? A Positive Article from Cook?! Now THAT'S Refreshing!

Today, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette includes the article, "Therrien's new deal refreshing," by Ron Cook.

It touches on the fact that no Penguins coach in the past 41 years has ever started and finished four consecutive seasons.

Cook is "betting" on Michel Therrien breaking this Penguins record.

"I'm halfway there," Therrien said late last season, grinning.

It's not much of a bet since Therrien's extension will take him into the 2010-2011 season and makes it more than likely that he'll accomplish starting / finishing four consecutive seasons as the Penguins head coach.

FINALLY, Ron Cook - I'm SO proud of you (that wasn't so bad, was it?!)!!

Ovechkin: "Congratulation to Crosby."

No - I didn't forget the "s" in the title of this post. That's the way Alexander Ovechkin speaks - he's Russian! This was his answer when asked the following (from an article translated from the ALEX OVETJKIN blog):

Do you know that Sidney Crosby is the best hockey player of the year according to ESPN?
Congratulation to Crosby. He deserved it. (quickly answers Ovechkin.)

Wait, he didn't play a half of a season. And you got a bunch of trophies, including Hart Trophy for most valuable players in the NHL. Don't you think it is not fair that on ESPN version Crosby is the best?
He has taken Pittsburgh to the Stanley Cup finals. And in general I can not collect absolutely all of the awards. One shouldn't be so greedy.
WOW - it's surprising to hear him say that! Yes, Ovechkin, one shouldn't be so greedy - SO PASS THE DAMN PUCK EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE!!

And to replace the ESPY you didn't earn, I mean, win (and to bring a stop to all the whining coming your Capitals fans), this is a special award that I'm presenting to you:


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Steigerwald's Thoughts on the Upcoming Season

The official Pittsburgh Penguins webpage features an article by Paul Steigerwald today. Something about being excited for the upcoming 2008-2009 season (WHO ISN'T?!)!

“From an entertainment standpoint, there’s not a team in hockey that even comes close to the Penguins. For our city and our fans – and for me as a broadcaster – that makes this is a very exciting time.”

“We’ve obviously had a lot of great times with hockey in this city, magical moments, but there’s something that’s going on right now – the relationship between the team and the fans the region – that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before,” Steigerwald said. “Penguins hockey is pervasive. The fan base has grown and grown, and it’s reached out to a new generation, to the point that Penguins hockey is now really a part of the fabric of this town.

“In the whole history of the Penguins, I can’t ever remember such a feeling of stability,” Steigerwald said. “We’ve got an ownership group that’s made a huge commitment and is virtually spending to the cap. We’ve got a hockey operations staff, led by Ray Shero and Chuck Fletcher, that has shown it is very capable of operating in the NHL’s brave new world. Our coach, Michel Therrien, has been here for three years and we’ve gotten better every year. The talent of the players is obvious. And the fan base is one of the very best in hockey.

“After what we had to go through in the early part of this decade, and through the lockout … it’s great to see it all come to fruition. Everybody feels like they played a role. I go back to that game in the conference finals against the Flyers. Sitting there in the stands, it felt like one solid group – the fans, the players, the coaches the staff. It was one big family in the building that day.

“And there’s more to come. I can’t wait to get started.”

To read the entire article, click here.
(it's a LONG ONE!)

The CULT of Personality

There are only a select few hockey players that can say they have their own cult song! The first Penguin was Jarkko Ruutu (who I continue to miss even though the season hasn't even started)!!

THEN, I reported Matt Cooke had one called "Chairman of the Boards" written by the same guy who made the Ruutu song!

NOW (and I think this has been going around the web for a few weeks now), it's Janne Pesonen! The song was discovered on YouTube video and LCS Hockey has the link.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: Matthew Barnaby

Yesterday, Matthew Barnaby was on the LCS [Fake] Radio Show. He talks a little bit about his time in Pittsburgh.

CLICK here to listen

The Results are IN!

The PPG's poll ended Tuesday (July 22nd) and the results aren't anything we didn't already expect!

LANGE IS PREFERED BY THE MAJORITY (91% of the 2,771 Penguins fans who voted)!!

NOTE: Penguins Individual Game Tickets

This topic got lost in the shuffle in the excitement of the 2008-2009 schedule release last week. It was announced (but I didn't make mention) that tickets to individual game tickets go on sale to the general public on Saturday, September 20th @ 10 AM.

The promotional calendar and game dates for Plan A and Plan B Half-Season ticket holders will be out later THIS MONTH!


There are five convenient ways to purchase single game tickets!
  1. Order online
  2. Charge by Phone at (412) 323-1919
  3. Go to the Mellon Arena Box Office (located at Gate One)
  4. Visit any area Ticketmaster Outlet
  5. Buy from Season Ticket Holders using Penguins TicketExchange

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Yes - it's that time of year again! Steelers training camp is upon us and the players will be reporting to St. Vincent College this Sunday, July 27th (with the first practice open to the public on Monday, July 28th @ 2:55 PM).

I am also a HUGE Steelers fan, so it makes sense that I would have a blog for my other favorite team as well, don't you think?!!

This will be the ONE and ONLY time that anything Steelers will appear on this blog, so be sure to visit my Steelers blog (you can expect pretty much the same style as my Penguins blog).

Sydor's Home Up for SALE

TIOPS is reporting that the Penguins are in discussions with Tampa Bay regarding Darryl Sydor and that Sydor has put his Pittsburgh home up for sale - all of which is still speculation. They also go on to say that Ray Shero is waiting until the end of training camp before deciding whether or not to move Sydor and confirm that both LA and Tampa Bay have made offers.

TIOPS is also reporting that the Penguins have signed Dave Grove and Danny Richmond.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

CROSBY Not Participating in "A Bout de Souffle" Tournament

I was browsing the message boards today and come across an interesting post about Sidney not being healthy enough to play in the "A Bout de Souffle" which got me searching the web for more information.

The "A Bout de Souffle" is a hockey tournament that has been held every year for the past 15 years. "A Bout de Souffle" translates to "Breathless" in English (Breathless Tournament). It runs from Friday, July 25 - Sunday, July 27 at the Magog Arena in Magog, Quebec Canada this year. Last year, Crosby helped his team, Perreault/Maxi Club, become the champions of the tournament for the second consecutive year. According to the articles I found, Crosby will not be participating in the tournament this year; but 2 other Penguins who are to take part are Kris Letang and Jean-Michel Daoust (Wilkes-Barre / Scranton). Other NHL stars participating in the 2008 tournament include Stephan Robidas, Jocelyn Thibault, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, and David Perron. To date the tournament raised a total $130,000 benefiting various local charities and ill children.

2007 "A Bout de Souffle" Tournament Champions (Perreault/Maxi Club)

Speculation on the LGP message boards was that he is fine (healthy), but that he wants to wait until training camp before he skates on his ankle. This would be a good guess and would show Crosby's commitment to the Pens and winning a Stanley Cup (he got a taste of it and HE WANTS IT BAD), so he'll do whatever it takes!!!

To read these articles, click on a link below (translation courtesy of YAHOO! Babel Fish):

The "A Bout de Souffle" Tournament official webpage (translation also courtesy of YAHOO! Babel Fish):

"A Bout de Souffle" Tournament

Omnium Gervais-Talbot Open


Back on June 27th, the first annual Gervais-Talbot Open took place in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec at the St. Hyacinthe Golf Club. Bruno Gervais of the New York Islanders and Maxime Talbot decided to join together to hold this annual charity event. The proceeds were shared between the Canadian Red Cross and Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation.

Various NHL players along with other well known athletes, celebrities, and TV personalities took part in the event.

Pittsburgh Penguins in attendance were Marc-Andre Fleury, Pascal Dupuis, Tyler Kennedy, Kris Letang, and former Penguin Erik Christensen

Lange or Steigerwald? VOTE Now!

Not that it will count for much other than confirm what we already know (Pens fans would rather see Mike Lange as Pittsburgh's TV play-by-play announcer), but if you want your voice heard, go to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's most recent poll to cast your vote now! Voting ends today!!

Do You Know the Way to SAN JOSE? and Penguins Insider blog are reporting that Todd Richards, the head coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins AHL affiliate, is headed to San Jose to join the Sharks as the assistant head coach.

Richards was the head coach for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Baby Pens for 2 years and, in that time, 26 of his players have been called up to the NHL.

Baby Pens assistant, Dan Bylsma, is said to be the likely candidate for Richards' position and names such as Dennis Bonvie and Todd Reirden have been mentioned as replacements for Bylsma.
“You have to give a lot of credit to Todd and Dan,” Pittsburgh assistant general manager Chuck Fletcher said last month. “I don’t think they get nearly enough credit outside of this market. Todd clearly was one of the best coaches, if not the best coach, in the American League this year. Dan Bylsma is ready to be a head coach in the American League.”

Monday, July 21, 2008


The official Pittsburgh Penguins webpage and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review have reported that the Penguins re-signed forwards Jeff Taffe, Jonathan Filewich, and defenseman Paul Bissonnette.

Taffe and Bissonnette's contracts are 1-year deals while Filewich agreed to a 2-year contract.

Filewich spent the majority of last season with the Wilke-Barre / Scranton Baby Pens but made his NHL debut in January playing a total of 5 games with the Penguins. Taffe also played with the Pens AHL affiliate team last season but played a total of 45 games with the Penguins.

No further information was published on Bissonnette; his entire career has been with the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton team.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported yesterday that FSN and Paul Steigerwald have agreed to a multi-year contract much to the dismay of alot of Pens fans.

According to PPG, FSN is very satisfied with the "flourishing" ratings, so it was inevitable for them to sign Steigerwald; however, even Steigerwald realizes (and admits):

"The ratings are due to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and a great team. I have no delusions about being a big star and a folk hero. I'm part of a team. It takes a team effort to put on a good broadcast. My concern is improvement in the team, not in being the star."

Something that the majority of Pens fans already know ALL TOO WELL!!

But here's a really important part of the article (something I was concerned about from the moment I started reading the article), Steigerwald will again be teamed up with Bob Errey who is in the middle of talks with FSN also for a multi-year deal! HOORAY -- I LOVE Bob Errey (he totally makes up for Steigerwald times 10)!!

To read the PPG article, click HERE!!

Join the MOVEMENT!!


In light of Smizik's article in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Knuckleheads can't wait to boo 'traitor' Hossa," I feel compelled to do something, so I've decided to start the "Pens Fans KNUCKLEHEAD Badge of Honor" movement!! I can't do this alone and feel that we must all join together as a Pens Fans NATION!!

Wouldn't it be AWESOME for every Pens fan to wear a "KNUCKLEHEAD" button (a.k.a. Badge of Honor") at the February 8th Red Wings game and join together to "BOO" Hossa?! I think it would be hilarious and an appropriate way to welcome him back to the Mellon Arena (and put Smizik in his place)!! OR even if some of us that won't be able to get tickets to the game (because I realize it will be tough), wear the "badge" and have others ask what it's all about so we can explain what an ASS Smizik is!!


I have already designed the buttons (I'm calling them Badges of Honor because, as Pens fans, we should be proud to be who we are no matter what Smizik OR Cook write about us or how much they bash us) and have posted them on a special Cafe Press store (an idea I borrowed from the Pensblog, no doubt)!

I would also like to mention that I WILL NOT profit from this idea in ANY way, but rather, want to donate ALL PROCEEDS to the Mario Lemiuex Foundation!! So this movement will not only allow us as ONE PENS NATION to dismiss Smizik and let Hossa know what we think of him, but we'll also be helping a good cause!!

I am hoping that I can count on all Pens Fans with my idea!

Count Me IN as A "KNUCKLEHEAD," Mr. Smizik!!

I don't know about you, but between the fan-bashing of Ron Cook and Bob Smizik, my ass is getting a little raw!

This Sunday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette featured an article by Bob Smizik entitled, "'Knuckleheads' can't wait to boo 'traitor' Hossa" in which he characterizes Pittsburgh fans as "knuckleheads" stating that, "When it comes to knuckleheads, Pittsburgh has it all over Philadelphia."

The term "knucklehead" is not that surprising coming from someone who began his writing career in the early 1900's and moonlights as Bozo the Clown at local children's parties (can't you just see it?!)!

First of all, I don't think Pittsburgh is worse than Philadelphia - COME ON! They are vulgar and mean which we are FAR from!! And most all teams, especially Canadian, boo Crosby for what reason I have yet to figure out -- you forgot those fans, Mr. Bozo, I mean, Smizik!! Even though I must admit, as a Pens fan, I never truly understood the negative reception given to Jagr everytime he set skate on the ice (or had the puck on his stick) and never felt the need to join in the banter, but as far as Hossa is concerned, I believe he deserves that and MUCH MORE!! He'll be lucky if we all don't decide to throw octupi at him for his debut at the Mellon Arena as a Red Wing!! However, I can clearly distinguish the two players, Jagr and Hossa, in one major way: you knew Jagr wanted traded - he let it be very well known that he felt as though he was "dying alive." But with Hossa, he led us on from the very beginning leading all of us to believe "

No, Mr. Smizik (and I say that very loosely), Hossa's crime was not just that he decided to play with the Detroit Red Wings (honestly, I could give a shit less where he decided to play since I was one of the few who never wanted him to sign with the Penguins in the first place). No - his biggest crime was not being honest with the organization, team, or fans. He was what he will always be (and what will make Detroit "knuckleheads" if they believe he'll be signing with them long-term), a hockey whore who will do nothing for the rest of his entire career but hop from team to team in the hopes of being lucky to land on the one who will be wining the Stanley Cup for that season. And even though this illustrates he puts winning ahead of money, it will never make it honorable - I don't care which team he does it to - that DOESN'T make him team-oriented, it makes him Whore-sa, uh, I mean Hossa-oriented!! And that, in turn, makes him a "knucklehead" too! Actually, I could come up with a few more appropriate names, but I won't tarnish this post more than it already is!

Bob, the more I read your article, the more I realize more than ever that you just don't get it and never will because you are not a hockey writer let alone a fan!! We didn't need Hossa to get where we did as a team. Yes, he did help us along the way but we fought long and hard to get where we were BEFORE he ever dressed in the black and gold uniform!!! We didn't need him to make it to the playoffs - we have Malkin and Conklin to thank for that!! Hossa didn't even make a contribution until

So, needless to say, I'm hoping to be lucky enough to be 1 of the close to 17,132 Pens fans "booing" Whore-sa, I mean, Hossa when he premieres at the Mellon Arena on February 8th and, I CANNOT WAIT --

I will wear the "knucklehead" badge proudly (as we ALL should)!!

I think it would be an AWESOME idea if EVERY Pens fan wore a "knucklehead" button for the Detroit game on February 8th (and join together to "BOO" Hossa!)!! I am working on creating buttons for fans to buy -- check it out HERE (The Steel City Sports Fan Shop (Penguins Edition)!! ALL PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED TO THE MARIO LEMIEUX FOUNDATION!! LET'S UNITE AS PENS FANS (pass this information on to everyone and tell them to visit this site and purchase a button to prepare for this game on February 8th) -- we'll show Hossa and Smizik we're not to be messed with!!!

[NOTE] The Pensblog is also asking all Pens fans to e-mail Bob and let him know what we think: