Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What Can We Expect Tomorrow?

It was reported that Gonchar was to give the Penguins his answer on Monday.  Well, Monday came and went without so much as a rustle, so my assumption is that Gonchar told them "thanks, but no thanks."

It's apparent that the Penguins want Gonchar and Dan Hamhuis or else they wouldn't have had discussions with Gonchar or traded a 2011 third-round draft pic for Hamhuis although its becoming more apparent that both of these players do not like what the Penguins are offering the closer we get to noon tomorrow.

I'm certain that the third year Gonchar wants is the sticking point (the Pens usually don't dole out three-years; however, that wasn't the case for Matt Cooke OR Ben Lovejoy), so I'm guessing they don't want to give it to Gonchar because of the money he wants (Cooke and Lovejoy are "more affordable").

I really thought Hamhuis would be happy to take any decent offer the Pens would throw his way; however, it looks like we're no different than Philly in that respect (when he wouldn't sign with them, I just figured he simply didn't want to subscribe to the type of play the Flyers are known for); however, word is that he wants to play "closer to home."  Is he crazy??!!!  He's going to pass up an opportunity to play with the Pittsburgh Penguins for a CHANCE to play closer to home ... and pretty much passing up a great opportunity for a chance to win the Stanley Cup at least once within the time he would sign for.  I just don't understand.

And I honestly don't know what Gonchar is smoking either.  Why is he so intent on that third year after knowing all the perks there are with the Penguins??  I mean, not just a great team, but how about the family-like atmosphere of the team (chemistry) as well as the chance to win another Stanley Cup ... there's no guarantee that he'll ever find that again on another team.  I suppose its a matter of choice and opinion ... the time / money are obviously more important than the what the Penguins are willing to offer.

It looks like both Gonchar and Hamhuis will be testing free agency tomorrow; however, they also have to realize what's at risk too since Shero will most likely be going after other defenseman at the same time ... they're chances to remain / become a Penguin is less likely as we approach free agency and for some reason I don't think its a big concern for either of them.

And as much as I want Gonchar to stay and Hamhuis to be a Penguin, I'm afraid we're just running out of time and it's not going to work out that way.  But regardless, I'm anxious to see how this all plays out tomorrow, that's for sure!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Crosby Gets Olympic Ring


“It’s always nice to get a ring,” Sidney Crosby said with a smile. “It’s always a real good sign.”
[The last picture below is of Jerome Iginla showing off his ring]

In all, there were 61 players in attendance at the event who were joined by the teams staff including head coaches Mike Babcock, Melody Davidson and Dan Church, and Men’s Olympic Team general manager Steve Yzerman.

And among those 61 players were:

Team Captains:
Jessica Campbell, Hayley Wickenheiser, Scott Niedermayer

Three "golden goal" scorers:
Jessica Campbell, Sidney Crosby, Marie-Philip Poulin

Three gold medal game goaltenders:
Roberto Luongo, Carmen MacDonald, Shannon Szabados

Five tournament directorate award winners:
Meghan Agosta (MVP, Top Forward)
Jessica Campbell (MVP)
Brigette Lacquette (Top Defenseman),
Shannon Szabados (Top Goaltender)
Jonathan Toews (Top Forward)


Monday, June 28, 2010

Pens #1 Draft Pick on NHL Live!!

The Penguins webpage recently announced that Beau Bennett will be on NHL Live! at 1:30 (NOW!)!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Christopher Crane - the Pens Final Draft Pick (7th Round)

Christopher Crane's Draft Prospect Card

WELCOME TO PITTSBURGH CHRISTOPHER!!

Pens Draft Two in the Sixth


Reid McNeill's Draft Prospect Card

WECOME TO PITTSBURGH JOE and REID!!

Kenneth Agostino Drafted by Pittsburgh in the Fifth Round

"Kenny is the most dynamic player that I have ever coached. He has a great stick and he is strong on the puck, He has a bright future in hockey." -- Delbarton head coach Bruce Shatel
Kenneth Agostino's Draft Prospect Card

WELCOME TO PITTSBURGH, KENNETH!!

Pens Fourth-Round Draft Pick - Tom Kuehnhackl

Tom Kuehnhackl's Draft Prospect Card
"Tom is a surprisingly mobile, good skater for a player of his size. He has a very good understanding of the game and has good offensive instincts. His overall skill level is good." - NHL Director of European Scouting Goran
Check back for a complete player review of Kuehnhackl!!

WELCOME TO PITTSBURGH TOM!!

Bryan Rust Drafted in Third-Round by Pens (80th Overall)


Check back for a complete player review of Rust!!

WELCOME TO PITTSBURGH Bryan Rust!!

Pittsburgh One Step Away from Signing Hamhuis

Last night AFTER I decided to go to bed (ARG!), the Penguins acquired the rights to defenseman Dan Hamhuis from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for next year's (2011) third-round draft pick.

Hamhuis was traded to Philadelphia this week from the Nashville Predators where he spent his entire NHL career after being drafted by them in 2001 (during which time Ray Shero was their assistant GM!).

I'm thinking this is a good thing.  If he was drafted by Shero and he's acquired his rights by him now, there must be something good about him and this is somewhat exciting (and is one more thing making Gonchar's days as a Penguin even more limited).  I'm also thinking that Pittsburgh has a better chance signing this guy than Philly did (I'm thinking Hamhuis is pretty glad he held out now!)!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pittsburgh's First Round Draft Pick - Beau Bennett

“Beau has put together one of the best rookie seasons in BCHL history. His offensive instincts are in a class of their own.” -- Benticton Vees GM and head coach Fred Harbinson
Beau Bennett's Draft Prospect Card

Check back for a complete player review of Bennett!!

WELCOME TO PITTSBURGH BEAU (Bobo)!!

Crosby in Attendance at the 2010 NHL Draft

And It's Taylor (2010 NHL #1 Draft Pick)!

Prior to the start of the NHL 2010 Entry Draft, Twitter was ABUZZ!!  The big question for the past year is whether Tyler [Hall] or Taylor [Seguin] would be this year's #1 draft pick.

With Edmonton having first choice, they ended the debate by choosing Taylor Hall which left Boston to choose Tyler Seguin making him second overall in the draft.

STAY TUNED for more LIVE draft coverage!!

NHL Draft Day - 2010

For some reason, I'm looking more forward to this year's draft than any previously.  Granted, I miss hockey, but I think its more because I learned a little about a few of the top picks and thats a first!

I've actually enlisted the help of a really good friend who knows alot about hockey and spends time keeping up with hockey of any kind (NHL, ECHL, AHL, juniors), so once Pittsburgh makes its pick today, I'll have a special rundown for you sometime later or most likely tomorrow about this particular player (and hopefully a few of the others the Pens pick up today / tomorrow).

Stay tuned here for the latest draft info as I plan to watch the draft and provide coverage of what goes on today and tomorrow.

Here's some important information to get you ready for tonight:
Draft Dates / Times:  Friday, June 25th @ 7:00 PM - Round 1, and Saturday, June 26th @ 1:00 PM - Rounds 2 - 7 (VERSUS, TSN, NHL Network)
2010 NHL Draft page

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Totally Missed the Entire NHL Awards Show!!

I did ... and it's not because I forgot, it's because my power went out RIGHT BEFORE the show started and it didn't come back on until they announced / presented the Hart trophy ... talk about SUCKING ASS (not only did I miss the awards that I was so looking forward to, but I got to see Sid NOT get the Hart trophy!)!!

From what I've heard / read, I didn't really miss much (and I did have my AWESOME FRIEND, Maureen, text my cell with all the winners) and the best part of the whole show according to ALOT of fans was the Getzlaf / Ryan medal skit, so I had to look that up when I got back on my computer ... I have to agree that it was probably the best part.  I think they did a really great job with it and I would love to see more players involved like that ... seeing them in that light is always FUN!!

Sid didn't go home empty-handed at the Awards last night, per se, even though he didn't win any of the [NHL] ones he's was officially nominated for.  He did earn the Maurice "Rocket" Richard trophy tying with Steven Stamkos for most goals scored this season (a total of 51) as well as the Mark Messier Leadership Award.

We all know Sid was ROBBED last night (well his FANS know he was robbed last night!)!!  I have no problem with Henrik Sedin receiving the Hart (thats not my gripe - I don't watch him enough to argue the point between he and Sid); however, Sid's votes amounted to a third-place finish BEHIND OVI?!!  IDK ... I smell some bullshit here ... let me see ... what spectacular achievements did OVI have this season (aside from his not getting past the first round AGAIN because that doesn't count since votes are submitted prior to the post-season)???  I guess its pretty incredible that his team finished first in the Eastern Conference, but I really don't think that should count either because that's a TEAM effort so anything else OVI achieved on his own merit this season??  I'm sorry, but I can't think of anything (but I'm sure the Caps fans will remind me here soon enough!)!!

And what did Sid do?  Well, as always, he worked on his weaknesses and got better at them.  For instance, he was the co-recipient of the Rocket Richard trophy (along with Steven Stamkos) because his goal was to shoot more and be a better goal-scorer ... he achieved that goal with flying colors!  In that sense, he even beat out OVI at what OVI is best at ... scoring!!   In fact, every season Sid achieves all the goals he's ever set out to accomplish and if that doesn't take "Hart" then I don't know what does!!!! 

So my question is ... HOW THE HELL DOES OVI CONTINUE TO BEAT SID OUT OF EVERYTHING IN THIS LEAGUE???!!!!!!!!!  I just don't and won't understand it and it will continue to puzzle me forever (just another one of those Lemieux / Gretzy debates even though I truly believe that this debate is a little more obvious!)!!

So keep doing what you're doing, Sid, because I will always believe (and so will all of Pittsburgh Penguins nation) that you are the better player!!  Until OVI proves to me otherwise by being something other than a one-dimensional player, I will always believe that which earns Sid the "Hearts" of fans everywhere!!! ; )

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sid Schmoozin' with the Stars in Las Vegas!!


First, Snoop Dogg who will be performing at the Awards posts a pic with him last night on Twitter (right) with the following caption ...

“Sidney Crosby #87 from Pittsburgh Penguins and Captain of Team Canada what ya know about gold medals”
Next up, Crosby with comedian Jamie Kennedy (below) ... watch you don't become the target of his next prank, Sid!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Staal Undergoes Minor Surgery

This one went under the radar (MY radar, anyway ... and I need to pay attention to the Pittsburgh newspapers more seeing how I almost missed two interesting tidbits this week ... Cooke resigning and now this!)!!

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that Jordan Staal underwent a second surgery about three weeks ago to his tendon on the top of his right foot (pictured to the right at the 2010 NHL Awards festivies).
"I just had a minor procedure just to kind of help it move along quicker and heal faster," Staal said during a media availability today at the Palms Casino Resort, site of Wednesday's NHL Awards show. He is a finalist for the Selke Award, which goes to the top defensive forward.


"I've got about three more weeks with this boot and then some therapy and working out," Staal said.

Gonchar to Sharks??

There's some talk that Gonchar's rights have been traded to the SJ Sharks (Gonchar has a "no-trade" clause) ... will post more as I learn, so check back!!

It's Official - Matt Cooke Signed

The Penguins webpage just officially announced that they've re-signed Matt Cooke!

The new contract goes into effect at the start of the 2010-11 season and will run through 2012-13. The average annual value of the deal is $1.8 million over the term of the contract.

But I think Rob Rossi just ruined Christmas for me ... it would've been a great announcement if it would've been announced via the webpage FIRST instead of his announcing it this morning (about the "verbal agreement!")!!!

It's HERE ...

Early Word from the Trib ... Pens Sign Cooke (3 Years)

According to Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Pens and Matt Cooke's camp have verbally agreed to a contract extension.  The contract is said to be a three-year deal which I find interesting because Shero has been so against giving "role players" more than two years ... this is very surprising!!!

DAMN HIM ... how did he not sign Ruutu to three years (YES, I'm still anguished over this!)!!  Although I am happy that we're getting Cookey back ... I will forever miss Ruuts!!
Term was agreed upon Monday night and the contract has been sent to NHL central registry to be made official.


Cooke, who earned $1.2 million each of the last two seasons, will count $1.8 million against the salary cap each of the years on his new contract.
I'm assuming that it won't be official (announced by the Pens) until the contract is actually signed.

DON'T FORGET ...

[UPDATE]
According to NHL.com, the schedules will be released at 12 noon!!

The 2010-11 schedules will be released sometime today, so CHECK BACK!!

New Wallpaper


I'm sure these have been up for a little bit, but I just noticed them ... they have "new" wallpaper pics up on the Penguins webpage!!

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL OF THEM!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lovejoy Re-Signed for Three More Years

The Penguins just announced on their webpage that they've signed defenseman Ben Lovejoy to a three-year, two-way contract that will begin with the upcoming 2010-11 season.
The deal is a two-way contract for the 2010-11 campaign, and will pay Lovejoy $525,000 at the NHL level. He will earn $525,000 in 2011-12 and $525,000 in 2012-13.

Talks with Gonchar Back On

[LATE EDIT] Rossi also mentioned not to expect talks with Cooke, Guerin, and Eaton to take place until things with Gonchar have been hashed out.
According to Rob Rossi this past weekend, Shero and Gonchar's agent began contract talks again this Saturday and they are expected to continue today.

Specifics of the negotiations are not known. The respective policies of Shero and Barry are not to divulge details of contract negotiations, and each declined comment.
I believe that Gonchar is interested in a multi-year deal and my guess is that this will be the "sticking point" as Shero does not usually give more than two years per contract to players other than the "core."  Gonchar's age will definitely be a factor in negotiations as well as the Pens organization is no doubt looking to grooming a young team for long-term success.

Honestly, at the end of the season I was more for Gonchar staying; however, eventually he would have to go and soon Letang and Goligoski will have to take more responsibility for the Pen's blue line just as Gonchar had ... I don't believe either of them will do that with the grace and poise Gonchar has because that's just his talent although I'm positive that those two young d-men will be able to take on that task successfully in the near future.  I will hate to see Gonchar go, but to keep the team successful and poised for the future, there may not be any other choice.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Crosby Tops TSN's "25 Under 25"

The Sporting News just announced their "25 Under 25: SN’s List of Best Young Athletes” which and Sid was voted #1.
The Sporting News panel considered 100 accomplished young athletes from seven different sports before trimming the list to 50 and then the final 25.

Athletes were judged on major stats; championships to which they’d made major contributions; buzz factor; and age.

2010 NHL Draft - Order of Selection

The 2010 NHL Entry Draft will be held on Friday, June 25th (Round 1) and Saturday, June 26th (Rounds 2-7) in Los Angeles at the STAPLES Center.

The first round of the draft will be broadcast live on VERSUS (in the US) and TSN & RDS (in Canada) at 7:00 PM (est) then the NHL Network and RIS will broadcast rounds 2-7 the next day beginning at 1:00 PM (est).

Pens have the following picks: 20th (Round 1), [none in Round 2; 50th given to FLA], 80th (Round 3), 110th (Round 4), 140th (Round 5), 152nd (Round 6 - from TOR), 170th (Round 6), and 200th (Round 7)

I've included the order for the 1st round below (to see the order for all rounds, visit the Pens webpage):

Round 1
1. Edmonton
2. Boston (from TOR)
3. Florida
4. Columbus
5. NY Islanders
6. Tampa Bay
7. Carolina
8. Atlanta
9. Minnesota
10. NY Rangers
11. Dallas
12. Anaheim
13. Phoenix (from CGY)
14. St. Louis
15. Boston
16. Ottawa
17. Colorado
18. Nashville
19. Los Angeles
20. Pittsburgh
21. Detroit
22. Phoenix
23. Buffalo
24. Atlanta (from NJ)
25. Vancouver
26. Washington
27. Montreal
28. San Jose
29. Anaheim (from PHI)
30. Chicago

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

1994
the Pittsburgh Phantoms win their first game at the Civic Arena against the Atlanta Fire Ants in a shootout (final score 10-9) in front of a crowd of 7,347

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Flyers' Briere and Young Son Involved in Car Accident

NBC Philadelphia is reporting that Danny Briere and his son, Cameron, were involved in a car accident with a tractor-trailer early this morning (about 12:30 AM).

Both Briere and his son survived and have been released after being taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries.  According to police, Briere said he was "a little drowsy; he was ticketed for an unsafe lane change.

Briere issued a statement through the Flyers webpage expressing his appreciation for the concern but asks that the media respects his privacy:
“I was in a car accident in New York," said Briere. "I was driving home to visit family and friends back in Canada when I got into an accident [Wednesday] night. My youngest son (Cameron) and I are both okay. We are doing fine.”

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

2009
Mario Lemieux receives the National Order of Quebec (the most prestigious honor in the province) and confered the rank of Knight upon Lemieux

1998
Pittsburgh obtain German Titov and Todd Hlushko from the Calgary Flames for Ken Wregget and Dave Roche

1993
Mario Lemieux wins the Hart Memorial Trophy, the Art Ross Trophy, the Masterton Trophy, and the Lester B. Pearson Award

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Penguins Pre-Season Schedule Released

The Penguins released their pre-season schedule today; a total of six games starting on September 22nd with half of those being played at home.

The VERY FIRST GAME to be played at the new Consol Energy Center will be on Wednesday, September 22nd against the Detroit Red Wings at 7:00 PM!!

2010 PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE:
Wednesday, September 22nd against Detroit (7:00 PM)
Friday, September 24th at Columbus (TBD)
Saturday, September 25th against COLUMBUS (7:00 PM)
Tuesday, September 28th against CHICAGO (7:00 PM) 
Friday, October 1st at Chicago (TBD)
Sunday, October 3rd at Detroit (TBD)

Pittsburgh Confirms Yeo to Head Coach Aeros

Earlier this afternoon, the Penguins announced on their webpage that the assistant coach, Mike Yeo, was hired as the head coach of the Houston Aeros - AHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild.

“I am really pleased for Mike Yeo,” Bylsma said. “We all have aspirations and Mike has them to be a head coach. He has had the opportunity to learn here and in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton with different head coaches. You can see the progression and the quality of coach that he is. For him to get recognized and get that opportunity in a place where people know he is a quality person is great for Mike.”

This seems to come as a surprise since Shero made it clear that he was happy with the coaching staff and there would be no changes made for this upcoming season.  However, this is a pretty good opportunity for Yeo and I think it's a decision he was presented with (and not because there were other pressures), so it was the right time and a good deal for Yeo.

It will be interesting to see how this changes the dynamic of the team especially the power play.  As much as I don't enjoy free agency and this time of year with all the changes, I am anxious to see how they manifest out on the ice!!  You never know what you have just the right fit to make a good thing GREAT!!!  We shall see!!

Yeo Heading to Houston

According to the Houston Chronicle (along with Russo's Rants of the Star Tribune), "a person close to the situation has learned" that Mike Yeo will be named head coach of the Aeros; specualtion is that the announcement will be made sometime today.

The Houston Aeros is the AHL affiliated of the Minnesota Wild and he will replace Kevin Constantine and become the eigth head coach in the team's history.

Yeo played for the Aeros for five seasons from 1994-95 through 1998-99 helping them to win the IHL's Turner Cup as team captain in 1999.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

2000
Jaromir Jagr wins the Lester B. Pearson Award for the second straight year


1993
Jack Kelley named Penguins president

1988
Mario Lemieux wins the Lester B. Pearson Award for the second time in his career

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pens Sign AHL Defenseman

The Penguins just reported on their webpage that they signed WB / S Baby Pens defenseman Steve Wagner to a one-year, two-way contract that will pay him $500,000 at the NHL level.

Wagner was acquired from St. Louis in exchange for Nate Guenin back in February of this year.

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

2007
Sidney Crosby earns the Hart Trophy (league MVP) and becomes the youngest player to be awarded the Lester B. Pearson trophy

Evgeni Malkin wins the Calder Trophy (rookie of the year)


1997
Kevin Constantine becomes the Penguins new head coach

1988
Pierre Creamer's time as the Penguins head coach ends

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Gonchar is Likely to Test Free Agency

According to TIOPS, Gonchar is most likely to test free agency before making a decision on whether or not to return to Pittsburgh.  Its felt that, despite his age, there is alot of interest for Gonch (of course there is!) and I'd be really disappointed to see him go to another team, for sure!!  I know he's "old" in terms of a hockey player, but I believe he still has alot to offer the Penguins and it will ultimately be our loss if he does not come back!!

Other interesting players who are said to try free agency are Ray Whitney (Hurricanes), Colby Armstrong (Thrashers), and Raffi Torres (Sabres).  And its speculated that Maxim Afinogenov is seeking a multi-year deal, but Atlanta is not willing to commit to 2-3 years so Afinogenov is also likely to test free agency.

Could it be possible that Colby will return to Pittsburgh?  I think its unlikely, but you never know!  This will definitely be an interesting off-season as far as free agency goes!

Phoenix Coyotes Organization Among Many Mourning Loss

Last Friday, the Phoenix Coyotes released a statement regarding the sudden death of the team's long-time massage therapist, Jukka Nieminen:
The Phoenix Coyotes are saddened to report the tragic passing of the team’s long-time massage therapist, Jukka Nieminen, earlier today.
On behalf of the entire Coyotes organization, we extend our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt condolences to Jukka’s family and friends.
The family asks for privacy at this difficult time.
After reading this, I decided to search the internet for more information and found an article on FSArizona that reported an even sadder part to this story:
The sad irony is that he has family and friends from literally all over the world were gathering in Rhode Island for what was supposed to be his wedding ceremony that was to take place on Saturday.
Nieminen was only 37 years old and leaves behind his fiancĂ©, Amy, and two children, Alexandra and Caroline.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family as well as the entire Coyotes organization!!

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

1977
Johnny Wilson takes over as Penguins head coach

1975
the Penguins declared bankruptcy and the doors of the Civic Arena are padlocked by the IRS

Friday, June 11, 2010

Orpik Undergoes Surgery Today

The Penguins webpage reported earlier that Brooks Orpik underwent a successful surgery today in Boston to repair a sports hernia that he suffered from for nearly half the season.

His rehabilitation is expected to last about 4-6 weeks and should be ready to go for the start of the season.

According to Sports Illustrated, a sports hernia is "a weakening of the muscles or tendon in the lower abdomen."

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Third Time's the Charm for Hossa - Blackhawks Win Cup!

No, I'm not bitter and I had to get over the Hossa issue pretty quickly so that I didn't have to cheer on the Filthidelphia Flyers (I'll "forgive," but I won't forget ... ever!).

I'm happy for the Blackhawks, I'm happy for Hossa ... end of story; now lets move on (I'm ready for some Penguins hockey!)!!!

I didn't watch much of the final games ... some here and there (I LOVE hockey, but my heart just wasn't in it ... and my "heart" is the Pens!).  I was lucky enough to see Kane score the winning goal in overtime last night and how the celebration was unceremonious for a few minutes before everyone else (aside from Kane and Leighton) realized the puck was in the net.  I'm not a big fan of Kane, but you gotta admit, the kid is good and that was pretty sweet!!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (THANKS for beating the Flyers and, as a friend so eloquently put it, wiping the smug look off of Pronger's face!)!!

LET'S GO PENS!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Penguins Sign Forward Nick Johnson

The Penguins webpage just announced that they've signed forward Nick Johnson to a one-year, two-way contract paying him $500,000 at the NHL level.  This deal is good for the 2010-2011 season.

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History









1989
Mario Lemieux won his second consecutive Art Ross Trophy as the league's top scorer with 199 points

Saturday, June 5, 2010

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

1994
the Pittsburgh Phantoms played (and won by a score of 10-5) their first game against the New England Stingers at the Cumberland County Civic Center with a crowd of 2,467 fans (the franchise's first goal was scored by Trevor Buchanan)

1967
the Penguins franchise joined the National Hockey League

Friday, June 4, 2010

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

2009
the Penguins beat Detroit to tie the series at two games with Crosby and Malkin each scoring a goal and an assist and Staal scoring a short-handed goal

2008
Detroit eliminated the Penguins in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final (by a score of 3-2) making it the latest post-season game played by Pittsburgh (previously held by a game the Pens beat the Blackhawks to win the Cup on June 1, 1992; the record would later be held by their Game 7 Stanley Cup final win over Detroit in 2009 on June 12th)

1988
Pierre Creamer was named Penguins head coach

1984
Bob Berry replaces Penguins head coach Lou Angotti; Angotti holds the lowest winning percentage of any Penguins coach in team history (.238 and winning only 16 games in his only season with Pittsburgh)

1981
Randy Carlyle wins the Norris Trophy and Rick Kehoe wins the Lady Byng Trophy

Thursday, June 3, 2010

On this Date in Pittsburgh Penguins History

1981

Penguins defenseman Randy Carlyle was named to NHL First All-Star Team.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pens to Hold "Student Flush" at CONSOL Energy Center

It is commonly known that plumbing in new [larger] buildings such as the CONSOL Energy Center and all stadiums and arenas must undergo a test to make sure the urinal and toilet pumps can handle the water flow (I learned about it back when they built Heinz Field and my husband explained it to me!).

Well, the Pens organization thought it would be fun to make it an event involving fans making up an important part of the market for their very popular "Student Rush."

On Thursday, June 10th at 4:00 PM, 125 students along with a friend as well as 200 representatives from the companies involved in the building of the new arena (PJ Dick Hunt and McKamish) for a total of 400 participants will be simultaneously flushing the toilets at the new arena ... thus the "Student Flush" promotion.

LUCKY students participating in the "Student Flush" will receive a free t-shirt featuring the event logo on the front and a current or former Penguins player’s name and number on the back --- how cool is that?!!!

Phil Bourque will be on hond to emcee the event along with Iceburgh for entertainment and the organization will provide pizza and beverages for participants after the event.

“I don’t know that anyone has ever done a promotion around the required simultaneous flushing of the toilets in a new facility, but we thought we could have some fun with it,” said David Morehouse, president of the Penguins. “Students make up such a large part of our fan base that we thought we’d offer them a chance to participate and help us out. People probably don’t even know that this is a requirement, but you have to do it once in every new arena.”
For more information and to learn how to enter (must be a local Pittsburgh student age 18 or older), CLICK HERE to visit the Penguins webpage!

Free Agency and Off-Season Injury Rundown

In a recent article posted on the PPG, they interviewed Penguins GM Ray Shero who shared some insight into what is in store for this off-season.

Both Brooks Orpik and Chris Kunitz were playing through injuries they suffered in the remaining months of the season and into the playoffs.  While its believed that Kunitz is most likely able to rehab his torn groin muscle without surgery, Orpik will likely face surgery for his abdominal area and his status for pre-season and the beginning of 2010-2011 is uncertain.

There doesn't appear to be any concerns with the coaching staff as far as Shero is concerned although with the number of players becoming UFA, it is highly likely that a few won't be returning to the Penguins organization.
"I'm very happy with our coaching staff," he said -- "but there could be some roster turnover with eight players eligible for unrestricted free agency if they are not re-signed by July 1."
Here's a summary of the future of a few of Pittsburgh's UFA according to Shero's interview by the PPG:
  • Sergei Gonchar - Shero's top priority
    • "He's one of the better defensemen in the league still," Shero said. "It's trying to find the right fit, cap-wise and with term. ... Once we get more into it, we'll find out if we can make a fit."
  • Matt Cooke - another of Shero's higher priorities
  • Ruslan Fedotenko - not likely to be resigned (seemingly this past season's "Sykora")
    • "I think [Fedotenko] will probably will look elsewhere," Shero said.
  • Jay McKee - not likely to be resigned
    • "Jay McKee probably wants to play a higher level, but we're still talking," Shero said.
  • Alexei Ponikarovsky - surprisingly Shero is considering the possibility of resigning him
    • "I don't think we've closed the door on [Ponikarovsky]," Shero said. "We have to see how things work out for us.  "Why it didn't work, we don't know, but whether it's with us or somebody else, he'll bounce back."
  • Bill Guerin - has made it clear that he wants to continue to play as a Penguin

Crosby to Hit Reebok Jackpot

THN.com is reporting that its been confirmed by "multiple sources" that Sid is set to sign a new deal with Reebok which would make him the highest paid player (in terms of endorsements) in NHL history.
Crosby’s new deal with Reebok is said to be worth almost $10 million over the next seven years. Crosby’s agent, Pat Brisson, would not discuss the financial aspect of the deal and said it is not completed yet, “but things are going in the right direction.”

Sources say the deal is for between five and seven years and will pay him $1.4 million a season. That would make Crosby easily the highest-paid player ever in terms of endorsements. Considering Crosby also has endorsement deals with Bell, Tim Hortons and Gatorade, it’s guaranteed the new deal would pay him in endorsements alone more than the NHL’s average salary of $2.1 million.
Reebok has bigger plans for Crosby than just endorsing the typical hockey equipment especially since he already has his own athletic clothing line and has endorsed their new Zig Tech sneakers.

Good for Sid ... appropriate behavior on and off the "playing field" should be rewarded!!!