Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday Night

Ross McKeon has slowly become a go-to columnist at Yahoo NHL.

He handed out first-quarter awards. [ Yahoo ]
  • Best team: Ottawa
  • Worst team: Washington
  • Best division: Atlantic
  • Worst division: Pacific
  • MVP East: Henrik Lundqvist
  • MVP West: Henrik Zetterberg
Prediction: Winter Classic on January 1st will be snowed out.


And that brings us to the Pens first-quarter review.
( We're not gonna go in-depth, because if you're reading this, it means you're a fan and you know what's going on with the Pens. )

They're in the basement of the Atlantic Division.
Nothing exciting about that.

Biggest Surprise:

Ryan Malone?
He's averaged 20 goals per season in his career, and he's on pace for 20-25 this season.

But he's never gotten out of the gate as fast as he's done this season.

Honorable Jobber -- Dany Sabourin

Biggest Disappointment:


It's an argument that probably split family members on Thanksgiving, but it's true.

Honorable Jobber(s) -- Mark Recchi, Gary Roberts


We don't even know what time we're waking up tomorrow, so we sure as hell don't know what an entity that we have no control over will do over the next 4.5 months.

We think it's safe to say the Pens will go 60-0-0 the rest of the way.


The Pens will sign The Haitian to play on Crosby's wing during the writer's strike.

Eric Politowski brings the noise with all of the Pens fights this season.


In another Ross McKeon article, he asked who should be your first draft pick if you were starting an NHL team from scratch. McKeon picks Sid. [ Yahoo ]

The quote of the year is from that article:

"If I was to start a hockey franchise and I had the first pick overall, I'd take Vinny [ Lecavalier ]."
-- Former NHL coach Pat Burns

Keyword is "former."


David Amber over at ESPN did another top-10 list. [ ESPN ]
This one was about which players are soaking up too much of their respective teams' salary cap.

No Pens on the list.

And number one went to Zdeno Chara.
Is he seriously making $7.5 mill a year? Wow.


And that brings us to the Pens.
Salary numbers courtesy of [ ]

Roberts and Recchi will most likely retire following this season.
If that's the case, that frees up $4.5 million.
Which is about roughly $15 mill under the cap.

The Pens will need that to sign some of these unrestricted free agents in the offseason:

Ryan Malone
Georges Laraque
Jarkko Ruutu
Adam Hall
Mark Eaton
Brooks Orpik
Kris Letang

And then they also have to worry about re-signing restricted free agent Marc-Andre Fleury.

Big names in the free-agent market following this season:

Marian Hossa
Jose Theodore
Pavol Demitra
Miro Satan
Henrik Lundqvist
Markus Naslund

If that website is accurate as balls, then the Pens are still paying off the residuals of these contracts during the 07-08 season:

Andre Roy -- $1.0 mill
Sebastien Caron -- $120,000
Shane Endicott (shudder) -- $9,200

The Pens currently have the 5th lowest payroll in the NHL.
Two years ago, they had the lowest payroll, and it was a reasonable excuse as to why the Pens were licking goat balls.

They have the 5th lowest this season, but that isn't brought up as an excuse as to why they are faltering this season.


Other salary-cap anomalies:
(The cap is $50.3 million, but there's rules about bonuses and injured-reserve and crap that puts numbers over the cap. )

Edmonton has the 4th-highest payroll at $50 mill. [ Edmonton Payroll ]
But that's with Kevin (B)lowe at the helm, giving egregious contracts to Sheldon Souray, Ales Hemsky, Dustin Penner, Ethan Moreau, and the list goes on.

Anaheim goaltenders take up more space than any other team's goalies. [ Anaheim Payroll ]
Their backup goalie is hitting the cap for $2.2 mill this season.

Brad Richards is hitting Tampa Bay's payroll for $7.8 mill this season, tops in the league.
Freddy Meyer of the Islanders is making a lowly $263,000 this season.
[ League-wide salary rankings ]

Go Pens


Nicholas said...

If the Pens are only 15million under the cap, they need to remember that Staal + Malkin come up the next year. Whitney/Crosby/Malkin/Staal are the 4 most important names, and 2 of them are locked up. Need to work around them I'd say.

Anonymous said...

hmmm, who is worried about Fleury?, he did ok last year but there are enough goalies around doing better for way less money then him.

FritoWill said...

who the hell is Brad Richards???

His mother doesn't even know who he is!

The Hebrew Hammer said...

I wonder how low on the list Pat Burns would be if all NHL GM's had to pick one coach to start their team with? Assclown.

tecmo_bowl_bo_jackson said...

This comment has been removed because it linked to malicious content. Learn more.

Nicholas said...

7.8 for Brad is ridiculous, but he is pretty incredible.

I feel Tampa is very closely tied to the Pens. (Lecavalier + St. Louis like Malkin + Crosby), Richards like Staal (or what Staal should be turning into, prob. minus the Conn Smythe), trouble with their D and Goaltending

Chicago seems to be the new Penguins. Kane and Toews are insanely fun to watch rookies, and the team is over-achieving.
At least it's better than the Roenick+Belfour+Chelious Chicago days.

All that aside, I think you can really expect Malkin to make at least 7 when he resigns (he's already at 3.8 according to, so theres another 3.2.

Staal is an anomaly. Have to see how things pan out, but we need those guys locked up longterm before we really get an idea what kind of cap room we are looking at

The Seeker said...

Some Food For Thought:

The Pens went into Ottawa Thursday 13th in the Eastern Conference with an 8-11-2 record and only 18 points.


Ottawa was just 9-11-1 with 19 points after 21 games last season. They finished '06-'07 at 48-25-9 with 105 points, and reached the Stanley Cup final.

(The Senators' 70 points after Christmas tied with Vancouver for most in the NHL. The Penguins were third with 69).

Translation: It ain't over till it's over!

PS: Sabu > MAF

J.S. said...

I might be at tonight's game. Won a pair of tickets at the last minute, but dude is being kinda sketchy about it. Says he has to call a friend, then he'll email em.

If he doesn't get a hold of the friend, he'll call the Pens office and leave them for me at will call. What doesn't make sense is why doesn't he just leave them at will call instead of calling the friend and having them emailed to me?

If I don't get jobbed out of the tickets, I'll try to get some pics tonight.

Jonny V said...

We'll have to make sure the Pens know about Staalkin's contract situation nicholas, thank God u brought it up. If they became free agents, teams would really want them!

And concerning Staal, I know the some of commentblog has been giving some in depth analysis on his season so far ("He sucks!", and "can we send him back to the minors?" are examples). But ol' stinkynuts Molinari might have put it into proper perspective. (second question down). For as little as he is scoring, his plus/minus is not awful and at the very least he's not neglecting his defensive duties. And he's fucking 19 years old. Some of yinz still haven't even mastered the finer points of masturbation at that age. Cut the kid some slack.


Nicholas said...

"We'll have to make sure the Pens know about Staalkin's contract situation nicholas, thank God u brought it up. If they became free agents, teams would really want them!"

I don't think it's really any big secret, I just don't want to have our situation be like what happened with Buffalo/Anaheim

Not the Briere/Drury thing, Malkin & Staal are RFA, so we can match any deal. I mean the Vanek/Pennier situation.
Malkin is worth the 7+ million they threw at Vanek, but I don't think Staal would be. Like I said a player like Staal (Solid D, good PK, young, loads of offensive potential) could be tough to gauge and I don't want Kevin (B)lowe telling us what we should be paying.

Still, we should all remember that the situation we are in is loads better than years ago when our future talent was Morozov and Kraft. Remember to sit back and enjoy the ride a little.

Also a little food for thought...
It'll be interesting to see what Ovechkin signs for.

Also, Phaneuf hasn't resigned yet, and IMHO, he's the best D in the league besides Lidstrom & Pronger (and he's not even 25). I'd give my right hand for a shot at him

wilsmith said...

johnny v speaks in truths.


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