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What's next for the Pens?


Guest B21
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So now what?

I thought the Pens had a real chance at Parise. Not to be however. I never liked our chances for Suter and with the Pens' organizational depth at D, I didn't think he made a whole lot of sense...at least not nearly as much as Parise did.

Pens' PG beat man Dave Molinari tweeted that Shero will now explore the trade market to try and land a winger for Crosby's line. For starters, here is how I see the roster looking come opening night against the Isles...

Dupuis / Crosby / ???

Neal / Malkin / Kunitz

Cooke / Sutter / Kennedy

Adams / Vitale / Glass

Jeffrey

Letang / Orpik

Niskanen / Martin

Depres / Engelland

Lovejoy

Fleury

Vokoun

1st to come up for injuries are Tangradi (F) and Strait (D). McIntyre sits in the AHL until needed (i.e. - the 1st Flyers game).

That roster as configured has about $10,300,000 is cap space. Assuming you want to leave a $1 - $2 million cusion, that leaves $8,000,000 to spend.

The lone F/A winger of note is Semin. Ryan and Nash are the biggest names that are available via trade. I doubt Ryan comes to Pittsburgh for the same reasons Parise avoided the Rangers.

Nash makes the most sense. However, with his cap hit the Pens "likely" lose the ability to bring back some combination of Kennedy, Cooke, Dupuis and Adams for 2013-14. All are F/A after this year...Kennedy the lone RFA. All taking some sort of hometown discount now. If they are content at their current numbers, adding Nash won't kill the Pens' cap. That said, even with a hometown discount this time around all would be due raises that would make re-signing them all impossible.

(Thinking VERY long term - Kunitz will be the player sacrificed to fit the big raise due Letang in 2014-15. Orpik and Niskanen are not brought back and some combination of Joe Morrow, Derek Pouliot, Olli Maatta and Brian Doumalin step in...all at cap friendly numbers.)

Ideally, a $5,000,000 winger fits best right now. So no Nash. No Ryan. Doan is staying in Phoenix. That leaves....Semin (moment to allow all to throw up).

I know. Mercurial Russian. Coach killer. Plays no D. "What's so special about Crosby?". Disappears in the playoffs.

All that being said - and with his TSN beat down fresh in everyone's mind - is he worth the risk of a 1-year deal at no more than $5,000,000? I'd try it. Low risk. High reward. Few other options. If Semin wants a long term deal from anyone, he'll be a good soldier for 1 season to prove that he can shed his reputation. The Pens go into another offseason looking for that elusive scoring winder for Crosby with a much better F/A class (as of now) to pick from. I see it as win/win.

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Pitts will be the same as the Flyers- status quo. Its actually ok. There is no need to waste money this summer for either team. Both teams need a couple of players. Doan is going to get PAID if Phoenix is unstable (I think that date is 7-7). You guys don't need a RW as much as we do. If we get Doan, look the eff out!!!. Carle will do what he is going to do (an probably re-sign with the Flyers). That is all we REALLY need to do. How Pitts- what do you REALLY need to do??

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Pitts will be the same as the Flyers- status quo. Its actually ok. There is no need to waste money this summer for either team. Both teams need a couple of players. Doan is going to get PAID if Phoenix is unstable (I think that date is 7-7). You guys don't need a RW as much as we do. If we get Doan, look the eff out!!!. Carle will do what he is going to do (an probably re-sign with the Flyers). That is all we REALLY need to do. How Pitts- what do you REALLY need to do??

First point I agree...no need to spend money just to spend money. That said, the Pens really do need a winger to play along side Crosby. If they get that, everything else "falls" into place. Kennedy...most often mentioned as the best option...stays on the 3rd line. All I ask is someone who can finish. Semin fits that bill. I wouldn't break the bank for him. If a 1-year deal is an option, the Pens should consider that. A winger is about our only need.

Doan is staying if the Coyotes are staying and we all know the Coyotes are staying. On the off chance Doan ends up in the O&B, I really wouldn't be too concerned. Doan replaces Jagr. Different styles but the points were the same.

Now it looks like you need a winger and a top pairing d-man. Paul Martin is available. ;)

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First point I agree...no need to spend money just to spend money. That said, the Pens really do need a winger to play along side Crosby. If they get that, everything else "falls" into place. Kennedy...most often mentioned as the best option...stays on the 3rd line. All I ask is someone who can finish. Semin fits that bill. I wouldn't break the bank for him. If a 1-year deal is an option, the Pens should consider that. A winger is about our only need.

Doan is staying if the Coyotes are staying and we all know the Coyotes are staying. On the off chance Doan ends up in the O&B, I really wouldn't be too concerned. Doan replaces Jagr. Different styles but the points were the same.

Now it looks like you need a winger and a top pairing d-man. Paul Martin is available. ;)

First- great post. I actually agree with most everthing you stated.

What is the current situation in Phoenix now??

If the Phoenix situation does not get resolved (i believe by 7-7), then I venture that Doan will be the 1st line RW for the Flyers. I think he would / will add a dynamic to that line to make them equally or more dangerous than with Jagr.

On the D side, you are right, but its ok. Let our kids play some more. Our weakness is on the 5/ 6 pairing and injury. But I think most teams can claim that.

How do you feel about your team?? We need a RW and a LW and a 6th dman imho. What about Pitts?? What do you guys need??

p.s.

Oh and we need a starting goalie- ooops did I say that?

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First- great post. I actually agree with most everthing you stated.

What is the current situation in Phoenix now??

If the Phoenix situation does not get resolved (i believe by 7-7), then I venture that Doan will be the 1st line RW for the Flyers. I think he would / will add a dynamic to that line to make them equally or more dangerous than with Jagr.

On the D side, you are right, but its ok. Let our kids play some more. Our weakness is on the 5/ 6 pairing and injury. But I think most teams can claim that.

How do you feel about your team?? We need a RW and a LW and a 6th dman imho. What about Pitts?? What do you guys need??

p.s.

Oh and we need a starting goalie- ooops did I say that?

On Phoenix, I'm just going on what I read here. The general opinion is that they stay put which means Doan stays put. He's just waiting to "make sure".

Ryan makes more sense than Doan for the Flyers. THAT would piss me off which means it's a good move for your guys. But he is not going to come cheap. The Canes knew they could sign Staal next year and still gave up a promising center in Sutter, the 8th overall pick and a nice d-man prospect. Ryan "should" command the same in a trade...maybe more. That means Braydon Schenn or Courturier. The Flyers aren't getting Ryan for a bunch of spare parts.

As for the Pens....I feel good. Aside from the Rangers, the rest of the division got weaker...so far. The Devils lost Parise. The Flyers lost Jagr, JVR, Bob and Carle and replaced them with Luke Schenn and Leighton. Ouch. You still have the Bryzaster, Pronger appears to be done and Timmonen is running on fumes. The Isles....who cares.

All the Pens need is that winger...not that they grow on trees. We have our own "Bobby Ryan"....R.J. Umberger. You know...the hometown guy whose name always comes up in trade rumors. I think he would come at a fairly reasonable price. He has $4,600,000 cap hit for two more seasons. A trade for Umberger keeps the Pens about $7,000,000 under the cap headed into the season. Just another name to throw out there...

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On Phoenix, I'm just going on what I read here. The general opinion is that they stay put which means Doan stays put. He's just waiting to "make sure".

Ryan makes more sense than Doan for the Flyers. THAT would piss me off which means it's a good move for your guys. But he is not going to come cheap. The Canes knew they could sign Staal next year and still gave up a promising center in Sutter, the 8th overall pick and a nice d-man prospect. Ryan "should" command the same in a trade...maybe more. That means Braydon Schenn or Courturier. The Flyers aren't getting Ryan for a bunch of spare parts.

As for the Pens....I feel good. Aside from the Rangers, the rest of the division got weaker...so far. The Devils lost Parise. The Flyers lost Jagr, JVR, Bob and Carle and replaced them with Luke Schenn and Leighton. Ouch. You still have the Bryzaster, Pronger appears to be done and Timmonen is running on fumes. The Isles....who cares.

All the Pens need is that winger...not that they grow on trees. We have our own "Bobby Ryan"....R.J. Umberger. You know...the hometown guy whose name always comes up in trade rumors. I think he would come at a fairly reasonable price. He has $4,600,000 cap hit for two more seasons. A trade for Umberger keeps the Pens about $7,000,000 under the cap headed into the season. Just another name to throw out there...

I think you might be over-valuing Ryan a bit. He has 3 years left on his contract and then is a UFA. I am not giving either a Schenn (Brayden) or a Couturier for him. If he had a longer deal, I might give a top guy for him and picks / prospects. But I think Schenn is going to be really good (ala Richards type of player). Couturier is going to be a superstar. Mark my words on that. Few players can play defense the way he can. The thing is we have not even seen his offense yet (which he is equally adept to) as that was not his role on the team.

I personally do not see the value of giving a Schenn / Couturier to get Ryan. Truthfully, I would rather have Nash, but there goes more assets than Ryan to get him. It is funny you mention Umberger- because THAT is a guy I would go and get. It would not cost a core stud on the team to get him and would provide a versatile big body type that we need. I don't think he is first line material- so perhaps you could move Voracek to the first line and plug a Umberger on the second / third line.

I wish the Flyers never traded him (umberger). Yet, that trade got us Lucas Sbisa (which helped to get Pronger for better or worse) and Bourdon (both as draft picks). So, in that light, I would do that again. Umberger is a great character guy. I feel bad that he has gutted it out (willingly) in Columbus for so long. I would be EXTREMELY bummed if Pitts got him. Who do you have to get him??

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@Vanflyer

<< I think you might be over-valuing Ryan a bit. He has 3 years left on his contract and then is a UFA. I am not giving either a Schenn (Brayden) or a Couturier for him. If he had a longer deal, I might give a top guy for him and picks / prospects. But I think Schenn is going to be really good (ala Richards type of player). Couturier is going to be a superstar. Mark my words on that. Few players can play defense the way he can. The thing is we have not even seen his offense yet (which he is equally adept to) as that was not his role on the team. >>

Therein lies the debate on Ryan. I see 3 years at a reasonable cap hit as a positive. You see otherwise. Truth be told, that's why he would cost so much i/m/o. I think Staal is a fair comparison. Even though he only had 1 year left, the Canes knew they could sign him long term. Ryan has 3 years left and I'm sure he'll stay in Philly for less than market value when his deal is up. Is that worth a Schenn or Couturier? That depends...do you want a Cup now or 3-4 years from now? Couturier was at 13G/14A/27PTS last year. Schenn over a full season projected to about 17G/12A/29 PTS. Slightly worse than Giroux's numbers in his first year...09/10. And Giroux had the benefit of half a season on 08/09. It's reasonable to assume that it's a full 2-3 seasons before Schenn and Couturier hit their full scoring potential. Can the Flyers wait that long? Very debateable. With an average D and a very below average netminder, the Flyers need to score. Jagr is gone. Can you count on Hartnell to have a 2nd career year? Another 37 goals and 60 plus points when he only topped those numbers once before? They are called "career years" for a reason. Is Matt Read good for another 25 goals? Does Briere continue to regress or does he return to being a 30 goal scorer? Do you really think Talbot scores 19 goals again? I think Voracek gave you what you expected and you can count on similar numbers from him moving forward....15-20 goals and 50 points. Ditto Simmonds. At the end of the day I think the Flyers as a whole overachieved last season. I don't think you can count on similar numbers from Hartnell and Talbot. Briere is not the same scoring threat he once was. Jagr is gone. You know what you get from Voracek, Giroux and Simmonds. Based on all of that, I think you need to add more scoring. If you can wait a few years, great. If not, Ryan makes sense.

So do you hope that Schenn and/or Courturier pick up the slack? Or do you add Ryan KNOWING that he will pick up the slack? Glad I am not Holmgren. :)

<< I wish the Flyers never traded him (umberger). Yet, that trade got us Lucas Sbisa (which helped to get Pronger for better or worse) and Bourdon (both as draft picks). So, in that light, I would do that again. Umberger is a great character guy. I feel bad that he has gutted it out (willingly) in Columbus for so long. I would be EXTREMELY bummed if Pitts got him. Who do you have to get him?? >>

To get Umberger? Lots of depth on the blue line. Would depend on if they wanted a proven commodity or a prospect(s).

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@B21

Another quality post. I do think the Flyers overachieved last year. While saying that, I also think they overcame tremendous adversity with injuries that allowed allot of kids to play allot more minutes than they would have.

1) I don't think Read is a flash in the pan. He ran out of gas for sure, otherwise he would have been a Calder finalist (and probably should have been anyway). I expect him to elevate his game even more this year.

2) B. Schenn- Good points. He had a injury riddled year. I do expect him to put 40+ points this year.

3) Courturier- His role was shut down the hole way. You have to keep in mind that he scored 103 points not once, but twice in Juniors- WHILE playing his defensive game. His role last season was not to be a scorer. But make no mistake, he is a stud. He is TWO times the player that J. Staal is (and you know I like J. Staal). I expect 40+ points from him this year.

4) Briere- He is an enigma to me. He needs certain types of line mates to be successful. Also, throughout his career, after and "off" year he has a good year. The thing is that he has become much more defensively responsible than his early years. I expect 60 points of him this year- IF he can get a good pairing on his line.

5) Hartnell- I don't think he will get the goals again. I see him getting 55 pts this year. It is a contract year for him- and his personal life has been cleaned up. He has matured and knows what he needs to do to be successful now. He was one of the guys that really benefitted from Jagr. He was working out with Jagr in the gym AFTER games. The goals will dip a bit- depending on how the RW is filled on that line.

6) Simmonds- I think he is only going to get better. He was the diamond in the rough on the Richards trade. If he can add about 5lbs of muscle, he will be a great 2nd line winger. I expect his numbers to be the same.

7) Talbot- He was the benefit of the depth on forward of the Flyers. He may drop back down to 15g-or less, but the others above will carry that difference.

8) Voracek- I think you are selling him WAY short. I don't think he is a good combo with Giroux, but he is most definitely going to be top RW material either this year or next. He is going to progress this year. I see 55 points from him.

I am not worried about the offensive points as much as I am needing a sizeable winger to play with Giroux that can finish. Voracek could be that guy, but their skills overlap too much (on the set-up side) for my liking. The negative to Voraceks game (and the only one I have) is he does not have a good shot AND is ALWAYS a pass first guy. Giroux needs guys on his wing that will finish.

So, we come full circle to Ryan. JVR and Bobsky were the guys to get that deal done. I could maybe give B. Schenn up, but I am not so sure. What I truly think is that even with Ryan THIS year, the Flyers don't win the cup. With Doan- they have a shot- only because they don't have to give up Schenn. We need two wings with some size and a 3/4 dman.

Corey Perry is going to look GREAT in O&B NEXT year. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for nothing. Ryan is a really nice player and home town kid, but I will take Perry 7 days a week and twice on Sunday over him as a UFA while retaining my assets.

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@Vanflyer

<< Another quality post. I do think the Flyers overachieved last year. While saying that, I also think they overcame tremendous adversity with injuries that allowed allot of kids to play allot more minutes than they would have. >>

Thanks! Props for the "kids" responding but the only two who have the potential to be real difference makers are Schenn and Courturier and that's still a few years away...so we are back to Ryan or those guys reaching their full potential 2-3 years from now.

<< 1) I don't think Read is a flash in the pan. He ran out of gas for sure, otherwise he would have been a Calder finalist (and probably should have been anyway). I expect him to elevate his game even more this year. >>

50/50. I would not be shocked either way but you can't just pencil him in for another 25 goals. Too much uncertainty.

<< 2) B. Schenn- Good points. He had a injury riddled year. I do expect him to put 40+ points this year. >>

Not a big improvement. 10 points. You need more scoring from him to offset no Jagr and (i/m/o) the expected drop offs from Hartnell, Talbot and Read...and maybe Briere though anything lower than last year spells trouble for him.

<< 3) Courturier- His role was shut down the hole way. You have to keep in mind that he scored 103 points not once, but twice in Juniors- WHILE playing his defensive game. His role last season was not to be a scorer. But make no mistake, he is a stud. He is TWO times the player that J. Staal is (and you know I like J. Staal). I expect 40+ points from him this year. >>

Staal had 27 goals his rookie year playing the same role Courturier did. He had 22/27/49 in that role the year they won they Cup. He might have the potential to be Jordan Staal someday, but until he reaches that, Staal is the easy pick. Staal was 25/25/50 in only 62 games last year. That's 30/30 in a full season playing the shut down role and big time PK minutes. He's not there yet...not even close. I need to see it from Courturier before he gets that comparison. Someday, you'll have to pay him like Jordan Staal, too. :) Also, if Staal is the progression model used for Courturier, then it's even more than 2-3 before that full scoring potential is reached. This was Staal's 6th season.

<< 4) Briere- He is an enigma to me. He needs certain types of line mates to be successful. Also, throughout his career, after and "off" year he has a good year. The thing is that he has become much more defensively responsible than his early years. I expect 60 points of him this year- IF he can get a good pairing on his line. >>

Fair but....

<< 5) Hartnell- I don't think he will get the goals again. I see him getting 55 pts this year. It is a contract year for him- and his personal life has been cleaned up. He has matured and knows what he needs to do to be successful now. He was one of the guys that really benefitted from Jagr. He was working out with Jagr in the gym AFTER games. The goals will dip a bit- depending on how the RW is filled on that line. >>

Also fair but...

<< 6) Simmonds- I think he is only going to get better. He was the diamond in the rough on the Richards trade. If he can add about 5lbs of muscle, he will be a great 2nd line winger. I expect his numbers to be the same. >>

Diamond - yes. But I think he reached his ceiling. 25-30 goals per year.

<< 7) Talbot- He was the benefit of the depth on forward of the Flyers. He may drop back down to 15g-or less, but the others above will carry that difference. >>

Fair. I think he's closer to 10-12 though. But....

<< 8) Voracek- I think you are selling him WAY short. I don't think he is a good combo with Giroux, but he is most definitely going to be top RW material either this year or next. He is going to progress this year. I see 55 points from him. >>

....it seems like we agree on the expected production in most cases. About the same for Schenn and Courturier. Less from Tablot...I see a few goals less than you. Less from Hartnell. Same from Briere which wasn't much. Same from Simmonds. Disagree on Voracek. I see the same. You see more. Still need to replace Jagr. Reasonable to expect more from Giroux? I think so...but not "make up for Jagr" more. Add it all up and i/m/o the writing on the wall points to Ryan. I think a deal involving Schenn gets it done but I can see the Ducks wanting Courturier instead.

<< I am not worried about the offensive points as much as I am needing a sizeable winger to play with Giroux that can finish. Voracek could be that guy, but their skills overlap too much (on the set-up side) for my liking. The negative to Voraceks game (and the only one I have) is he does not have a good shot AND is ALWAYS a pass first guy. Giroux needs guys on his wing that will finish. >>

Voracek is sizeable but doesn't play that way. He's not a banger. Ryan is. Add that to why he (JV) and Giroux may not be a fit.

<< So, we come full circle to Ryan. JVR and Bobsky were the guys to get that deal done. I could maybe give B. Schenn up, but I am not so sure. What I truly think is that even with Ryan THIS year, the Flyers don't win the cup. With Doan- they have a shot- only because they don't have to give up Schenn. We need two wings with some size and a 3/4 dman. >>

There's your answer and it's a good one. If the realistic thought is that the Flyers aren't contenders this year and last year was due mostly to the stars aligning then no, Ryan doesn't make sense. That said, if the biggest reason you don't think they contend is the Bryzaster then Ryan makes even more sense.

<< Corey Perry is going to look GREAT in O&B NEXT year. >>

The Pens are black and gold. FYI. :) Also, I thought you were getting Weber?

Careful on Perry, too. He's going to want to be paid for that one career year. I can see him asking for $7,500,000+ when he's worth about $6,000,000+.

If the general wish list of the forum comes true then down the road (and based in nooooooooo small part on comparisons I've seen to players of comparable skills sets...think "Giroux is better than Crosby or Courtier = Staal talk") you are looking at Perry for around $7,000,000, Giroux around $8,000,000, Weber around $7,000,000 and Courturier around $6,000,000. And of course, Bryz is still on the books at what....$5,600,000? There goes that depth Flyers fans love.

That's a cap situation I've seen before and one I am regularly told is not condusive to winning a Cup. Just sayin... :)

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First off, great posts by both @B21 and @Vanflyer...

A few days back I remember hearing talk about the Pens possibly being interested in Yandle. Has anyone heard any more about that?

As for the Pens team as it stands now... I'd still almost rather see a quality defenseman added. I realize that we gave up some goals with the losses of Staal and Sully, but if we truly have a healthy Crosby back that, coupled with what Sutter throws in, make it not as painful. On the defensive side we need some help. Goal scoring wasn't the issue in the atrocious showing against Philly in Round 1. Granted that wasn't all due to our defensemen, but a lack of commitment to defense as a whole. I see Sutter helping that situation. Regardless, we need to bolster the blue line IMO. With Z gone (and take that however you will, good or bad) we have a hole to fill. And to be honest Martin still scares the holy he|| out of me! We have a great deal of defensive talent in the pipeline, but no one that really fills the immediate need - save for Despres whom @B21 already added to the list.

That said, I agree that the Flyers got weaker, too. And I also agree that the two teams are more or less in the same boat, as mentioned. If I'm the Flyers I don't consider, even briefly *think* about letting Couturier go in *any* deal. Not for Ryan, not for Doan, not for Nash. No way in he||. That kid is the real deal. He's going to be a two-way superstar and he'll be better than Ryan, Doan or Nash. I'm sure of it. Maybe his goal totals won't end up always being the equivalent (or better), but as an overall player he'll be worth *way* more. At this point, especially after losing Carle, I'd be more worried about defense... especially with Bryz in net and Leighton backing him up. I guess I understand the Leighton move (has been in the system, played pretty well at one time, etc.) but at the same time I don't understand it, if that makes any sense. IMO he just hasn't been the same since the injury, and I don't see him as a reliable option behind an already iffy Bryz. But hey, I could be proven wrong.

Overall I think the Devils got hurt the worst though. Losing Parise hurts them far more than *not* getting Parise hurts the Pens or Flyers. And in my view it hurts them worse than the Pens losing Sully and Staal (we got value back for Staal) or the Flyers losing Jagr and JVR (guess we'll see about Carle). I see a ton of Pens fans crying poor and saying that we have no hope this coming season. Why?!? I guess some people forget that having Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Letang, Orpik, Fleury, etc. is still icing a pretty darn good team. Sure, we've got some holes to fill, but how many GMs would mess their pants to even have the roster as it stands now?! Despite the drama, I think that Parise and Suter signed in Minny for the right reasons. I'm happy for them, and I have no ill will toward them or their decision. I also don't fault Shero for not being able to land them. Those two guys obviously had a plan in mind, and they pulled it off. Good for them, and good for Minny. That's a great hockey market there!

As for potential hole filling, I do like the Umberger idea. I think he'd be a great fit. On the defensive side, the options aren't looking too great right now. I guess we trust Shero...

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@DinahMoeHumm

Fair point on the D...but hear me out. Warning...tangent alert.

First, I can't for the life of me figure out why so many Pens fans (not necessarily you) want to overhaul the D and/or make other drastic changes based on the series against the Flyers. Granted, the playoffs are not the regular season but we are taking a 6-game sample of bad D (and bad PK) against an 82 game sample of great D and phenominal PK. It's was awful, but it was one series. Fleury was awful. Worse than Bryzgalov (never seen that sentence before). The D inexplicably was awful. This is where I usually get "back to back 1st round exits" from Pens fans but if you look at that in more detail...

2011-12. Great regular season. Top 5 in NHL in points. Played another top 5 team in the first round. Not an excuse, but that series should have been in the ECF. Not round one. We played awful against a team that for 82 games was our equal. It happens.

2010-11. No Malkin. No Crosby. Enough said.

2009-10. Upset by the Habs in the conference semi-finals. Ran into a hot Cary Price.

2008-09. Cup.

2007-08. Cup finalist.

At the end of the day, that's pretty successful.

Back to the D...here is why I don't think a big time F/A is needed there. The depth in the minors is set up almost perfectly. Contract up. Player leaves. Replacement steps in. In fact, 4-5 years from now the only d-man I want to see left from this group is Letang. Out go Martin, Orpik, Niskanen, Engelland and Lovejoy. In comes Depres, Morrow, Pouliot, Doumalin and Maatta. Harrington and Ulf's kid add some depth. We have almost nothing waiting in the wings as far as fowards. Beau Bennett...and he's a long way away.

I'd have no issue if Shero added some stay-at-home depth along the lines of Hal Gil a few years ago but I don't break the bank for Yandle unless I am planning to trade some of the guys about for that elusive winger for Crosby.

The Pens should actually look at the Steelers as far as how to manage a team in a cap era. You have to know when not to over pay and let a guy go/trade away (think: Gonchar) and have the replacement groomed and ready (Letang). Staal --> Sutter. Orpik --> Morrow. Martin/Niskanen --> Pouliot/Maatta. We are set up that way on D. Not at the forward positions. So if I am going to spend money, that's where I do it. You may have a lean year or too during the transition but that's almost inevitable in a cap era.

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@B21

Ok, fair points all around. And trust me, I'm not talking about overhauling the defense. Not by a long shot. Your point about not basing defensive effort on one series is also a valid one. Now, let me explain some of my reasoning for previous statements...

First and foremost, like I said previously, Martin scares the living he|| out of me. That didn't just start in the playoffs - that was *all* year. I would have much rather seen Martin go away than Z, but I understand how and why that went down. But, of course, Z was no stalwart last year either. Those two combined made way too many mistakes. So ok, Z is gone, and we still have Martin. In my opinion Martin needs to go. IF we could find someone to take him off our hands (and that's a very big if) we have flexibility for a Yandle-type player. Add in another "lesser-known" but solid D-man and we're good. And I'm not saying that Yandle is the solution, I was just using him as an example. So, as you see, I'm not looking at an overhaul of the D, I just want a little more stability. And as I said, our defensive breakdowns in the Flyers series had a lot to do with the overall team commitment, *not* just the defensemen. Another *big* problem with that series, and a different point entirely...

Where the he|| was Bylsma's head during that series? He had NO answer for Philly's strategy much of the time. It was like he just refused to make adjustments. "We'll stick with our game. We like our game." Well yeah, I do, too, when you're winning hockey games. But when it's obvious that you're getting shut down you need to change the course a little. And I don't mean shuffling lines a little either. I think Bylsma is a good coach, and I don't want to rant and belittle the guy - that's not my intent at all - but do you agree that his coaching in that series was abysmal... or aBylsmal hehe?

Anyway, not to derail off the defensive discussion, but some of our conversation brought the coaching back to the forefront of my mind and I wanted to get it off my chest :P

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We agree on Martin....kinda. I'll take a chance that he bounces back. We almost have to. I doubt anyone takes on that salary...though in light of what Carle and Wideman got, Martin's hit is not as far off from what it should be.

As for the "overhaul", I'd certainly rid myself of Martin if I know Yandle is coming in. Makes for good forum conversation but it's easier said than done. Trading away a Depres or Morrow for a Yandle seems more realistic...with Martin staying. Not even sure I'd do that if for no other reason than Depres comes with a much lower salary and that's what a team with so much tied up in so few players needs. Keep the core...Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Letang, Fleury. Recycle the role players every few years when they get too expensive for their role. Add in a few home town discounts....Cooke, Dupuis, Kennedy. Rinse and repeat.

We agree on the Philly series, too...defensive breakdowns in particular. But to pin that on Bylsma? Not in my opinion. That one is on the players. Start with Fleury and the D and the defensive effort by the forwards and go from there. They got there by playing a puck possession game with intense forechecking and a sound defensive committment. Hard to implement a drastic change mid-series. Tweaks, sure. I'd be willing to bet it was more execution than coaching.The OT winner in Game 1 for example...whatever Staal was thinking there had nothing to do with Bylsma.

So I am back to......Umberger, :)

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Haha, well... I'd be thrilled to get Umberger on the squad.

Just to clarify, I wasn't pinning the defensive effort in general on Bylsma. I agree in full that the players laid the egg with that. Rather, I was simply stating that he seemed reluctant to adjust, even as far as the offensive side of the game is concerned. I totally agree that it's hard to implement drastic changes, BUT, to seemingly make few or no changes at all just doesn't make sense to me. Philly found a way to stretch our D and counter our typically intense forechecking and we had no answer. Is some of that on the players? Absolutely. No question. And I'm certainly not placing all of the blame on Bylsma... but IMO he definitely deserves some of it. Good coaches know how to make those "tweaks" and adjustments mid-series. Hell, even mid-game. That's not to say Bylsma isn't a good coach - he is! I think you get what I'm saying. In short it was just a total meltdown from top to bottom. Hopefully they learn from that because the Pens are a WAY better team than what they showed in that series.

In any case, here we are. It'll be interesting to see what Shero does from here. I don't know that I see him going after anything too "high-profile" at this point. Maybe save a little for the deadline and see how the first part of the season plays out. And honestly, I'm fine with that. I don't think it's any time for panic mode. But sure, if we can add Umberger... ;)

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In addition to everything you guys have covered, a major problem in that series was fatigue for Fleury. He clearly was exhausted. That won't happen again. They learned from that mistake.

Oh come on Polaris. That is EXTREMELY weak.

Games Played:

Fleury- 67

Mike Smith- 67

Jonathan Quick- 69

Pekka Rinne- 73

I could list more, but those are the goalies that were in the playoffs. Fleury was 8th overall in games played. Did he play allot, sure. But so did allot of other goalies.

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Oh come on Polaris. That is EXTREMELY weak.

Games Played:

Fleury- 67

Mike Smith- 67

Jonathan Quick- 69

Pekka Rinne- 73

I could list more, but those are the goalies that were in the playoffs. Fleury was 8th overall in games played. Did he play allot, sure. But so did allot of other goalies.

Weak? Not every goaltender can play that many games and still be on their game. I think Fleury proved in that series he's one of the ones who can't. I honestly believe Shero agrees or they wouldn't necessarily have worried so much about Vokoun. Bet you Fleury is at least a half-dozen games less going into the playoffs next season.

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Also... I'd like to agree with you Van because Fleury is young and should be able to handle it as such a highly touted goalie on draft day. I think he's a good goalie but hasn't quite lived up to expectations. I still put him in the top handful playing right now but Fleury played in 67 games this past season, 65 in 2010-11, and 67 in 2009-10. All three years we had first round exits. And those were the highest game totals he's had.

Not blaming the losses solely in MAF but I do feel it could be a contributing factor. I'm far from alone in that thinking.

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Not blaming the losses solely in MAF but I do feel it could be a contributing factor. I'm far from alone in that thinking.

No problem Polaris. I think the word "exhausted" is what stuck in my crawl. Both goalies (Pitts / Flyers) were horrendous that first round. At the end of the day, does 10 less games for Fleury make him much better come playoff time?? I don't think so.

Let us be real. Fleury has played on average 65 games a year as a pro. I think Ray and the the organization have soured on him. Paying Vokoun 2m as a back up tells you everything you need to know about the situation. Vokoun is the insurance policy. As soon as Fleury flakes out again, Vokoun will move into his spot. There are 3 years left for Fleury's contract. I can see Pitts biting the bullet on at least one or two of those years if Fleury falters again.

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@Polaris922

@Vanflyer

Pens have soured on Fleury? Hasn't lived up to expectations?

I think signing Vokoun is just as much a product of how bad Johnson was during the season as it was how bad Fleury was during the playoffs. He's proven he can carry a team. He did it during the Cup runs and again during the 2nd half of 2010 when Crosby and Malkin were hurt. I said it before in this thread....it's one bad series. Before you both throw his save % back at me, keep in mind it's never been Quick-like or Rinne-like. Remember the Pens are usually among league leaders in blocked shots. Chances are the shots that do make it through to Fleury are decent; if there was a "quality shot" statistic, his percentage would be higher than average.

I do think there is "some" merit to resting him more during the season, too. While the GP last year are equal to those 4 guys mentioned. Look at the 4 prior years...

Fleury- 67 / 65 / 62 / 62 / Playoffs = 50

Mike Smith - 67 / 22 / 42 / 41 / Playoffs = 16 (13 of which were 2011-12)

Jonathan Quick- 69 / 61 / 72 / 44 / Playoffs = 32 (20 of which were 2011-12)

Pekka Rinne- 73 / 64 / 58 / 52 / Playoffs = 28

Go back 1 more year and those guys practically disappear. Keep going on Fleury and add another season with 67, one with 50 and 25 more playoff games. Quick is the best comparison.

I don't think "exhaustion" is the only reason or even the primary reason he played so awful but there is some merit to wanting to give the guy more days off during the season. Vokoun allows you to do that. Johnson didn't.

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@Polaris922

@Vanflyer

Pens have soured on Fleury? Hasn't lived up to expectations?

I think signing Vokoun is just as much a product of how bad Johnson was during the season as it was how bad Fleury was during the playoffs. He's proven he can carry a team. He did it during the Cup runs and again during the 2nd half of 2010 when Crosby and Malkin were hurt. I said it before in this thread....it's one bad series. Before you both throw his save % back at me, keep in mind it's never been Quick-like or Rinne-like. Remember the Pens are usually among league leaders in blocked shots. Chances are the shots that do make it through to Fleury are decent; if there was a "quality shot" statistic, his percentage would be higher than average.

I do think there is "some" merit to resting him more during the season, too. While the GP last year are equal to those 4 guys mentioned. Look at the 4 prior years...

Fleury- 67 / 65 / 62 / 62 / Playoffs = 50

Mike Smith - 67 / 22 / 42 / 41 / Playoffs = 16 (13 of which were 2011-12)

Jonathan Quick- 69 / 61 / 72 / 44 / Playoffs = 32 (20 of which were 2011-12)

Pekka Rinne- 73 / 64 / 58 / 52 / Playoffs = 28

Go back 1 more year and those guys practically disappear. Keep going on Fleury and add another season with 67, one with 50 and 25 more playoff games. Quick is the best comparison.

I don't think "exhaustion" is the only reason or even the primary reason he played so awful but there is some merit to wanting to give the guy more days off during the season. Vokoun allows you to do that. Johnson didn't.

I'm a MAF fan. I think part of why I like him has been his consistency in net. He'll have short stretches of bad play as every goalie does, but overall I like him. I too think Vokoun is about time off for Fleury without sacrificing games. Johnson just fell apart last year, sadly, after being good enough to push Fleury pretty hard the year before.

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@Polaris922

Agree 100%. He'll never have Rinne or Lundqvist numbers but aside from the occasional bad series you know what you are getting with him year in and year out. With this team, I'll take that kind of consistency in net. There are only two alternates. One is the goalie who is the REAON you win and we can't afford that kind of goalie with our cap situation. For the other alternative...just check out the goalie situation across the state over the last few years. :)

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I don't think "exhaustion" is the only reason or even the primary reason he played so awful but there is some merit to wanting to give the guy more days off during the season. Vokoun allows you to do that. Johnson didn't.

That is fair. Yet, I also don't think Vokoun signed un to only be a 25 game a year guy. I think you will see allot more of a platooning situation in Pitts next year. I also think Vokoun is an insurance policy.

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That is fair. Yet, I also don't think Vokoun signed un to only be a 25 game a year guy. I think you will see allot more of a platooning situation in Pitts next year. I also think Vokoun is an insurance policy.

Agree on the insurance but that "policy" is meant to cover injuries and getting "worn out" (exhaustion is too strong). Poor performance is excluded.

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  • 1 month later...
So now what?

I would like to see us remain patient and use our cap space wisely. If Shero receives a trade proposal that he's comfortable with, then pull the trigger.

I prefer that option over giving a soon-to-be 36-year old Shane Doan a 4-year/$30.0 deal. Call me cheap, but the most I would offer Doan is 2-years/$7.0. Unlike some Penguin fans, I never wanted Semin in the first place, so I wasn't ready to leap off the Duquesne Bridge when Carolina decided to throw $7.0 at him and he accepted. I was actually somewhat relieved. In short, I prefer patience over desperation.

Shero giving Fletcher a ring and simply inquiring about Setoguchi would make me a happy camper. He has always intrigued me and I wanted him in a Penguins sweater back when San Jose was shopping his services. He's young (25) and has proven in the past that he's capable of putting up 30+ goals. Plus, he's cap friendly, receiving only $6.0 over the next two seasons. I wouldn't mind seeing him paired with Crosby or Malkin for the right offer.

IMO, he's a more realistic trade option for the Penguins than Bobby Ryan.

Edited by Penguins-66
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