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yave1964

Penguins offseason outlook

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FINAL RECORD 47-29-6 100 points secondplace in division, lost in second round to the Capitals

 

Back to back looong playoff runs that culminated in winning it all left an aging team tired and worn down a bit down the stretch. Holding off a feisty Flyer team in the first round in six games seemed to take its toll, the Capitals had them on their heels for much of the series between the two rivals and the Pens bowed out ending their reign as champions.

  A ton went right-and wrong as they managed a 100 point season. Malkin (98) Kessel (92) and Crosby (89) were all well over a point a game, they only missed 4 games between them all year. Letang bounced back and remained on the ice all year, Hornqvist had 29 goals, Rust and Guentzel and Sheary combined to add youthful enthusiasm and a nice compliment of secondary scoring. Sheahan wasn't bad after coming over from Detroit, Hagelin was okay. Brassard was kind of meh as a middle six center after coming over from Ottawa.

  On defense, in addition to Letang playing well and only missing 3 games all year, Maata and DuMoulin played all 82 games and were solid, Schultz was the only regular who missed significant time but had 27 points and plus 22 in 67 games. 

  In net, they missed Fleury, or at least his health as Murray continues to show a penchant for breaking down and was okay at best most of the year. Desmith and Jarry didn't fare much better. Really goaltending was a weakness.

  As for what went wrong, the Gerg Mckegg was a failure quickly forgotten, same with Ryan Reaves who was dispatched near the deadline to the Knights. Ian Cole was okay butnothing great andmoved out to make cap space for Brassard which in hindsight might have been a mistake as in the playoffs Oleksiak and Rehwedel who in all truth are AHL players were forced to play more than they should. Cole would have been a bigger help than Brassard who had 1 goal in 12 playoff gams. Kessel had a very bad postseason.

 

FREE AGENTS

None unless you count Carter Rowney or Tom Sestito  They have a handful of low level RFAs and little cap room, TCB with their own guys will leave them unable to do much else but they are set for another run next year and actually for a few years with only a few pieces needing new deals in the interim. They are well set to keep on keeping on as Malkin/Crosby continue their legend.

 

TOP PROSPECTS

The Penguins like most teams who do well are victims of their own success, drafting late in rounds due to high finishes, trading prospects for that one more piece for runs has left them pretty devoid of players ready to step up. Zach Aston Reese is a 23 year old who is a 4th liner,maybe a 3rd who will likely stick, Daniel Sprong had a fine year at SWB and may crack the middle six if all breaks well. A lot of people like Blueger or Dea but I don't see it. And as for defense there is nothing ready to step into the breach at the AHL level that is worth mentioning. So a couple of bottom six forwards if all breaks well, that is about it.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTIONS

 

DO YOU TRADE KESSEL? CAN YOU?

 6.8 million dollar cap hit, but man he still produces and for being dogged for being out of shape he plays night after night. I mean, what are you going to add for the 6.8 million cap hit that replaces him? 

  If you could add a top four defenseman and believe in your heart of hearts that Guentzel's very strong postseason is a sign that he is Kessel's heir apparent among the big boys, sure, do it. Personally I don't, I think a 6.8 million dollar cap hit for a 92 point guy is imminently fair return on the dollar. I keep him and go from there.

 

MURRAY, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?

 He had a poor year with a goals against approaching 3, a lot of that was a sub par defense a lot had to do with a combo of injuries and the death of his father hitting him particularly hard and losing focus. His goals against was a full half a goal better come postseason than regular season and while I am starting to become concerned with his injury history, if he can figure out a training program like bob did in CBJ land and stay on the ice, I think he will be fine.

  What I am concerned with is Jarry and DeSmith don't look/feel like the answer as the backup. I know they tried Niemi who was a monstrous failure last year, but I would bring in a veteran, a Halak or Ward to hedge the bet this year if you can add them on the cheap. Maybe if the cap is raised enough even a Carter Hutton. 

 

 IS THERE SIGNS THAT THE END IS NEAR?

Other than the big four of Crosby/Malkin/Letang/Kessel being another year older you mean? Yep. Plenty.

  To me the biggest is the fact that the team was remarkably healthy last year, the big four missed a measly 7 games combined which is out of line with their career norms, it seems that one of them or another is almost always on the IR but not last year at all. I like Guentzel and see him as a fixture on the second line but some of the others namely Sheary and Rust are a bit overrated because of who they play for. Hornqvist still produces but is showing signs of wear. 

  Murray namely his health is a glaring concern and the defense is thin. IMHO you cannot possibly expect 13 players to play 69 games or more again this year and for the core to basically play injury free all year. I doubt their depth and ability to hold off if they face significant injuries in what is the games toughest division.

 

SO CAN THEY MAKE A RUN?

 Of course, for a few years yet, but it will take a combo of continued health and development of players such as Sheary, rust, Guentzel, Aston Reese and Sprong and somehow figuring out a way to add at least one top four defenseman to the mix. I feel they have plateaued but they have done so at the top of the mountain or nearly so and with Crosby/Malkin/Letang/Kessel and a few breaks there is no reason to think they cannot get back to the top again next year. 

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On 6/12/2018 at 6:28 AM, yave1964 said:

FINAL RECORD 47-29-6 100 points secondplace in division, lost in second round to the Capitals

 

Back to back looong playoff runs that culminated in winning it all left an aging team tired and worn down a bit down the stretch. Holding off a feisty Flyer team in the first round in six games seemed to take its toll, the Capitals had them on their heels for much of the series between the two rivals and the Pens bowed out ending their reign as champions.

  A ton went right-and wrong as they managed a 100 point season. Malkin (98) Kessel (92) and Crosby (89) were all well over a point a game, they only missed 4 games between them all year. Letang bounced back and remained on the ice all year, Hornqvist had 29 goals, Rust and Guentzel and Sheary combined to add youthful enthusiasm and a nice compliment of secondary scoring. Sheahan wasn't bad after coming over from Detroit, Hagelin was okay. Brassard was kind of meh as a middle six center after coming over from Ottawa.

  On defense, in addition to Letang playing well and only missing 3 games all year, Maata and DuMoulin played all 82 games and were solid, Schultz was the only regular who missed significant time but had 27 points and plus 22 in 67 games. 

  In net, they missed Fleury, or at least his health as Murray continues to show a penchant for breaking down and was okay at best most of the year. Desmith and Jarry didn't fare much better. Really goaltending was a weakness.

  As for what went wrong, the Gerg Mckegg was a failure quickly forgotten, same with Ryan Reaves who was dispatched near the deadline to the Knights. Ian Cole was okay butnothing great andmoved out to make cap space for Brassard which in hindsight might have been a mistake as in the playoffs Oleksiak and Rehwedel who in all truth are AHL players were forced to play more than they should. Cole would have been a bigger help than Brassard who had 1 goal in 12 playoff gams. Kessel had a very bad postseason.

 

FREE AGENTS

None unless you count Carter Rowney or Tom Sestito  They have a handful of low level RFAs and little cap room, TCB with their own guys will leave them unable to do much else but they are set for another run next year and actually for a few years with only a few pieces needing new deals in the interim. They are well set to keep on keeping on as Malkin/Crosby continue their legend.

 

TOP PROSPECTS

The Penguins like most teams who do well are victims of their own success, drafting late in rounds due to high finishes, trading prospects for that one more piece for runs has left them pretty devoid of players ready to step up. Zach Aston Reese is a 23 year old who is a 4th liner,maybe a 3rd who will likely stick, Daniel Sprong had a fine year at SWB and may crack the middle six if all breaks well. A lot of people like Blueger or Dea but I don't see it. And as for defense there is nothing ready to step into the breach at the AHL level that is worth mentioning. So a couple of bottom six forwards if all breaks well, that is about it.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTIONS

 

DO YOU TRADE KESSEL? CAN YOU?

 6.8 million dollar cap hit, but man he still produces and for being dogged for being out of shape he plays night after night. I mean, what are you going to add for the 6.8 million cap hit that replaces him? 

  If you could add a top four defenseman and believe in your heart of hearts that Guentzel's very strong postseason is a sign that he is Kessel's heir apparent among the big boys, sure, do it. Personally I don't, I think a 6.8 million dollar cap hit for a 92 point guy is imminently fair return on the dollar. I keep him and go from there.

 

MURRAY, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?

 He had a poor year with a goals against approaching 3, a lot of that was a sub par defense a lot had to do with a combo of injuries and the death of his father hitting him particularly hard and losing focus. His goals against was a full half a goal better come postseason than regular season and while I am starting to become concerned with his injury history, if he can figure out a training program like bob did in CBJ land and stay on the ice, I think he will be fine.

  What I am concerned with is Jarry and DeSmith don't look/feel like the answer as the backup. I know they tried Niemi who was a monstrous failure last year, but I would bring in a veteran, a Halak or Ward to hedge the bet this year if you can add them on the cheap. Maybe if the cap is raised enough even a Carter Hutton. 

 

 IS THERE SIGNS THAT THE END IS NEAR?

Other than the big four of Crosby/Malkin/Letang/Kessel being another year older you mean? Yep. Plenty.

  To me the biggest is the fact that the team was remarkably healthy last year, the big four missed a measly 7 games combined which is out of line with their career norms, it seems that one of them or another is almost always on the IR but not last year at all. I like Guentzel and see him as a fixture on the second line but some of the others namely Sheary and Rust are a bit overrated because of who they play for. Hornqvist still produces but is showing signs of wear. 

  Murray namely his health is a glaring concern and the defense is thin. IMHO you cannot possibly expect 13 players to play 69 games or more again this year and for the core to basically play injury free all year. I doubt their depth and ability to hold off if they face significant injuries in what is the games toughest division.

 

SO CAN THEY MAKE A RUN?

 Of course, for a few years yet, but it will take a combo of continued health and development of players such as Sheary, rust, Guentzel, Aston Reese and Sprong and somehow figuring out a way to add at least one top four defenseman to the mix. I feel they have plateaued but they have done so at the top of the mountain or nearly so and with Crosby/Malkin/Letang/Kessel and a few breaks there is no reason to think they cannot get back to the top again next year. 

 

 

 Will comment on this excellent work later, but just wanted to say, we are really lucky to have you. A lot of knowledge and hard work goes into each one of these!!

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Well Yave, I'm not sure if Jack Johnson was what you were thinking the Pens needed, but with his signing and the resigning of Oleksiak ($2.1M/yr for 3 yrs is not bad)the Pens seem set on defense to go into the season.  (Letang, Shultz, Maata, Doumolin, Oleksiak, Johnson).

 

I kind of disagree with you on Oleksiak as just an AHL'r.  I think that he played well within the system coming out of Dallas where he didn't play well, and his numbers were actually better that Cole's for the time he was here.  Remember, this was his first taste of the playoffs, I think he has a lot of upside coming with more experience.   With more confidence I think he can use his big frame to be a physical presence, and with the addition of Johnson, the Pens blue line should be harder to play against. 

 

Don't forget to mention Dominic Simon when you talk about Pens prospects, I feel he has the ability to break into a middle six position at some point in his career.  He looked well in the limited games he played with the Pens, and should compete for a roster spot this season. 

 

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As far as Oleksiak, I am stil not sold on him, before the trade in parts of five seasons in Dallas 140 games he managed a measly 20 points  and was a minus 18 now I give you that Gonchar has a well earned rep as the 'defenseman whisperer' and Oleksiak looked like a completely different player in half a season with the Pens, 14 points and plus 13 in half a season but I am a bit weary over a former first rounder that the defensive starved Stars kept handing a job to and he kept coughing it up. That said he was a beast for your boys for half a season, I think however the truth falls somewhere in between the guy who kept giving away chances in Dallas and the player he was in a small sample last year, still serviceable.

 

  As far as Jack Johnson my initial reaction was negative almost entirely because of the term, as a 3rd pair guy he is somewhere between good and adequate, I just don't like the term. They traded Hunwick and Sheary to clear the space to sign him and to keep Sheahan so if you look at it like this:

 

Johnson over Hunwick. Hands down, no question an improvement.

Sheahan over Sheary because of his versatility able to play any forward position on the third or fourth line every day and second line in a pinch.

 

  So taking into account the whole picture it is a clear win for the Pens, I still don't like the term but meh, no biggie. And watching Torts lose his mind made the whole thing woirht it lol.

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On 6/12/2018 at 6:28 AM, yave1964 said:

FINAL RECORD 47-29-6 100 points secondplace in division, lost in second round to the Capitals

 

Back to back looong playoff runs that culminated in winning it all left an aging team tired and worn down a bit down the stretch. Holding off a feisty Flyer team in the first round in six games seemed to take its toll, the Capitals had them on their heels for much of the series between the two rivals and the Pens bowed out ending their reign as champions.

  A ton went right-and wrong as they managed a 100 point season. Malkin (98) Kessel (92) and Crosby (89) were all well over a point a game, they only missed 4 games between them all year. Letang bounced back and remained on the ice all year, Hornqvist had 29 goals, Rust and Guentzel and Sheary combined to add youthful enthusiasm and a nice compliment of secondary scoring. Sheahan wasn't bad after coming over from Detroit, Hagelin was okay. Brassard was kind of meh as a middle six center after coming over from Ottawa.

  On defense, in addition to Letang playing well and only missing 3 games all year, Maata and DuMoulin played all 82 games and were solid, Schultz was the only regular who missed significant time but had 27 points and plus 22 in 67 games. 

  In net, they missed Fleury, or at least his health as Murray continues to show a penchant for breaking down and was okay at best most of the year. Desmith and Jarry didn't fare much better. Really goaltending was a weakness.

  As for what went wrong, the Gerg Mckegg was a failure quickly forgotten, same with Ryan Reaves who was dispatched near the deadline to the Knights. Ian Cole was okay butnothing great andmoved out to make cap space for Brassard which in hindsight might have been a mistake as in the playoffs Oleksiak and Rehwedel who in all truth are AHL players were forced to play more than they should. Cole would have been a bigger help than Brassard who had 1 goal in 12 playoff gams. Kessel had a very bad postseason.

 

FREE AGENTS

None unless you count Carter Rowney or Tom Sestito  They have a handful of low level RFAs and little cap room, TCB with their own guys will leave them unable to do much else but they are set for another run next year and actually for a few years with only a few pieces needing new deals in the interim. They are well set to keep on keeping on as Malkin/Crosby continue their legend.

 

TOP PROSPECTS

The Penguins like most teams who do well are victims of their own success, drafting late in rounds due to high finishes, trading prospects for that one more piece for runs has left them pretty devoid of players ready to step up. Zach Aston Reese is a 23 year old who is a 4th liner,maybe a 3rd who will likely stick, Daniel Sprong had a fine year at SWB and may crack the middle six if all breaks well. A lot of people like Blueger or Dea but I don't see it. And as for defense there is nothing ready to step into the breach at the AHL level that is worth mentioning. So a couple of bottom six forwards if all breaks well, that is about it.

 

OFFSEASON QUESTIONS

 

DO YOU TRADE KESSEL? CAN YOU?

 6.8 million dollar cap hit, but man he still produces and for being dogged for being out of shape he plays night after night. I mean, what are you going to add for the 6.8 million cap hit that replaces him? 

  If you could add a top four defenseman and believe in your heart of hearts that Guentzel's very strong postseason is a sign that he is Kessel's heir apparent among the big boys, sure, do it. Personally I don't, I think a 6.8 million dollar cap hit for a 92 point guy is imminently fair return on the dollar. I keep him and go from there.

 

MURRAY, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?

 He had a poor year with a goals against approaching 3, a lot of that was a sub par defense a lot had to do with a combo of injuries and the death of his father hitting him particularly hard and losing focus. His goals against was a full half a goal better come postseason than regular season and while I am starting to become concerned with his injury history, if he can figure out a training program like bob did in CBJ land and stay on the ice, I think he will be fine.

  What I am concerned with is Jarry and DeSmith don't look/feel like the answer as the backup. I know they tried Niemi who was a monstrous failure last year, but I would bring in a veteran, a Halak or Ward to hedge the bet this year if you can add them on the cheap. Maybe if the cap is raised enough even a Carter Hutton. 

 

 IS THERE SIGNS THAT THE END IS NEAR?

Other than the big four of Crosby/Malkin/Letang/Kessel being another year older you mean? Yep. Plenty.

  To me the biggest is the fact that the team was remarkably healthy last year, the big four missed a measly 7 games combined which is out of line with their career norms, it seems that one of them or another is almost always on the IR but not last year at all. I like Guentzel and see him as a fixture on the second line but some of the others namely Sheary and Rust are a bit overrated because of who they play for. Hornqvist still produces but is showing signs of wear. 

  Murray namely his health is a glaring concern and the defense is thin. IMHO you cannot possibly expect 13 players to play 69 games or more again this year and for the core to basically play injury free all year. I doubt their depth and ability to hold off if they face significant injuries in what is the games toughest division.

 

SO CAN THEY MAKE A RUN?

 Of course, for a few years yet, but it will take a combo of continued health and development of players such as Sheary, rust, Guentzel, Aston Reese and Sprong and somehow figuring out a way to add at least one top four defenseman to the mix. I feel they have plateaued but they have done so at the top of the mountain or nearly so and with Crosby/Malkin/Letang/Kessel and a few breaks there is no reason to think they cannot get back to the top again next year. 

I agree with jammer comments! 

I also disagree with you on Fleury! Pens would have lost to the Flyers in round 1! If they would have made the post season!

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    • 2
      Post
      Will comment on this excellent work later, but just wanted to say, we are really lucky to have you. A lot of knowledge and hard work goes into each one of these!!
    • 1
      Post
      FINAL RECORD 47-29-6 100 points secondplace in division, lost in second round to the Capitals   Back to back looong playoff runs that culminated in winning it all left an aging team tired and worn down a bit down the stretch. Holding off a feisty Flyer team in the first round in six games seemed to take its toll, the Capitals had them on their heels for much of the series between the two rivals and the Pens bowed out ending their reign as champions.   A ton went right-and wrong as they managed a 100 point season. Malkin (98) Kessel (92) and Crosby (89) were all well over a point a game, they only missed 4 games between them all year. Letang bounced back and remained on the ice all year, Hornqvist had 29 goals, Rust and Guentzel and Sheary combined to add youthful enthusiasm and a nice compliment of secondary scoring. Sheahan wasn't bad after coming over from Detroit, Hagelin was okay. Brassard was kind of meh as a middle six center after coming over from Ottawa.   On defense, in addition to Letang playing well and only missing 3 games all year, Maata and DuMoulin played all 82 games and were solid, Schultz was the only regular who missed significant time but had 27 points and plus 22 in 67 games.    In net, they missed Fleury, or at least his health as Murray continues to show a penchant for breaking down and was okay at best most of the year. Desmith and Jarry didn't fare much better. Really goaltending was a weakness.   As for what went wrong, the Gerg Mckegg was a failure quickly forgotten, same with Ryan Reaves who was dispatched near the deadline to the Knights. Ian Cole was okay butnothing great andmoved out to make cap space for Brassard which in hindsight might have been a mistake as in the playoffs Oleksiak and Rehwedel who in all truth are AHL players were forced to play more than they should. Cole would have been a bigger help than Brassard who had 1 goal in 12 playoff gams. Kessel had a very bad postseason.   FREE AGENTS None unless you count Carter Rowney or Tom Sestito  They have a handful of low level RFAs and little cap room, TCB with their own guys will leave them unable to do much else but they are set for another run next year and actually for a few years with only a few pieces needing new deals in the interim. They are well set to keep on keeping on as Malkin/Crosby continue their legend.   TOP PROSPECTS The Penguins like most teams who do well are victims of their own success, drafting late in rounds due to high finishes, trading prospects for that one more piece for runs has left them pretty devoid of players ready to step up. Zach Aston Reese is a 23 year old who is a 4th liner,maybe a 3rd who will likely stick, Daniel Sprong had a fine year at SWB and may crack the middle six if all breaks well. A lot of people like Blueger or Dea but I don't see it. And as for defense there is nothing ready to step into the breach at the AHL level that is worth mentioning. So a couple of bottom six forwards if all breaks well, that is about it.   OFFSEASON QUESTIONS   DO YOU TRADE KESSEL? CAN YOU?  6.8 million dollar cap hit, but man he still produces and for being dogged for being out of shape he plays night after night. I mean, what are you going to add for the 6.8 million cap hit that replaces him?    If you could add a top four defenseman and believe in your heart of hearts that Guentzel's very strong postseason is a sign that he is Kessel's heir apparent among the big boys, sure, do it. Personally I don't, I think a 6.8 million dollar cap hit for a 92 point guy is imminently fair return on the dollar. I keep him and go from there.   MURRAY, WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?  He had a poor year with a goals against approaching 3, a lot of that was a sub par defense a lot had to do with a combo of injuries and the death of his father hitting him particularly hard and losing focus. His goals against was a full half a goal better come postseason than regular season and while I am starting to become concerned with his injury history, if he can figure out a training program like bob did in CBJ land and stay on the ice, I think he will be fine.   What I am concerned with is Jarry and DeSmith don't look/feel like the answer as the backup. I know they tried Niemi who was a monstrous failure last year, but I would bring in a veteran, a Halak or Ward to hedge the bet this year if you can add them on the cheap. Maybe if the cap is raised enough even a Carter Hutton.     IS THERE SIGNS THAT THE END IS NEAR? Other than the big four of Crosby/Malkin/Letang/Kessel being another year older you mean? Yep. Plenty.   To me the biggest is the fact that the team was remarkably healthy last year, the big four missed a measly 7 games combined which is out of line with their career norms, it seems that one of them or another is almost always on the IR but not last year at all. I like Guentzel and see him as a fixture on the second line but some of the others namely Sheary and Rust are a bit overrated because of who they play for. Hornqvist still produces but is showing signs of wear.    Murray namely his health is a glaring concern and the defense is thin. IMHO you cannot possibly expect 13 players to play 69 games or more again this year and for the core to basically play injury free all year. I doubt their depth and ability to hold off if they face significant injuries in what is the games toughest division.   SO CAN THEY MAKE A RUN?  Of course, for a few years yet, but it will take a combo of continued health and development of players such as Sheary, rust, Guentzel, Aston Reese and Sprong and somehow figuring out a way to add at least one top four defenseman to the mix. I feel they have plateaued but they have done so at the top of the mountain or nearly so and with Crosby/Malkin/Letang/Kessel and a few breaks there is no reason to think they cannot get back to the top again next year. 
    • 1
      Post
      Well Yave, I'm not sure if Jack Johnson was what you were thinking the Pens needed, but with his signing and the resigning of Oleksiak ($2.1M/yr for 3 yrs is not bad)the Pens seem set on defense to go into the season.  (Letang, Shultz, Maata, Doumolin, Oleksiak, Johnson).   I kind of disagree with you on Oleksiak as just an AHL'r.  I think that he played well within the system coming out of Dallas where he didn't play well, and his numbers were actually better that Cole's for the time he was here.  Remember, this was his first taste of the playoffs, I think he has a lot of upside coming with more experience.   With more confidence I think he can use his big frame to be a physical presence, and with the addition of Johnson, the Pens blue line should be harder to play against.    Don't forget to mention Dominic Simon when you talk about Pens prospects, I feel he has the ability to break into a middle six position at some point in his career.  He looked well in the limited games he played with the Pens, and should compete for a roster spot this season.   

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