*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*
1. The experience rationale continues to be touted a bit too much by the Penguins in talking Monday’s trades up. Like Jim Rutherford on Monday, Mike Johnston was at it on Tuesday. “Cole is a player that Gary Agnew knows well. In those players, we’re getting more experience,” Johnston said. “At this time of the year, experience is a key thing. Now is time of the year where you really need experience.” I think Ian Cole will do well here but when someone can prove to me that Ian Cole is more experienced than Robert Bortuzzo, let me know.
2. The emergence of goaltender Matt Murray has become quite the storyline this season in Wilkes Barre and really for the organization. His emergence could lead to the Penguins having a good problem to have down the road. When Marc Andre Fleury flopped again in the 2012 playoffs, the Penguins made a priority to start restocking their system with young goaltenders, selecting Murray in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft, along with Sean Maguire (medical redshirt this year) in round 4. Than in 2013 traded up into the second round to select Tristan Jarry.
Jarry had been the consensus No. 1 goaltender in the system with club officials viewing him as having a starting goaltender ceiling, which they still do, but Murray started showing signs in the summer at the Penguins prospect camp of passing Jarry as the Penguins No. 1 goaltending prospect. He outplayed Jarry during the camp and has taken his game to another level in his first professional season in the organization. Murray is 16-8-2 with a 1.65 GAA, .936 save percentage and eight shutouts this season for Wilkes Barre and since December 28, he is 11-2-0 with a 0.99 GAA and .962 save percentage. Every organization over values their own prospects so I like to get opinions from scouts outside the organization on Penguin prospects and no one seems ready to tab Murray as a potential No. 1 goaltender (ceiling) at the NHL level yet but scouts love the size, athleticism where they certainly feel he has the upside to evolve into one.
The Penguins could have a potential successor to Marc Andre Fleury down the road or a significant trade asset if Murray keeps trending up as teams love to gamble on young, high upside goaltenders. Stockpiling goaltenders with NHL potential is a good problem to have because there’s always a team that will gamble on one.
3. One scout on a potential Penguins – Islanders first round matchup: “They [Islanders] wouldn’t scare me like the Rangers would,” the scout said believing the Islanders would be a more favorable matchup for the Penguins than the Rangers or Capitals. Not everyone is sold on the Islanders having the goaltending or commitment to team defense to getting out of the East.
4. Pirate management can’t wait to get rid of Pedro Alvarez and they’ve been trying since last years trade deadline but I continue to hear great things from those in know in how he’s approached spring training. While he can’t throw from first to third, big surprise, how he’s attacked the position change he was forced into making has been a positive. The Pirates were leery on how he was going to be after making it clear to them he wasn’t happy in not having a chance to win back the third base job. So far, so good.
5. Adam Schefter broke news with a stunner Tuesday night in the Eagles agreeing to trade star running back LeSean McCoy to Buffalo for linebacker Kiko Alonson.
The move shocked NFL players.
Shady to the Bills? WOW!………..WOW!
— Le’Veon Bell (@L_Bell26) March 4, 2015
McCoy’s cap hit ($11.95 million), down 2014 season to go with a lot of wear and tear, despite being just 26, has the trade making a bit more sense from the Eagles end.
Chip Kelly is just one of those coaches who believes so much in his system that he doesn’t need elite players and the first sign of trouble (DeSean Jackson) or a player wearing down, he’s going to ship them out.
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