Penguins made upgrades but still have holes to fill

The Penguins made two vital signings Monday morning that plugged two serious holes which became evident during the Ottawa series.They added a scoring winger in Petr Sykora and a veteran defenseman in Daryl Syor who brings stability and leadership to an average defensive corps. The more i look at the Petr Sykora signing, the more i like it. He could very well score 30 goals playing with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. I envision him playing with Malkin but thats up for debate when that time comes. He only scored three more goals than Michel Ouellet last season but Sykora overall game is a upgrade over Ouellet’s. I look at the Daryl Sydor signing as the Penguins trading Joe Melichar for Sydor. No question its a upgrade but the Penguins could have done better or at least waited a couple days to see if anybody’s price came down. Once Danny Markov turned down the Penguins offer of 2 yrs – 6 million and Cory Sarich signing for 3.6 million per season the Penguins jumped the gun and signed Sydor for 2.5 million.

Sykora>Ouellet – Sydor>Melichar

Despite two solid signings by Ray Shero the Penguins still have some holes to fill. Another two 6 winger is a must. Whether by trade or free agency the Penguins still have some options. Two players in free agency would fit the profile are Bill Guerin who could be a possibility as he price is expected to drop but is a long shot. Brendan Shananhan the other possible candidate who fits the profile has zero chance of happening so don’t count on him. In the trade market, Glen Murray and Alexei Kovalev are available. Ray Shero seems intent with the roster he has, but people who know Ray will say that he is always looking to upgrade his squad. Although i predict the Penguins to go into the season with Eric Christensen as the other forward on Sid or Malkins line, if the right player falls into the teams lap Ray Shero will not turn away.

Barry Bonds hit his 751st home run of his career tonight against the Cincinnati Reds, and he is now only 5 away from tying Hank Aaron. The highlight of the season is going to be watching Bud Selig turn away when Bonds breaks the record, the same way he turned his back on Steroids during the 1990’s. Bonds being named a starter in the All-Star game was the best case scenario for the fans and baseball because Larussa wasn’t going to pick him because of his close relationship with Bud Selig. With Bonds being voted in as a starter it shows maybe baseball is exaggerating that the majority of fans don’t want to see Bonds break the record. Steroids being connected to Bonds is such a ridiculous story because it wasn’t like the majority of the players weren’t doing roids in the 1990’s. They were all doing it including Bonds but who cares. If their not going to prosecute everybody than they have no reason just to go after Barry Bonds. Someone tell me how Roger Clemens never comes up in steroid discussion. I mean come on. Who would have predicted Clemens to ever reach 350 wins which he accomplished last night with the way he was pitching in his mid 30’s. The guy was shot and they all of a sudden became a premier pitching again. Hmmm

Made an appearance at a Bucco game yesterday afternoon and was very impressed with Shawn Youkman. Zack Duke better pack his bags to Indy. Youkman has some good stuff and the Pirates should give him a look for the next month or so. On a side note how did Freddy Sanchez make the All-star game over Ian Snell.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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