Pens Notes: Shero on Vokoun, Fleury, Thiessen, Staal, & Crosby

Penguins GM Ray Shero hit the airwaves today and was on 937 the fan this afternoon in the 2:00 p.m. hour. Here are some comments from Shero on a number of subjects:
Shero on Vokoun
Shero indicated the team’s pursuit of Tomas Vokoun started when he was talking to agent Allan Walsh about how to “get Marc Andre Fleury better next season. The discussion then led to Vokoun who Walsh also represents.
“{I asked Allan Walsh} “What’s Tomas going to do and any interest in Penguins and I talked to George McPhee and got permission to talk to Tomas and it came about pretty quickly, ” Shero said, who indicated there’s “not a lot of available goaltenders on July 1” which led to the Penguins moving quickly on a deal.

Shero said he doesn’t have a specific number in mind but it was clear from Shero’s comments he expects Vokoun to challenge Fleury for playing time.
“I don’t think any specific number, ” Shero said. “We’ll see how season is progressing. With Tomas, he’s going to come and push Marc.
“It depends on how Tomas is playing. With a guy like Vokoun, save percentage is one of the best in the league. Whole thing is to make the team as good as possible and internal competition is good and it will be good for the team.”
The best quote from Shero was about the fact that he didn’t give Marc Andre a heads up when the team starting pursuing Vokoun. As a GM it’s your job to make the team better, not worry about players feelings being hurt.
“I didn’t give Marc a heads up. I have to do what’s best for the team, ” Shero said.
THIESSEN UNLIKELY BACK
Shero confirmed the Penguins want Brad Thiessen back, but obviously only in the role he was in last year, the No. 3 goaltender in the organization. As I mentioned a few days ago (prior to Vokoun signing), I spoke with agent Ian Pulver over the weekend and got the sense from him that there was no chance Thiessen would sign before July 1 if the Penguins didn’t offer a one-way contract. Thiessen is a pending unrestricted free agent.
“The same thing with Brad Thiessen, I talked to his agent this morning…. Brad two years ago was goaltender of the year in American Hockey League. Where we are right now, {it wasn’t right time}. “We’re still open to having him back in same role again, ” Shero said.
Off-season Checklist
“We have our pro meetings starting tomorrow. Early next week, we’ll have a game plan on what we want to do. At pro meetings, you have to have certain ideas and flexibility. Checklist to getting to Sidney Crosby in July and Jordan Staal, see what their thinking.”
Shero on Staal
“Obviously remains to be seen, ” Shero said. “We’re going to have to wait and see. I got a number of things on the checklist before I get to that point. We’ll see what transpires.”
Shero on 10+ year deal for Crosby
“I can’t speculate at this point, ” Shero said. “That type of money and term goes to ownership. The longest term we’ve done here is seven years with Marc Andre…. and Sidney’s a special player. When healthy, he’s the best player in the year.”
“He’s fine, cleared, 100%, ” Shero said about Crosby’s health.

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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