CD‚Äôs for Soldiers at the Mall in Robinson
Just wanted to mention that 105.9 WXDX is accepting any new /used CD‚Äôs or DVD‚Äôs at the Mall in Robinson today. The CD‚Äôs and DVD‚Äôs will be sent to troops overseas.
The Penguins just concluded their practice which began around 11:00 a.m. today. They will depart for Philadelphia this afternoon.
The team has been mum on why Kris Letang was a healthy scratch last night. Letang was paired with Ryan Whitney in the morning skate and skated in the pregame warm-ups. The plan going into the pregame skate was for all seven defensemen to skate and then Coach Bylsma would make a decision. When your running an uptempo system why do you scratch one of your best puck moving defensemen? Not like a ton of scouts were in the building last night that could be looking at Hal Gill or Mark Eaton.
Phoenix Suns of the NHL?: Ray Shero has wanted the Penguins to move to an uptempo/run-n-gun style for some time and this is the kind of system we will be seeing in the future whether Bylsma is the long-term coach (unlikely) or Shero looks elsewhere. Now Shero obviously needs to add some speed on the wings and a top flight¬†winger upfront. On the backend the Penguins are in perfect shape to run this kind of system with Alex Goligoski, Kris Letang, Ryan Whitney, Sergei Gonchar and even Ben Lovejoy.
If Michel Therrien wasn‚Äôt against changing his coaching style and moving to this system, he would still be the coach.
Fleury shaky in 5-4 win: Marc Andre Fleury has to perform better down the stretch if the Penguins want to have any chance of making the playoffs. He was fighting the puck yesterday.
Problems Continue for Habs: There is a serious divide in the Montreal Canadiens locker room when it comes to star forwards Alexei Kovalev and Saku Koivu. Gainey is desperately trying to change the culture of the team¬†and is actively trying to pull off a major deal. The HABS also have some other issues with three players being linked to a mobster
Major Deal that fell through was a proposed three team trade
I can confirm there has been talks between the Penguins and Senators. It‚Äôs believed the Penguins and Senators tried to get the Toronto Maple Leafs involved in a major three team trade. The proposed deal didn‚Äôt go far because three team trades rarely work but Tomas Kaberle made it known early in the process that he wouldn‚Äôt waive his NTC to Ottawa. A lot of ‚Äúsignificant players‚Äù would have been involved in this deal from all three teams and Pittsburgh would have given up a ton but might have landed their star winger in Dany Heatley. Staal/Kaberle would have been the centerpiecies of the trade heading to Ottawa. Whitney would have went to Toronto. Others would have been involved.
Talks are dead now and there hasn‚Äôt been any talks between the Penguins and Senators in about 10 days.
Adding a Dany Heatley or Ilya Kovalchuk type¬†of player makes Malkin more dangerous
It has caught some people by surprise that the Penguins seem willing to add another significant salary in the $6-$7 million range. There thinking appears to be, adding an elite winger to play with Sidney Crosby will¬†force teams¬†to put their top D-Pair against Crosby’s line¬†like what happened in the playoffs when Marian Hossa¬†was on his wing.¬†Evgeni Malkin has demonstrated the ability to perform at a high level¬†playing¬†with anybody whether it’s Sidney Crosby or¬†Chris Minard. Penguins will do what they have to do to re-sign¬†Petr Sykora.¬†¬†
Marty St. Louis is still in play?: A source tells me Marty St Louis remains in play after the coaching change but Shero remains in pursuit of that Marian Hossa type of winger. Talks hit a stalemate when it became known St. Louis wouldn‚Äôt waive his NTC. Maybe he makes one last pitch for Heatley but it seems like a longshot that Shero is going to be able to pull this one off. Still, I will give him credit because all indications are he is willing to take a major risk like the one’s Craig Patrick took in 1991 and 1992.
Penguins inquire about Ryan Smyth
A $6.25 million cap hit for Ryan Smyth scares some people in the Penguins organization but that hasn‚Äôt stopped the Penguins from inquiring about Smyth. League sources indicate the Penguins have approached the Av’s about Smyth. I‚Äôll be keeping an eye on this to see where this goes. As reported weeks ago, the Penguins have also inquired about Milan Hejduk. Both players have NTC.
Malone Frustrated in Tampa bay
Sources close to Ryan Malone indicate he is very frustrated in Tampa Bay but it‚Äôs not the losing. It‚Äôs the way the organization is being ran. With the contract Malone signed he is stuck there for a while. There was no way he was going to decline¬†Tampa’s offer in the first place.¬†The NHLPA had a ton of pressure on him to accept the Lightning‚Äôs 7 year – $31.5 million offer. It set the market for 22-28 goal scorers
Will have more later in the day