Max Talbot played well yesterday alongside Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Talbot has yet to find his role this season and is a team leading -14. The Penguins need him to play at the level he did yesterday but Talbot is suited for third line duty just like Pascal Dupuis and Tyler Kennedy are. You can‚Äôt turn role players into top 6 forwards.
The coaching staff has been very brief in their reasoning why Alex Goligoski continues to be a frequent scratch. It’s believed they see him as a liability in the defensive zone but it’s kind of hard to go on that assumption when the team continues to struggle in the defensive zone and giving up four or more goals per game on a consistent basis.
Ryan Whitney is a -9 in 10 games this season.
The Atlanta Thrashers have received a lot of calls about Colby Armstrong but he won‚Äôt be going anywhere. The Thrashers have all intentions of re-signing Armstrong following the season. Armstrong will be a RFA. Armstrong has 8 goals in his last 14 games and has been a leader in the locker room. The same can‚Äôt be said for Eric Christensen who the Thrashers are willing to move.
Chris Minard was invisible Saturday afternoon and he lacks NHL speed to be successful at the NHL level. The Penguins farm team is successful on a year to year basis but they have too many AHL players who don‚Äôt have the ability to be consistent at the NHL level.
Janne Pesonen scored his 12th goal of the season yesterday and has scored in consecutive games. There are a couple teams that have been scouting Pesonen most notably the Edmonton Oilers.
A source tells me the Penguins front office will hold what is being described
as a ‚Äúorganizational meeting‚Äù today. It has not been confirmed that the coaching staff will be at this meeting. CEO Ken Sawyer will be attending the meeting. Sawyer is a supporter of Therrien and has a lot of input in the day to day operations behind the scenes. I will try to get some info on that later in the day if I can.
Among topics at this meeting will center around the direction of the team and personnel issues like what to do with Miroslav Satan. I keep hearing that insiders in the organization want Shero to make a statement and place Satan on waivers. Edmonton and St.Louis are the only teams I’ve heard the Penguins have talked to about Satan.
Jordan Staal still being shopped?: As I mentioned last week, the Penguins are exploring the market for Jordan Staal and it is still believed that Staal signing an extension hasn‚Äôt changed that. From what I‚Äôve been able to gather from team officials is Shero will only move Staal for an elite type of winger. Shero would be very reluctant to move Staal for a winger like Marty St. Louis who is nearing his mid 30‚Äôs.
The only untouchables on the Penguins roster are Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Marc Andre Fleury.
Jordan Staal, Alex Goligoski and Ryan Whitney will be at the forefront of trade rumors from now up until the March 4th trade deadline.
There is a lot of chatter around the league but very few trades. The problem is there are only a handful teams that in reality have no shot at making the playoffs. I don‚Äôt expect anything significant to start up until the All-Star break when many GM‚Äôs get together. Teams in selling mode right now are the Islanders, Senators, Thrashers, Blues, Lightning, and the Leafs. The Leafs are willing to deal just about everybody off of their roster for the right price.
Anytime the Senators inquire about Jordan Staal, Ray Shero counters asking about Dany Heatley. Discussions haven’t gone anywhere and there is a big asking price for Dany Heatley. For the Senators to even consider moving Dany Heatley it would cost Jordan Staal/ Ryan Whitney/ Mid Tier Prospect /1st round pick.
To answer a forum comment from a few days ago, To this point the Penguins have minimal interest in Blues forward Keith Tkachuk and Oilers forward Eric Cole.
Sergei Gonchar continues to move forward with his rehab and a mid-February return is still a possibility. Where is he after the All-Star break will tell the story.
More to come