TIOPS Daily Five Ice Report

*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*

tiops-small1. Every training camp in every sport there’s that player who gets pegged as being in the best shape of their life and so on. They became a media darling for a few weeks and get people into believing this year is going to be different.

Derrick Pouliot got that label immediately when reporting to camp last week as his transformation of actually looking like a professional hockey player was a big topic for many.

Pouliot being in great shape is good fodder but that’s all it is.

Pouliot is not a bad hockey player, he’s just not good enough in the areas he should be (that made him such a high draft pick).

And that reality hit again with his performance in Tuesday’s preseason opener.

This is supposed to be an elite puck moving defenseman who the Penguins believed would be their No. 1 power play quarterback from a very young age.

Yet his head coach has to be critical of him in not being assertive enough with his decision making. That should be a primary strength of Pouliot’s at this stage of his career and it hasn’t been which has frustrated those coaching him including Mike Sullivan. The Penguins not only took Pouliot 8th overall, they had him 4th on their big board ahead of the 2012 draft.

This is a player they expected to be a standout defenseman with the puck and the play away from the puck would be the area that needed a lot of coaching.

“The development [offensively] just isn’t where it should be and that’s alarming,” a long-time NHL evaluator said of Pouliot.

2. Derrick Pouliot may very well establish himself as a regular in Pittsburgh and push someone out of the top-6, though, the odds are stronger of him being the No. 7 this season/back in Wilkes Barre or getting moved in a young player for young player swap which is where the chatter has been all summer.

Defensemen that can drive possession are always coveted and there’s not a GM more obsessed with these type of players than new Coyotes GM John Chayka.

Phoenix scouted the Penguins heavily last season and are said to have had their eye [hide] on Pouliot during trade talks with the Penguins last winter.

Have to wonder if the Penguins can match up in a potential trade for Tobias Rieder, who a Penguins source called a Mikkel Boedker clone today. Fast, good hands and creative offensively.

The Penguins loved Boedker at the trade deadline last season by the way.

3. The Penguins are bracing for the possibility that at least one key contributor from the Wilkes Barre group fades or takes a step back this season.

I hear (not my view) a lot more concern of Conor Sheary taking a step back than Bryan Rust or Tom Kuhnhackl. The Penguins strongly feel Rust and Kuhnhackl are long-term NHL players.

The Penguins feel they are in a great spot even if multiple young players take a step back with the next wave of players pushing for roster spots that the Penguins feel could come in and have the type of impact the likes of Sheary and Rust did last season.

4. Mike Sullivan earlier today on Tristan Jarry who had a great first period vs the Blackhawks tonight. “We expect him to compete and give us a chance to win. We expect him to make timely saves. That’s what we expect out of all our goaltenders,” Sullivan said. “Tristan will get an opportunity to continue to develop and show how he’s grown from last season. He’s a very good goalie. We’re excited about his development so far.”

5. Around the NHL

— TSN’s Darren Dreger reported today former Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg is expected to sign with the New York Islanders on a one-year contract worth $1 million.

— The New Jersey Devils signed Kyle Quincey to a one-year contract worth $1.25 million. In 47 games with Detroit last season, Quincey collected 11 points, 49 hits and 62 blocks.