TIOPS MORNING BUZZ: FRIDAY EDITION
*Rumblings, Musings, Opinions*
— Penguins GM Jim Rutherford remains determined to add another scoring winger but unless he can move a salary and to this point Rutherford is only interested in hockey trades not salary dumps, per rival executives, the Penguins remain hamstring to make impact additions and will have to wait until right up to the deadline. One source with knowledge of the situation said the Penguins have never been this up against the cap where they can barely make callups now that Beau Bennett is back.
— If the Penguins had the space to add another body, forward Andrei Loktionov would likely be a Penguin, a source says.
— Sad news this week in the NHL with Nathan Horton’s NHL career likely over at age 29 and Senators GM Bryan Murray claiming he has stage 4 colon cancer and unknowingly had the cancer for 7-10 years. Get checked is Bryan Murray’s message to others.
— Dan Bylsma has been scouting NHL games extensively, watching multiple games a night as he prepares for an opportunity to open up. Those close to Bylsma continue to throw out the Minnesota Wild as a job Bylsma privately feels could open up at somepoint over the next year and one he would be very interested in. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher was the main figure in bringing Bylsma to the Penguins organization. If Mike Yeo ever got the ax, Zach Parise wasn’t a big fan of Bylsma in the Olympics, so not sure how that would work out.
— Giancarlo Stanton and the Florida Marlins are discussing a record deal of 12 years in the range of $320 million, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports. Trusting the Marlins has to be incredibly difficult for Stanton who will certainly demand an opt out in a couple years but how could you turn down that guaranteed money. Andrew McCutchen will be lucky that the Pirates offer him $100 million in couple years.
— Few can complain about Clayton Kershaw taking home the MVP award. Pitchers have their own award but Kershaw was just on another level this season. As for McCutchen, you can argue he wasn’t even the most valuable player on his team.
— The Pirates and Neil Walker both agree on one thing — A long-term extension won’t be coming between now and when Walker’s set to become a free agent in 2017. Both sides intend to just play things out but the Pirates hand will be forced to move him before he walks. Walker is privately prepared to move on when the time comes.
— Jon Heyman of CBS Sports stated the obvious yesterday in that the Dodgers are a threat to sign Russell Martin away from the favorite Cubs.
— Scouts polled by Travis Sawchik of the Tribune-Review contend the Pirates gave up a high cost to acquire Francisco Cervelli. — I disagree —
— Two positions the Steelers tend to stay away from in the first round is wide receiver and cornerback because they believe they can find premium players at those positions in the later rounds, though, they had full intentions of selecting Odell Beckham Jr if he fell to them. The Steelers found a game game changer with Martavis Bryant, who is far from a complete receiver, but has something you can’t teach in size and ability to score touchdowns. Adam Schefter outlines how great of a 2014 draft class it has been for wide receivers.
— Mike Wallace got the biggest contract but he’s end up becoming the least productive receiver of the formerly “Young Money” crew (Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders). Now that he’s pushing 30 and the speed has a fallen off a bit, Wallace is nothing more than a good No. 3 receiver now, while before he was a unique No. 2 (one-trick pony) because of his blazing speed.
— Peyton Manning is such a great quarterback because he can make average receivers turn into pro bowl caliber ones from a production standpoint. However, who would have thought Emmanuel Sanders would have 0 drops on 84 targets after watching him the last three years.
— Losing Josh Mauro might seem like nothing but the young defensive end has a chance to develop into a contributor.
— It might have been wrong with how Todd Graham left Pitt but he obviously made the right decision in leaving. Graham has done great things in turning Arizona State around, No. 6 in the nation.
— Tyler Boyd criticizing his teammates this week has been a hot topic in town. Can’t blame him for being frustrated with the stagnant program but what did he expect coming here.