The Pittsburgh Penguins franchise had many ups and downs during the decade. The decade began with a bang as hall of famer/owner Mario Lemieux made a stunning comeback in December 2000 after being retired for 3.5 years. The team would earn its 12th straight playoff appearance in 2001 but financial reasons would lead to cost cutting moves such as trading star winger Jaromir Jagr and the cost cutting moves would continue years after. From 2002-2005, the franchise had no choice but to go into full throttle rebuilding mode and the Penguins endured four straight losing seasons that included rumors of relocation but the latter part of the decade would turn glorious (2009 Stanley Cup Champions, New Arena agreement) due to some luck (draft lottery sweepstakes Sidney Crosby), great drafting (Marc Andre Fleury) and other factors. Pittsburgh Penguins All-Decade Team
While the Penguins have looked into ways to clearing salary and wait to receive word from their top two targets Rob Scuderi, Ruslan Fedotenko, the organization is taking a patient approach into free agency thus far. A conservative approach is the best way to describe the Penguins game plan in free agency as the Penguins have limited cap space to be very active. Although the Penguins are waiting on Scuderi and Fedotenko to make decisions, the team is looking into a few wingers and defensemen as their backup plans. Two wingers the team inquired about on Wednesday are
Alexei Kovalev met with Canadiens ownership late last week as the team has expressed a strong interest in Kovalev returning. The two sides are currently discussing a two year deal worth $9 million and talks will likely go down to the wire. If Kovalev hits the open market, the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals will be among the top suitors to land Kovalev.
A number of GM’s and agents have arrived in Montreal and the rumor mill is heating up. 1:31 p.m. – The growing consensus is that Wild GM Chuck Fletcher and Leafs GM Brian Burke will be the most active GM’s at the draft. 1:15 p.m. – 47 yr old Chris Chelios wants to play in the NHL next season and join an Eastern Conference Team. Don’t be surprised if the agent for Chelios contacts the Penguins as Chelios expressed an interest in Pittsburgh following the lockout but from Pittsburgh’s end, there won’t be any interest. 1:01 p.m. – The 2010 Winter Class is set: The Boston Bruins will host the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park which will then set the stage for the New York Rangers to host the Washington Capitals in 2011 at Yankee Stadium.
Reports out of Russia, indicate the Montreal Canadiens are making a strong run to re-sign forward Alexei Kovalev. According to Sovietsky Sport, the Canadiens have offered a one-year deal worth between $6 million and $7.5 million. Apparently, the Canadiens are ready to part ways with Saku Koivu and offer Kovalev the teams captaincy. Kovalev, 36, did not see eye to eye with Koivu and there was a divided locker room because the two star forwards did not get along. Despite speculation that Kovalev could entertain offers from Russia, Kovalev and his agent, Scott Greenspun have indicated that Kovalev has no plans to play overseas. Kovalev scored 26 goals, 39 assists for 65 points during the regular season and is a player of interest to the Pittsburgh Penguins if he hits the open market. Sources with the Penguins indicate, Kovalev
Montreal Canadiens forward Alex Tanguay will miss tonight’s game against the Penguins. Defenseman Andrei Markov will also be sidelined. Enforcer Georges Laraque will return to the lineup after being a surprise scratch against the Bruins on Thursday who are the most physical team in the NHL. Canadiens Lineup
It has been no secret that the Montreal Canadiens have been actively shopping forward Alexei Kovalev around the league for the past month. The tension between Kovalev and the Canadiens has taking another turn as Kovalev will not accompany the Canadiens on their recent road trip to Washington and Pittsburgh. Kovalev has been told by GM Bob Gainey to stay home while they explore their options. Gainey has told the Montreal media that Kovalev is not on the same page as the coaching staff. Gainey has been in discussions with two Eastern Conference teams and one Western Conference team according to a source.
The Race for the Playoffs Eastern Conference 6-10 6. New York Rangers | 54 GP | 63 PTS | 7. Buffalo Sabres | 54 GP | 62 PTS | 8. Florida Panthers | 53 GP | 60 PTS | 9. Carolina Hurricanes | 54 GP | 59 PTS | 10. Pittsburgh Penguins | 53 GP | 57 PTS | The Florida Panthers have won five out of seven and beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4¬†in overtime Tuesday night to jump ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes and move into eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 60 pts. They’re a team that won‚Äôt be going away. The Penguins meet the Panthers three more times this season. The Panthers currently have two games in hand on the Penguins Players Association eyes return to ESPN Has anyone noticed how much more Hockey coverage ESPN has now compared to last year. In recent weeksRead More »