Pens have little chance of getting back into Round 1 & more in Today’s TIOPS Daily Five


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford told Dave Molinari of the Post-Gazette over the weekend that the Penguins are pursuing a first round pick. “I’ll certainly pursue it,” Rutherford told the PG. Rutherford has checked in with teams that have multiple first round picks. Teams with multiple picks include the Coyotes, Sabres, Maple Leafs, Flyers and Jets. “There are some teams that have acquired an abundance of first round picks and they may not need them all,” Rutherford said. I’ve actually talked to a couple of those teams already.” Rutherford then adds…..“I don’t know if we’ll be able to pick up one or not.” Rutherford talks so much, he’s great for the two local papers in putting material out there but a lot of what he says is just wishful talking and blabber. The Penguins having a realistic shot at getting back in the firstRead More »

Daily 5: Type of available winger Pens covet; Will Bennett decline request to train with Gary Roberts again? Charlie Morton Talk & more


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. As the Penguins will begin their pro scouting meetings in the next week, a message Jim Rutherford has already put out to this staff is to find another Patric Hornqvist this summer. The Penguins want to add a big bodied winger who can dominate the corners/front of the net and open space for Evgeni Malkin.

Thursday’s Daily 5: Whether the Pirates like it or not, Tabata is one of the best-25 for the roster right now


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. Pirate management and most of the coaching staff can’t stand Jose Tabata but he’s one of the Pirates best 25 right now. Unfortunately Corey Hart is finished with his cranky knees and Tabata might be the guy who can give the Pirates some quality play in right field for the next little while and be an option a couple games a week if Gregory Polanaco’s inconsistencies continue, which are likely. Tabata is what he is, a singles hitter and not much more but he’s still less than two years removed from posting a 282/.342/.429 batting line during the 2013 season. With the plate discipline Tabata had showed in Triple-A, give the Pirates credit for not being hard headed and being against giving Tabata a look, as it was only a couple weeks ago that GM Neal Huntington said if Tabata’s going to getRead More »

Leafs needed the Babcock hire more than any other team, On Jeff Locke, interesting decision awaits Andrew Ebbett & more in TIOPSDailyFive


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. Mike Babcock believes he’s the best coach in the NHL and that he can win anywhere. What a better challenge to prove that then what he’s getting into with the Maple Leafs. Whether Babcock is a tad overrated as a coach is up for debate as coaches are often a product of their personnel but this was a hire the Leafs needed to make so bad no m atter the cost. They needed this hire more than any other team. It changes everything for them from an accountability standpoint and from a perception standpoint. Last summer when speculation surfaced that Babcock was possibly looking to move on to another challenge and part ways with the Detroit Red Wings once his contract ended following the 2014-2015 season, two common things that were said to be very important to Babcock was money and more power inRead More »

Harrison finding his swing, Pirates overlooked needed competition in right field, Kunitz/Elias & more in today’s TIOPS Daily Five


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. Good news for the Pirates, Josh Harrison has found his swing. Harrison was 3-4 with a double, RBI in the Pirates 8-5 loss to the Twins tonight. Harrison is batting .517 (15-29) in the midst of a seven game hitting streak. During that span, Harrison’s average has gone from .173 to .245. 2. The Pirates fell to 18-21 on the season with tonight’s loss. Including the Pirates, 9 teams in the National League are currently under .500. 3. The future is bright for Gregory Polanco but he still might be a year or two away from being a consistent impact player in the Pirates lineup. He has a batting line of .234/.297/.326 on the season, just 1 home run, 11 RBIs. The Pirates not protecting themselves with a starter capable No. 4 outfielder and someone who could battle with Polanco for playing time,Read More »

Cubs arriving early with their financial might should scare Pirate fans & more in TODAY’S TIOPSDailyFive


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. Despite having control issues A.J. Burnett played the role of stopper Sunday afternoon in ending the Pirates losing streak at four games. What a story Burnett has been through the first two months of the season at age 38. In eight starts Burnett holds a 1.38 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 43/18 K/BB over 52 innings. 2. Scary thought for Pirate fans is the Cubs looking like a group that’s arrived early. Neal Huntington has done a great job of making the Pirates a competitive team now and into the future with the farm system in place and soon-to-be MLB ready prospects to replace the Alvarez’s, and Walker’s the Pirates will part ways with the next couple years but the Pirates still cut corners financially when it comes to personnel decisions and with the financial might the Cubs have and the Cardinals planning toRead More »

The infatuation with Bobby Farnham, Worley’s rotation spot & more in Today’s TIOPSDailyFive


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* View image | 1. Bobby Farnham is a great guy who is one of those give it everything he has charlie hustle type players you root for. However, the media obsession surrounding him has become something else in the Pittsburgh media market. It’s like he has 10 agents right now. Farnham might have a career in Pittsburgh as a 14th forward at best but he’s one those players who would get exposed quickly that he’s not an NHL player once he starts playing, six, seven games in a row. 2. Henrik Lundqvist on Wednesday night improved to 6-1 all-time in Game 7’s with a 0.97 GAA and .926 save percentage. In the last 10 games in which the Rangers have faced elimination at the Garden, Lundqvist has a perfect 10-0 record and a 0.96 goals-against-average, according to the New York Post. Lundqvist is goingRead More »

NHL talk on Steve Yzerman building the Lightning the right way, Pirates interest in Rafael Soriano & more in Today’s TIOPSDailyFive


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. The Tampa Bay Lightning, the NHL’s highest scoring team in the regular season, punched their ticket to the Eastern Conference Finals, ousting the Montreal Canadiens in six games. The Lightning came into the playoffs as the Eastern Conference’s most complete team upfront and on the blueline in the East, but the major question mark was Ben Bishop in goal. The netminder answered the bell in Game 7 against the Red Wings in round 1 and carried that momentum into Round 2. This marks the Lightning’s second trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in four years and this group has great sustaining power for the next several seasons as a top tier team in the Eastern Conference. Steve Yzerman’s Lightning reached the conference finals in his first year as GM in 2010-2011 but only two players remain from that team, Steven Stamkos and VictorRead More »

On Tom Brady/Deflate Gate, Rangers – Capitals, Guerin interested in coaching & more in Today’s TIOPSDailyFive


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. The National Football League sacked Tom Brady with a four game suspension Monday afternoon and it didn’t end there. The Patriots will also lose a 2016 first-round pick, a 2017 fourth-round pick and the team was fined $1 million dollars. The first round pick in 2016 is the dagger with this punishment. If Brady gets a true neutral arbitrator, he likely gets the suspension down to two games and the $1 million fine is nothing. Losing a first round pick is the big punishment. Deflate gate has ended up being a situation where the Patriots cheating ways going back to spy gate finally came back to haunt them and there’s no question New England’s past of messing with the integrity of the game is why the NFL dropped the hammer. Roger Goodell is never going to live down the Ray Rice suspension, theRead More »

Kang’s ability to adapt to Major League velocity, Taylor Hall/Penguins, Babcock Flyers/Chatter, Steelers & more in Today’s Daily 5


TIOPS DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. Jung Ho Kang played a big role in the Pirates taking two of three games from the St. Louis Cardinals and he’s suddenly becoming the story of the Pirates season so far after just a few weeks ago many were wondering whether Triple-A was the best option for him. Similar to Josh Harrison last season, Kang is forcing his way into the everyday lineup as the calendar nears mid-May and it’s a good problem to have. Kang with a home run, 2 RBIs in Sunday’s win over the Cardinals, now has a batting line of .333/.377/.521 on the season. Pirate officials believed there was a good chance this would be a learning experience type development year for Kang with his real impact coming in years two, three and beyond. Kang’s ability to adjust to Major League velocity so quickly has him arriving asRead More »