Despres/Lovejoy Fallout, Retaining NHL ready prospects, Steelers/Draft Talk


TIOPSDAILYFIVE *RUMBLINGS, MUSINGS, OPINIONS* 1. From the fan base, the consensus on the Simon Despres – Ben Lovejoy trade seems to be some like it and some absolutely despise it. Looks like there’s no in between and surprisingly that’s the reaction I’ve gotten from some NHL types. Many understand the Penguins thinking here in wanting to add a more reliable defenseman but the vibe continues to be that the Penguins sold low on Despres and took the best deal they could because of their cap situation when it comes to landing a right handed defenseman. At the end of the day yesterday’s trades were able getting safer, more dependable defensemen, even if it meant selling low on Despres. The Anaheim game Friday night should be a fun one to watch. ANALYSIS ON MONDAY’S ACQUISITIONS 2. Robert Bortuzzo was nothing more than a No. 6/No. 7 defenseman who could impact aRead More »

DePaoli: Cal U administration has golden opportunity to take a tough stand and change their athletic culture


When I heard about six Cal U football players nearly beating a man to death last week, it was shocking to me since I grew up in that town where we never locked our doors, had a low crime rate even with thousands of students, and this type of thing never happened, plus I am a Cal U alum. On the other hand, with the way the football culture is these days, I guess it wasn’t all that shocking. The most despicable part is that these thugs were reportedly yelling “football strong”, clearly identifying themselves as football players with no regard for the unconscious person lying on the sidewalk as they ran away. The University President absolutely made the right decision in cancelling Cal U’s football game last weekend and I applaud the administration for taking a strong stand, but the sanctions need to be taken a step further. ThisRead More »

TIOPS DAILY FIVE: On Ray Rice suspension, Malkin, Tabata, Burnett, Price


THURSDAY’S DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. RAY RICE SUSPENDED JUST TWO GAMES – Video proof of Ray Rice knocking his fiancee unconscious wasn’t enough for Rice to be suspended more than two games. The NFL today handed Rice a two game suspension which is a joke. The Ravens won’t release Rice but what the Ravens should do is show they feel what he did was a horrible thing and suspend him for an additional two games, which would make the suspension at least four games. Nothing what the NFL does rarely makes sense when it comes to how they discipline . Women should boycott games. 2. MALKIN A FOLLOWER – Evgeni Malkin has always been a follower. He shows up takes care of what he has to do individually and that’s about it. He enjoys hiding behind Sidney Crosby and Malkin did the same thing in the Olympics hidingRead More »

Monday’s Daily Five: Despres should make team regardless of numbers game


MONDAY’S DAILY FIVE *Musings & Opinions* 1. DESPRES SHOULD MAKE TEAM REGARDLESS OF NUMBERS GAME If the Penguins feel Simon Despres is one of their top-6 defensemen, like Dan Bylsma is believed to feel, then Despres should make the team regardless of the numbers game. If Ray Shero is true to this word that the coaching staff will make the call on who they want on D, then mark it down, Despres will open the season in Pittsburgh. The coaching staff wants him on the team. And let’s be honest, the Penguins are not going to miss Brian Strait one bit if they were to lose him on waivers. This team has major questionmarks in their top-4 and you have to find out if Despres can address that. 2. TSN TOP-50 TSN released their Top-50 NHL players list and to no surprise Sidney Crosby took the top spot for theRead More »

Friday’s Daily Five: Statistics show Russell Martin is a small upgrade over Rod Barajas


FRIDAY’S DAILY FIVE (PIRATES EDITION) *Rumblings, musings & opinions on today’s hottest topics* 1. The Pirates dished out the biggest contract in franchise history Thursday night to catcher Russell Martin as the two sides agreed to a 2 year, $17 million contract. The deal makes Martin the fourth highest paid catcher in the game. Is he a top-5 catcher in the game? Absolutely not, but when you’re the Pirates, you have to overpay by $3 to $5 million to land marginal free agents. 2. I don’t have a huge issue in the Pirates giving Martin $17 million over two years but the sense on Russell Martin is this: The Pirates have upgraded over Rod Barajas but not significantly enough to make it justified to spend $8.5 million per season and not leave much money to fill other holes. However, it’s not my money and there’s no salary cap, so letsRead More »

Winter Classic viewed as do or die point in CBA? Holt, Ravens, & NFL opener


WEDNESDAY’S DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Opinions, & musings on five of today’s hottest topics* 1. WINTER CLASSIC VIEWED AS DO OR DIE POINT?: As the NHL is headed towards another lockout, I get asked all the time when I think the NHL will be playing again. Since around June I’ve constantly heard from those in NHL circles believing hockey won’t be played until late November, early December and as the CBA deadline looms, there’s still a doom and gloom feeling around the league that things appear headed towards a month or two month work stoppage. The key date to keep an eye on is the Winter classic which is to be played on January 1st. According to one veteran player, the players see the Winter classic as a do or die point in the negotiations. This game means a lot to the NHL from a revenue standpoint, including the players, andRead More »

On Pirates-Astros, Garrett Jones a core hitter, Lockout & waiver talk for players sent to AHL during possible lockout


MONDAY’S DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Opinions & Musings of some of today’s hottest topics* 1. SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE: The Pirates have lost 9 of 12 games and since August 9th, are 7-16 and there’s only one National League team with a worst record during that span……. the Houston Astros who are 5-17 during that span. Something has to give here in a critical three game series for the Pirates who have to take advantage of beating inferior teams with a six game homestand against the Astros and Chicago Cubs. What at the end of the day could become the Pirates achilles heel on missing the post-season for the 20th straight season is their  struggles to beat teams with losing records down the stretch. They have to change that trend this week as Jeff Locke teams the mound this afternoon. Locke went 10-5 with a 2.48 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 24Read More »

On Pitt’s debacle, Penn State, WVU, Pirates struggles vs below .500 teams & Doan


SUNDAY’S DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, Opinions & Musings on five of today’s hottest topics* 1. PITT’S DEBACLE VS YOUNGSTOWN STATE:  The Paul Chryst era started bad when Chryst suspended six players including starting DT Tyrone Ezell and freshman running back Rushel Shell prior to the game and then things got worse after kickoff as Pitt’s 31-17 loss to Youngstown State was pathetic and their first ever loss to an FCS team. Pitt’s defense was atrocious as the Penguins converted six of its first seven third down attempts in the game and finished 11 of 16 on third downs. A division 1-AA team shouldn’t be able to come on road and move the ball at will for much of the game. What is mind boggling is that in a new head coaches debut, Youngstown State just wanted it more. “They wanted it more than us, “ safety Andrew Taglianetti said. However, whatRead More »

Thursday’s “Daily Five”: On Tortorella’s woes behind the bench in Game 2, Presley, LaRoche, McGehee, & Tomlin


THURSDAY’S DAILY FIVE 1. TORTORELLA FAILED MISERABLY IN GAME 2: The New Jersey Devils evened up the Eastern Conference Finals with a 3-2 victory at MSG on Wednesday night. The Devils controlled the play and the better team took Game 2 as the Devils rallied from a 2-1 deficit scoring late in the second period and early in the third. This game kind of resembled Game 2 of the Devils – Flyers series where the Devils won Game 2 and took over the series from there. We’ll see where things go as New Jersey has momentum with the series shifting to Newark. My top storyline out of last night’s game was John Tortorella for all the wrong reasons. Tortorella failed miserably behind the bench and it became evident that David Clarkson was in Tortorella’s head as he started matching up Mike Rupp against Clarkson in the second period and ClarksonRead More »

MORNING BUZZ: Today’s Daily Five on Shero, Salary Cap, Marrero, Correia & McCutchen


MORNING BUZZ: THE DAILY FIVE 1. While GM Ray Shero and the Penguins brass are still at least three weeks away from laying out an off-season plan, one thing that remains consistent coming out of the organization is that Shero’s highly unlikely to consider trading Jordan Staal at the draft or before July 1, as Staal, Penguins can’t begin negotiations until the first of July. One team source told me a few weeks back that he can’t imagine any scenario that Shero pulls the trigger on dealing Staal without speaking with his camp . Meanwhile, Shero had his first public comments in a few weeks telling Dave Molinari of the Post-Gazette that he hopes to keep the three centers together: “I’d like to do that, if possible,” he said. “We’re looking at hopefully getting extensions with [Crosby and Staal], ” Shero told Molinari. 2. TEMPORARY CAP:While a temporary salary capRead More »