TIOPS Daily Five: On Shero’s struggles to draft well in middle rounds & buzz on Steelers & Pirates


TIOPS DAILY FIVE 1. 2006-2008 DRAFT CLASSES: One former long-time GM once told me any kind of an evaluation of an NHL draft class shouldn’t be made until five years after the particular draft, but good scouting departments find those players in the middle rounds who develop into NHL regulars by three to four years, five at the max. Under GM Ray Shero Pittsburgh has failed to do that and Rob Rossi had a good feature in Today’s Tribune-Review discussing the little return Shero has from the 2006-2008 NHL drafts as Jordan Staal is the only player of the 16 drafted by the Penguins to establish himself as an NHL regular. The lack of NHL regulars out of the 2006-2008 drafts has Rossi making the argument that Pittsburgh has little choice but to stick with the three center model as Shero has struggled mightily to develop forwards. Here’s my Look at the 2006-2008Read More »

Thursday’s Daily Five: On Wallace situation/tampering widespread at combine; Worst matchups for Pens & more


THURSDAY’S DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, musings & opinions* 1. Tampering Widespread: If a team is prepared to go hard after Mike Wallace and surrender a first round pick, agent Bus Cook should have a pretty good idea by the end of the weekend of which teams, if any, are serious about pursuing Wallace. The NFL scouting combine is tampering central and it will be widespread this week like it always is. What Cook finds out this week might dictate negotiations with the Steelers. Wallace’s camp is believed to be seeking top-5 receiver money and are selling the 25 year old receiver as one of the most unique and dynamic receivers in the game who has yet to peak. “I definitely think I need the money, ” Wallace told NFL SirusXM radio, while also saying he feels he’s “done his part for the team” and deserves to be paid. Will a teamRead More »

THURSDAY’S DAILY FIVE; Is Art Rooney II pushing Bruce Arians out the door?


THURSDAY’S DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, musings and opinions* 1. ROONEY PUSHING ARIANS OUT?: There were strong indications days after the 2009 regular season that Art Rooney II was on the verge of firing offensive coordinator Bruce Arians before quarterback Ben Roethlisberger stepped in, playing a big part in keeping Arians in place as offensive coordinator. This time around, Roethlisberger’s input might not matter. Although Mike Tomlin wants Arians back, there is strong indications that Arians will not return in 2012, Gerry Dulac of the Post-Gazette reports. Based on the information I’ve gathered, it’s because of a push from ownership who have not always been strong supporters of Arians. Rooney is not pleased with the Steelers being ranked No. 21 in scoring and there’s a feeling from some members of the front office that a change is needed. We’ve been down this road before with Arians but if he is out, regardlessRead More »

SUNDAY’S DAILY FIVE: Who’s lying Shero or Kovacevic? Pats expose Tebow like Steelers couldn’t; Boost coming for Pens


SUNDAY’S DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, musings & opinions* 1. WHO’S LYING KOVACEVIC OR SHERO? While there’s been some rumblings for a few weeks now that a player or two in the Penguins locker room believes Sidney Crosby is cleared to play and should be playing, you haven’t heard of any dissension inside the Penguins locker room about Sidney Crosby’s captaincy. That changed when columnist Dejan Kovacevic of the Tribune-Review made a bold claim in a Friday Column, saying that “three sources” told him the team had a 45 minute meeting to discuss temporary captaincy with Crosby out. Kovacevic then wrote, “another source disputed that any such meeting occurred”. Here’s what was wrote: “The Penguins, the public and, yes, Crosby all need to learn how to handle this situation better in the future, ” Kovacevic wrote. “That begins with the locker room. A few, certainly not all, of Crosby’s teammates are of theRead More »

Daily Five Christmas Eve Version: On Ben Sitting; Malkin’s best set of wingers in career; Staal or Neal; Who would you keep?


Christmas Eve Daily Five Version 1. Sitting Ben Roethlisberger is the right move but this quote via Steelers.com from Mike Tomlin has some a little uneasy about the Steelers thinking St. Louis will be a pushover. “Obviously, he’s {Ben Roethlisberger} less than 100 percent, and it’s our desire at this juncture to get him as close to 100 percent as we can for January football. I felt like this week provided an opportunity to do that. The decision to play Roethlisberger vs San Francisco was clearly dictated by the 49ers being a more competitive team, despite what Tomlin claimed last week. 2. The Penguins coaching staff envisioned loading up a top line of Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby and James Neal this season. That plan has been altered and it’s been Evgeni Malkin who has filled that role just as good and maybe better than Sidney Crosby would have. ForRead More »

TUESDAY’S DAILY FIVE: “Horsing Around”


TUESDAY’S DAILY FIVE *Rumblings, musings and opinions* 1. Sandusky “Horsing Around”: Bob Costas of NBC conducted an exclusive telephone interview Monday night on NBC News’ “Rock Center,” with Jerry Sandusky What came out of it is that Sandusky is taking the angle of “horseplay” not sexual conduct in regards to what happened, claiming his innocence. “I am innocent of those charges,” Sandusky said who denied to Costas that he’s a pedophile. “I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them, and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact.” Where things got weird was when Costas asked Sandusky if he was sexually attracted to young people. Sandusky seemed timid with his answer, saying “Sexually attracted, no….. I enjoy young people, I love to be around them, but, no, I’m not sexuallyRead More »

MONDAY’S DAILY FIVE: On Board with Malkin, Staal playing together once Crosby returns


1. On Board with Staal/Malkin together for a “Regular Season” Look: Jordan Staal (8G-4A-12Pts) is showing signs for the first time in his career to carry a scoring line and he’s scoring some goal scorers type of goals, evident in his first of two third period goals in Saturday night’s 5-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Should Staal’s progression offensively make it a no brainer for the Penguins to at least explore Staal centering Evgeni Malkin on the second line when Sidney Crosby returns? It sure does. [instory] We are still in November hockey and there’s no reason for the Penguins not to explore that route when Crosby returns. When the organization made the decision during the summer of 2010 to move Malkin to wing, it was because the team felt the move would increase Malkin’s goal scoring ability. As everyone knows, that plan never took off last season due toRead More »

Wednesday’s Daily Five: Paterno set to retire but will he get to go out on his own terms?


MORNING BUZZ: WEDNESDAY’S DAILY FIVE *Musings, Rumblings and Opinions* 1. Will Paterno get to go out on his own terms and should he?: Joe Paterno this morning has issued a statement indicating that he will retire at the end of the season. Here is the Statement: ” I am absolutely devastated by the developments in this case. I grieve for the children and their families, and I pray for their comfort and relief. I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today. That’s why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season. At this moment the Board of Trustees should not spend a single minute discussing my status. They haveRead More »

MONDAY’S DAILY FIVE: Big Enough Sampling for Staal?


1. Big enough sampling for Staal?: Jordan Staal is always a hot topic in Penguin circles and among the fan base. He will be an extremely hot topic among fans this summer when Staal is expected to be a top priority for the team along with Sidney Crosby on the extension front when the calendar hits July 1, 2012. A storyline for Staal this season is whether he’s going to take that next jump offensively. Staal has points in four of the team’s first six games and ranks third on the team in both goals (2) and points (5). Here’s an intriguing stat. Over Staal’s last 42 games dating back to January 12, 2011, Staal has accumulated 35 points (13G-22A), an average of .83 points per game. Courtesy of the Penguins communication department, If you project Staal’s totals over the course of 82 games, Staal would establish career highs of 43Read More »

Friday’s Daily Five: On PITT, Taking Page out of Bills Playbook, Sean Lee & Eric Tangradi


1. SPECTACULAR WIN FOR PITT: Todd Graham’s high-octane offense finally hit the gas and went into high gear Thursday night, routing No. 16 South Florida 44-17 in primetime. It was a spectacular win for Pittsburgh (3-2, 1-0), who desperately not only needed a win to open Big East play at home, but needed the type of dominating performance they put on playing Graham’s system. It’s a win that could get the fan excited about what to expect in the foreseeable future, regarding a brand of football that Todd Graham and his staff have been preaching. Pitt had 523 yards on offense and held the ball for 36:03, controlling the game. Running back Ray Graham was sensational, rushing for 226 yards and two scores and combining for 303 all-purpose yards. Graham showed the nation that he is one of the nations most complete/elite running backs and was unstoppable on the night.Read More »