It’s hard to be critical of forward Michael Rupp who is having a career year but one area of Rupp’s game that has been lacking of late is the toughness department.
Although Rupp has exceeded expectations scoring 11 goals through 52 games, Rupp’s an asset on this team in a 4th line physical role and the Penguins know that.
The Penguins brought Rupp in on a two year deal to be a physical presence who will mix things up. The 11 goals thus far from Rupp has been an added bonus but I have talked to a few sources in the “know” who have been somewhat concerned that the flirtation of Rupp playing on the first or second line for a game here and there has made him become less of an intimidating presence on the ice.
Is Rupp’s focus more on being a goal scoring presence than a physical presence? I don’t think so, Rupp does lead the Penguins with 7 fighting majors, but in games like Sunday’s against Philadelphia, he has lacked that toughness presence after recording only one hit in 10:22 of ice time.
J.P. Barry, agent for Gonchar to meet with Pens’ management this week

Contract talks between Penguins general manager Ray Shero and J.P. Barry the agent for Sergei Gonchar will heat up this week.
Barry is due in Pittsburgh later this week to meet with Penguins management.
A source directly involved in the talks, says Pittsburgh will tender their first official offer by this weekend. Both sides expect talks to go into the Olympic break.
It has been floated around that Pittsburgh will prospose a two year offer worth close to $5 million per season and a three year offer in the $4-$4.25 million range.
Aaron Asham calls Matt Cooke “gutless”
Matt Cooke scored the game winning goal in Sunday’s 2-1 win and also got under Aaron Asham’s skin. “He’s a gutless guy,” Aaron Asham said. “I have no respect for him.”