Kris Letang

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The Development of Despres

In 2009, after winning the Stanley Cup, the Pittsburgh Penguins held the 30th pick in the NHL Draft. With said pick the Penguins selected Simon Despres, a big bodied defensive prospect from the QMJHL. Standing at 6’4 and weighing in at 215 pounds, Despres wowed scouts with his excellent skating prowess and his offensive upside. While still very raw in his game, it was clear that Despres possessed the skill set and size to become an all situation defensemen in the NHL.

After being invited to training camp with the Penguins in 2009 and 2010, Despres showed how much his game needed to evolve. He would be sent back to his junior club in both seasons to progress. In the two seasons...

Change Of Fortune

On Tuesday, January 29th, the Pittsburgh Penguins played host to the New York Islanders. With five minutes remaining in the second period, the Islanders John Tavares and Matt Moulson would both score, respectively, on consecutive power plays. At the end of the period the Pittsburgh Penguins players were booed off of the ice.  The real kicker, when the Penguins returned to the ice, the arena had been half full.

Just ten days ago the Penguins record would have indicated an average team considering they were only 3-3-0.  People questioned their toughness, their skill, and whether or not they could ever be considered a true Stanley Cup contender.  That was just six games ...

Flyers, Penguins Kick Off the Season in Philly

The NHL is back, and there is no better way to celebrate the return of hockey in Pennsylvania than to have its two bitter rivals battle in the City of Brotherly Love.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will travel to Philadelphia for a 3PM show down at the Wells Fargo Center. The arena will be filled to capacity with nearly 20,000 orange-and-black-clad Flyers fans, with a little yellow sprinkled in the mix.

The Penguins odds

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS:  FAVORITES TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP

The Penguins traded Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes for Brandon Sutter, a defensive prospect and a first round pick (with which they drafted another defensive prospect). Shortly after, they shipped defenseman Zbynek Michalek back to the Phoenix Coyotes for a couple of prospects and a third round pick.

Then, during the free agency frenzy, the struck out on their main target former New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise and their assumed secondary targets defenseman Ryan Suter and winger Alexander Semin (the verdict is still out on Shane Doan, though the rumored four year, $30 million asking price and ...

The possibility of Alex Semin

Naturally gifted, fluid skater, exceptional puck handling, and devastatingly accurate shooting are some of the greatest aspects of top NHL players.

Conversely, lazy, unmotivated, self centered, and poor locker room presence are the worst possible aspects of an NHL player.

With a light load of free agent talent, it is no shock that a player who encompasses all of the descriptions above still remains unsigned. Alexander Semin is easily the most intriguing free agent of the entire 2012 free agent class. In 469 regular season games Semin has acquired 408 total points (197 goals and 211 assists). In comparison Zach Parise, now of the Minnesota Wild, has 410 points in 502 reg...

Atlantic Division Holiday Wishes: Pittsburgh Penguins

(Photo credit - Zimbio.com)

In this 5 part series, Brian Bock informs you about the Holiday Wishes of the teams in the Atlantic Division. Next team up, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Max Pacioretty Suspended Three Games

The Shanhammer has officially dropped on Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty.

We talked about it on Saturday night, and the general consensus was that Pacioretty would likely sit a few games, following a dangerous hit on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman and Quebec native Kris Letang.

Late in the third period, Letang came streaking up the ice with a Pens winger, cut across the high slot after the blueline, and wound up for a shot at the net. Pacioretty cut through in the opposite direction, looking for a hit. Unfortunately, Letang was hunched forward and looking elsewhere, and got a face-full of shoulder that would go on to break his nose...

Poor Performance, Controversy Mars Habs Loss To Penguins

We should probably preface all of this by declaring that, outside of Carey Price, the Montreal Canadiens probably didn't deserve to win tonight (Jeez, haven't heard THAT before, eh?).

The Habs played a sloppy and inconsistent game against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Bell Centre tonight, and the end result was a 4-3 overtime loss against what was obviously a better team.

That's what should have been the game story following tonight's game. Instead, we're left to sift through the wreckage of the hockey equivalent of a nuclear missile. No, the story of tonight's game wasn't Carey Price's amaz...

Islanders vs (Some of the) Penguins

Preview:  The New York Islanders are returning home after a Florida road trip where the team experienced more sun than fun.  It was a trip which saw two games, two losses, and a continued futility to achieve secondary scoring.  Not the recipe for success this season drawn up by coach Jack Capuano and GM Garth Snow, and not what the team envisioned after jetting off to a 3 – 1 start. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins head into Long Island for the first half of a home-and-home series against the Islanders playing some of the best hockey in the league.  Despite missing all-world talents in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins just keep winning. ...

It's a Great Day For Hockey

Last night’s home opener started off with an eerily similar look to last season and finished with a great sense of promise for the year to come. Both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin suited up for the game in, well, suits… a sight those at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh and millions more with keesters on couches at home were hoping to avoid after last season’s multitude of injuries at center. Like the Penguins or hate them, this league needs those two guys on the ice doing the amazing things this game and their talent allow them to.

But there was no dread, no forlorn stares, no sense of panic in the pregame darkness. This...