Pittsburgh Penguins

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Pittsburgh Wins Big With Value Free Agent Signings

The Pittsburgh Penguins went into the free agent frenzy with glaring needs in their bottom six, an opening at wing in the top six, and an opening on the blueline for a veteran presence.

For just 6.9 million Pittsburgh was able to fill the void left in the bottom six, acquire a top four veteran defenseman, and sign a backup goaltender, although the backup goaltender position was not a glaring need.

What made this day so successful for the Penguins was that they were able to acquire all these additions at maximum value.

Their first signing of the day was perhaps their best signing. The Pens signed recently bought out defender Christian Ehrhoff for just 4 million AAV over o...

Pittsburgh Gets Their Guys, Draft Primer

Pittsburgh has finally hired their new head coach in Mike Johnston, formerly of the Portland Winterhawks. The 57 year old Johnston is a first time head coach in the NHL, but ran a successful program in Portland as a GM/Head Coach combination.

Johnston employs a very fast style of play, predicated on puck possession and quick breakouts. While this sounds like a Dan Bylsma system, Johnston says that the stretch pass can’t be used as a major part of a breakout. He emphasizes the use of the middle of the ice for his breakout plans, having defensemen outlet the puck up to the center, then break through the neutral zone with your best player carrying the puck.

In theory, this ...

Uncertainty and Expectations Make Penguins Head Coaching Job Too Much For First Time Coaches

The Penguins head coaching position has been unofficially passed on by three prospective coaches. Many outside of the organization are wondering why this might be.

Well, after years of regular season success and playoff disappointment, the Penguins fired one of the most well respected General Managers in the league. They then botched the firing of then head coach Dan Bylsma by keeping him for three weeks after the club already made their decision on him being fired.

All of this has culminated in a rather turbulent and uncertain time period. The repercussions of this have finally been felt.

Coaches looking to make their first debut in the league are turning away from the ...

Disco Demolition Night, Rutherford Signed as GM

Around 11:00 am this morning, the Penguins summoned the local media to bring all their 2009 Stanley Cup DVDs to the press room of CONSOL Energy Center to blow up the tenure of Dan Bylsma as Penguins head coach and the addition of former Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford as the new GM. 

In addition to the GM spot filled and the Head Coach vacancy, it was also announced that Assistant GM Jason Botterill was promoted to Associate GM and Tom Fitzgerald and Billy Guerin are now Assistant GMs in what appears to be a transition period to groom a future GM of the Penguins.

Truthfully, I was not enamored at the early talk this morning of Rutherford being the General Manager. I admit th...

Breaking: Penguins Ownership Group Removes Ray Shero From General Manager Position

The Pittsburgh Penguins have officially released Ray Shero from his General Management duties on Friday, May 16.

In a striking contrast from what has been reported for two day, the Penguins did not remove any of the coaching staff. In a very strange and very brief pressing, Penguins President David Morehouse confused the media and the fan base in his explanation.

The Penguins have decided that the coaching staff will not be addressed until the new GM is in place. Once a GM has been hired, it will be his job to hire a coach or retain the group already in place.

Jason Botterill, the current assistant general manager, will take over as interim GM as the Penguins head into t...

Ray Shero and the Draft Table Part Three

As I begin this latest draft review, we are about a half an hour away from the Pens press conference to remove Ray Shero from his position. There goes getting these done beforehand. Alas here is the 2008 draft. This will be a quicker one since the Pens sold the farm and most of their soul to make a Cup run. 

Rd4 Pick 120 - Nathan Moon (Center) - That's right the first pick the Pens had in the draft was in the end of the fourth round. Moon had versatility at the forward positions and a good shot and quick release but strongly lacked in give and go situations. Makes for an odd pick considering the way Bylsma systems tend to run. A player who wasnt known for playing well off t...

This Loss Will Bring Changes

It takes an entire team effort to lose a playoff series when you have a 3-1 lead. From the goaltending, to the defense, to the forwards, the coaches, and the management, there is no one who will be able to escape blame for this disappointment.

It starts and ends with the captain…?

This played out old adage shows that we as fans have learned nothing. You win as a team and lose as a team. Yes, Crosby has to perform better and he is a big reason the Penguins are now eliminated, but that is not the only reason, or even the majority of reasons, that Pittsburgh’s season is over.

Sidney Crosby was pummeled from start to finish in this post season play. Say what you...

Ray Shero and the Draft Table Part Two

Continuting from today's earlier post, let's take a revisionist look at the second and third drafts under Ray Shero in 2007.

2007

Rd1 Pick 20 - Angelo Esposito (Center) -  What was once a concensus number one pick dropped to 8th among the final rankings of North American skaters and took an even further free fall during draft day. When selected, Shero even alluded to his potential tradeability and sure enough was part of the blockbuster deal that sent Pascal Dupuis to the Penguins along with future and inconsequential considerations that ended up being Marian Hossa (haha). Even if the Penguins didnt win the Cup that year and Hossa left for Detroit in the offseason...

Ray Shero and the Draft Table Part One

Rumors run rampant and blame is being cast like a fly fisherman in the wake of yet another early playoff exit/flameout by the Pittsburgh Penguins. This time it was a blown 3-1 series lead against the New York Rangers. I believe a large portion of the reactions, or over reactions at times, isn’t so much on the losing alone but rather how they have lost. I would like to think that even the most Kool-Aid drinking Penguins fans, who believe just because they have Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, that they should be in the Cup Finals every year, realize the difficulty that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The fandom demands of players being traded and coaches being fired is an oft found react...

Pittsburgh Takes Game Four; Are the Rangers Losing Every Battle Or Is Pittsburgh Winning Them?

A boring series? You bet it is.

At this point, it is safe to say that the game one overtime loss to the Rangers was the only resemblance of competition in this series.

Since then the Pittsburgh Penguins have won by a collective 9-2 score. They have clearly been the better team, they have had the better drive, and they certainly have been the more composed team. The Rangers have had 45 giveaways in the past two games; compare that to the Penguins 16. The Rangers have zero power play goals in this series and have had maybe two chances all series.

The problem in trying to break down all of this information is that you cannot get a legitimate read on how this series is being...