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Episode IX|The Off-Season Thread|It's... still the offseason.

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Old
09-07-2012, 10:09 PM
  #151
Coach John McGuirk
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We wouldn't have a choice of whether or not to give Letang $7M/yr. Why? Because he's by far and away our best defender. He's our only real threat as an NHL defenseman at the moment, to be honest. Engelland is fine at what he does, but he's a bottom pairing guy. Niskanen is an okay player, but again, bottom pairing guy. Nobody knows what we have in our prospects yet, and Martin has been absolutely abysmal for a season and two playoff series.

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09-08-2012, 12:40 AM
  #152
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7m/yr for Letang?

That would be rough. I would hope Letang would sign for less though, for a longer deal.

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09-08-2012, 01:01 AM
  #153
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Originally Posted by Lim Ran View Post
I'd give Letang $7m in a heartbeat. If he got a contract worth $7m/year, I'd feel absolutely fine about it. Karlsson just got 6.5 for 7. Letang is worth $500k more than Karlsson if he's going to leave otherwise.

I'd rather have Letang on my team than Karlsson any day, anyway (we're on the Pens board, right? I'm not going to have Sens fans start puffing their chests out here?).

Also, people suggesting his spot could/should/would end up going to rookies who haven't played a game yet in the NHL proper are absolutely off their rockers. Stop posting.
As long as by "any day" you don't mean last season then sure seriously, its a tough comparison because you could argue either way. With Letang missing as much time as he did, its really hard to say.

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09-08-2012, 01:14 AM
  #154
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i've seen you say this a few times, but i just don't buy it. he was terrible defensively. if martin/michalek/orpik were F-, then letang was an F+, so the line "our best defensive d-man" is meaningless.
I definitely disagree. Letang wasn't great, but he was hardly terrible. I'd have given him a C, and if we were grading on a curve he'd have rated a hell of a lot better.

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you dont have one of the worst GAA in history if your #1 dman played a good defensive game. hes the leader of your defense and your defense was terrible, so he deserves a lot of blame.
You can absolutely have one of the worst GAAs in history if 3/4 of your top 4 plays like ass and your goalie lets in every puck shot at him (and some that aren't).

Letang's a very good defenseman, but he can't make Martin win a 50/50 battle or prevent Fleury from throwing pucks in his own net. Those were the balance-tippers.

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sure teams will overpay for letang, but right now he is more style than substance. thats pretty much what i attribute his norris voting to (most recent norris winner is great example of style over substance).
That about says it all. Karlsson winning the Norris isn't "style over substance". Offense isn't everything, but it's definitely substantive, particularly when its miles above every other player at your position.

Letang's one of the best defensemen in the league. He deserves to be paid like it.

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some team may pay this current version of letang seven million, but i dont believe hes currently worth that to the penguins. particularly on a long term deal, when the pens have talented youngsters that have a reasonable chance of filling his role.
You'd realize his value very quickly if we lost him and had to rely on Martin, Orpik, bottom-pairing defensemen, rookies, and whatever we could scrape up in UFA. If our management were ever stupid enough to let Letang go, I hope he'd go to the Flyers just so they could see their colossal mistake up close for years to come.

You don't deal players like Letang on a hope and a prayer that your teenage blueliners will be able to come in and replace a 50+ point defenseman. If Morrow or Despres comes in and scores 40+ points at some point over the next two years while providing a great defensive game, then we can talk. But that doesn't seem like a reasonable expectation to me.


Last edited by Rowdy Roddy Peeper: 09-08-2012 at 01:43 AM.
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09-08-2012, 02:50 AM
  #155
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Letang is not good enough defensively - or on the PP for that matter - to get 7 million, IMO.

He is a great player and I love him, but I dearly hope he will take less than that. That said, if the choice is between giving in to such a demand and losing him on a free, we likely have little choice. So...

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09-08-2012, 03:48 AM
  #156
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Letang would have to be mentioned in the same breath as Ryan Suter, defensively, before he's even in the 6m range.

I would be pretty happy with him re-signing at 5.5-6m/yr type of contract, completely depends on how well he plays though. If he's in the running for the Norris, which basically means if he has a ton of points he's in because lord knows actual defensive ability doesn't win you that award anymore, points points points!...uh yeah, if he's in the running for it, then yeah, 6m/yr is well earned.

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09-08-2012, 06:39 AM
  #157
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Letang is not good enough defensively - or on the PP for that matter - to get 7 million, IMO.
Letang was 19th in defensemen production on the powerplay despite playing 51 games last year. Per game, he is tied for 4th in power play points with Pietrangelo and Byfuglien just ahead of Weber. He is in fact very good on the powerplay.

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Letang would have to be mentioned in the same breath as Ryan Suter, defensively, before he's even in the 6m range.
That's just a ridiculous statement considering Suter is making 7.5M and Letang's offensive production is head and shoulders ahead of Suter's. If Letang's defense was on the same level as Suter's he'd be hands down the best defenseman in the league.

Letang is a top 10 defenseman in the league. If he chooses not to get paid like one great, but if he gets what he deserves he's looking in the 6.5-7.5M range. Obviously that's likely to change with a new CBA.


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09-08-2012, 07:04 AM
  #158
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If Sarge were brought back here, I could see this team having a serious resurgence. He was like the grandpa of this very young team. Adding him back would undoubtedly give this group a big lift. I do sort of hope Sarge is brought back next season at a reduced salary (if he'd be willing to take it). No better guy to learn the powerplay from, and we have Joe Morrow right about ready. That would pay huge dividends having an old vet teaching him the ropes.

I do believe though that Sarge would take the big Russian money before he played for 3-4 million per season here.

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09-08-2012, 08:09 AM
  #159
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Originally Posted by Rowdy Roddy Peeper View Post
I definitely disagree. Letang wasn't great, but he was hardly terrible. I'd have given him a C, and if we were grading on a curve he'd have rated a hell of a lot better.

You can absolutely have one of the worst GAAs in history if 3/4 of your top 4 plays like ass and your goalie lets in every puck shot at him (and some that aren't).

Letang's a very good defenseman, but he can't make Martin win a 50/50 battle or prevent Fleury from throwing pucks in his own net. Those were the balance-tippers.
still not buying it. no frakking way was he average defensively. you are probably the only pens fan that thinks he was decent.

he sucked, the entire team sucked, they were embarassing, lets accept it and move on.

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That about says it all. Karlsson winning the Norris isn't "style over substance". Offense isn't everything, but it's definitely substantive, particularly when its miles above every other player at your position.

Letang's one of the best defensemen in the league. He deserves to be paid like it.
but there is more to winning hockey games than points, particularly for a d-men, yadda yadda yadda, plus/minus, mike green, [insert various boring arguments here].

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You'd realize his value very quickly if we lost him and had to rely on Martin, Orpik, bottom-pairing defensemen, rookies, and whatever we could scrape up in UFA. If our management were ever stupid enough to let Letang go, I hope he'd go to the Flyers just so they could see their colossal mistake up close for years to come.

You don't deal players like Letang on a hope and a prayer that your teenage blueliners will be able to come in and replace a 50+ point defenseman. If Morrow or Despres comes in and scores 40+ points at some point over the next two years while providing a great defensive game, then we can talk. But that doesn't seem like a reasonable expectation to me.
im not advocating trading letang now or even in the future. but i do not believe this current version of letang is worth seven million dollars to the penguins. the strength of the pens prospects is obviously in the blueline, with guys who play a somewhat similar role (if not exact same style) to letang. the benefit of having those young players in a cap world is obviously you can pay them a lot less than vets. despres, morrow, etc obviously aren't sure bets to even be NHL players, but its not outlandish to suggest they might one day become top pairing guys. its not like i'm suggesting bortuzzo can become shea weber.

its literally almost the exact the same thing that happened with gonchar. if the young fellas can step in, contribute and give management confidence they can be top notch defensemen in the league, you dump the overpriced veteran.

maybe ill feel comfortable giving letang big money when this team actually goes somewhere in the playoffs with him as their #1 d-man. but so far, eh, not so much.

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09-08-2012, 08:15 AM
  #160
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Two major differences

1. When we let Gonchar go Letang and Goligoski each had substantial NHL experience.
2. Gonchar was 36 years old.

Letang is a top 10 defenseman in the league. If we don't pay him someone else will. And then we won't have a top 10 defenseman in the league on our team.

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09-08-2012, 08:18 AM
  #161
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Originally Posted by Ogrezilla View Post
Two major differences

1. When we let Gonchar go Letang and Goligoski each had substantial NHL experience.
2. Gonchar was 36 years old.
im only saying dump letang if one or two of our young blueliners get substantial experience and impresses.

your second point is true, but i still think their is some merit to the comparison.

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09-08-2012, 08:20 AM
  #162
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Originally Posted by Til the End of Time View Post
im only saying dump letang if one or two of our young blueliners get substantial experience and impresses.

your second point is true, but i still think their is some merit to the comparison.
if the young guys play well enough, sure they could make Letang expendable. That's not something I think we should be expecting though. And it doesn't change the fact that Letang deserves to get paid like a top defenseman. It just changes whether we should be the ones to give it to him. And I know that second point is what you are arguing, just wanted to make note of it.

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09-08-2012, 08:42 AM
  #163
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Letang is almost like a Staal type guy around here - he constantly gets overrated for intangibles and folks have a hard time evaluating him objectively. I get that he's our "best defender" but that isn't really saying much given how much everyone has underachieved.

When I look at Letang, I see a guy who has all the physical tools and a nice pair of hands, but he still hasn't put it all together yet. He's average at best in terms of QB'ing the PP and defensively he still leaves a lot to be desired.

Yeah - he's a physical freak and he plays tough, but lets not let those 2 "intangibles" cloud our view of him because his game still isn't as good at some of the folks on this board will lead you to believe.


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09-08-2012, 08:48 AM
  #164
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He's average at best in terms of QB'ing the PP and defensively he still leaves a lot to be desired.
He is criminally underrated defensively.

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09-08-2012, 08:52 AM
  #165
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He is criminally underrated defensively.
Couldn't disagree with you more. Until Kris shows a consistent ability to play solid defense day in and day out, I really don't know how anyone could make that statement.

When he plays well defensively? He's lights out... but when he is sloppy... wow is it bad. His biggest issue is consistency. The great defenders in this league are consistently good in their own end every single game. I'm not sure how you could say that about Letang's game... especially given how awful he played during that series against Philly.

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09-08-2012, 09:00 AM
  #166
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... especially given how awful he played during that series against Philly.
I´m a bit afraid, that you came to conclusion cause you base so much on that one series. I know he had pretty bad playoffs, but other than that i think he has been excellent defensively for two years now. I honestly dont even remember him having many defensive gaffes these last few years.

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09-08-2012, 09:04 AM
  #167
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I´m a bit afraid, that you came to conclusion cause you base so much on that one series. I know he had pretty bad playoffs, but other than that i think he has been excellent defensively for two years now. I honestly dont even remember him having many defensive gaffes these last few years.
That's a fair point, but like TTEOT said... when you're the team's best defender and you fold during "crunch time" in the most important games of the season, it has a really negative impact on the team. So yeah - am I being a tough critic on him? Absolutely.. but he didn't play well during the games that mattered, so I think I'm not necessarily being totally unfair here.

Granted, there were a lot of other factors like Martin, Orpik, and Z playing defense like they were at a casual game of winter shinny after a long night of drinking... but nonetheless I thought Kris could have put forward a better effort in the defensive zone.

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09-08-2012, 10:17 AM
  #168
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Originally Posted by cassius View Post
That's a fair point, but like TTEOT said... when you're the team's best defender and you fold during "crunch time" in the most important games of the season, it has a really negative impact on the team. So yeah - am I being a tough critic on him? Absolutely.. but he didn't play well during the games that mattered, so I think I'm not necessarily being totally unfair here.

Granted, there were a lot of other factors like Martin, Orpik, and Z playing defense like they were at a casual game of winter shinny after a long night of drinking... but nonetheless I thought Kris could have put forward a better effort in the defensive zone.
god that philly series still makes my blood boil. what an absolute disaster. fleury outplayed by bryz, crosby outplayed by giroux, malkin owned by rookies, laviolette making bylsma look ridiculous, traitor jagr beating us.

this supposed battle-hardened veteran team built for the playoffs played right into the flyers side-show crap.

only bright side is crosby didnt get hurt and flyers didnt win the cup. if either of those two things happened i would have seriously gone insane.

i like living in philly but god damn flyers.

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09-08-2012, 10:33 AM
  #169
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Originally Posted by Til the End of Time View Post
god that philly series still makes my blood boil. what an absolute disaster. fleury outplayed by bryz, crosby outplayed by giroux, malkin owned by rookies, laviolette making bylsma look ridiculous, traitor jagr beating us.

this supposed battle-hardened veteran team built for the playoffs played right into the flyers side-show crap.

only bright side is crosby didnt get hurt and flyers didnt win the cup. if either of those two things happened i would have seriously gone insane.

i like living in philly but god damn flyers.

Of course they did, they beat Crosby in a playoff series.

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09-08-2012, 10:52 AM
  #170
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still not buying it. no frakking way was he average defensively. you are probably the only pens fan that thinks he was decent.

he sucked, the entire team sucked, they were embarassing, lets accept it and move on.
The entire team didn't suck though. That's a gross oversimplification.

You're right, Crosby did get outplayed by Giroux. Malkin did get contained by Couturier. But they didn't suck, they just didn't play up to their usual high standards while the Flyers played above theirs.

Letang's in that same boat. He's a product of a blanket revisionist history that's too lazy to evaluate each player on his own merits that series.

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but there is more to winning hockey games than points, particularly for a d-men, yadda yadda yadda, plus/minus, mike green, [insert various boring arguments here].
Production's a big part of a player's value, and when they're dominant in that respect, they deserve consideration.

Karlsson's already better than Green was defensively during his glory days, and is producing similar numbers without the benefit of a powerhouse offense like the Caps. I prefer Weber, but Karlsson was as good a Norris choice as any.

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im not advocating trading letang now or even in the future. but i do not believe this current version of letang is worth seven million dollars to the penguins. the strength of the pens prospects is obviously in the blueline, with guys who play a somewhat similar role (if not exact same style) to letang. the benefit of having those young players in a cap world is obviously you can pay them a lot less than vets. despres, morrow, etc obviously aren't sure bets to even be NHL players, but its not outlandish to suggest they might one day become top pairing guys. its not like i'm suggesting bortuzzo can become shea weber.
But you are suggesting that these teenagers will be able to make a well-rounded 50 point defenseman redundant in 2 years. I like our blueline prospect pool as much as anyone, but that's just not reasonable.

I'm not sure if you want a blueline comprised entirely of kids in their early 20s, or you think we're just going to get a better defenseman than Letang in free agency for less than he'd sign for, or what. It seems hyper-optimistic to me.

Martin and Orpik - you jettison. Letang - you build around.

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its literally almost the exact the same thing that happened with gonchar. if the young fellas can step in, contribute and give management confidence they can be top notch defensemen in the league, you dump the overpriced veteran.
It's really, really not. One was a depreciating asset on a 35+ contract, the other is a 25 year old coming into his prime.

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maybe ill feel comfortable giving letang big money when this team actually goes somewhere in the playoffs with him as their #1 d-man. but so far, eh, not so much.
That would've been a good idea for the Kings last fall, eh?


Last edited by Rowdy Roddy Peeper: 09-08-2012 at 11:01 AM.
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09-08-2012, 11:21 AM
  #171
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Originally Posted by Til the End of Time View Post
god that philly series still makes my blood boil. what an absolute disaster. fleury outplayed by bryz, crosby outplayed by giroux, malkin owned by rookies, laviolette making bylsma look ridiculous, traitor jagr beating us.

this supposed battle-hardened veteran team built for the playoffs played right into the flyers side-show crap.

only bright side is crosby didnt get hurt and flyers didnt win the cup. if either of those two things happened i would have seriously gone insane.

i like living in philly but god damn flyers.
Fleury did outplay bryz, if the retarded coaches could figure out how to stop philthy from scoring the same ****ing pp-goal all over again, we would have taken the series in 5 games.

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09-08-2012, 11:25 AM
  #172
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Fleury did outplay bryz, if the retarded coaches could figure out how to stop philthy from scoring the same ****ing pp-goal all over again, we would have taken the series in 5 games.
I'm sorry, I love Fleury. But he didn't outplay anybody. Fleury literally threw a puck into his own net.

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09-08-2012, 11:50 AM
  #173
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Originally Posted by cassius View Post
Letang is almost like a Staal type guy around here - he constantly gets overrated for intangibles and folks have a hard time evaluating him objectively. I get that he's our "best defender" but that isn't really saying much given how much everyone has underachieved.

When I look at Letang, I see a guy who has all the physical tools and a nice pair of hands, but he still hasn't put it all together yet. He's average at best in terms of QB'ing the PP and defensively he still leaves a lot to be desired.

Yeah - he's a physical freak and he plays tough, but lets not let those 2 "intangibles" cloud our view of him because his game still isn't as good at some of the folks on this board will lead you to believe.
I will agree that he's not a PP QB and I don't think he ever will be. It's not his natural ability.

That being said... you are really incorrect about his defensive game. It's not even close. He does have mental lapses that even he discussed after the season, but the guy deserves every bit of 7m if that's what he gets.

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09-08-2012, 12:01 PM
  #174
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I'm sorry, I love Fleury. But he didn't outplay anybody. Fleury literally threw a puck into his own net.
And yet he played better then bryz. And what do you think being left out like he was does to someone with as weak mental as fleury?

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09-08-2012, 12:19 PM
  #175
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I will agree that he's not a PP QB and I don't think he ever will be. It's not his natural ability.

That being said... you are really incorrect about his defensive game. It's not even close. He does have mental lapses that even he discussed after the season, but the guy deserves every bit of 7m if that's what he gets.
he's not a perfect PP QB, but he gets the job done better than most guys do for most other teams. Seriously, tied for 4th for powerplay points per game last year. I'm not saying he's the 4th best powerplay QB or anything, but you don't get that production without being pretty darn good.
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And yet he played better then bryz. And what do you think being left out like he was does to someone with as weak mental as fleury?
He did not. I was going to write a big thing about why, but then I realized I'm responding to a post that basically used the "nu uh" argument and then pointed out his biggest flaw as if it was other people's fault.

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