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Kovacevic's prospect round-up and Molinari's recap

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Old
04-11-2004, 09:44 AM
  #1
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Kovacevic's prospect round-up and Molinari's recap

Dave Molinari's season recap

Kovacevic's prospect round-up

some good reads.

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04-11-2004, 11:18 AM
  #2
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OK...let me get this straight....Kraft and Morozov have breakout and career seasons respectively. Show that they truly belong, and can produce at a good level, and are going to continue to get better..................

.............and Dave Molinari suggests that they take pay cuts? It's not like they make a ton of money! I don't think either even made the NHL average!


.....And he then suggests that the Pens part ways with both Beech and Sivek? Does he follow or understand hockey? Is he still living in the old days of Pens hockey where you plug in semi-washed up vet to take 2nd and 3rd line duty, instead of developing your own talent for the long run??????

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04-11-2004, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig1
.....And he then suggests that the Pens part ways with both Beech and Sivek? Does he follow or understand hockey? Is he still living in the old days of Pens hockey where you plug in semi-washed up vet to take 2nd and 3rd line duty, instead of developing your own talent for the long run??????
I didn't get that either.
Beech will sign. Sivek is a maybe for now.
Sim has good chances to sign too with his good play.
McKenna is gone

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04-11-2004, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Handsome B. Wonderful
Thats a good read indeed, I really like what Dave Molinari had to say.

Quote:
Kovalev, who will be a free agent July 1, might be the guy to fill that niche. There are some in the organization who believe the Penguins will make a serious attempt to sign him this summer.

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04-11-2004, 11:44 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig1
OK...let me get this straight....Kraft and Morozov have breakout and career seasons respectively. Show that they truly belong, and can produce at a good level, and are going to continue to get better..................

.............and Dave Molinari suggests that they take pay cuts? It's not like they make a ton of money! I don't think either even made the NHL average!


.....And he then suggests that the Pens part ways with both Beech and Sivek? Does he follow or understand hockey? Is he still living in the old days of Pens hockey where you plug in semi-washed up vet to take 2nd and 3rd line duty, instead of developing your own talent for the long run??????
I couldn't agree with you more. Dave Molinari is the worst hockey writer ever.
He doesn't know what to due since his three favorites Ian Moran, Kevin Stevens, and Mark Scally aren't around. I'm suprised Dave didn't move on to Boston so he could get his daily Ian Moran quote. The one good thing is that all of articles are so funny, that it gives us all a good laugh at work. What really gets me is how bias he is against players from Europe. How many articles have you seen from him where it features a player from Europe, or anything positive about any of them. I have no idea how he keeps his job.

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04-11-2004, 11:45 AM
  #6
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Originally Posted by Dr. kØUkLØs
I didn't get that either.
Beech will sign. Sivek is a maybe for now.
Sim has good chances to sign too with his good play.
McKenna is gone

You have to sign Sivek. He's had a terrible run of luck the past couple years health wise with an injury and family wise with his mother......2 things out of his control. When he was in Pittsburgh, he was incinsistent.....that's nothing strange for a then 21 year old rookie....but he showed flashes of what he could be. He needs to stay.

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04-11-2004, 11:48 AM
  #7
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Originally Posted by Mister Hockey
I have no idea how he keeps his job.


Probably because he's covered the Pens for the Post~Gazette since 1983-84. Serioussly though. He's just been there that long. It makes it a lot more difficult to get rid of him, or for him to move on.

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04-11-2004, 12:11 PM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig1
Probably because he's covered the Pens for the Post~Gazette since 1983-84. Serioussly though. He's just been there that long. It makes it a lot more difficult to get rid of him, or for him to move on.
I can remember years ago his artcles in The Hockey News and the paper were both insightful and well written. Now he is a bias idiot who doesn't have a clue, he should retire.

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04-11-2004, 12:32 PM
  #9
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I disagree, I think Molinari wrote a pretty fair outlook on the season. While I'm not one to write off prospects at the young age of 22, it goes without saying that Beech and Sivek haven't done that much to make you encouraged for their future in Pittsburgh. Sivek has battled an injury all year, and Beech has bounced in and out of the lineup with injuries also.

It is too early to make any type of set judgement about them, but things don't look very promising right now.

Besides, being able to get rid of those two actually isn't a bad thing, because it means you have two other players, maybe a Ryan Malone and a Milan Kraft, who have stepped up to become top two line players.

As far as taking paycuts, I think you're misinterpreting that. No one is going to offer these guys much more money than what they got this year, including the Pens. While Morozov and Kraft both had good years and showed good signs of things to come especially down the stretch, neither lit the league on fire either. I'd expect them both to get multi-year deals somewhere are 1.5 million at the most. That isn't a paycut, but Molinari isn't too far off base with what he's said.

Sometimes we as fans like to play fantasy GM. Well, actually, most of us do that all the time. But the bottom line when it comes to this is not potential. Potential means nothing if it doesn't lead to NHL play. No one was tripping over Ryan Malone's potential heading into last season. He played his way onto the team and into a big role and onto the scoresheet with some regularity.

And that's all that it comes to. Playing your way into roles. Not how good you might be, or how many points you put up in an 18 year old league or in college, but what you do in the NHL. You have to earn your way onto the team and earn your way into getting more ice time.

At least that's how it is finally with Olczyk as coach, and I for one, am happy with that. Olcyzk has laid the foundation for future success, and I trust that he and the rest of Penguins management will be able to determine who can and cannot fit into that success, based on their observations of guys who they've seen play and practice.

It's not all doom and gloom right now, but we're in no way out of the woods yet. This team still has to come together. But right now, the begginnings of the team has started to come together, and the foundation has been set.

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04-11-2004, 12:47 PM
  #10
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I disagree completely with your assessment of Beech and Sivek. Beech was given no chance whatsoever at the NHL level the past 2 years. He was the odd man out in camp this year due to options. He didn't make it. Kraft, who admittedly had a poor camp did. Beech dominated all year at the AHL level when healty. Appendicitis kept him out last year...that only happens once at most to someone....And a shoulder injury happened this year. His injuries are either uncontrollable (appendicitis) or non-recurring. That is a good thing as injuries go. When he played....he dominated.

Sivek is in the same boat. He played well when he wasn't injured. He had a pretty bad injury, that limited him all year. That happens. If he is healty next year, he should fair really well.

The Pens were in a position this year where they could not have a 100% youth roster. That would have been detrimental to development. Sivek and Beech were penciled in to get top line minutes in WBS. Maybe they won't be top line players for the Pens....That's fine. But you don't get rid of 22 year olds who look to have solid careers as pretty good 2nd line players to great 3rd line players. An organization is about more than just the front line. It is about depth and consistency. Those 2 traits are accomplished through a quality farm, a la New Jersey.

Have they been passed by Malone? Yes. Does that mean we toss them aside? No chance.

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04-11-2004, 12:49 PM
  #11
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As for Kraft and Morozov......if they are not offered a 10% raise, they become UFA. I can guarantee you that quite a few teams would be willing to pay both more than a current 10% raise to come play for them. The Pens need to pay some players.....a 10% raise for both is still a bargain. Even with a projected salary cap of $40 million, they would be realative bargains for their production this year.

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04-11-2004, 04:48 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKnowNothing
I disagree, I think Molinari wrote a pretty fair outlook on the season. While I'm not one to write off prospects at the young age of 22, it goes without saying that Beech and Sivek haven't done that much to make you encouraged for their future in Pittsburgh. Sivek has battled an injury all year, and Beech has bounced in and out of the lineup with injuries also.

It is too early to make any type of set judgement about them, but things don't look very promising right now.

Besides, being able to get rid of those two actually isn't a bad thing, because it means you have two other players, maybe a Ryan Malone and a Milan Kraft, who have stepped up to become top two line players.

As far as taking paycuts, I think you're misinterpreting that. No one is going to offer these guys much more money than what they got this year, including the Pens. While Morozov and Kraft both had good years and showed good signs of things to come especially down the stretch, neither lit the league on fire either. I'd expect them both to get multi-year deals somewhere are 1.5 million at the most. That isn't a paycut, but Molinari isn't too far off base with what he's said.

Sometimes we as fans like to play fantasy GM. Well, actually, most of us do that all the time. But the bottom line when it comes to this is not potential. Potential means nothing if it doesn't lead to NHL play. No one was tripping over Ryan Malone's potential heading into last season. He played his way onto the team and into a big role and onto the scoresheet with some regularity.

And that's all that it comes to. Playing your way into roles. Not how good you might be, or how many points you put up in an 18 year old league or in college, but what you do in the NHL. You have to earn your way onto the team and earn your way into getting more ice time.

At least that's how it is finally with Olczyk as coach, and I for one, am happy with that. Olcyzk has laid the foundation for future success, and I trust that he and the rest of Penguins management will be able to determine who can and cannot fit into that success, based on their observations of guys who they've seen play and practice.

It's not all doom and gloom right now, but we're in no way out of the woods yet. This team still has to come together. But right now, the begginnings of the team has started to come together, and the foundation has been set.
I think this was one of Daves better articles, but he still said some absurd things that are way off base. When I talk about Molinari, I'm speaking about him over the course of the past few years. The way he used to write about Ian Moran, you would have thought he was Bobby Orr, Scott Stevens, Chris Pronger, and Dave Burrows all rolled into one. Mark Scally is another fine example. It's nice that a local guy gets a chance, but this one just couldn't play goal. I went to a few games at Wheeling and his own teammates were laughing at him during warm ups, he was that bad. If you listened to Dave talk about him, you would have thought he was the next Ken Dryden. His reviews of games are another good joke. I will read his article the next day, and I would swear he must have been at a different game than the rest of us. Does he know that we have some guys on the team from Europe. The only time I think he does is when they make a mistake. Than he has no trouble writting about them. I could go on for ever, but I think I made my point.

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Old
04-11-2004, 05:16 PM
  #13
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I agree. He does seem to have bias towards certian players, but absolutely no understanding of the concept of farm system. I think this stems, sgain, from the fact that he has covered the Pens for a long period, when the Pens didn't beleive in the concept of farm system. Prospects were just something to trade away for vets who have already peaked, and are on the downside.




As I reread the article, I noticed that I missed the biggest...WHA?

He talked up Focht:

Quote:
Factor in his size (6 feet 6, 237 pounds), skating, toughness and work ethic, and it would be folly to write Focht out of the long-term plans.
Nothing against Focht, but Long-term plans? Focht, if he pans out and becomes all that he can be, is a bad 6th, good 7th on a decent team. Short term plans, and I might say: Why not? See how he performs in camp. LTP? He's about the Pens 14th best D-man right now. And yes, I was able to name 13 off the top of my head that I would rather see on the ice in a game tomorrow.....and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few! That's not potential...that's right now!

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04-11-2004, 05:20 PM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig1
I disagree completely with your assessment of Beech and Sivek. Beech was given no chance whatsoever at the NHL level the past 2 years. He was the odd man out in camp this year due to options. He didn't make it. Kraft, who admittedly had a poor camp did. Beech dominated all year at the AHL level when healty. Appendicitis kept him out last year...that only happens once at most to someone....And a shoulder injury happened this year. His injuries are either uncontrollable (appendicitis) or non-recurring. That is a good thing as injuries go. When he played....he dominated.

Sivek is in the same boat. He played well when he wasn't injured. He had a pretty bad injury, that limited him all year. That happens. If he is healty next year, he should fair really well.

The Pens were in a position this year where they could not have a 100% youth roster. That would have been detrimental to development. Sivek and Beech were penciled in to get top line minutes in WBS. Maybe they won't be top line players for the Pens....That's fine. But you don't get rid of 22 year olds who look to have solid careers as pretty good 2nd line players to great 3rd line players. An organization is about more than just the front line. It is about depth and consistency. Those 2 traits are accomplished through a quality farm, a la New Jersey.

Have they been passed by Malone? Yes. Does that mean we toss them aside? No chance.
Beech doesn't dominate the AHL level. He takes minor penalties and is able to score in bunches at times.

Beech came up and did jack.

The guys have been injured but you have to play your way onto the team, plain and simple. If the management feels they will never do that-something that Molinari hints at-then if they deem it's time to part ways so be it.

I'm starting to hate the words 'solid' and 'pretty good.' No offense intended, because I use these words myself.

My point is not to let these guys walk. But I'm not going to be throwing furniture around if we offer them cheap minor league deals and they don't sign.

These guys are young, and I've defended them before. But there comes a time when you have to just start playing. There's really no one who is all that dominating in the AHL level, with exception probably to Surovy when he's playing. I'm not saying to dump all these guys, but if a few prospects aren't brought back, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it, mainly because it seems evident that Olczyk has a plan to get the team competitive again, and knows which players he wants.

We'll see what happens in the summer, but I place higher preference on guys like Eaves, Whitney, Talbot, and Bissionette as of now than Beech, Sivek, or Murley for examples. (And as you may know Murley is probably my favorite prospect).

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04-11-2004, 05:37 PM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKnowNothing
Beech came up and did jack.
4 games does not a chance make.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKnowNothing
The guys have been injured but you have to play your way onto the team, plain and simple. If the management feels they will never do that-something that Molinari hints at-then if they deem it's time to part ways so be it.
Yes, they do have to play their way on. But they need to be given the chance to do so. They both had good years 2 years ago at the NHL level, given their age. Both can get better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKnowNothing
We'll see what happens in the summer, but I place higher preference on guys like Eaves, Whitney, Talbot, and Bissionette as of now than Beech, Sivek, or Murley for examples. (And as you may know Murley is probably my favorite prospect).
The prospects above may, granted, have more potential at this point. That's fine. But again, you do not build an organization with only the "top" prospects, casting potential 2nd and 3rd line role players aside. That was the Pens way for the past 15 years, and each successive year, it became more and more obvious that change was needed. Now, they are in a position to start developing these players on their own and they are supposed to be cast-off? Because there are guys in the minors who are still a few years away with more upside? If that's the case, the Pens would have relinquished the rights to Malone 2 years ago, since at the time, a younger Kris Beech had blown by him on the depth chart.

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04-11-2004, 05:38 PM
  #16
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the only thing i really disagreed with what Molinari said is not offering contracts to beech and sivek. while i honestly dont think sivek will amount to much, even if due to bad luck, i do think he should be given at least another year year to see what he can do.

beech, as has been said a few times before, is now in the same position kraft was. with luck, it will work out th same way.

oh yeah, and molinari didnt mention bradley going anywhere. why in gods name would you keep him over sivek or beech?

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04-11-2004, 05:40 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raider Zero
oh yeah, and molinari didnt mention bradley going anywhere. why in gods name would you keep him over sivek or beech?

Because he's looking forward to comparing him to Kevin Stevens in training camp! :lol

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04-11-2004, 05:45 PM
  #18
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Quote:
But again, you do not build an organization with only the "top" prospects, casting potential 2nd and 3rd line role players aside.
If you have role players on your second line your in a lot of trouble. The second line needs to have players who can produce a good amount of points. Guys like Kraft and Malone make good second line players in the future.

Quote:
Because there are guys in the minors who are still a few years away with more upside? If that's the case, the Pens would have relinquished the rights to Malone 2 years ago, since at the time, a younger Kris Beech had blown by him on the depth chart.
This argument is way off base. Malone was in college at that time, we're talking about prospects who have turned pro here. My point is that when you start playing in the pros, you have to advance yourself. You have to earn your chance and you have to make the most of it.

I'm not saying not to offer these guys contracts, but I wouldn't be slamming down their doors offering contracts right now. If their rights can be retained for a reasonable price, then resign them. On the other side of the coin, they shouldn't be thrown onto the team no matter what. If you can't make the team from camp then you don't belong on it and shouldn't get a spot.

A lot can happen between now and next year. It can't be refuted that these guys haven't done much to earn any type of spot for the future, at least as of now.

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04-11-2004, 08:54 PM
  #19
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Originally Posted by craig1
Because he's looking forward to comparing him to Kevin Stevens in training camp! :lol
I Love it! Matt blew for 9/10's of the year. This is a great example of Dave's writing.

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04-11-2004, 09:04 PM
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raider Zero
oh yeah, and molinari didnt mention bradley going anywhere. why in gods name would you keep him over sivek or beech?
because he's already under contract

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04-11-2004, 09:52 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKnowNothing
If you have role players on your second line your in a lot of trouble. The second line needs to have players who can produce a good amount of points. Guys like Kraft and Malone make good second line players in the future.

My whole point was that you cannot hope to develop only first line talent and cast the rest aside. I did not mean to imply that you have role players on the 2nd line. In the past, during the Lumberjack days, the Pens would have close to zero younger players in Cleveland, going with a top prospect, if he didn't jump straight to the NHL, or 30 something never was men who would jump in and fill on the 3rd and 4th line.

It worked in the early 1990's while the Pens had star forwards to spare on the top 2 lines eating up over 20 minutes a night each. The 3rdline would barely see the ice let alone the 4th. Now, they need to hold on to potential 2nd and 3rd line players. Even if they do not live up to full potential, or are passed by others, they need to hold them.

As for the Malone argument, I was pointing out that he was not even on our radar a year ago, yet he is older than Beech by 2 years. Because he was far down on the depth chart and projected as nothing more than a potential 4th liner, 3rd at best, should he have been cast aside?

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04-11-2004, 10:04 PM
  #22
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No, but he earned his way onto the team in training camp. If Beech or Sivek does that this year, it would be just dandy. But they didn't last year. I think they still do deserve the chance, but if Penguins management feels that they won't make it, then it might be time to part ways.

Of course, all of this is just rampant speculation. To clarify something, I particuarly like Sivek, and think he might be a darkhorse to make the team next year. I'll be honest, with Beech I don't hold much NHL-level hope for. He hasn't shown all that much in his time with the Pens, although a lot of it has been spent with third line players at best.

He just doesn't have anything that screams NHL player about him. As someone might have said in another thread, he was an agitating type player when he was drafted, and never really projected to be much of a scorer or playmaker for that matter. He had pretty good offensive skills, but not the Ron Francis skills that CP foolishly said in the press conference.

He isn't a bad prospect, he was a fairly good one to begin with. He found a scoring touch in the AHL, but the game down there is kind of hectic and I don't think the scoring touch will carry over all that much to the NHL. To affirm a role in the NHL, I think he has to get back to his nagging type of play, which is something I've never seen from him outside of training camp. Seriously, earlier this year in training camp games he had begun doing this again, but it never carried through.

In the AHL either... I'm not trying to make it sound like he needs to develop into Jarko Ruutu here or anything, just that I think if he's going to stick around in the NHL he will have to play with an edge, something I don't know is there still.

Anyways, if there is no room for these guys to try to affirm themselves, then that actually is probably a good thing, because it most likely means that you have guys filling roles with the team and Beech, Sivek, or whoever aren't needed.

I will say that I do think they should both be at least offered something, because at worst they can be pretty good contributors on the minor league team, something that isn't priority number one but is still good to have.

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04-11-2004, 10:11 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrKnowNothing
No

I guess we will have to agree to disagree with the way to handle prospects.

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04-11-2004, 10:50 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig1
My whole point was that you cannot hope to develop only first line talent and cast the rest aside. I did not mean to imply that you have role players on the 2nd line. In the past, during the Lumberjack days, the Pens would have close to zero younger players in Cleveland, going with a top prospect, if he didn't jump straight to the NHL, or 30 something never was men who would jump in and fill on the 3rd and 4th line.

It worked in the early 1990's while the Pens had star forwards to spare on the top 2 lines eating up over 20 minutes a night each. The 3rdline would barely see the ice let alone the 4th. Now, they need to hold on to potential 2nd and 3rd line players. Even if they do not live up to full potential, or are passed by others, they need to hold them.

As for the Malone argument, I was pointing out that he was not even on our radar a year ago, yet he is older than Beech by 2 years. Because he was far down on the depth chart and projected as nothing more than a potential 4th liner, 3rd at best, should he have been cast aside?
I agree with what you are stating, but these guys were to be first line players. They still may contribute something, but they have quite a way to go. The Pens picked them up to be first line talent. They so far are not. I hope this changes, or else, "they got nothing for Jager."

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Old
04-12-2004, 08:52 AM
  #25
biedergb
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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With regard to Beech and Sivek.

I agree that they should be in camp next year. And prove whether they belong or not. And while they were brought in as 1st line talent, that doesn't always pan out (obviously), but they should be allowed to find a new niche. If Beech could be 2nd line winger, or 4th line center, the only restriction would be his pay (isn't he scheduled for about $1 mil + 10% as a RFA if he is with the Pro club?). Sivek could be 3rd line forward. And hey, if they have 1st line potential and play on a 2nd/3rd/or even 4th line, that would speak to our depth. Now, I'm not drawing comparisons, but making reference to a goal or ideal situation: look at teams like Detroit and Philly, they really have 4 solid lines, no pure 4th-liners (with the exception of Brashear). Det's lines are seemingly interchangeable (is Datsyuk, Yzerman or Lang the #1 center), and Phily when healthy boasts 4 good centermen (JR, Gagne, Primeau and Handzus). I guess my only beef with Beech and Sivek is cost. It is hard to justify financially to keep a $1 million player as a 4th liner (correct me if I'm wrong on Beech, but I thought that was the figure for #1 picks as the NHL portion of salaries).

The other point is the Jagr factor. Yes, I think Lupaschuck may have been passed over by many on the depth charts. That leaves Beech and Sivek as the only hope for something to show ... Anyone else wishing CP had the foresight to ask for Washington's #1 pick in 2004 as part of this deal?

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