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Penguins sign Defenseman Boris Valabik (1 year | $550k | 2-way)

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Old
07-03-2011, 01:20 PM
  #51
Muscles4Malkin
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Not sure what to think about these...


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07-03-2011, 01:26 PM
  #52
wej20
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If Asham was a few inches taller he'd easily haven't beaten Valabik.

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07-03-2011, 01:33 PM
  #53
Fraction Jackson
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Valabik's a guy I've wanted us to take a chance on before. Worst case is that he provides the Baby Pens with some size and toughness, but I think we should watch him closely in camp and see what he can do. Maybe we can find some way to help him put it together and become a tolerable #6/7 defender. If not, it's a two-way so no harm done if he can't figure out a way to make the jump. Maybe we should get him to work with whatever skating coach it was that worked with Brian Boyle during the summer...

Anyway, there's no risk here. Cheap depth for WBS if nothing changes, with the small chance of him being able to jump-start his development and become something more. Remember, he is only 25, and some defenders just take a while to figure it out at the NHL level. It's entirely likely that he won't, but the small possibility that he will makes him a better signing than your standard AHL depth defender would have been.

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07-03-2011, 01:39 PM
  #54
Uncle Jorgi
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Originally Posted by Fraction Jackson View Post
Valabik's a guy I've wanted us to take a chance on before. Worst case is that he provides the Baby Pens with some size and toughness, but I think we should watch him closely in camp and see what he can do. Maybe we can find some way to help him put it together and become a tolerable #6/7 defender. If not, it's a two-way so no harm done if he can't figure out a way to make the jump. Maybe we should get him to work with whatever skating coach it was that worked with Brian Boyle during the summer...

Anyway, there's no risk here. Cheap depth for WBS if nothing changes, with the small chance of him being able to jump-start his development and become something more. Remember, he is only 25, and some defenders just take a while to figure it out at the NHL level. It's entirely likely that he won't, but the small possibility that he will makes him a better signing than your standard AHL depth defender would have been.
Agreed.

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07-03-2011, 01:44 PM
  #55
Uncle Jorgi
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Same here.

I know people (understandably) get enticed by size, physicality and willingness to fight... but Valabik really is pretty bad. I would say worse than all of the guys you listed, despite his advantage in experience.

I think he's fine to have around for possible spot duty if injuries crop up and I like that he is in a different mold than the other defensemen on the team and in the system. I also hope he rips up camp and makes it clear that he's first in line for a callup. But he's an extremely limited player... particularly in a system that emphasizes skating in general and the ability to carry the puck a bit and make quick decisions to transition to offense from defense, in particular.
Yeah, either way i'm not real worried about it. Good depth signing for WBS, and if we need a call up, whoever is playing the best at the time will get the nod.

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07-03-2011, 01:51 PM
  #56
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Can this guy actually use his size effectively? I see a lot of comments comparing him to Gill, which is kinda of discouraging considering the fact that Gill can't throw a hit to save his life...

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07-03-2011, 01:56 PM
  #57
BlindWillyMcHurt
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Yeah, either way i'm not real worried about it. Good depth signing for WBS, and if we need a call up, whoever is playing the best at the time will get the nod.
Yup.

I will say that I think he's one of the better "project" players out there that Shero could have taken a chance on. Fraction's post summed it up perfectly... if he actually shows some signs of putting things together, here... he might merit a longer look in the organization. If not... oh well.

I don't really know what, exactly, the Penguins could do to help him get on track and stay there that hasn't already been tried. But it's at least worth noting that he spent his entire development in one of the most dysfunctional organizations in the league... who are now playing in a different city.


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07-03-2011, 01:58 PM
  #58
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????
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07-03-2011, 02:00 PM
  #59
Uncle Jorgi
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Originally Posted by BLACKnYELLOW66 View Post
Can this guy actually use his size effectively? I see a lot of comments comparing him to Gill, which is kinda of discouraging considering the fact that Gill can't throw a hit to save his life...
You seem to be talking about two different things here. Are you asking if he's a big hitter, or if he can use his size effectively? Gill was never a big hitter, but was always excellent at using his size effectively to steer guys out of the crease and muscle them away from the puck on the boards. I think Valabik is in that same mould, but still has some work to do to be consistently effective at it at the NHL level.

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07-03-2011, 02:08 PM
  #60
OnMyOwn
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I could see him dressing as a number 7 for games we need an enforcer....engo was a late bloomer so maybe in our organization he can be coached up and become a number 6

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07-03-2011, 02:20 PM
  #61
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Originally Posted by BLACKnYELLOW66 View Post
Can this guy actually use his size effectively? I see a lot of comments comparing him to Gill, which is kinda of discouraging considering the fact that Gill can't throw a hit to save his life...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Jorgi View Post
You seem to be talking about two different things here. Are you asking if he's a big hitter, or if he can use his size effectively? Gill was never a big hitter, but was always excellent at using his size effectively to steer guys out of the crease and muscle them away from the puck on the boards. I think Valabik is in that same mould, but still has some work to do to be consistently effective at it at the NHL level.
Yeah...perfect answer, really.

I have seen Valabik once, so I can't pass judgement. He does sound meaner than Gill, which can be seen with him having a willingness to drop the gloves.

I think he has something to work with, and the goal should be to try and develop him as a 5-6 stay at home defenseman, pugilist, and potential PK guy down the road.

He has skating issues from what I hear, but if one thing is for certain, if a player wants to get better in that regard, long strides can be made (see: Jeffrey, Dustin).

I like him as a pet project. It's no-risk.

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Old
07-03-2011, 03:05 PM
  #62
Frederick Stanley
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Good signing for the #7/8 spot.

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Old
07-03-2011, 03:12 PM
  #63
SidGenoMario
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BAHAHA.

I knew I recognized the name.

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07-03-2011, 03:16 PM
  #64
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A low risk high reward signing. Hopefully Hynes and Reirden can get his career back on track. If he pans out, Orpik, Engalland and himself are gonna make a seriously nasty back end!

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07-03-2011, 03:20 PM
  #65
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Pretty good signing imo. Provides Ahl with some veteran presence, a potential call up in case of injuries, could actually develop into a solid bottom pairing guy, and i ASSUME he could also fill the role of an enforcer for like the islander game or something?

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07-03-2011, 03:20 PM
  #66
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The one this I miss about Gill was the way he boxed guys out around the net. Seeing Chara do it during the Finals made me really wish we had a guy like that again.

Everyone talks about wingers but that third pairing scares me. Lovejoy has horrible positioning, Engelland gets turned around every time and relies on some desperate attempt, and Niskanen has all the skill and no confidence. I like the addition but I'm still hoping for some one else. Some one proven.

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07-03-2011, 03:23 PM
  #67
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Originally Posted by BLACKnYELLOW66 View Post
Can this guy actually use his size effectively? I see a lot of comments comparing him to Gill, which is kinda of discouraging considering the fact that Gill can't throw a hit to save his life...
What exactly are your expectations for a guy on a cheap-as-dirt two-way contract?

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07-03-2011, 03:26 PM
  #68
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Chara?? Gill??? Try Mike Wilson like

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07-03-2011, 03:46 PM
  #69
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A Valabik-Engelland pair would be both hilarious and totally necessary for the first game against the Islanders.
The funny thing is we could have a 3rd pairing like that just for the physical aspect of the game and keep them each at 10 minutes a game. Lets face it our top 4 could average 25 minutes a game each. When you have two top pairings like we do you could use these guys just to physically send a message throughout the game when a player from the other team starts getting a little chippy.

Sounds like we will have a ton of competition for the 5-7 spots on D with Lovejoy, Niskanan, Engelland, Valabik, Strait, Bortuzzo, and I am sure Despres is going to be in the mix also depeding on his offseason progress. That is 11 deep of guys that I believe could play bottom pairing minutes in the NHL this year and could handle those duties. We are talking about less than 14 minutes a game with our top 4 dmen. I like the mix fighting for those spots, you have the physical fighter types in Engelland and Valabik, Your more offensive types in Lovejoy and Niskanen, and your more stay at home defensive types in Strait and Bortuzzo. Despres has a little of all those qualities but I would not classify him in one of those.

Nice mix and the competition for playing time will be tougher than ever with 4 of those guys being sent to the AHL to play with Sneep and Samuelsson. No matter who makes it WBS will have 6 nhl type dmen playing down their with 4 of those ready now to play for many nhl teams bottom pairings.

Considering I think our D is great for the top two pairings but only one real big physical dman in Orpik I would love to see Valabik get the #6 just to have another big boy to clear the net. Would he be a good fit with Lovejoy to balance out the pairing. If they could handle the 12 minutes a game I would love to have both Engelland and Valabik as the 3rd pairing even though they might not be the best of the 7 who will be fighting for the 5-6 spots. That physical pressance would be nice to put out when needed. I still think his chances are not great since he signed a two way contract because Lovejoy, Engelland, and Nisky are one way contracts and would still be getting payed big bucks even in the minors. Valabik would really have to outplay them in camp to win a spot. Could a trade be coming soon of one of those guys?

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07-03-2011, 03:49 PM
  #70
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I see this signing as giving Despres a tougher stay-at-home defense partner in WB/S, nothing more nothing less.

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07-03-2011, 03:59 PM
  #71
Uncle Jorgi
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Chara?? Gill??? Try Mike Wilson like
The fact that he's gotten into as many fights as he has alone puts him ahead of Mike Who. Wilson met his physical exertion threshold jumping over the boards. The guy exemplified the phrase "couldn't give a ****".

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07-03-2011, 04:04 PM
  #72
CrosbyMalkin
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The one this I miss about Gill was the way he boxed guys out around the net. Seeing Chara do it during the Finals made me really wish we had a guy like that again.

Everyone talks about wingers but that third pairing scares me. Lovejoy has horrible positioning, Engelland gets turned around every time and relies on some desperate attempt, and Niskanen has all the skill and no confidence. I like the addition but I'm still hoping for some one else. Some one proven.
We have two #1 pairings that can play big minutes and shut down the other teams top two lines. With all the log jam off prospects that are ready now or are going to be fighting for a spot I don't want a vet coming in. Guys like Strait and Bortuzzo have been one of the better defensive pairings in the AHL for the past two years when are we going to find out if they can make the jump. Taking Engelland out of the lineup would be a big mistake at this point he is our only true guy to take on the best fighters. Despres could impress in camp and make a hard push to make the club and if not he might pull a Letang and come up sometime early in his first pro year. Nisky has played in the NHL for several years now and is still very young so he has some vet experience if one of the guys from WBS can't beat him out. Lovejoy is servicable and played well for parts of last year. Valabik is interesting due to his size and toughness. I think we have plenty fighting for a small amount of minutes per game facing the other teams 3rd and 4th lines. Lets face it our top two pairings are going to be matched up against the other teams top two scoring lines.

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Old
07-03-2011, 04:07 PM
  #73
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I see Valabik as taking the place of Godard as our 14th forward/8th Dman. His development will not be hindered by sitting in the press box for 60+ games, unlike Strait or Bortuzzo.

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07-03-2011, 04:09 PM
  #74
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I see this signing as giving Despres a tougher stay-at-home defense partner in WB/S, nothing more nothing less.
Yup I like that idea. Good depth signing. I've said it before but I'm not entirely convinced by Engelland, Niskanen and Lovejoy and them being definitive starters for this team. Bortuzzo, Strait, Valabik and possibly even Despres have an outside chance of making the big club if they have good enough training camps. Hell, Despres almost made the team last year!

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07-03-2011, 04:18 PM
  #75
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Yea everyone is worried about despres' development, but I really see him pushing hard for a spot this season

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