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

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Old
07-03-2011, 03:18 PM
  #76
CrosbyMalkin
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
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.
You might be right, I wanted to see Veilleux get a shot at being the 4th line fighter while also giving us Rupp type playing on the 4th line. I still think the Pens have not given up on him being a better player than that and would rather give him minutes in the top 6 forwards in WBS and see how he responds. He played well last year once given the time in the top 6 in WBS after all the call ups due to Pens injury problems. I bet they would not want him to come up and play 5 minutes a game for enforcer type duty at his age they are still praying for him to reach his potential with all the flashes of skill he has shown over the years.

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07-03-2011, 03:40 PM
  #77
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Like I have said in other posts we now have 7 guys fighting for 3 spots that I believe could handle bottom pairing duties in the NHL if we needed them. Let those guys fight it out and see what happens. Valabik has played 80 NHL games so he does have some experience and his last year in the NHL he played less minutes which is what we would expect from him here if he got in the 3rd pairing either by winning a spot or due to an injury. He played 23 games that year at just over 13 minutes a game and was a plus 2.

I still would like to see the pairing of Strait and Bortuzzo playing 3rd pairing. They have been partners in WBS now for 2 years or more and have been one of the better defensive pairing in the AHL for the past two years. When do they get a shot to see if they can play bottom pairing duty? Despres would not surprise me if he plays lights out in camp and wins a job. We have many options from the 3 that played bottom pairing minutes last year and Valabik just gives you one more legit body fighting to get those 10-14 minutes a game that will be available on the 3rd pairing.

This might be the best competition for playing time on D we have had in a long time. I for one love it and it will just get harder each year as guys like Samuelsson, Sneep, Morrow, and others add to the mix of a crowdy field fighting for our 3rd pairing scraps.

Some of those guys mentioned do have top 4 future potential so I don't want people to read more into my 3rd pairing scraps comment.

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07-03-2011, 03:57 PM
  #78
jmelm
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Originally Posted by CrosbyMalkin View Post
You might be right, I wanted to see Veilleux get a shot at being the 4th line fighter while also giving us Rupp type playing on the 4th line. I still think the Pens have not given up on him being a better player than that and would rather give him minutes in the top 6 forwards in WBS and see how he responds. He played well last year once given the time in the top 6 in WBS after all the call ups due to Pens injury problems. I bet they would not want him to come up and play 5 minutes a game for enforcer type duty at his age they are still praying for him to reach his potential with all the flashes of skill he has shown over the years.
You and I have the same hopes that Veilleux can be this type of player in the future for the Pens, but he is not ready to make the jump next season.

He still has consistency issues to work through, and become a more reliable two-way player. Also, he still has some untapped offensive potential (we hope), and he's not going to develop that by being the 13th/14th forward in the NHL. He needs another year or two getting top-6 minutes in WBS.

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07-03-2011, 04:57 PM
  #79
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I don't mind adding some serious beef here. I don't think he'll make the team but he's never far if needed.

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07-03-2011, 05:13 PM
  #80
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
O'Brien was really, really good in the playoffs for NSH. I wouldn't be surprised to see them re-sign him or for someone else to offer him big $ (i.e. more than $2million)
O'Brien is prone to stupid penalties though, a lot of them in a short span of time and then he goes quiet again. He's big but not consistently physical, but he was also a guy I was hoping for as well. He's more mobile than Valabik but who knows, maybe Valabik is motivated to work on his flaws so he has a better shot.

Who knows what Reirden, Hynes and Nasreddine could do with this guy in camp, he doesn't need to be fleet footed, he just needs to be a consistent physical presence, clear the crease and fight when the team needs him to and if we are thinking about partners if he manages to get called up, I would hope it was Lovejoy or Niskanen to have a puck mover on that pairing. Engelland isn't slow, not sure why people are claiming him to be, Engelland is an above average skater, not the smoothest or the best, but far from slow.

I still don't think Shero is done, someone on twitter mentioned Christian Hanson for the WBS squad as well, I wouldn't mind that at all, I think that guy picked the wrong team to go to, to develop and it hurt him.

I am going to see Valabik as an AHL signing to replace the departures of Wagner, Potter and Hutchinson, the team needed a veteran down there with the young D. Shero could still go after someone, this was a 2-way contract, I doubt Valabik gets a sniff unless his skating does improve this summer.

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07-03-2011, 05:20 PM
  #81
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
You and I have the same hopes that Veilleux can be this type of player in the future for the Pens, but he is not ready to make the jump next season.

He still has consistency issues to work through, and become a more reliable two-way player. Also, he still has some untapped offensive potential (we hope), and he's not going to develop that by being the 13th/14th forward in the NHL. He needs another year or two getting top-6 minutes in WBS.
I think he needs to add some considerable amount of muscle to his frame as well. I am amazed Veilleux even fought as much as he did for the bean pole that he is. He needs to get in touch with Crosby's trainer and work on those explosive movements workouts to strengthen his legs.

Good god does Veilleux need to strength his legs, I look at his legs when he skates and wonder if a slap shot will rip right through them or make them snap like twigs.

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07-03-2011, 05:57 PM
  #82
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Our organization has turned into a defenseman factory, so maybe we can help Valabik reach his potential. If that's the case, we win. At worst, he doesn't do anything and plays in WB/S.

Good depth signing.

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07-03-2011, 06:52 PM
  #83
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Interesting considering this is exactly the kind of defenseman I would have thought Wilkes-Barre didn't need. They could be just concerned about organizational size in general, which I understand.

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07-03-2011, 06:56 PM
  #84
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As someone who had Valabik for his team until it no longer existed-

Don't expect him to do anything better than bottom pairing duty. God bless his soul, he tries, but he's less Zdeno Chara big-man and more like Yao Ming in that he's made of glass. He improved last year, but spent most of it in injury rehab/AHL.

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07-03-2011, 07:16 PM
  #85
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Transcend I feel for you man. Id be devastated if any of our teams left. We would take you in and underwings here. Let's get a crosby jersey on you my friend. As far as valabik I don't think we expect much of anything from him. However we are goin through puck withdrawl hence the 5 pages we have spent talkin about him.

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07-03-2011, 07:48 PM
  #86
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Originally Posted by transcend View Post
As someone who had Valabik for his team until it no longer existed-

Don't expect him to do anything better than bottom pairing duty. God bless his soul, he tries, but he's less Zdeno Chara big-man and more like Yao Ming in that he's made of glass. He improved last year, but spent most of it in injury rehab/AHL.
Can he at least play big minutes in the AHL?

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07-03-2011, 07:58 PM
  #87
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Can he at least play big minutes in the AHL?
He has 80 NHL games under his belt. He wasn't someone who was called up for 3 games a season.

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07-03-2011, 08:01 PM
  #88
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Getting called up by and playing a bunch of games for Atlanta hasn't exactly been a glowing endorsement of late, just take a look at some of the drek we gave a regular shift to six or seven seasons ago. Keep in mind they invested a 10th overall pick in him, so they would have given him more of an extended look than your run-of-the-mill spare part, probably more than they would have otherwise if he wasn't drafted where he was.

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07-03-2011, 08:02 PM
  #89
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Does anyone think Shero will sign a defenseman for NHL depth. I mean we have a good defense but it could get stronger, that Niskanen-Lovejoy line got exposed a lot in the playoffs. Niskanen needs a good, left handed, stay at home defenseman. Can anyone see Ray Shero going after players like these?

Shane O'Brien
Garnet Exelby
Scott Hannan

I would rather keep Matt Niskanen over Lovejoy, if we can get Niskanen to play like he did in the past, our defense would look pretty good with,

Orpik-Letang
Martin-Michalek
O'Brien/Exelby/Hannan-Niskanen
Engelland

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07-03-2011, 08:17 PM
  #90
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07-03-2011, 08:18 PM
  #91
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The Pens are so set up on the top two pairings that sprinkling in all of the guy's on the bottom pairing should go a long was to having a fresh D-corps come go time.

If they can dress 7 D-man and pair Valabik with Michalek on the PK would do wonders for the rest of the D-man. Let him have the really tough minutes. If anything the top 4 allow for guys like Boris.

I see a big body like him helps to keep players on the outside and who couldn't he move from the front of the net.

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07-03-2011, 08:26 PM
  #92
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I don't get how Bruins fans are even commenting about the guy, he played 10 games for the Bruins....the Providence Bruins.

We'll see what he is capable of, in camp.

Here's why it's a shame about Valabik. The Chicago Wolves aren't that into being a developmental team, they do their own thing to win, they want to win the Calder Cup and developing players rides a back seat, according to a lot of Thrashers fans. Look at the team the last 3-4yrs, prospects took a back seat to AHL veterans.

Take a look at how many prospects go to Chicago for the old Thrashers and see how many did well after being called up. A lot of promising prospects go to the Wolves and take a back seat to veteran AHL'ers because they want to win more than being a developmental team. Just going by what I have heard, I remember getting that info/lecture (lol) a while back.

If Valabik was drafted by another team, a team with a better developmental system, I think he would have been a regular 6th/7th guy, maybe better. If people have hope for Niskanen, I think it's ok to hold out hopes for Valabik.

He would be going from a mediocre to bad system to one that is better and more nurturing for prospects.

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07-03-2011, 08:35 PM
  #93
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Hopefully we'd call up Strait, Bortuzzo and Despres before resorting to Big Boris.
I could see the Pens calling up Valabik if Engelland was injured and the Pens were going to play Philly or the Islanders. Sometimes it's more about the hole in the lineup than about the pecking order of the minor leaguers.

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07-03-2011, 09:09 PM
  #94
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Practical call-up solution if/when Engelland suffers the consequence of shouldering the fighting load.

Of course, there is also the 'what if' factor (long shot, I know) of Valabik rounding out more than a few kinks and becoming a serviceable defenseman. Certainly his size and physicality would be welcome on our team.... if only he could also play D.

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07-03-2011, 10:04 PM
  #95
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I love the depth we're adding on Defence! Like a few others have posted previously hopefully he will do good at the pens camp & our system can help Boris improve his skating.

Glad its a 2-way contract. Good signing by Shero

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07-03-2011, 10:21 PM
  #96
Rob Scuderi
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Originally Posted by mgs4853 View Post
Does anyone think Shero will sign a defenseman for NHL depth. I mean we have a good defense but it could get stronger, that Niskanen-Lovejoy line got exposed a lot in the playoffs. Niskanen needs a good, left handed, stay at home defenseman. Can anyone see Ray Shero going after players like these?

Shane O'Brien
Garnet Exelby
Scott Hannan

I would rather keep Matt Niskanen over Lovejoy, if we can get Niskanen to play like he did in the past, our defense would look pretty good with,

Orpik-Letang
Martin-Michalek
O'Brien/Exelby/Hannan-Niskanen
Engelland
I don't think our NHL blueline will be touched. If there's another move it'd probably be another player to run the PP in the AHL. With Valabik we have 14 D under contract. That's gives WBS 7 defenseman already, I'm not sure if or how many they have under their own contracts. With our only movement being Potter, Hutchinson, and Wagner going out with Despres, Samuelsson, and Valabik in I don't think there's a ton of room.

Exelby will probably be available July 2nd every day for the rest of his career. He couldn't crack Chicago's weak bottom pair last fall and seems more like an AHL guy by now. I think the organization is confident enough with Engelland filling the gritty role for our bottom pair. O'Brien and Hannan are quite possibilty better than Engelland but they don't come as cheap. I just don't see them signing another defenseman to fill that role they're already comfortable with Engo filling.

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07-04-2011, 12:52 AM
  #97
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He's slow and he has no hockey sense.

I doubt he sees much, if any time with the big club.

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07-04-2011, 12:56 AM
  #98
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Pretty sure he stinks, but whatever. I'm sure he can come up and play a few games in a pinch if there's an injury.

PS: Wasn't he the one to whom Crosby delivered a dragon punch to the taint?

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07-04-2011, 02:14 AM
  #99
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Pretty sure he stinks, but whatever. I'm sure he can come up and play a few games in a pinch if there's an injury.

PS: Wasn't he the one to whom Crosby delivered a dragon punch to the taint?
Not taint, balls.

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07-04-2011, 11:19 AM
  #100
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Boy its been a crappy UFA for us this year since we are getting excited over signing Boris freakin Valabik.. lol.. If he cracks our lineup then that means 2 or 3 of our top D-men went down.. So I dont wanna see him up with the big Pens

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