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Bortuzzo close to NHL level

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Old
09-11-2011, 11:13 AM
  #1
Ugene Malkin
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Bortuzzo close to NHL level

This is a good read.


Quote:
"You know what the situation there is," he said. "I'm going to come in with the mentality that if I play my game and keep rounding out my game, whether it's throughout the year or even at the start of the year, maybe I can get an opportunity [to work in the NHL]."

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11254...#ixzz1XeltrxiC

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Bortuzzo's game is solid and well-rounded, though rarely spectacular. Consequently, he isn't likely to take over this tournament with breathtaking, end-to-end rushes, but he should be able to be productive and effective every time he goes over the boards.

"I never like to say a guy should dominate a tournament," Nasreddine said. "He just has to do his job to the best of his abilities. For him, that's just to be solid, show what he can do. Play within his strengths, not try to do too much."

Bortuzzo, a third-round draft choice in 2007, is 6 feet 4, 207 pounds, and has come to appreciate the value of using every inch and ounce whenever the situation calls for it.


"He's a physical presence every game he plays," Nasreddine said. "That's going to give him an edge over a lot of defensemen."
I hope he can make the transition soon, it would help them tremendously.

Either way, I see it as he gets overshadowed by some others, not so much here though.

Despres and him in the game at 7:00 tonight.

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09-11-2011, 12:01 PM
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Darth Vitale
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Would be great to have a guy like that as a #6, as long as the #5 has some experience. Engelland - Bortuzzo could end up being (over time) a tough pairing to compete against, as long as you could compensate for the decrease in scoring chances those two would probably create. A little green as a pairing but maybe it could work until Depres is ready, then Engelland or Bortuzzo could be the #7. Unless we moved Martin, in which case they would stay 5 and 6 most likely.

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09-11-2011, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ChiChi Vitale View Post
Would be great to have a guy like that as a #6, as long as the #5 has some experience. Engelland - Bortuzzo could end up being (over time) a tough pairing to compete against, as long as you could compensate for the decrease in scoring chances those two would probably create. A little green as a pairing but maybe it could work until Depres is ready, then Engelland or Bortuzzo could be the #7. Unless we moved Martin, in which case they would stay 5 and 6 most likely.
Bortuzzo will not be a #7 Dman in the NHL. His upside (and value) is greater than that, so he will remain in WBS until he can get top-6 minutes in the NHL.

He has top-4 potential in the NHL, but may be a 3rd pairing on this team for the foreseeable future because of our depth, which is a great scenario for us and for Bortuzzo. You don't have a guy like that sitting most of the time as a #7 -- you would be better off trading him in that scenario.

I see Engelland as our #7 guy for the next few years and hopefully beyond (though some team may offer him top-6 minutes & money).

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09-11-2011, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
Bortuzzo will not be a #7 Dman in the NHL. His upside (and value) is greater than that, so he will remain in WBS until he can get top-6 minutes in the NHL.

He has top-4 potential in the NHL, but may be a 3rd pairing on this team for the foreseeable future because of our depth, which is a great scenario for us and for Bortuzzo. You don't have a guy like that sitting most of the time as a #7 -- you would be better off trading him in that scenario.

I see Engelland as our #7 guy for the next few years and hopefully beyond (though some team may offer him top-6 minutes & money).
I'm really nervous about an Atlantic team offering Engelland more money.

I think Bortuzzo will be a #4-#5, depending on the team's depth. Pretty hard to peg him though-he hasn't played any NHL games yet. He might not reach that potential. Here's to hoping

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09-11-2011, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nTsplnk View Post
I'm really nervous about an Atlantic team offering Engelland more money.

I think Bortuzzo will be a #4-#5, depending on the team's depth. Pretty hard to peg him though-he hasn't played any NHL games yet. He might not reach that potential. Here's to hoping
By "Atlantic team" you mean Philadelphia

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09-11-2011, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
I see Engelland as our #7 guy for the next few years and hopefully beyond (though some team may offer him top-6 minutes & money).
So you think the pair of Niskanen & Lovejoy are better than Niskanen & Engel / Lovejoy & Engel?

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09-11-2011, 03:31 PM
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So you think the pair of Niskanen & Lovejoy are better than Niskanen & Engel / Lovejoy & Engel?
I don't think any of those pairs are ideal, because you will have one of those guys playing on their off-side (lefty Dmen are often used to this, but it remains to be seen if any of those 3 can adjust well, and/or which two of those 3 will form a good combo).

I think it's pretty clear (barring any major surprises) that Despres and Bortuzzo will comprise our 3rd pairing within 1 to 2 years. So it's really just a matter of what the best fit is in the interim.

I think Despres will definitely see a full year in the AHL, so it's going to be Strait & Bortuzzo in the mix with Lovejoy, Niskanen & Engelland. Because Engo brings a very specific element (toughness), I think he is the clear choice as being a guy to retain as the #7 Dman for the next couple of years. The other 4 players will battle it out for the #5 and #6 spots this year.

I like Lovejoy & Strait a fair bit, and I am intrigued by Niskanen's potential, but I ultimately see at least two of those 3 guys being moved (injuries & trades aside).

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09-11-2011, 07:31 PM
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I'm actually really excited to see some of our d prospects develop in the next few years.

Letang - Orpik
Martin - Michalek
Desperes - Bortuzzo

A year or two experience with the 3rd pairing could make us a very deep defense. Close to 09 deep. You could switch those 6 up too and just roll 3 pairs, revert back to proven combos for special circumstances.

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09-11-2011, 08:26 PM
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I think it seems like with Bortuzzo and Despres on their way, Morrow in the pipeline, and Strait NHL ready, that Paul Martin won't be a Penguin within the next season and a half. Despres reminds me a lot of Martin to be honest the more I watch him. Strong defensively, good skater and a good passer.

He's valuable, easy to move, and will give us a lot of cap space.

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09-11-2011, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by vecens24 View Post
I think it seems like with Bortuzzo and Despres on their way, Morrow in the pipeline, and Strait NHL ready, that Paul Martin won't be a Penguin within the next season and a half. Despres reminds me a lot of Martin to be honest the more I watch him. Strong defensively, good skater and a good passer.

He's valuable, easy to move, and will give us a lot of cap space.
Am I the only one here who thinks Martin will stay?

Why would Shero even sign Martin to 5 years if he was just going to trade him....

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09-11-2011, 10:59 PM
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As much it might bum people out (and I'd agree), I think it's more likely Shero trades one of those prospects for scoring help this spring.

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09-11-2011, 11:06 PM
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I don't think our top 4 defensemen will be touched until contracts begin to run out.

You don't lose anything keeping defensive prospects in the minors. It's not like ours don't have things to work on also. We're not dealing with Letang's or Goligoski's here where it's just blatantly obvious they are playing in a league well below them.

Martin also has a limited NTC

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09-11-2011, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Jill Sandwich View Post
As much it might bum people out (and I'd agree), I think it's more likely Shero trades one of those prospects for scoring help this spring.
I don't know why you guys hate Martin, a proven solid NHL top 4 defensemen. For all we know, none of our defensive prospects could pan out. The NHL is just different.

Btw Bortuzzo got hurt tonight apparently. Sucks.

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09-11-2011, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by nTsplnk View Post
I don't know why you guys hate Martin, a proven solid NHL top 4 defensemen. For all we know, none of our defensive prospects could pan out. The NHL is just different.

Btw Bortuzzo got hurt tonight apparently. Sucks.

Hopefully just a precautionary thing since these games aren't too important for him.

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09-12-2011, 12:11 AM
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Hopefully just a precautionary thing since these games aren't too important for him.
Here's to hoping.

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09-12-2011, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nTsplnk View Post
I don't know why you guys hate Martin, a proven solid NHL top 4 defensemen. For all we know, none of our defensive prospects could pan out. The NHL is just different.

Btw Bortuzzo got hurt tonight apparently. Sucks.
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Originally Posted by Tasty Biscuits View Post
Hopefully just a precautionary thing since these games aren't too important for him.
Yes, that does suck, and I wouldn't say these games aren't important to him. These are his warm ups to the regular camp that could of helped him in his bid to steal a spot from someone. unlikely, but you never know.

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09-14-2011, 10:48 AM
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because Martin and Gonchar got the exact same contracts when they signed with the Pens, so many people expect the same production. 5/25 in 2005 is not 5/25 in 2010.

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09-14-2011, 11:02 AM
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I'll be real honest...I don't think Gonchar's best season here saw his defense on the same level of Martin's.

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09-14-2011, 12:27 PM
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At the end of Martins contract, Morrow will only be what, 23? Hopefully Desperes will mold into a 3-4 D player, and Morrow can slide in as 5-6 guy like GoGo and provide some offensive spark on our back end, while not being horrid in his own end. I would love to see Desperes-Bortuzzo pan out into a Martin-Michalek type pair, with some one like Strait paired with Morrow for some stability.

Id love to see Engo stick around as a 7th for nights when things could get messy, who can also step in and play solid as well.

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09-14-2011, 12:42 PM
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At the end of Martins contract, Morrow will only be what, 23? Hopefully Desperes will mold into a 3-4 D player, and Morrow can slide in as 5-6 guy like GoGo and provide some offensive spark on our back end, while not being horrid in his own end. I would love to see Desperes-Bortuzzo pan out into a Martin-Michalek type pair, with some one like Strait paired with Morrow for some stability.

Id love to see Engo stick around as a 7th for nights when things could get messy, who can also step in and play solid as well.
It's funny, the myths that still perpetuate about Goligoski being bad defensively....


Anyway, quite frankly, I will be surprised if Martin finishes his contract as a Penguin, unless the salary cap goes up considerably (may not happen with the new CBA for a while). I'm not advocating trading him this year or maybe even next year, but we've got young players that will be pushing for more ice-time, and we've got most of our key guys to re-sign: Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Neal, Kunitz, Kennedy, and, perhaps most importantly, Letang.

I say Letang most importantly because he is going to get the biggest raise of the bunch. I think Crosby & Malkin will sign for roughly what they're making now; Staal will get a small bump (around $5 mil), as will Neal ($3.75 to $4 mil). Kunitz, if he re-signs, will sign for the same or hopefully slightly less ($3 to $3.5mil). Kennedy could see his salary go up substantially if he continues to develop as expected ($3 to $4 million).

So if the cap doesnt't significantly go up, we're going to be in cap trouble with Martin on the books for $5million, especially if he can be adequately replaced by Despres in the top 4 for $840K. I like Martin a lot, but I'm just not sure we'll be able to afford to keep everyone.

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09-14-2011, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
It's funny, the myths that still perpetuate about Goligoski being bad defensively....


Anyway, quite frankly, I will be surprised if Martin finishes his contract as a Penguin, unless the salary cap goes up considerably (may not happen with the new CBA for a while). I'm not advocating trading him this year or maybe even next year, but we've got young players that will be pushing for more ice-time, and we've got most of our key guys to re-sign: Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Neal, Kunitz, Kennedy, and, perhaps most importantly, Letang.

I say Letang most importantly because he is going to get the biggest raise of the bunch. I think Crosby & Malkin will sign for roughly what they're making now; Staal will get a small bump (around $5 mil), as will Neal ($3.75 to $4 mil). Kunitz, if he re-signs, will sign for the same or hopefully slightly less ($3 to $3.5mil). Kennedy could see his salary go up substantially if he continues to develop as expected ($3 to $4 million).

So if the cap doesnt't significantly go up, we're going to be in cap trouble with Martin on the books for $5million, especially if he can be adequately replaced by Despres in the top 4 for $840K. I like Martin a lot, but I'm just not sure we'll be able to afford to keep everyone.
Its tricky, hopefully someone from within (Jeffrey, Tangradi, Johnson?) could fill a top 6-9 role in the next year. We have 1.5 in cap space now, along with Niskanen and Sullivan probably out after this year, giving us 4.5 mil to play with and keep guys.

If Kennedy is at the point where he wants 3-4 mil, id look to move him or let him go.

On the topic of defenseman, Do we have anyone in our system who could be an Orpik-type player? And is it just me, or do you think Letang is gonna be looking for a huge payday after this deal?

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09-14-2011, 01:53 PM
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Its tricky, hopefully someone from within (Jeffrey, Tangradi, Johnson?) could fill a top 6-9 role in the next year. We have 1.5 in cap space now, along with Niskanen and Sullivan probably out after this year, giving us 4.5 mil to play with and keep guys.

If Kennedy is at the point where he wants 3-4 mil, id look to move him or let him go.
Jeffrey certainly can fit a role in the top-9. I think he'll be the 3rd line C and enable Staal to move up with Geno; or perhaps play wing with Geno himself. The top-9 with Kunitz would look like:

Kunitz--Crosby--Neal
Staal--Malkin--Kennedy
Tangradi--Jeffrey--Dupuis/Cooke/UFA

If Kunitz isn't re-signed, we may have to look at a trade to bring another winger, because I'm not so sure we're going to win a UFA bidding war, and our top winger prospects will be at least another year away.


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On the topic of defenseman, Do we have anyone in our system who could be an Orpik-type player? And is it just me, or do you think Letang is gonna be looking for a huge payday after this deal?
Yes, and this answer may surprise some people: Simon Despres.

Despres, once he gets accustomed to the NHL game and gets more confidence, will use his big body more and more. He is already a player that likes to engage physically, and apprenticing under Letang & Orpik will be great for his development. Despres is the big, left-handed defenseman that can play in the top-4 against top opponents and be physically dominant & strong in the way that Orpik can.

While I do think Despres will bring bit more of an offensive touch, I see him as a defense-first and physical-first defenseman and play a shut-down role (like Orpik), but will bring a bit more offense. In the past I've compared him to being a Bieksa-type player, or a poor man's Brent Burns. Basically, an all-around player who brings the physical dimension Orpik does, but also an offensive dimension that Orpik does not.

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09-14-2011, 02:45 PM
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I havent seen enough of him to tell the type of player (hopefully that changes this weekend) but from what I saw last pre-season, he looked more of a guy like Martin rather than Orpik. He seemed to be a very smooth skater and had a (bob errey voice) good stick. He never looked out of place and made the smart play, but I never noticed him using his size much.

Hopefully he can get some workout tips from Orpik and really gets some good advice on being a physical presence. Id hate to see him get crucified like Whitney for being a......"cat"

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09-14-2011, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmelm View Post
Anyway, quite frankly, I will be surprised if Martin finishes his contract as a Penguin, unless the salary cap goes up considerably (may not happen with the new CBA for a while). I'm not advocating trading him this year or maybe even next year, but we've got young players that will be pushing for more ice-time, and we've got most of our key guys to re-sign: Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Neal, Kunitz, Kennedy, and, perhaps most importantly, Letang.

I say Letang most importantly because he is going to get the biggest raise of the bunch. I think Crosby & Malkin will sign for roughly what they're making now; Staal will get a small bump (around $5 mil), as will Neal ($3.75 to $4 mil). Kunitz, if he re-signs, will sign for the same or hopefully slightly less ($3 to $3.5mil). Kennedy could see his salary go up substantially if he continues to develop as expected ($3 to $4 million).
If Staal's making $5 million on his next deal, he better be producing a bit more offensively than he currently is, IMO.

His combination of defense and solid offense are fine at his current salary, but when you're talking $5+ million, you're looking at production like Kesler, Ryan, Plekanec, Bergeron, etc.

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09-14-2011, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by nTsplnk View Post
Am I the only one here who thinks Martin will stay?

Why would Shero even sign Martin to 5 years if he was just going to trade him....
He did the exact same thing with Ryan Whitney, and most of the arguments at the time as to why Whitney won't get traded was because Shero had JUST re-signed him for multi years.

That said, Martin, Michalek and Orpik are all candidates to be dealt (assuming any of them agree to waive their limited NTCs, or Shero can swing a deal that any of those guys would accept without the need for a limited NTC) at some point.

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