Monday, June 30, 2008

Lightning Strikes

Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts are going to sign with the the Tampa Bay Lightning according to Sportsnet. Malone has agreed to terms with Tampa Bay on a seven-year deal that is worth more than $31 million. An announcement should come tomorrow. Roberts is also said to have reached an agreement for a one-year deal worth around $2 million but that has not been confirmed and his agent denies it. You can read the article at the Trib here.

Wow. That's a lot of money for Ryan Malone. Around $4.5 million a year. We guess he got his payday. It's also been reported that his father Greg, has been or is going to be hired by Tampa Bay as a head scout. We don't really know what to say. And this massive headache probably isn't helping things along to well so we apologize for the lack of info and insight.

Moving on, Jarkko Ruutu understands what it's like in this business and understands both sides. He does want to remain with the Penguins though. You can read the Post-Gazette article here.

PG's NHL notebook here.

Random YouTube of the day, Sidney Crosby in a Reebok commercial. We're so uncreative today. Sorry for the lack of quality here but we think our head might explode. Time for sleep. Good night!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Goodbye to Malone and Roberts

We covered this in a post earlier but both the Post-Gazette and the Trib have new articles up for today that you can read here and here. The Post-Gazette one has some info on who is making what money next year and the fact that people still believe there is a chance Hossa will sign with the Pens. Hossa doesn't have a lot of time though, because Shero may try to sign other people before Hossa makes up his mind. All this is a little crazy and it'll be interesting to see how things work out.

The Trib also has an nice article on Ty Murovich, a Mt. Lebanon hockey product who got an invitation to the Penguins' prospect camp.

Next up is an article by Ron Cook that you really don't want to get us started on. We've obviously had some issues with a lot of Cook's articles for a while, and this one is no different. Basically he says that Marian Hossa, Ryan Malone, and Brooks Orpik have every right to sign somewhere else and Pens fans shouldn't expect them to sign for a discount. He's right that they do have a right to go where they choose, but if you've read us before, the whole money thing is more than a little ridiculous to us. We're sorry if we're wrong, but isn't staying in a good situation with a good team and playing with Sidney Crosby, possibly the best hockey player in the world, worth like $5-7 million? According to Cook, it's not. Now every player has their own choice to cash in and make some crazy amount of money if they so choose, but you can't blame Sidney Crosby, and soon, Evgeni Malkin for being fan favorites both for their exceptional hockey talent and willingness to take less money to do it. Ron Cook claims in this article that Sidney Crosby can AFFORD to give the Pens a discount because of all the money he'll make in endorsements being the face of the NHL. Are you serious? You can't live on $8.7 million a year? We somehow think Crosby would manage. And we think you would too. Although we're sure it'd be rough. Yeah right. With the economy in the state it's in, we can't quite swallow this BS. Ron Cook says that they have their right to do what they wish and owe nothing to the organization, and he's right, they don't. But to say that these guys have an ego that basically needs to be fed and somehow "need" or "deserve" all this money and the possibility to be ridiculously overpaid is more than we're willing to swallow. He also says the Pens aren't the only team that has a chance at the Cup, and he's right, there are others and they have the right to go there too. But please don't tell us that this is a great organization with the chance to win the Cup for years to come or that you're willing to sign for less money in order to win and then walk out the door. If you do, don't expect everyone to accept that it's "just business." Most of us don't know what a million dollars is like, let alone millions a year. Consider yourself lucky and remember that money can't make you happy.

Well that was our rant. Sorry Ron Cook that we think it's crazy considering there's a good chance we'll never see a million dollars, let alone millions in one year. We think we could find a way to "get by."

Last but not least is the Post-Gazette's coverage of the Steelers releasing Najeh Davenport and three others. Your random YouTube is in the previous post. Enjoy.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pens trade rights to Malone and Roberts to Tampa Bay

So the Pens traded the negotiating rights to Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts to Tampa Bay today for a fourth round draft pick. The fourth round pick is Dallas' that was previously obtained by Tampa Bay. If the Lightning sign Ryan Malone, the Pens will get their third round draft pick. You can read the whole article and Ray Shero's comments on the Pens site here, and on the Trib here.

It's good that the Pens were able to get something out of this since we all knew that both of these guys were gone July 1st anyway. We're definitely going to miss both of these guys though. Ryan Malone for his grit and his personality, Gary for his leadership and overall cult status. It's just not going to be the same without either of them. We wish them the best of luck wherever they end up. We just hope we don't have to face them too often wherever they go.

Today's random YouTube is a tribute to Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts. We'll always remember you taking that puck to the face and still returning for your team Ryan. And the second is a song dedicated to Gary Roberts. Best of luck guys.

In Steelers news, Najeh Davenport has been released by the team. After signing free agent running back Mewelde Moore and drafting Rashard Mendenhall, Davenport became expendable. The Steelers have 82 players on their roster and can't take more than 80 to training camp, which starts in Latrobe on July 27th. You can read the article at the Trib here.

Until July 1st...

Nothing new we can find that's not just rumors and speculation so we'll leave you with today's random YouTube, more of Geno's amazing English/accent!

And a Geno highlight video, enjoy!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Orpik turns down Pens offer

Brooks Orpik turned down the Pens contract proposal made yesterday. The details of the contract are not known, but it was thought to be a multi-year deal worth about $3 million annually. He earned slightly below $1.1 million last season. Orpik's agent Lewis Gross confirmed that Orpik did receive an offer and that it was turned down. He says the two sides are still talking. Ray Shero did not comment. You can read the articles from the Post-Gazette and Trib here and here.

The NHL announced Thursday that the salary cap has increased to $56.7 million for the 2008-09 season. The cap increased 12.7 percent from last season's $50.3 million. Gary Bettman had predicted a $3 million increase previously. Overall attendance was up for the fourth consecutive record-setting season and is said to be one of the reasons for the dramatic increase, as well as the strength of the Canadian dollar. Each team must spend at least $40.7 million on player salaries. The individual salary allowance is now $11.34 million this season. You can read the article on the Trib here. Looking at that $11.34 million, Crosby and Malkin look like a huge bargain. The Pens and fans are lucky for those "hometown" discounts and team first attitudes.

Puck Daddy blog over at Yahoo! has an article on Brooks Orpik and how he is a defensive defenseman. Pittsburgh's own version of Scott Stevens. Read it here. We're also being lazy since it's almost 3 am, so today's YouTube comes courtesy of Puck Daddy. At the end of the post above there is an interview with Brooks Orpik. He's shirtless ladies, so if that makes you want to click, more power to ya!

We hope the Pens can make some good deals and retain Orpik and a few others. It's been all bad news so far, but we're still trusting Ray Shero has a good plan in place. Only time will tell. But we're really hoping for Orpik right now so we can get our Free Candy t-shirt from The Pensblog Store.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A mixed bag

Over at the Trib you can read up on the latest in talks between the Pens and Brooks Orpik. They are actively engaged in discussions to keep him in Pittsburgh. His agent would not say whether the Pens have presented a contract offer to Orpik but all indications are that the Pens will make a formal offer soon, if they have not already. He could command offers of around $4 million a year from other teams but is thought to be willing to give the Pens a hometown discount if they give him a long-term deal. You can read it all here.

You can read the NHL Notebook over at Post-Gazette here.

Lastly we're leaving you with the story of John Challis. Some of you have probably heard his story or of him. He's an 18 year old who found out in 2006 he had liver cancer. He's lived much longer than doctors suggested and has been spreading his wisdom wherever he can. He attended a Penguins game a little while back and last night attended the Pirates game and shared his words with the team. We can't imagine being in his position and still being able to be so strong. What he's done for people is amazing and everyone could learn a thing or two from him and his experiences. Here is the link to an article about his time at PNC Park, and here is the original story from the Post-Gazette. At the end of the first article is a link to his newly created foundation.

Instead of the random YouTube of the day, here is the direct link to the PG video of John at Game 2 of the playoffs against the Philadelphia Flyers meeting Mario Lemieux, Ben Roethlisberger and others.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More UFA news

The Trib is reporting that Brooks Orpik's camp is hopeful that the Pens will present an offer today. We know we've heard that an offer was already made at the tune of 5 years, $17 million, but we know how the rumors have been rolling out lately. He's looking for a long term deal, likely worth no less that $3.5 million a year. He could go the free-agent route, but he would likely let the Penguins match any offer he would receive. The Trib also states Pascal Dupuis, Jarkko Ruutu, Georges Laraque, and Adam Hall expect to hear from Ray Shero after he pursuits new deals with Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury. Hossa is expected to be pursued  by several teams including the Vancouver Canucks, who are also interested in Ryan Malone. Jordan Staal isn't expected to sign an extension this summer, and the Pens don't seem to have any urgency in getting one done soon. The Pens also extended offers Tuesday to restricted free agents Mark Ardelan, Paul Bissonnette, Patrick Ehelechner, Tim Brent, Daniel Fernholm, Jonathan Filewich, and Ryan Stone to preserve their rights to these players. You can read the full article here.

The Post-Gazette has an article about Penguins prospect Luca Caputi. Also included is a tidbit on Michel Therrien and a contract extension. He has one year left, but it doesn't appear to be a burning issue and Ray Shero said they have mutual interest and it would be worked out eventually.

They also have some information on Terry Bradshaw and steroids.

Speaking of the Steelers, Big Ben thinks the team can contend for the Super Bowl.

While we're not baseball fans, the Yankees being in town to play the Pirates seems to be a big deal. Something about them not being here in like 60 years or something. But that's not the shocker. The Pirates actually won. By a lot. Wow.

As for the random YouTube of the day, Sidney Crosby videos are easy to find. We'll try to get some variety in here soon when we have time to search for some good ones. As for today, it's Crosby's most recent Gatorade commercial. We like it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What Would Gary Roberts Do?

Unfortunately, leave Pittsburgh. Gary Roberts' agent has said that Gary is definitely playing next year but it will not be in Pittsburgh. His agent says Gary understands that Shero has more pressing issues and he will decide after he becomes a free agent on July 1st where he will go. His agent also said Gary appreciated his time here and the fans but that it's time to move on. You can read the article from the Post-Gazette here.

We have to say we're a bit sad on this one. We loved the Gary jokes and all the other WWGRD stuff. We were kind of hoping he'd end up staying for a little less money, but unfortunately, it seems like in the end this is probably for the best for both parties. Although we do hate saying that. It seems like each day brings more bad news this offseason and we're really hoping it starts to look up in the form of signed players like Fleury, Malkin, Staal, and Ruutu. Speaking of Ruutu, we haven't seen much news on him and no one really talking about him. We find this sad. He could be the next cult star. That RUUUUU you hear at games is pretty awesome. The HEEEEATH at Heinz Field was always a favorite of ours too.

But moving on, there is one small tidbit on Ruutu. His agent and Ray Shero are supposed to meet before July 1st but it is unknown as to when. Also on tap is the fact that Geno is still willing to take less money and is not interested in a large deal from Russia. There is also info on more of the UFAs in this article over at, you guessed it, the Post Gazette.

And for the random YouTube of the day, it's a video Sean Leahy posted over at his blog that we couldn't resist. It's a great Sidney Crosby video, Sidney Crosby: Gamechanger.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Is it July 1st yet?

We said the other day that we were already tired of all the rumors and crap floating around the internet, and we still are. But now with the news that Marian Hossa is going to wait until July 1st and test out free agency, we really want July 1st to get here. And fast. Some of you might enjoy the speculation, rumors, and all the waiting, but we don't. It seems like every day it's something new. After getting the whole Geno thing under control (we think, who knows what other BS the media can come up with) we were hoping things were going to look pretty good and then we hear about Hossa. Basically, Hossa was offered a contract by the Penguins but decided not to accept and he's choosing to test the free agent market on July 1st, but not ruling out the Penguins. We're going to let you read all the info for yourself over at the Post-Gazette (thank goodness for some good reporting). All we have to say is we like what Ray Shero has said, especially about the Ryan Malones, Brooks Orpiks, etc. being important. As well as we hope Hossa knows what he's doing. It's no secret the Pens can't afford to pay a bunch of talented players top dollar, which is why Sidney Crosby stepped up and why Geno is following suit. If Hossa really wants to win instead of make more money, then he knows what he needs to do. And who wouldn't want to be Sidney Crosby's winger? That right there will up your points with his amazing play-making ability. If Hossa leaves, so be it, but don't say winning is more important than money and then continue to leave Pittsburgh for more cash.

Post-Gazette covers the draft here.

And last but not least, your random YouTube of the day...a Sidney Crosby Gatorade ad from a couple years ago that aired in Canada with a cameo by the Hanson brothers.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Geno isn't going anywhere. No, really.

We're hesitant to say that the Evgeni Malkin rumors are over because it seems like every time we think they are, something else pops up. Even so, we think this should shut everyone up. The Post-Gazette is reporting today that Malkin has no interest in going to Russia for $12.5 million tax free (which we've heard is like $15 million here). Thank goodness. Malkin is expected to sign a deal with the Pens for around $8.5 million a year, slightly less than Crosby's $8.7 million. His agent says he wants to remain in Pittsburgh and he wants the team to keep as many players as possible. His agent sees no major hurdles that would prevent an agreement between Malkin and the team. They have a framework down so that Shero knows what kind of money they're dealing with in terms of trying to sign their restricted free agents, such as Marian Hossa and Brooks Orpik. The Pens having Malkin at a lower rate could make him more tradeable (just what we wanted to hear, NOT!) and Malkin is not eligible for a no-trade clause for a few years, but his agent was adamant that Malkin accepting less money would mean that the Penguins would not deal him. He's taking less money for Pittsburgh, and that's where he wants to stay. You can read the entire article here.

We're looking forward to getting to know Geno, as the more we see of him, the more we like. We're glad he wants to stay in Pittsburgh.

The other links from the PG:  NHL Draft and NHL Notebook.

The Trib has an article with a few more quotes from Malkin's agent here. Also included is some talk from Shero. After reading those quotes we have to say we're even more excited about getting to know Geno.

You can find a draft tracker and coverage of the NHL draft over at

Sorry for the lack of draft coverage but we're tired and it's 2:30 am. We'll be sure to cover who the Pens draft tomorrow.

And last but not least, the random YouTube of the day...Sidney Crosby's stretching/dancing routine before the game. Enjoy the show.

Friday, June 20, 2008

More rumors about Malkin

So we thought we had the Malkin rumors under control but we guess we were wrong, Russia decided to have some fun and jump into the mix too. Basically some newly formed hockey league in Russia is reportedly going to make an offer to Malkin to make him the highest paid player in the world at $12.5 million a year. And that's tax free to boot. But Russia would be in big trouble if this happened and could forfeit some important stuff, like competing in the Olympics. You can read the story from the Post-Gazette here.

We wonder what Malkin thinks about all this chaos surrounding him...?

Where do we begin?

We don't even know where to start today based on all these rumors. Basically we're just going to say that we sat around hoping they weren't true. If you haven't seen all of yesterday's Evgeni Malkin rumors, you can check them out here. There's probably a few other whoppers out there but that was the basic stuff. We thought the idea was crazy from several view points, one being this is Evgeni Malkin we're talking about here and he's possibly the best player in the world. Two, who wants to trade someone that good for a draft pick and one other player? That draft pick could never amount to much and then where are you? And three, he said he likes it here and will take a discount which is awesome. And finally, WE LOVE GENO! Basically you tell yourself that it's crazy and not at all true, but in the back of your mind it kind of festers and you worry just a little that the Pens and Ray Shero have gone crazy. Then you see this article and feel much better. Basically this Yahoo! article and Ottawa's Bryan Murray had this to say:

“I don’t know where all this stuff comes from,” said Murray, who said he didn’t want to trade Spezza. “I heard rumours that Pittsburgh was moving one of its stars. I talked to their manager today to see if I could be included on the discussion and they kind of laughed at me.”

Murray was referring to the rumour that Evegni Malkin was being shopped around, which the Penguins steadfastly deny.

Whew! That was nice to hear. Then again, we're sure it's not the end considering these so called journalists enjoy writing some good BS these days to up their popularity, and for some, it's the only way people will read their columns. We won't mention any names.

Today's Post-Gazette has a few reads for everyone. The first being an article about the Penguins and this weekend's draft, which also goes on to state that Shero is expected to discuss contracts with the agents of Marian Hossa and Brooks Orpik this weekend. Orpik's agent was believed to have talked to Shero yesterday but neither party confirmed it.

PG is also reporting that the Mellon Arena will stay the Mellon Arena, at least for now.

Seth over at Empty Netters has a few kind words for some of the reporters that are reporting the Evgeni Malkin trade rumors.

We have to say we're less than impressed with the Trib lately with all of it's rather crappy articles, for lack of a better way of saying it. With wrong information and just plain stupid commentary, it's not our favorite place right now, but here's their article for today. Rob Rossi ( :| ) says that Malkin's agent told the Trib that there is no validity to the trade rumors and that Shero and Malkin's agent are to meet this weekend.

Random YouTube of the day...the Penguins taunting Flyers fans after their game 3 win on the road in the playoffs.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hossa deal not true?

We were watching FSN Pittsburgh tonight and Stan Savran reported that Hossa's agent says that the numbers that are being widely circulated are untrue. Then we see in tomorrow's Post-Gazette they have a story reporting the same thing with quotes from Hossa's agent Ritchie Winter stating that the reported numbers are completely false. Who knows what to believe at this point as it's obvious that there are a lot of false reports as well as GMs and agents circulating information for their own benefit. All we know is that we're already sick of the rumors. It should be fun and maybe we're being party poopers but it's getting old for us and we basically can't wait till it's over. Although I suppose those Malkin trade rumors can last...well forever. To us those are the most unsettling at this point. Why give up such a great player that is only going to get better? We haven't even had a chance to get to know Geno yet (which we hope he starts speaking English very soon, plus we love that accent! :) ). Just keep Geno, please.

You can read the Post-Gazette article here.

Mike Prisuta over at the Trib says not to hold all this against Ryan Malone.

Random YouTube of the day...the top 10 Penguins fights of this season. That Rutuu fight was something. Enjoy.

Also check out The Pensblog today for some new info. Actually you should check out Pensblog every day no matter what. Great stuff.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Some offseason news

So today we get a little info on the offseason chaos. First up we find out that Ryan Malone isn't interested in a trade with Columbus and would rather test free agency on July 1st. Malone says that him and his agent will not talk to anyone until July 1st. Probably deciding this after seeing how several teams were interested in negotiating with him, which would mean more of a choice for him and more money in his pocket. This is bad news for the Penguins because now they will not get a draft pick and/or another player out of this. You can read articles about this on the Trib and Post-Gazette.

According to the Trib, the Hossa talks are heating up. Hossa is on vacation right now in the Bahamas (must be nice!) and when he returns he will get his first good look at the contract the Pens have offered. He is expected to return later this week. Obviously the Pens' objective is to sign him to a long-term contract, but if for whatever reason an agreement is not made, the Pens are open to the idea of trading his rights before he can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. All negotiations up to this point have been with Hossa's agent Ritchie Winter. The deal is again mentioned as being a seven year deal worth near $50 million. The length of the deal remains a talking point between them but the Pens are not likely to offer much more than his current salary of $7 million. Ray Shero is not commenting on any offseason dealings.

Also according to the Trib, signing Brooks Orpik to a new deal is number 2 on the Pens' list. Talks with his agent, Lewis Gross, are expected to commence later this week. He is expected to command near $4 million annually. It's said he would like to stay in Pittsburgh and would probably give the Pens a hometown discount if he can get additional years on a new contract.

You can read about all of that on the Trib here.

Seth over at Empty Netters posted today how the Penguins were drafted, listing by round. The majority of their roster was drafted in the first three rounds.

We just found this today, it's dated Monday June 16th, but Puck Daddy sports blog has a post entitled 'Sign Hossa, lose Malkin and blame Sidney Crosby?' This was intriguing so going on to read it, they don't agree the Pens should sign Hossa and think Crosby has something to do with them wanting to resign him. Basically stating what Sidney Crosby wants, Sidney Crosby gets. Now while this may be true in the sense that certain people may want to please the "golden child," we don't think Sidney has lobbied them, nor would he put himself ahead of the team. But what do we know? Then again, what do they know? You can read this blog post here.

We even have some Steelers stuff today, and to us it's pretty exciting. It's an article from the Trib on Rashard Mendenhall, the Steelers' first round pick. They are pretty excited on what he can do and he should be an immediate effect on the team. We said earlier we were excited about Limas Sweed's potential, we're just as excited about Mendenhall's. Can't wait to see him run this year. You can read the article here. And we recommend you do.

Random YouTube of the day...It's more a song than an actual video but how could we resist this song entitled "Sign Hossa!?" Exactly. We loved this guy's Stanley Cup song too. Awesome. Sign Hossa HEY! Sign Hossa HEY!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A slow day today

Today is a pretty slow day in terms of news. If you live in or near Pittsburgh and an equipment sale sounds exciting to you, the Pens are holding a new and used equipment sale Friday June 27th from 4:00 - 8:00 pm at the Marriott across the street from the Mellon. We've never been but have heard this sale is quite crazy and stuff goes rather fast. If you're brave enough to go, we'd love to hear what you pick up. You can read about the sale here.

Rumors tend to make the offseason interesting and even a little fun. We have no idea how legitimate this site is, but we figured we'd link you to it so you can read all the rumors yourselves. Have fun and don't stress too much. ;-)

Random YouTube of the day...One of many awesome Crosby goals.

A longer YouTube if you're interested, the Pens 2008 shirts off their backs promotion. We know we'd like one of those. Great thing for them to do.

Monday, June 16, 2008

And now we must wait...

According to Puck-rakers blog, the Pens have already made an offer to Marian Hossa and expect to hear from him in a couple of days. It's said to be that 7-year $50 million offer we heard earlier. If he does accept the deal, and the Pens think he will, Malone will be gone. The Blue Jackets will then probably trade for the negotiating rights to Malone before the July 1st free agency chaos. The Pens are supposedly going to get either Dan Fritsche or a second or third round draft pick. According to this source, it should go down within the next 48 to 72 hours. I guess we wait and find out. You can read it here.

Also check out The Pensblog for info and links to a report that Oilers GM Kevin Lowe may have contacted Ray Shero about Ryan Malone.

Random YouTube of the day...

The NHL Road Trip commercial from a season ago. We're not big fans of Ovechkin but we are a fan of accents and that "lots of ketchup" line gets us every time. You've probably already caught on to the whole we love accents thing and with hockey having so many great ones, you'll see it more. Don't get it? That's okay. Enjoy the ad.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Geno on thin ice?

An article dated for today, the 15th, in the Trib is suggesting that Evgeni Malkin is basically toast. It's suggested that if Marian Hossa signs the long-term deal supposedly put before him, that Malkin's days in Pittsburgh could be numbered. The article says it would be hard to keep three great centers as well as Hossa, Fleury, and their best defensemen, which may be true considering there is a limit to the amount you can spend. Basically at that point someone would have to go and this article suggests it would be either Staal or Malkin, obviously not Sidney.  Staal would come cheaper and also plays a different role, while Malkin and Crosby play basically the same role. Malkin would also bring a more lucrative trade. The article also goes on to suggest that even if Hossa does not return to Pittsburgh, how long does Malkin want to play second to Sidney Crosby? 

Quote from Joe Starkey's Trib article:

"Meantime, even if the Hossa deal falls through, how long will Malkin want to play rhythm guitar instead of lead? Sure, he might become the best player in the world, but he's never going to be the man in Pittsburgh.

That's just reality.

Malkin's not the one with the 'C' on his jersey. He's not the one who might get a $50 million winger. He's not the one who lives with the owner. He's not the one who runs the power play, and he's not the one whose job description includes saving the NHL."

This is the stuff that, to us, is upsetting. The article also suggests that every good player has an ego and two star players cannot exist in the same locker room for long. Why does there always have to be an ego? Is there no one who can look past themselves and to the greater good of the team? Does there always have to be unhealthy competition? It pretty much makes us sick. Many people will say they understand these things, they understand the "business" and the big money. We don't think we ever will. Healthy competition to make each other better should be there, but why does it always have to be, who is best? This is a team sport, correct? How about you worry about the team and helping your team by being the best player you can be instead of worrying about whether you're considered better than the man sitting next to you? People talk about how winning a championship is the best thing there is in sports, that it's all that matters, but is it really? If that's true then why aren't more players taking a little less money to play with a team that's headed for the top? If that's true then why do personal issues and egos get the best of them? Overpaid athletes will complain they have to "take care of their family." Anyone can appreciate what that takes, but tell me this, could you live on 8 million dollars for the rest of your life? I think you could. Some of these athletes make more in a year than most will ever see in their entire lives, yet greed always takes over. It's time to stop and get some priorities straight. If you're really playing for the love of the game, then you'll be with the team and the city that has the chance to go places, the one that loves you unconditionally. That extra million can't make you truly happy no matter what you try to tell yourself. We may be waiting forever, but we're still waiting for the athlete that truly "sacrifices." Sidney Crosby took the hometown discount to let a team be built around him, he took the first step, and more than likely not his last towards that, and for that he deserves credit. Crosby may always come before Malkin, but he was here first. He's the captain, as he should be. A great role model and leader. There is always enough room for more than one super star, but generally egos and money get in the way. We just hope that's not the case here.

That was our rant, some may agree, others may not. It doesn't matter. I think all of us want the same thing, Sidney and Geno together for years to come because they are both exciting and both could be the best player in the world. Watching them develop should be a fun ride and full of highlights. Let's hope money and egos work out. 

(Disclaimer: We are in no way insinuating we think Malkin has a problem with Crosby or that he thinks he is "second best." Nor are we saying we think Malkin would walk away for big money, we think his comments from the other day show that. In the end none of us know Malkin that well considering his voice isn't often heard. I think a lot of us have a good idea of what kind of man Sidney Crosby is, we're just waiting to see what kind of man Malkin is.)

You can read this article here.

Feel free to leave any comments below.

Seth from Empty Netters gives some info and his opinion on Ryan Malone and the possibility of him heading to Columbus. He makes sense to us.

A little Steelers info now. Here is an article on Limas Sweed, one of the Steelers draft choices. We have to say we're pretty excited about him and can't wait to see how he develops.

As for the random YouTube of the day, it's Marc-Andre Fleury spinning like a ballerina and hiding in Colby Armstrong's equipment bag.  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sidney Crosby: On the Ice and Beyond

We posted this video quite a while ago but we figured we'd put it up again.  The NHL is putting out a Sidney Crosby DVD in October called Sidney Crosby:  On the Ice and Beyond.  It looks like a great DVD to see all of Sidney's accomplishments on and off the ice.  The NHL couldn't have found a better person to be the face of their league and it should be a nice look at Sidney's busy life. Enjoy the preview.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Geno isn't going anywhere.

Geno wants to stay in Pittsburgh.  He says he's thinking a 5 or 6 year contract extension in which he says does not need to be higher than Crosby's $8.7 million a year average, let alone Ovechkin like money. Malkin can't sign a contract before July 1st, but expects to "soon" after that date. You can read about it here and here. Malkin was also selected as a first team all star, the same spot Crosby claimed last year.

So can we finally quit talking about the Pens trading Malkin?  Or him demanding Ovechkin like money?  It's nice to hear Geno say that.  A bit of mystery seemed to follow him considering his media relations are scarce.  Nice to hear from you Geno.

The Penguins have decided to file for arbitration with Marc-Andre Fleury which means they will have more time to negotiate a deal with him before other teams can make offers.  Arbitration hearings are held between July 20th and August 4th, but the Pens can continue to negotiate with Fleury before that time and no hearing will be held if a deal is reached before then.  Ray Shero said they did this to give them more time to negotiate with Fleury and to assure he will be under contract with the Pens next season.  You can read about this here and here.  Teams can only take a player to arbitration once in his career.  (Update: PG's update on the Fleury arbitration)

Now for some disappointing news.  Ryan Malone appears headed for another team, the Columbus Blue Jackets seeming to be the most interested. We'd miss Malone's personality and grit. Someone who's willing to continually stand in front of the net after breaking their nose twice in the playoffs is pretty special.  We wish there was a way for them to keep him, but it seems the Pens can't afford him, especially since their top priority now seems to be Marian Hossa.  If the rumors here are true, it looks pretty grim for Malone staying in Pittsburgh.  If he leaves, we'll sure miss the hometown boy.

As for Hossa being their top priority we can't argue too much.  He's a great player and a great winger for Sidney Crosby that would be a huge loss, and Sidney has said that.  Sidney needs a good winger to set up with his phenomenal play making skills. It's just hard when we're talking about them having to choose some over others. Especially a great person like Malone.  It'd be a shame to lose Brooks Orpik too. We'd miss free candy.  The Trib's article here covers Hossa being their top priority, what kind of deal is expected and by when, as well as speculation on Malone, Orpik, and Staal.  Worth a read for sure.

Seth over at Empty Netters has some coverage on the NHL awards last night and their mistakes. Check it out here.

Random YouTube of the day: Ryan Malone interviewing Geno, Jeff Taffe, and Ryan Whitney. We love this video and will miss more of things like this if Malone leaves Pittsburgh.  Geno's English strikes again and we love it.  Amazing accent.  Just amazing.

Myron Cope now has an asteroid named after him, read about it here.

Check out other Steelers news here.

And the NHL MVP is...

Alexander Ovechkin!  Woo!  Okay so we're not that excited.  Unless you've been living under a rock, this was basically known a long time ago. And then when the NHL put up their AO MVP shirts last week well...yeah.  He's deserving so we can't complain too much, we're just a little biased since we love Geno so much.  To read about this and who won the rest of the NHL awards, click here.  Ovie also has a clothing line now. Scary. Kind of like this picture.

             (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

We'd suggest shaving.  And washing your hair. And maybe fixing that tooth.  Nice suit though. *Thumbs up*

For more pictures just like this of AO, head over to Yahoo! here.

Now for a few random YouTubes to get you through the offseason.  Or more like one day of the offseason but we'll try to find a few good ones now and again to help you out.

First we have Geno delivering the season tickets from this year.  We don't think we've ever heard that much English out of Geno before.  That accent is amazing.

The A & L Motor Sales ad is basically a classic. We've never seen such fabulous acting in our entire lives.  We miss you Colby.

And finally for tonight, a short video from before Sidney Crosby was drafted.  Not that great quality but watching Sidney crack up over a razor is pretty hilarious.  We don't get to see enough of this Sidney.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Some links for you.

Here's a couple links for you we hope you enjoy. Even some Steelers stuff.  :-o

At 42, Gary Roberts is still thinking about coming back.

In case you didn't know (living under a rock maybe?) Malkin is up for some sort of awards, like the Hart or something.  If you have Versus you can watch.

If you have FSN Pittsburgh, you basically need to watch this show.  An hour long season recap of the 2007-08 Penguins in "Spotlight:  Building a Champion."  Should be good.

NHL players are rolling in dough.

Something else about Malkin being up for some sort of honor.

Yinz Luv 'Da Guins has their Season Finale Send Off Special up for you to watch.  A must do.

Now for some Steelers info.

Timmons seems poised to oust Foote at inside LB.

LT Smith in same boat Faneca was, but reacts differently.

That's all for tonight, see you soon.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A few quick links

These are a couple links from the Post-Gazette. We don't have much time but these articles are good ones we just had to post.

Ron Cook writes a good article looking back at the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Ed Bouchette talks about the Steelers and the Penguins and the salary cap era.

Be sure to head over to the Penguins official site and check out the video of the players on their last day at Mellon Arena.  It's on the main page. There is also a video at Post-Gazette.  We sure would like one of those many jerseys!

Sorry we couldn't link to everything but we're out of time for tonight.  See you soon.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

And here we go

The Pens have had their last meeting at Mellon Arena this season.  They gathered gear, had exit physicals and interviews, talked with the media, autographed gear to trade, and said their goodbyes to teammates they may or may not see again once September comes.  We can only hope Ray Shero has the ability to keep the majority of the team together so we can go on this ride again next season with familiar faces.  We have some links for you about the Pens last meeting, this offseason's issues, and even some words for the Pens from Ben Roethlisberger.  Enjoy.

Some Pens look back, while others ahead before heading home.

The status of each Penguins player's contract.

Hossa wants to win a cup more than he wants the cash.

Orpik says his decision will not be effected by coach.

Ben Roethlisberger offers kind words to Pens.

Detroit and Pittsburgh had a bet on the Stanley Cup final.

Crosby has passed the test in his first trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

Don't forget to watch all the past episodes of Yinz Luv 'Da Guins, as well as the final episode they should have soon.  We still love the beginning.  :)

Friday, June 6, 2008

What's wrong with Malkin?

Finally, we find out what was up with the Evgeni Malkin we saw on the ice in the Stanley Cup final that looked nothing like the Malkin we all knew and loved.  The media was enjoying playing the 'where is Malkin game?' and throwing harsh criticism his way. Fans were ready to throw him under the bus and trade him, which we found absolutely ridiculous over here, but nonetheless we now find out why we saw a different Geno. The Post-Gazette is reporting today that there was in fact a problem with Evgeni Malkin in the Stanley Cup final.  Malkin had a flu-like ailment that made it hard for him to keep food down early in the final.  It is also believed that he had been bothered by the effects of a check he received from the Flyers' Mike Richards in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final.  You can read it here.

Will people finally be happy now?  And stop throwing Geno under the bus?  We sure hope so. We think anyone knows how it feels to not keep food down and be weak and out of it.  We think that's a good enough reason for his poor play. It's noted this was at the beginning of the Stanley Cup final, which would seem to say he was feeling a bit better later on and why he was playing better later in the series.  Feel better Geno!

Also on the Post-Gazette, there is an article discussing the fact that the Penguins face a short offseason that will effect their training and shorten their time to recover from a long season. Worth a read and you can do that here.

The Penguins set an attendance record, it's time for Shero to reward the Pens' followers, and the Penguins find a new breed of fan.

Lastly, here is a link to an article from Scott Burnside over at ESPN called The Other Side of Sidney Crosby that we believe was written sometime early this past hockey season.  It's a nice article about Sid's life off the ice, and while some of it isn't surprising, we think you'll enjoy it. We don't think Pittsburgh or the NHL could have found a better candidate to be a leader and the face of the league.  The world could use a few more Sidney Crosbys.  While we don't want to take away from Gary Roberts, we think more than a few people should ask themselves, 'What would Sidney do?'  Enjoy!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Red Wings win 3-2 to capture Stanley Cup

The Pens put up a good fight tonight to try to force a game 7 and a chance at the Stanley Cup, but fell short.  By about an inch. The Red Wings definitely deserve credit as they played great hockey and over these six games really were the better team. Their team dynamic and defense were great, even if we didn't always agree with some of the things they did (obstruction maybe?). Even so, a few breaks went their way (goal 3 tonight, arrrrgh!), and not enough went the way of the Pens.  Hit crossbars, shots just wide on open nets, shots that beat Osgood but somehow didn't go in, 5 on 3's that didn't pan out, fluke goals that sneak over the Pens goal line, etc, etc. In the end, that's how sports go and there are no seconds chances.  The best part of all of this is the fact that this team never gave up, sacrificed everything they had, and left it all out on the ice. We don't know who will be with the Pens next season for sure as there are bound to be some changes, but we know they have a great core that isn't going anywhere.  Next season should be exciting and the Pens should be hungrier than ever for a championship after getting THIS close to it this year.  It's hard to believe it's over and we're already going to be counting down the days till training camp come September. If we could say anything to the team it would be to keep your heads up, you did a great job and should be proud you came that close.  We know it doesn't make everything okay, but you should know that you have a group of young guys that will be good for years to come.  The rest of the Eastern conference needs to look out for the Pens and their phenomenal talent.  To Geno, thanks for your big heart (Hart to us) and never giving up when times were rough.  To Sidney, thanks for being such a great leader and such a force on the ice.  And to Marc-Andre Fleury, keep your head up kid, your time will come, probably sooner rather than later and to us you deserved the Conn Smythe. Next season can't come soon enough.  Thank you for such a great season.

Our thoughts on tonight's game

-The Pens gave it all they had and left it all out on the ice, they made us proud.

-Almost two games in a row tying it up in the final seconds!  Crazy.

-The fans were great and to still be chanting LET'S GO PENS! after the game was over and chanting for Fleury when the Conn Smythe was brought out was amazing.

-Malkin has a lot of heart and really wanted this. Glad he got a goal tonight and it was a good one.

-Sidney Crosby also has a lot of heart and great leadership.  Him talking after the game was hard to watch.  It was the first time we've really seen much emotion from him when talking to the media.  It looked hard for him to fight back the tears.  Most know that Sidney Crosby does not like losing.  At all.

-We never really bought into the whole experience thing.  Maybe we're naive, but we still don't.

-We also never really bought into that Chris Osgood was, well, that good.  The Pens didn't capitalize when they got chances and the defense in front of him was amazing and deserve the majority of the credit in our humble opinion.


-Negatives:  Didn't win the cup.  Positives:  Lots to build on and look forward to, good young core, couple of the best players in the NHL, Sidney shaving that...fuzz off his face.

Here's to hoping the offseason is a good one with lots of big deals and keeping many good players. We can't wait till it's hockey season again.  In the meantime, it's only a month and a half or so until the Steelers report for training camp.  A lot to look forward to and we'll try to keep up to date. We may take a few breaks now, but will be here when news breaks.  Thanks to anyone who's reading.  Let's Go Pens!

Remember to check out the Post-Gazette for commentary and Empty Netters blog. The Pensblog should have a great wrap-up as usual. (Links to the right)  Also here is a nicely written blog post by Sean Leahy over at his blog, Going Five Hole.  (Geno's five hole goal tonight was awesome btw!)

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Game 6 tonight at Mellon Arena!

Tonight the Pens have the chance to tie up the series and play game 7 for the Stanley Cup.  It's hard to believe we're here in some ways, but many of us knew the Pens had it in them. Hopefully tonight being at home will propel them to a victory and a chance to play for Lord Stanley's Cup.  It should be exciting and Mellon Arena should be rocking.  We'll be back after the game.  Here's to a Pens win, LET'S GO PENS!!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


And they're stayin' alive!  Wow, what a game tonight.  It's after 2:30 am but we still don't know what to say other than wow.

Our thoughts...


-What was Marc-Andre Fleury on tonight?  He was amazing.  MVP all the way.

-Mad Max's goal to tie it with 34.3 seconds left was insane.  Talk about playing till the end.

-Malkin got his first point of the series and seemed to play better tonight.

-Sykora's overtime winning goal was awesome and no garbage goal like we figured would win the game.

-It was obvious the Pens were not going down without a fight tonight and it was amazing to watch.

-It was nice of NBC's announcers to let us know every 5 minutes of overtime that the next goal won.  We didn't know that.

-Sykora letting everyone know it wasn't Little Ceasar's pizza they ate was pretty amusing. Domino's!

We're really tired as it's 3 am and just can't even think anymore.  There's probably 12 million other things to say about this game, as it was amazing, but our brain is fried. Check out the Post-Gazette and Empty Netters and all the other great Pens sites out there and get ready for game 6 on Wednesday night.  Here's to the Pens keeping this series alive, and a win in game 6 back at the Mellon.  Let's go Pens!

        (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

     (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Game 5 tonight.

So tonight the Red Wings have the chance to win the Stanley Cup but the Penguins aren't willing to give up yet.  It seems pretty impossible, but we don't think it's time to give up yet.  If they could win tonight and then go back to the Burgh for game 6, you never know what might happen.  It's time to stand with the Pens tonight and still have hope.  If they don't win the Stanley Cup, at least we know they should have a chance at it for years to come.  It's pretty exciting to think about.  Let's hope they can keep as many of this years players as possible.  One thing that bothers us the most about this is the fact that the team with the most passionate fans isn't the one winning.  It's kind of sad to think that Detroit can't sell out a Stanley Cup Final game easily, while the Pens sell out and have thousands watching outside.  Even so, tonight could be the last game of the season and we've had fun.  We hate to see hockey end as we've started to live and die with the Pens like we've lived and died with the Steelers for so many years. Here's to tonight's game and a Pens win in game 5.  Let's go Pens!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Pens lose game 4

So tonight was another must win to a lot of people and the Pens lost 2-1 to the Red Wings at home.  After they scored the first goal we really thought they'd pull this one out. Unfortunately it didn't work out that way.  We're sure Marc-Andre Fleury wants that second goal back but sometimes that's how things work.  Crosby was obviously frustrated as he went after Zetterberg for I'm sure a few choice words.  We didn't witness it but supposedly Zetterberg tried to slash his wrists in the final seconds. Either way frustration is coming out.  Crosby hates to lose and you can read about that here in the only link from us tonight.  It was said Malkin was in the locker room for a while by himself with his head in his hands, and we also witnessed the explicative that came from his mouth during the game.  It seems like things are hard on him, and most people have been hard on him, including us when we see those passes picked off or those missed opportunities.  Hopefully when this is all over we'll find out whether it's injury or him being mentally or physically tired as has been "reported" or if it's just a bad time for him.  I think it's hard to even begin to figure out because we don't know Geno.  A lot appears to be lost in translation and hopefully next season we'll see him blossom.  We just hope the rumors that he likes it here are true and the rumors that he wants the most money he can get aren't.  We love you Geno, so keep your head up.

It's not fun thinking about the fact that there could only be one more Pens game left or thinking about who they're going to lose after the season is over.  We're not giving up by any means and we'd be one of the first to get in line to support the Pens to win three in a row and "steal" the cup.  Even so, the end is near whether it's Monday or next Saturday.  We'll do our best to keep posts frequent and hope we find a few people who read this blog and appreciate what we try to do.  If you're out there, hit us up in the comments or an e-mail, we'd love new friends and new ideas.

Obviously Steelers football is coming up with training camp and the like.  We haven't kept up on Steelers news so far as the excitement of the Pens playoff run was just too exciting for us. That and the fact that Spygate was just too depressing.

Here is where we'll end our little group of thoughts for the night.  You know you can always find the usual links to the right or in other posts below.  You also know we love the Post-Gazette for their coverage, especially Empty Netters blog so please go and check that out.  The Pensblog is also a must, especially when we all now know Ruutu reads Pensblog, so obviously you should too.  The link above was a fun one and hope it brings a smile to your face, especially when it's mentioned that Sid has a butt to rival JLo.  I'm sure some of you ladies wouldn't mind seeing that.  ;)

Good night and here's to a win in game 5 in Detroit.  We aren't ready to give up, especially with a Captain like Sidney Crosby.  Here's to the Pens.  Let's Go Pens!