Monday, July 7, 2008

Janne Pesonen is officially a Penguin

The Pens announced today that Finnish foward Janne Pesonen has signed a one-year contract with the team. Last year Pesonen is 26 years old and led the Finnish Elite League last season with 34 goals, 44 assists, and 78 points in 56 games. His team, Oulu Karpat, won it's fifth league championship where Pesonen had 7 goals and 9 assists during the post-season. You can read Ray Shero's comments and Pesonen's other accomplishments in the article at the Post-Gazette here.

We're really excited to see what Pesonen will bring to the Pens. Obviously we know nothing about him, but it seems like he's got a lot of speed and scoring ability. With all those accomplishments, he sounds like a good choice. After losing Hossa, Malone, and others we were wondering where the Pens were going to end up, but Ray Shero hasn't let us down by making choices that seem to be pretty sound. We're excited about next season.

Also mentioned in that article is that the Pens have signed an entry-level contract with defenseman Ben Lovejoy, who played 72 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last season. He had 2 goals, 18 assists, and 63 penalty minutes last season, also adding 2 goals and 8 assists in 23 playoff games.

Steelers training camp is only 20 days away. It seems like forever since we've watched football. With the Pens being so exciting we didn't feel the pain too much, but the Steelers have some new guys this year that look to be good. We're excited to see Rashard Mendenhall and Limas Sweed. It's nice to see some new faces that can contribute right away. We've heard Sweed is a lot like Plaxico Burress, but faster. That makes us excited.

In Steelers news, the team signed two of it's draft picks today. Texas left tackle Tony Hill and Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon. Hill, 6-foot-5, 309-pounds reached agreement on a three-year contract that includes a $304,500 signing bonus. Dixon signed a three-year deal that included a bonus of $130,000. Dixon should be ready in time for training camp after a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. You can read up on that here.

Also in Steelers news, the Rooneys look to restructure the ownership of the team. We're just going to ask you read the articles here and here for more info on that. We may comment when we understand it more but the mere thought that the Steelers could leave the Rooney ownership is just beyond bad. Hopefully all of them can come up with an agreement. Dan Rooney says that he will do whatever it takes to keep his father's legacy of keeping the team in the Rooney family and keeping them in Pittsburgh for at least another 75 years. Dan Rooney is great, stand-up man and we're sure he'll do whatever he can.

You can view the Steelers training camp schedule here. If you're able to make it down to camp some day, you should go. It's a lot of fun hanging out with lots of other Steelers fans and getting to see a lot of the players up close and maybe even get an autograph or two.

Random YouTube(s) of the day: a welcome to Pittsburgh Matt Cooke and Janne Pesonen video, and a highlight video of Limas Sweed. Enjoy.

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