2018 Summer Game Plan

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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby longtimefan on Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:51 pm

I understand the reasoning behind the lines being bandied about. They make perfect sense when viewed through what seems logical. And they may very well work. I'm trying to incorporate more of the advanced stats into my thinking. I've watched since 1968, so it's still a new and different concept. With good and bad. They do add another layer though. A few things.

Simon is really being underrated. I listened to JR on a preseason call on NHL Radio last August. He mentioned Simon as being someone in WBS he felt was NHL ready. Simon scored 25 goals in 68 games his first season in North America. He scored 4G 12Pts in 33 games last season. Rust scored 4G 7A in 41 games as a rookie, and Sheary scored 7G 10Pts in 44 games. Rust was 22, and Sheary 23. So he's a legitimate threat to win a spot in the line-up. As far as his advanced stats, they were very good, especially with Sid. It's obvious Sid likes him. Give the kid some leeway. He's not going to be a star, but he isn't without ability. The biggest one maybe being his smarts.

Sprong only got 8 games, but put up great advanced stats with Sid. He also put up great advanced stats with Sheahan, surprisingly. Admittedly, everything is based on small sample sizes.

Guentzel should play with Crosby. Interestingly, Sid's stats seem to spike with a kid on the other side, be it Simon or Sprong.

Hagelin brings out the best in Malkin, and the line was a monster when Hornqvist manned the right side.

Bryan Rust shows his value. Everywhere. Even with Sid and Guentzel. One thing that goes contrary to conventional wisdom is that Phil Kessel played better with Rust than anybody else. That's true when he had Malkin at center, and it was true in a short stint with Brassard in the middle. It's surprising because the general consensus is that Rust is better on the right side. He wasn't playing on the right with Kessel on the ice.

It was an incredibly small sample of two games, but the Rust-Brassard-Kessel combination had a 68.57 CF%. Jason Mackay brought it up a couple of weeks ago, and it jogged my memory about being impressed watching them live.

I look at ZAR, Sprong, Simon, and Cullen battling for 3 spots. And competition is good. ZAR offers something different, but is also the one with the least NHL service time. Ultimately, it's up to the three kids to force Cullen to the bench. They've got a good and deep group of forwards, and we all know the lines they start with will be different by the end of the first period of the opener. We also know that how players performed with others in the past isn't always a good predictor of future performance.

I suspect that Simon probably slots in a little higher right now than Sprong or ZAR. He got the most time in the NHL last season. I've always put more credence into building lines such as FlPensFan. I'm intrigued by what advanced stats can add though. Based solely on what I came up with from naturalstattrick.com. These would show some intrigue.

Guentzel Crosby Simon
Hagelin Malkin Hornqvist
Rust Brassard Kessel
ZAR/Cullen Sheahan Sprong

Switch it up accordingly. They are deep, with 10 of the 13 scoring double figure in goals last year. They are versatile, with 5 natural centers, and 4 wingers who have played both sides effectively. It's not a bad group. They won't lack for goals. They just need to find what combinations will work this season. I've been against Sprong on the 4th line, but that isn't your typical 4th line. 10 of the 13 forwards scored 10 or more goals in the NHL last season. The 3 who didn't are Sprong, ZAR, and Simon. All of which are noted for offensive skills. Like I said, they will score.

I'm new at advanced stats, so gurus, please be kind. :)
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby FLPensFan on Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:36 pm

longtimefan wrote:I understand the reasoning behind the lines being bandied about. They make perfect sense when viewed through what seems logical. And they may very well work. I'm trying to incorporate more of the advanced stats into my thinking. I've watched since 1968, so it's still a new and different concept. With good and bad. They do add another layer though. A few things.

Simon is really being underrated. I listened to JR on a preseason call on NHL Radio last August. He mentioned Simon as being someone in WBS he felt was NHL ready. Simon scored 25 goals in 68 games his first season in North America. He scored 4G 12Pts in 33 games last season. Rust scored 4G 7A in 41 games as a rookie, and Sheary scored 7G 10Pts in 44 games. Rust was 22, and Sheary 23. So he's a legitimate threat to win a spot in the line-up. As far as his advanced stats, they were very good, especially with Sid. It's obvious Sid likes him. Give the kid some leeway. He's not going to be a star, but he isn't without ability. The biggest one maybe being his smarts.

Sprong only got 8 games, but put up great advanced stats with Sid. He also put up great advanced stats with Sheahan, surprisingly. Admittedly, everything is based on small sample sizes.

Guentzel should play with Crosby. Interestingly, Sid's stats seem to spike with a kid on the other side, be it Simon or Sprong.

Hagelin brings out the best in Malkin, and the line was a monster when Hornqvist manned the right side.

Bryan Rust shows his value. Everywhere. Even with Sid and Guentzel. One thing that goes contrary to conventional wisdom is that Phil Kessel played better with Rust than anybody else. That's true when he had Malkin at center, and it was true in a short stint with Brassard in the middle. It's surprising because the general consensus is that Rust is better on the right side. He wasn't playing on the right with Kessel on the ice.

It was an incredibly small sample of two games, but the Rust-Brassard-Kessel combination had a 68.57 CF%. Jason Mackay brought it up a couple of weeks ago, and it jogged my memory about being impressed watching them live.

I look at ZAR, Sprong, Simon, and Cullen battling for 3 spots. And competition is good. ZAR offers something different, but is also the one with the least NHL service time. Ultimately, it's up to the three kids to force Cullen to the bench. They've got a good and deep group of forwards, and we all know the lines they start with will be different by the end of the first period of the opener. We also know that how players performed with others in the past isn't always a good predictor of future performance.

I suspect that Simon probably slots in a little higher right now than Sprong or ZAR. He got the most time in the NHL last season. I've always put more credence into building lines such as FlPensFan. I'm intrigued by what advanced stats can add though. Based solely on what I came up with from naturalstattrick.com. These would show some intrigue.

Guentzel Crosby Simon
Hagelin Malkin Hornqvist
Rust Brassard Kessel
ZAR/Cullen Sheahan Sprong

Switch it up accordingly. They are deep, with 10 of the 13 scoring double figure in goals last year. They are versatile, with 5 natural centers, and 4 wingers who have played both sides effectively. It's not a bad group. They won't lack for goals. They just need to find what combinations will work this season. I've been against Sprong on the 4th line, but that isn't your typical 4th line. 10 of the 13 forwards scored 10 or more goals in the NHL last season. The 3 who didn't are Sprong, ZAR, and Simon. All of which are noted for offensive skills. Like I said, they will score.

I'm new at advanced stats, so gurus, please be kind. :)

I don't want to see Sprong on a 4th line. He's supposed to be a skilled winger. Putting him on a 4th line isn't putting him in a position to succeed. It's like putting career RW HOF Jarome Iginla on the LW. If the Penguins want Sprong to succeed, put him in positions to succeed. That doesn't mean hand him 1st line next to Crosby on a platter with no competition, but, he's not a 4th liner in any sense, even on a team rolling 4 lines. Put him in his element and see how he does.

I don't dislike Simon. I want the kid to succeed.....but, GMJR has talked up ZAR and Sprong too.....GMJR also spent last summer talking up some Pouliot kid too. My biggest issue with Simon is, I can't identify any strength to his game. Whereas with ZAR, he's a good defensive player who plays with some sandpaper, and Sprong is a kid with a great shot, I just don't have anything flattering (or terribly unflattering) to say about Simon. He's just there. He's not consistent. He doesn't show to be a defensive stalwart. He's maybe got decent hockey IQ, but I seem to remember down the stretch he had a good half dozen to a dozen chances laid up for him that he fanned on or couldn't bury in the net. Right now, I don't see the upside of sitting Sprong or ZAR at the start of the season in favor of Simon.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby longtimefan on Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:10 pm

FLPensFan wrote:
longtimefan wrote:I understand the reasoning behind the lines being bandied about. They make perfect sense when viewed through what seems logical. And they may very well work. I'm trying to incorporate more of the advanced stats into my thinking. I've watched since 1968, so it's still a new and different concept. With good and bad. They do add another layer though. A few things.

Simon is really being underrated. I listened to JR on a preseason call on NHL Radio last August. He mentioned Simon as being someone in WBS he felt was NHL ready. Simon scored 25 goals in 68 games his first season in North America. He scored 4G 12Pts in 33 games last season. Rust scored 4G 7A in 41 games as a rookie, and Sheary scored 7G 10Pts in 44 games. Rust was 22, and Sheary 23. So he's a legitimate threat to win a spot in the line-up. As far as his advanced stats, they were very good, especially with Sid. It's obvious Sid likes him. Give the kid some leeway. He's not going to be a star, but he isn't without ability. The biggest one maybe being his smarts.

Sprong only got 8 games, but put up great advanced stats with Sid. He also put up great advanced stats with Sheahan, surprisingly. Admittedly, everything is based on small sample sizes.

Guentzel should play with Crosby. Interestingly, Sid's stats seem to spike with a kid on the other side, be it Simon or Sprong.

Hagelin brings out the best in Malkin, and the line was a monster when Hornqvist manned the right side.

Bryan Rust shows his value. Everywhere. Even with Sid and Guentzel. One thing that goes contrary to conventional wisdom is that Phil Kessel played better with Rust than anybody else. That's true when he had Malkin at center, and it was true in a short stint with Brassard in the middle. It's surprising because the general consensus is that Rust is better on the right side. He wasn't playing on the right with Kessel on the ice.

It was an incredibly small sample of two games, but the Rust-Brassard-Kessel combination had a 68.57 CF%. Jason Mackay brought it up a couple of weeks ago, and it jogged my memory about being impressed watching them live.

I look at ZAR, Sprong, Simon, and Cullen battling for 3 spots. And competition is good. ZAR offers something different, but is also the one with the least NHL service time. Ultimately, it's up to the three kids to force Cullen to the bench. They've got a good and deep group of forwards, and we all know the lines they start with will be different by the end of the first period of the opener. We also know that how players performed with others in the past isn't always a good predictor of future performance.

I suspect that Simon probably slots in a little higher right now than Sprong or ZAR. He got the most time in the NHL last season. I've always put more credence into building lines such as FlPensFan. I'm intrigued by what advanced stats can add though. Based solely on what I came up with from naturalstattrick.com. These would show some intrigue.

Guentzel Crosby Simon
Hagelin Malkin Hornqvist
Rust Brassard Kessel
ZAR/Cullen Sheahan Sprong

Switch it up accordingly. They are deep, with 10 of the 13 scoring double figure in goals last year. They are versatile, with 5 natural centers, and 4 wingers who have played both sides effectively. It's not a bad group. They won't lack for goals. They just need to find what combinations will work this season. I've been against Sprong on the 4th line, but that isn't your typical 4th line. 10 of the 13 forwards scored 10 or more goals in the NHL last season. The 3 who didn't are Sprong, ZAR, and Simon. All of which are noted for offensive skills. Like I said, they will score.

I'm new at advanced stats, so gurus, please be kind. :)

I don't want to see Sprong on a 4th line. He's supposed to be a skilled winger. Putting him on a 4th line isn't putting him in a position to succeed. It's like putting career RW HOF Jarome Iginla on the LW. If the Penguins want Sprong to succeed, put him in positions to succeed. That doesn't mean hand him 1st line next to Crosby on a platter with no competition, but, he's not a 4th liner in any sense, even on a team rolling 4 lines. Put him in his element and see how he does.

I don't dislike Simon. I want the kid to succeed.....but, GMJR has talked up ZAR and Sprong too.....GMJR also spent last summer talking up some Pouliot kid too. My biggest issue with Simon is, I can't identify any strength to his game. Whereas with ZAR, he's a good defensive player who plays with some sandpaper, and Sprong is a kid with a great shot, I just don't have anything flattering (or terribly unflattering) to say about Simon. He's just there. He's not consistent. He doesn't show to be a defensive stalwart. He's maybe got decent hockey IQ, but I seem to remember down the stretch he had a good half dozen to a dozen chances laid up for him that he fanned on or couldn't bury in the net. Right now, I don't see the upside of sitting Sprong or ZAR at the start of the season in favor of Simon.


Like I said, those were all based on advanced stats. I'd have no problems switching Sprong ad Simon, and I looked at Simon as the likely 13th guy. However, his advanced stats were outstanding, especially with Crosby, but not Sheahan. Where as Sprong has been strong with both. It's based on advanced stats. I also think that this isn't your typical four line team. It would not be at all out of the question to play ZAR or Rust with Sprong and Sheahan. That's one of the charms to the team. He isn't being buried to play with Rowney and Kuhnhackl. Crosby, Malkin, Brassard, Sheahan. Fill in the wings and call it whatever line you want.

Sprong, Simon, ZAR. They are all unproven. The thing about Simon is that signs point toward the Pens valuing him more than you think. It's why he was invited to train with Sid. As I said, his rookie stats were superior to both Rust and Sheary. I suspect the Pens are placing him higher on the depth chart than you think. Than I would have thought. Of course, that's based on the eyeball test for us. I guess we're find out in September.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby longtimefan on Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:37 pm

Sully has pointed out he calls the lines 1,2, etc because it's what we call them, not how they look at them. Plus it's easy to identify I keep reading Rust is paid too much to play the 4th line, that Sprong is being wasted on the 4th line. Yet........ Before we made the Brassard trade, Sheahan was our 3rd center. Some advocate trading Brassard now and promoting Sheahan to 3rd line center. People thought he actually showed a little chemistry with Kessel.

There are many people who pencil in Sprong for 3rd line duty. Which, before Brassard, Sheahan was slated to center that line. The same holds true if you trade Brass now. Which could make him Sprong's center. Yet, Sprong's being wasted if he plays on our 4th line? With Sheahan at center?

I like this group of forwards. As I mentioned above. You have Crosby, Malkin, Brassard, and Sheahan. They are deep and versatile. Fill in the blanks on the lines, see who works best with who. Then you spread the ice out more evenly, and keep everybody fresher for the playoffs. They'll not old, but they have 7 of the 13 forwards on the wrong side of 30. You have to have a defensive conscious, and I do worry some about grit. Which is why I like ZAR. Advanced stats love Simon and Sprong. Ten of the forwards scored in double figures, and the three young guys all have that capability, even expectation, to do so.

The idea is to see if Brassard can play wing is to add flexibility. Sheahan can play wing, and did so in a lot of defensive situations. I believe they'd like to have Brassard play with Malkin when they're behind late. I have seen Rust slotted in six different forward positions. I've seen Simon on the 1st, 3rd, and 4th line, as well as scratched. I've seen Cullen at 4C and 4LW. It's also assumed he'll be the 2nd PK center when he's in the lineup. Phil Kessel puts up by far his best advanced stats playing with Rust. Meaning Rust is doing that on LW. Which isn't his natural position. Sprong is a young kid with a great shot. ZAR adds a north south gritty player. Cullen adds a bit of leadership, especially for the kids. He'll make them earn their ice too.

It looks all jumbled, but that's why it's beautiful. Sheahan was okay to play with Kessel for a while last season. Now he's our 4th guy. Toss the wingers around, see what sticks. The other thing about the group is familiarity. Cullen is the only new guy, and he isn't new. Most of these guys have shared the ice with everybody at one time or another. Some for several years. I like this group overall. At least to start. To see what the three young guys can add. to see if they have enough defense and grit up front.

They aren't perfect, and we can pick apart almost everybody's game. But, as a group? With the scoring depth? Two 1st line C, a 2nd, a 3rd, and a 4th? Remember, there's 13 of them. It is not unreasonable for all to reach double digit goals. Sometimes, you don't see the forest because of the trees.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Daniel on Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:00 pm

longtimefan wrote:Sully has pointed out he calls the lines 1,2, etc because it's what we call them, not how they look at them. Plus it's easy to identify I keep reading Rust is paid too much to play the 4th line, that Sprong is being wasted on the 4th line. Yet........ Before we made the Brassard trade, Sheahan was our 3rd center. Some advocate trading Brassard now and promoting Sheahan to 3rd line center. People thought he actually showed a little chemistry with Kessel.

There are many people who pencil in Sprong for 3rd line duty. Which, before Brassard, Sheahan was slated to center that line. The same holds true if you trade Brass now. Which could make him Sprong's center. Yet, Sprong's being wasted if he plays on our 4th line? With Sheahan at center?

I like this group of forwards. As I mentioned above. You have Crosby, Malkin, Brassard, and Sheahan. They are deep and versatile. Fill in the blanks on the lines, see who works best with who. Then you spread the ice out more evenly, and keep everybody fresher for the playoffs. They'll not old, but they have 7 of the 13 forwards on the wrong side of 30. You have to have a defensive conscious, and I do worry some about grit. Which is why I like ZAR. Advanced stats love Simon and Sprong. Ten of the forwards scored in double figures, and the three young guys all have that capability, even expectation, to do so.

The idea is to see if Brassard can play wing is to add flexibility. Sheahan can play wing, and did so in a lot of defensive situations. I believe they'd like to have Brassard play with Malkin when they're behind late. I have seen Rust slotted in six different forward positions. I've seen Simon on the 1st, 3rd, and 4th line, as well as scratched. I've seen Cullen at 4C and 4LW. It's also assumed he'll be the 2nd PK center when he's in the lineup. Phil Kessel puts up by far his best advanced stats playing with Rust. Meaning Rust is doing that on LW. Which isn't his natural position. Sprong is a young kid with a great shot. ZAR adds a north south gritty player. Cullen adds a bit of leadership, especially for the kids. He'll make them earn their ice too.

It looks all jumbled, but that's why it's beautiful. Sheahan was okay to play with Kessel for a while last season. Now he's our 4th guy. Toss the wingers around, see what sticks. The other thing about the group is familiarity. Cullen is the only new guy, and he isn't new. Most of these guys have shared the ice with everybody at one time or another. Some for several years. I like this group overall. At least to start. To see what the three young guys can add. to see if they have enough defense and grit up front.

They aren't perfect, and we can pick apart almost everybody's game. But, as a group? With the scoring depth? Two 1st line C, a 2nd, a 3rd, and a 4th? Remember, there's 13 of them. It is not unreasonable for all to reach double digit goals. Sometimes, you don't see the forest because of the trees.


I think this might be the most balanced forward group I've seen for the Penguins (at least in a long time). Crosby and Malkin are 1/2C and everyone else can literally play on any line. Granted you probably won't see Kessel on the 4th line, but you get what I'm saying. I honestly can see the lines like this over the course of the season:

ZAR/Simon/Guentzel/Hagelin/Cullen/Sheahan/Rust/Brassard - Crosby - Sprong/Kessel/Simon/Rust/Hornqvist/Malkin
ZAR/Simon/Guentzel/Hagelin/Cullen/Sheahan/Rust/Brassard - Malkin - Sprong/Kessel/Simon/Rust/Hornqvist/Crosby
ZAR/Simon/Guentzel/Hagelin/Cullen/Sheahan/Rust/Brassard - Brassard/Sheahan/Malkin/Crosby/Cullen/Guenztel - Sprong/Kessel/Simon/Rust/Hornqvist
ZAR/Simon/Guentzel/Hagelin/Cullen/Sheahan/Rust/Brassard - Brassard/Sheahan/Malkin/Crosby/Cullen/Guenztel - Sprong/Kessel/Simon/Rust/Hornqvist

Seriously, what wonderful depth and flexibility Sullivan will have this season. When was the last time you seen this team as balanced as this in terms of scoring, defensive play, faceoffs, intangibles, speed, even a bit of youth thoughout the lineup?

As for Rust, I think he's literally been talked about in all 12 forward positions and probably some defense and goal to boot. :fist: Say what you want about Rust, but he is incredibly versatile and can do anything asked of him and at a better than average level. He might not be an All Star, but teams don't usually win without guys like him.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby sjnhiils on Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:37 pm

Steve wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:
Steve wrote:
longtimefan wrote:Teddy Bleuger will be interesting to follow. There's no way he makes the team out of camp. He's 6th on the depth chart and has options. Plus, they want him to play. On the other hand, he hasn't taken a shift in the NHL yet. You wouldn't think that's a big deal for #6 on the depth chart, but #3, #4, and #5 are all scheduled to be UFA's next summer. JR says he's NHL ready, and he'll no doubt get some time up here. How much though with 5 guys ahead of him? Somehow, they need to evaluate where he can slot in next season. It will dictate other moves as the Pens will again be faced with filling in the blanks behind Sid and Geno.


Blueger is playing in "Da Beauty league" this summer in Minnesota - Guentzel is playing also. I'll be in Minnesota then so looking forward to seeing both of them play.

https://www.dabeautyleague.com/player-list

Keep an eye on Clayton Phillips (3rd rd 2017) also. He looked really good at prospect camp although the competition will be much tougher here.


Thanks for the head's up, i'll watch for him too. The league is really to raise money for charity primarily and also for the players to get some skating in over the summer. It's 4-4 with almost no hitting, but they do skate at a pretty good pace. Maybe I can post some pics. My sons got a picture with Guentzel last year and some autographs (Byfuglien etc). They got a wry smile out of Matt Read as he was signing one of their Pens hats ha.

It looks like Jake scored 2 in his first game of the tournament. :)

YW. Hope you get some more pics and autographs.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby longtimefan on Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:19 pm

Daniel wrote:
longtimefan wrote:Sully has pointed out he calls the lines 1,2, etc because it's what we call them, not how they look at them. Plus it's easy to identify I keep reading Rust is paid too much to play the 4th line, that Sprong is being wasted on the 4th line. Yet........ Before we made the Brassard trade, Sheahan was our 3rd center. Some advocate trading Brassard now and promoting Sheahan to 3rd line center. People thought he actually showed a little chemistry with Kessel.

There are many people who pencil in Sprong for 3rd line duty. Which, before Brassard, Sheahan was slated to center that line. The same holds true if you trade Brass now. Which could make him Sprong's center. Yet, Sprong's being wasted if he plays on our 4th line? With Sheahan at center?

I like this group of forwards. As I mentioned above. You have Crosby, Malkin, Brassard, and Sheahan. They are deep and versatile. Fill in the blanks on the lines, see who works best with who. Then you spread the ice out more evenly, and keep everybody fresher for the playoffs. They'll not old, but they have 7 of the 13 forwards on the wrong side of 30. You have to have a defensive conscious, and I do worry some about grit. Which is why I like ZAR. Advanced stats love Simon and Sprong. Ten of the forwards scored in double figures, and the three young guys all have that capability, even expectation, to do so.

The idea is to see if Brassard can play wing is to add flexibility. Sheahan can play wing, and did so in a lot of defensive situations. I believe they'd like to have Brassard play with Malkin when they're behind late. I have seen Rust slotted in six different forward positions. I've seen Simon on the 1st, 3rd, and 4th line, as well as scratched. I've seen Cullen at 4C and 4LW. It's also assumed he'll be the 2nd PK center when he's in the lineup. Phil Kessel puts up by far his best advanced stats playing with Rust. Meaning Rust is doing that on LW. Which isn't his natural position. Sprong is a young kid with a great shot. ZAR adds a north south gritty player. Cullen adds a bit of leadership, especially for the kids. He'll make them earn their ice too.

It looks all jumbled, but that's why it's beautiful. Sheahan was okay to play with Kessel for a while last season. Now he's our 4th guy. Toss the wingers around, see what sticks. The other thing about the group is familiarity. Cullen is the only new guy, and he isn't new. Most of these guys have shared the ice with everybody at one time or another. Some for several years. I like this group overall. At least to start. To see what the three young guys can add. to see if they have enough defense and grit up front.

They aren't perfect, and we can pick apart almost everybody's game. But, as a group? With the scoring depth? Two 1st line C, a 2nd, a 3rd, and a 4th? Remember, there's 13 of them. It is not unreasonable for all to reach double digit goals. Sometimes, you don't see the forest because of the trees.


I think this might be the most balanced forward group I've seen for the Penguins (at least in a long time). Crosby and Malkin are 1/2C and everyone else can literally play on any line. Granted you probably won't see Kessel on the 4th line, but you get what I'm saying. I honestly can see the lines like this over the course of the season:

ZAR/Simon/Guentzel/Hagelin/Cullen/Sheahan/Rust/Brassard - Crosby - Sprong/Kessel/Simon/Rust/Hornqvist/Malkin
ZAR/Simon/Guentzel/Hagelin/Cullen/Sheahan/Rust/Brassard - Malkin - Sprong/Kessel/Simon/Rust/Hornqvist/Crosby
ZAR/Simon/Guentzel/Hagelin/Cullen/Sheahan/Rust/Brassard - Brassard/Sheahan/Malkin/Crosby/Cullen/Guenztel - Sprong/Kessel/Simon/Rust/Hornqvist
ZAR/Simon/Guentzel/Hagelin/Cullen/Sheahan/Rust/Brassard - Brassard/Sheahan/Malkin/Crosby/Cullen/Guenztel - Sprong/Kessel/Simon/Rust/Hornqvist

Seriously, what wonderful depth and flexibility Sullivan will have this season. When was the last time you seen this team as balanced as this in terms of scoring, defensive play, faceoffs, intangibles, speed, even a bit of youth thoughout the lineup?

As for Rust, I think he's literally been talked about in all 12 forward positions and probably some defense and goal to boot. :fist: Say what you want about Rust, but he is incredibly versatile and can do anything asked of him and at a better than average level. He might not be an All Star, but teams don't usually win without guys like him.


It's the deepest group in my memory. For four lines. What's confounding people is that they don't have a lot of players who profile as typical 4th line guys. They have 12 guys who profile more as top 9 forwards. The only guy who really profiles on the 4th line is Cullen, and that's because he's old. He's played 20 seasons in the league, and has produced double digit goals 17 times. They wanted depth. You have to wait for them to perform, but, on paper, they're very deep up front.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Daniel on Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:31 pm

longtimefan wrote:
Daniel wrote:I think this might be the most balanced forward group I've seen for the Penguins (at least in a long time). Crosby and Malkin are 1/2C and everyone else can literally play on any line. Granted you probably won't see Kessel on the 4th line, but you get what I'm saying. I honestly can see the lines like this over the course of the season:

ZAR/Simon/Guentzel/Hagelin/Cullen/Sheahan/Rust/Brassard - Crosby - Sprong/Kessel/Simon/Rust/Hornqvist/Malkin
ZAR/Simon/Guentzel/Hagelin/Cullen/Sheahan/Rust/Brassard - Malkin - Sprong/Kessel/Simon/Rust/Hornqvist/Crosby
ZAR/Simon/Guentzel/Hagelin/Cullen/Sheahan/Rust/Brassard - Brassard/Sheahan/Malkin/Crosby/Cullen/Guenztel - Sprong/Kessel/Simon/Rust/Hornqvist
ZAR/Simon/Guentzel/Hagelin/Cullen/Sheahan/Rust/Brassard - Brassard/Sheahan/Malkin/Crosby/Cullen/Guenztel - Sprong/Kessel/Simon/Rust/Hornqvist

Seriously, what wonderful depth and flexibility Sullivan will have this season. When was the last time you seen this team as balanced as this in terms of scoring, defensive play, faceoffs, intangibles, speed, even a bit of youth thoughout the lineup?

As for Rust, I think he's literally been talked about in all 12 forward positions and probably some defense and goal to boot. :fist: Say what you want about Rust, but he is incredibly versatile and can do anything asked of him and at a better than average level. He might not be an All Star, but teams don't usually win without guys like him.


It's the deepest group in my memory. For four lines. What's confounding people is that they don't have a lot of players who profile as typical 4th line guys. They have 12 guys who profile more as top 9 forwards. The only guy who really profiles on the 4th line is Cullen, and that's because he's old. He's played 20 seasons in the league, and has produced double digit goals 17 times. They wanted depth. You have to wait for them to perform, but, on paper, they're very deep up front.


I would still like the team to get a bit younger, being top 2 or 3 oldest team in the league isn't good.

But did some quick research and you might find this interesting:

Average age of Pens roster vs league average from 2009 Cup team to today. As much as I think they should get younger, they actually are. Maybe we've been discussing the getting younger vs going for it all and we're both right. :wink:

2008-09 Pens 26.6 League average 27.9
2009-10 Pens 27.8 League average 27.9
2010-11 Pens 27.4 League average 27.5
2011-12 Pens 28.5 League average 27.7
2012-13 Pens 29 League average 27.5
2013-14 Pens 28.3 League average 27.5
2014-15 Pens 29.5 League average 28.2
2015-16 Pens 29 League average 28
2016-17 Pens 28.7 League average 28
2017-18 Pens 27.7 League average 28

Just to add, the capfriendly roster shows and avg age of 27.5 for the Pens. With likely Cullen, Hagelin, Brassard coming off the books, maybe I was too hasty with my opinion of getting rid of Kessel/Letang (though they will before it's all said and done). Replace the UFAs with people like Bleuger, Angello, Johnson (just guessing as to who would be ready) and the team gets younger and faster without doing anything but tweaking.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Hatrick on Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:20 am

longtimefan wrote:I understand the reasoning behind the lines being bandied about. They make perfect sense when viewed through what seems logical. And they may very well work. I'm trying to incorporate more of the advanced stats into my thinking. I've watched since 1968, so it's still a new and different concept. With good and bad. They do add another layer though. A few things.

Simon is really being underrated. I listened to JR on a preseason call on NHL Radio last August. He mentioned Simon as being someone in WBS he felt was NHL ready. Simon scored 25 goals in 68 games his first season in North America. He scored 4G 12Pts in 33 games last season. Rust scored 4G 7A in 41 games as a rookie, and Sheary scored 7G 10Pts in 44 games. Rust was 22, and Sheary 23. So he's a legitimate threat to win a spot in the line-up. As far as his advanced stats, they were very good, especially with Sid. It's obvious Sid likes him. Give the kid some leeway. He's not going to be a star, but he isn't without ability. The biggest one maybe being his smarts.

Sprong only got 8 games, but put up great advanced stats with Sid. He also put up great advanced stats with Sheahan, surprisingly. Admittedly, everything is based on small sample sizes.

Guentzel should play with Crosby. Interestingly, Sid's stats seem to spike with a kid on the other side, be it Simon or Sprong.

Hagelin brings out the best in Malkin, and the line was a monster when Hornqvist manned the right side.

Bryan Rust shows his value. Everywhere. Even with Sid and Guentzel. One thing that goes contrary to conventional wisdom is that Phil Kessel played better with Rust than anybody else. That's true when he had Malkin at center, and it was true in a short stint with Brassard in the middle. It's surprising because the general consensus is that Rust is better on the right side. He wasn't playing on the right with Kessel on the ice.

It was an incredibly small sample of two games, but the Rust-Brassard-Kessel combination had a 68.57 CF%. Jason Mackay brought it up a couple of weeks ago, and it jogged my memory about being impressed watching them live.

I look at ZAR, Sprong, Simon, and Cullen battling for 3 spots. And competition is good. ZAR offers something different, but is also the one with the least NHL service time. Ultimately, it's up to the three kids to force Cullen to the bench. They've got a good and deep group of forwards, and we all know the lines they start with will be different by the end of the first period of the opener. We also know that how players performed with others in the past isn't always a good predictor of future performance.

I suspect that Simon probably slots in a little higher right now than Sprong or ZAR. He got the most time in the NHL last season. I've always put more credence into building lines such as FlPensFan. I'm intrigued by what advanced stats can add though. Based solely on what I came up with from naturalstattrick.com. These would show some intrigue.

Guentzel Crosby Simon
Hagelin Malkin Hornqvist
Rust Brassard Kessel
ZAR/Cullen Sheahan Sprong

Switch it up accordingly. They are deep, with 10 of the 13 scoring double figure in goals last year. They are versatile, with 5 natural centers, and 4 wingers who have played both sides effectively. It's not a bad group. They won't lack for goals. They just need to find what combinations will work this season. I've been against Sprong on the 4th line, but that isn't your typical 4th line. 10 of the 13 forwards scored 10 or more goals in the NHL last season. The 3 who didn't are Sprong, ZAR, and Simon. All of which are noted for offensive skills. Like I said, they will score.

I'm new at advanced stats, so gurus, please be kind. :)

Unlike many on here I never said simon was bad its just that the group is so deep that he ends up being an odd man out for me. If I put simon in the lineup like you said that means ZAR, Cullen or sprong are coming out of it.
Cullen vs simon: I generally prefer Cullen in there, 2nd center for the PK, more sound defensively, and more versatile. To give Cullen rest throughout the year I don't mind that substitution but it wouldn't be the everyday norm.
sprong vs simon: honestly if sprong could be sent to the AHL than it wouldn't be as bad of an idea but sprong cant be so the only way he plays is here, and he needs to play(at least at first, things could change) to see what you have as well as develop him more
ZAR vs simon: zar brings more physicality and defense, also imo needs the time to prove himself that he was denied of last year due to injuries/cheapshots.
simon being the 13 forward means more about the forward depth than about simon to me. If everyone is playing well(and is healthy)his job to me is cullens tag teammate to make sure he makes it to the playoffs not exhausted. If somebody gets hurt or doesnt perform well he is an adequate fill in.

I was one of the belief that rust should stay on RW and that sprong should not be on the 4th line, partly coming from personal bias and readings rather than numbers, but it would be interesting to see what the sample sizes and numbers compare with rust on LW compared to RW.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Jim on Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:25 am

FLPensFan wrote:I don't want to see Sprong on a 4th line. He's supposed to be a skilled winger. Putting him on a 4th line isn't putting him in a position to succeed. It's like putting career RW HOF Jarome Iginla on the LW.


That might be the worst thing that you have ever said on here.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby FLPensFan on Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:35 am

Good article today on the Athletic about where GMs stand on offer sheets. Basically, GMs think the lack of offer sheets will continue. Some of the better information from GMs and agents that was discussed:

--Last offer sheet was for Ryan O'Reilly, who offered 2 years, 10M (5MAAV) by Calgary. Agent Pat Morris (O'Reilly's agent) says there were actually TWO offer sheets for O'Reilly, and "you'll never know the other team."
--GMs seem to indicate that offer sheets aren't worth it, since almost every time they are matched.
--GMs seem to indicate that GMs like offer sheets because they force GMs to overpay for players and drive up prices overall.
--GMs seem to think that the draft compensation for players is too low. You can offer sheet a guy for 7.8M, and all you need to give up is a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. That's not enough for the quality of player you are receiving for that amount, and that's why teams are almost always going to match.
--GMs said it is something "owners" don't do to each other. That GM said offer sheet calls almost always come from ownership, not the GM.
--GMs also said that the player has to want to leave. For the most part, most players want to resign with their current team.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby longtimefan on Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:11 pm

FLPensFan wrote:Good article today on the Athletic about where GMs stand on offer sheets. Basically, GMs think the lack of offer sheets will continue. Some of the better information from GMs and agents that was discussed:

--Last offer sheet was for Ryan O'Reilly, who offered 2 years, 10M (5MAAV) by Calgary. Agent Pat Morris (O'Reilly's agent) says there were actually TWO offer sheets for O'Reilly, and "you'll never know the other team."
--GMs seem to indicate that offer sheets aren't worth it, since almost every time they are matched.
--GMs seem to indicate that GMs like offer sheets because they force GMs to overpay for players and drive up prices overall.
--GMs seem to think that the draft compensation for players is too low. You can offer sheet a guy for 7.8M, and all you need to give up is a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. That's not enough for the quality of player you are receiving for that amount, and that's why teams are almost always going to match.
--GMs said it is something "owners" don't do to each other. That GM said offer sheet calls almost always come from ownership, not the GM.
--GMs also said that the player has to want to leave. For the most part, most players want to resign with their current team.


https://pittsburghhockeynow.com/jarry-i ... s-allowed/

That ties in well with Kingerski's article yesterday, although I found his premise to be a bit flawed.

As the system is set up, another team should swoop in and snag Jarry. A contract worth less than $1.33 million AAV would force the signing team to give the Penguins zero compensation. A deal worth over $1.33 million (and under $2.029 million) would yield only a third-round choice. Could the Penguins match a deal for $1.6 million? They would need to relegate both Jimmy Hayes and Casey DeSmith to the minors, and even then the Penguins would have almost no salary cap space left.


The Pens would match, even at $1.6M. Which is where part of the problems lie. They know all they are really doing is causing the Pens headaches. Which sounds great to us, but the game is played different in real life. GM's are human. Some are friendlier than others. Why antagonize for no real gain? McPhee got Fleury, but gave us $2M in cap space. We needed to move salary, so JR calls Boterrill. Toronto needed space, they got a hold of Lou to take Martin. Relationships can come in handy at some point.

Since 2006, eight RFAs have received offer sheets. Seven offers were matched, including Ryan O’Reilly and Shea Weber. Just one restricted free agent has signed an offer sheet which was accepted: Dustin Penner in 2008. The Edmonton Oilers and then GM Kevin Lowe plucked the young power forward from Brian Burke’s Anaheim Ducks.

The resulting feud between the rival GMs was a public spectacle which culminated in Lowe using a radio show appearance to challenge Burke to a fight. In the back-and-forth over the “morality” of signing another team’s RFA to an offer sheet, Burke flatly stated it shouldn’t be done. Call it a gentleman’s agreement or a taboo, but RFAs are off limits.

No RFA offer sheet has been tendered since OReilly’s sheet in 2013. Eight offers were made in the first seven years of the salary cap era (2006-2013), but none in the five offseasons.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Daniel on Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:58 pm

FLPensFan wrote:Good article today on the Athletic about where GMs stand on offer sheets. Basically, GMs think the lack of offer sheets will continue. Some of the better information from GMs and agents that was discussed:

--Last offer sheet was for Ryan O'Reilly, who offered 2 years, 10M (5MAAV) by Calgary. Agent Pat Morris (O'Reilly's agent) says there were actually TWO offer sheets for O'Reilly, and "you'll never know the other team."
--GMs seem to indicate that offer sheets aren't worth it, since almost every time they are matched.
--GMs seem to indicate that GMs like offer sheets because they force GMs to overpay for players and drive up prices overall.
--GMs seem to think that the draft compensation for players is too low. You can offer sheet a guy for 7.8M, and all you need to give up is a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. That's not enough for the quality of player you are receiving for that amount, and that's why teams are almost always going to match.
--GMs said it is something "owners" don't do to each other. That GM said offer sheet calls almost always come from ownership, not the GM.
--GMs also said that the player has to want to leave. For the most part, most players want to resign with their current team.


That part doesn't make sense, overpaying by offer sheet will drive up prices across the league and that will hurt GMs in the long run. People talk about Bryan Rust being overpaid, but how many bloated contracts created his "overpayment"? I know some GMs don't care, but to specifically want to drive up prices seems a bit counterproductive.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby cojac on Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:40 pm

Guentzel-Crosby-Hornqvist
ZAR-Malkin-Kessel
Hagelin-Brassard-Sprong
Cullen-Sheahan-Rust
Simon
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby dark_forces on Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:08 pm

For kicks:
Guentzel-Crosby-Sprong
Hagelin-Malkin-Hornqvist
Rust-Brassard-Kessel
Cullen-Sheahan-ZAR
Simon
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Tonythepenguin on Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:15 pm

cojac wrote:Guentzel-Crosby-Hornqvist
ZAR-Malkin-Kessel
Hagelin-Brassard-Sprong
Cullen-Sheahan-Rust
Simon

Ya know what...i actually kinda like it
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby stonewizard51 on Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:43 pm

Tonythepenguin wrote:
cojac wrote:Guentzel-Crosby-Hornqvist
ZAR-Malkin-Kessel
Hagelin-Brassard-Sprong
Cullen-Sheahan-Rust
Simon

Ya know what...i actually kinda like it

Yeah me too. Then again Sully will probably keep them together for 1 shift of the first game and then start mixing and matching.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby longtimefan on Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:46 am

http://www.espn.com/nhl/news/story?page ... dgmentdays

I found this article from 2006. It's an inside look at the Bluejackets draft process. They had the 6th pick. A lot of names you'll know, and it's interesting to see how things turned out. Here's some of the more interesting excerpts Pens related.

I've got to start here first, because the offer had to come from Shero.
"Offers are out there," MacLean says. "Is it worth trading up to No. 2 for this year's No. 6, next year's No. 1 and maybe more?"

"No," says McMaster, who thinks Brassard could be there at No. 6.

Smith disagrees. "If you have a chance to get a big, skilled center like Staal, you have to go for it. They don't come along every year."

But another reality factors into the discussion. Columbus hosts next year's draft. It would look bad if the host didn't have a pick in the first round. MacLean says no deal. The List is all but closed. How it will get used is an open question.


The way Boyd & Co. see it, four Top Tens could be there at No. 6: Phil Kessel, Derick Brassard, Nicklas Backstrom and Peter Mueller.


Kessel. At 17, the forward starred for the U.S. team at the 2005 world juniors. He would have gone No. 2 behind Sidney Crosby in last year's draft if he'd been eligible, but his stock has since plunged. He spent last season on the U. of Minnesota's third line.

"Strengths?" Boyd asks.

"Speed" and "scoring" go up on the board.

Then the minuses pour out. Says Brian Bates, the Minneapolis scout who saw him the most: "I wonder about his game awareness sometimes."

"There might be some selfish play there sometimes," Boyd

Brassard. A forward with Drummondville in the Quebec league, he's moved ahead of Kessel with the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau.

"Speed," Williams says.

"Creativity, hands," Boyd says. "Gamebreaker?"

Wayne Smith, an Ontario scout, wants to jump but opts not to. He's seen Brassard dozens of times over the past two years, and loves him. But he doesn't want to show his cards yet.

"Real good hockey sense," someone says, before someone else raises Brassard's biggest knock: size.

"What is he," Smith asks, "a buck-70?"

"Not going to be a big forward," Williams says.


"Two little marks below what you said about Brassard," Larsson says. "Two little marks." Williams puts ditto marks under Brassard's strengths; they're Backstrom's too. "What about speed?" Boyd asks. "Brassard is an NHL skater right now." Williams follows: "Is he a gamebreaker?" "I think so," Larsson says.

Boyd again: "I was watching tape of him playing with Henrik Zetterberg at the worlds, and sometimes I couldn't tell which was which. Let's see if we can get him to come to Columbus next week. Otherwise, let's make sure we talk to him in Vancouver."


But no interview is more important to the Blue Jackets than Kessel's. No prospect has more to win or lose than he does. Kessel walks into the room. The Blue Jackets are the first of 20 interviews on his schedule. He is barely in his seat before Boyd says, "Teammates." Silence. "Do you know what I'm talking about?" "No," Kessel says. He most certainly does. Kessel has a reputation for being disliked by teammates wherever he's played. Jack Johnson, second overall in last year's draft, called him "a dirtbag" during one of his combine interviews. Silence. "I don't have a problem with my teammates." More silence. "I don't have a problem with Jack Johnson." More silence. "I had lunch with him practically every day." What about that TV report about that bar serving underage Gophers? "Happens everywhere," Kessel says. Only 18 goals last season when you were compared to Sidney Crosby the year before? "I was on the third line -- we rolled four lines." Kessel's time is up. He leaves, seemingly aware that his was a less-than-stellar performance. Boyd is unfazed. "Helluva talent," he says to no one in particular.


This is where the meat gets inspected, where players get physicals and undergo fitness testing. Many draft-eligibles in Toronto have spent weeks training specifically for the combine's testing. Brassard, the boy-band-cute center, is anxious. A couple months prior, he couldn't do one rep with the 150-pound test weight. Now he's on the bench, and you can see the dread. He gets to five, arms shaking. Spotters jump in before No. 6 crushes his neck.

Brassard knows that his best bud, Mathieu Carle, a defenseman in the Q, did 15 reps. He knows five isn't good. He's right. By the end of the day, his reps will stand as the low total among all skaters tested. Then he gets on the bike to demo his lung capacity, feet taped to the pedals, mouthpiece hooked to a tube. Shouts from the testing staff drown out the never-ending chatter of 100 or so scouts and execs. "Go! Come on! Go!" The suits see Brassard strain, and love it. They'll love it even more later on: VO2, 71.6, among the best at the combine. He went harder and longer than anyone else: The test maxes out at 15 minutes, and he pedaled 10 seconds past it.

"What you get a look at here," Boyd says, "is just how willing the kids are to work on their own and what their work ethic is like."

As if on cue, Kessel comes in. He looks around nervously. A few minutes later, Kessel looks gassed on the bike, stopping at seven minutes.


Brassard's English is shaky. At the combine, Smith translated. Here, he struggles on his own. "Did you break curfew this year?" MacLean says. "Yeah," Brassard admits, laughing. "Why?" "A girl," Brassard says. "Good. If you're going to break curfew, it better be a girl and she better be worth it. What do you know about our team?" "Everyt'ing!" Brassard says, before enthusiastically running through the roster. "You don't know how good it is to hear someone come in here who knows about our team," MacLean says. "We like that. What's your strongest asset?" "Hockey sense," Brassard says. "You're what, six feet? One-seventy? When I was in Detroit we had Steve Yzerman. He was about that, and he worked at the game. Are you going to work at the game?" Brassard, of course, says he will. But it's how he says it that impresses MacLean. The interview ends with a firm handshake after 20 minutes. After it's over, Brassard's expression reads: C'est tout? Is that all there is? Later, MacLean explains, "I just want to look them in the eye and see if they're engaged."


Kessel walks in holding an empty water bottle. He shakes hands, sits on the couch and starts tapping the bottle against his palm, a drum beat. "How would you look with Nash?" the GM asks. "I think I'd look pretty good." "Do you dish the puck well enough to play with him?" "I think I dish it pretty well." "I'm not sure that you'd get it back." Boyd jumps in. "Phil, I watched you test at the combine. How do you think you did?" "I think I did pretty well. It was tough. I just came back from the world championships. Didn't have that much chance to prepare for it." "You walked around that room," Boyd says.

"You saw the conditioning level of other guys. Where do you think your conditioning is? A lot of guys look like they've been in the gym longer than you. I'm not talking about the past few weeks. I'm talking about the past year, year and a half."

"I doubt that."

"You train pretty hard?" Boyd says.

"Yeah. I mean, I didn't have a chance to work out for practically a month and a half."

There are other questions. About his relationships with teammates. About his rep as a party guy. Then Boyd goes directly to the scouting report. "How would you respond to this: 'A little bit immature, needs to work a little harder in the gym, practice a little harder, needs to learn some social skills, people skills.' We'll leave it at that."

Kessel's voice falls to a whisper. "I'd say, okay ... yeah a little bit ... some of that stuff ... it's a little hard ... work on some of that stuff, I guess."

It's over soon after that. Kessel looks disheartened as he leaves. MacLean looks sad. "If what they're saying about this kid isn't true, it's criminal. Because I don't know if I ever heard the negative stuff like I have with this kid."

"It would be a tragedy," Boyd agrees.


The article goes on to describe the reactions as Kessel went 5th to the Bruins, and Brassard 6th to the Jackets. I just found it very interesting, considering where Brassard and Kessel are now.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby FLPensFan on Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:29 am

I can see it now.....Kessel scores with the primary assist from Jack Johnson, and Johnson skates up and says nice goal dirtbag. :lol:

Lot of good stuff in there, like Pittsburgh possibly trading out of the #2 spot (which would mean no Staal), and just the fact that the Kessel stuff has been around since before he was drafted. Kind of sad and cruel, as the one guy says. I'm sure he earned some of the reputation, but I'm sure there are a lot of other players out there that were just as bad in some areas and it hasn't stuck the way the stuff has for Kessel.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Daniel on Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:39 am

longtimefan wrote:http://www.espn.com/nhl/news/story?page=Mag15judgmentdays

I found this article from 2006. It's an inside look at the Bluejackets draft process. They had the 6th pick. A lot of names you'll know, and it's interesting to see how things turned out. Here's some of the more interesting excerpts Pens related.

I've got to start here first, because the offer had to come from Shero.
"Offers are out there," MacLean says. "Is it worth trading up to No. 2 for this year's No. 6, next year's No. 1 and maybe more?"

"No," says McMaster, who thinks Brassard could be there at No. 6.

Smith disagrees. "If you have a chance to get a big, skilled center like Staal, you have to go for it. They don't come along every year."

But another reality factors into the discussion. Columbus hosts next year's draft. It would look bad if the host didn't have a pick in the first round. MacLean says no deal. The List is all but closed. How it will get used is an open question.


The way Boyd & Co. see it, four Top Tens could be there at No. 6: Phil Kessel, Derick Brassard, Nicklas Backstrom and Peter Mueller.


Kessel. At 17, the forward starred for the U.S. team at the 2005 world juniors. He would have gone No. 2 behind Sidney Crosby in last year's draft if he'd been eligible, but his stock has since plunged. He spent last season on the U. of Minnesota's third line.

"Strengths?" Boyd asks.

"Speed" and "scoring" go up on the board.

Then the minuses pour out. Says Brian Bates, the Minneapolis scout who saw him the most: "I wonder about his game awareness sometimes."

"There might be some selfish play there sometimes," Boyd

Brassard. A forward with Drummondville in the Quebec league, he's moved ahead of Kessel with the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau.

"Speed," Williams says.

"Creativity, hands," Boyd says. "Gamebreaker?"

Wayne Smith, an Ontario scout, wants to jump but opts not to. He's seen Brassard dozens of times over the past two years, and loves him. But he doesn't want to show his cards yet.

"Real good hockey sense," someone says, before someone else raises Brassard's biggest knock: size.

"What is he," Smith asks, "a buck-70?"

"Not going to be a big forward," Williams says.


"Two little marks below what you said about Brassard," Larsson says. "Two little marks." Williams puts ditto marks under Brassard's strengths; they're Backstrom's too. "What about speed?" Boyd asks. "Brassard is an NHL skater right now." Williams follows: "Is he a gamebreaker?" "I think so," Larsson says.

Boyd again: "I was watching tape of him playing with Henrik Zetterberg at the worlds, and sometimes I couldn't tell which was which. Let's see if we can get him to come to Columbus next week. Otherwise, let's make sure we talk to him in Vancouver."


But no interview is more important to the Blue Jackets than Kessel's. No prospect has more to win or lose than he does. Kessel walks into the room. The Blue Jackets are the first of 20 interviews on his schedule. He is barely in his seat before Boyd says, "Teammates." Silence. "Do you know what I'm talking about?" "No," Kessel says. He most certainly does. Kessel has a reputation for being disliked by teammates wherever he's played. Jack Johnson, second overall in last year's draft, called him "a dirtbag" during one of his combine interviews. Silence. "I don't have a problem with my teammates." More silence. "I don't have a problem with Jack Johnson." More silence. "I had lunch with him practically every day." What about that TV report about that bar serving underage Gophers? "Happens everywhere," Kessel says. Only 18 goals last season when you were compared to Sidney Crosby the year before? "I was on the third line -- we rolled four lines." Kessel's time is up. He leaves, seemingly aware that his was a less-than-stellar performance. Boyd is unfazed. "Helluva talent," he says to no one in particular.


This is where the meat gets inspected, where players get physicals and undergo fitness testing. Many draft-eligibles in Toronto have spent weeks training specifically for the combine's testing. Brassard, the boy-band-cute center, is anxious. A couple months prior, he couldn't do one rep with the 150-pound test weight. Now he's on the bench, and you can see the dread. He gets to five, arms shaking. Spotters jump in before No. 6 crushes his neck.

Brassard knows that his best bud, Mathieu Carle, a defenseman in the Q, did 15 reps. He knows five isn't good. He's right. By the end of the day, his reps will stand as the low total among all skaters tested. Then he gets on the bike to demo his lung capacity, feet taped to the pedals, mouthpiece hooked to a tube. Shouts from the testing staff drown out the never-ending chatter of 100 or so scouts and execs. "Go! Come on! Go!" The suits see Brassard strain, and love it. They'll love it even more later on: VO2, 71.6, among the best at the combine. He went harder and longer than anyone else: The test maxes out at 15 minutes, and he pedaled 10 seconds past it.

"What you get a look at here," Boyd says, "is just how willing the kids are to work on their own and what their work ethic is like."

As if on cue, Kessel comes in. He looks around nervously. A few minutes later, Kessel looks gassed on the bike, stopping at seven minutes.


Brassard's English is shaky. At the combine, Smith translated. Here, he struggles on his own. "Did you break curfew this year?" MacLean says. "Yeah," Brassard admits, laughing. "Why?" "A girl," Brassard says. "Good. If you're going to break curfew, it better be a girl and she better be worth it. What do you know about our team?" "Everyt'ing!" Brassard says, before enthusiastically running through the roster. "You don't know how good it is to hear someone come in here who knows about our team," MacLean says. "We like that. What's your strongest asset?" "Hockey sense," Brassard says. "You're what, six feet? One-seventy? When I was in Detroit we had Steve Yzerman. He was about that, and he worked at the game. Are you going to work at the game?" Brassard, of course, says he will. But it's how he says it that impresses MacLean. The interview ends with a firm handshake after 20 minutes. After it's over, Brassard's expression reads: C'est tout? Is that all there is? Later, MacLean explains, "I just want to look them in the eye and see if they're engaged."


Kessel walks in holding an empty water bottle. He shakes hands, sits on the couch and starts tapping the bottle against his palm, a drum beat. "How would you look with Nash?" the GM asks. "I think I'd look pretty good." "Do you dish the puck well enough to play with him?" "I think I dish it pretty well." "I'm not sure that you'd get it back." Boyd jumps in. "Phil, I watched you test at the combine. How do you think you did?" "I think I did pretty well. It was tough. I just came back from the world championships. Didn't have that much chance to prepare for it." "You walked around that room," Boyd says.

"You saw the conditioning level of other guys. Where do you think your conditioning is? A lot of guys look like they've been in the gym longer than you. I'm not talking about the past few weeks. I'm talking about the past year, year and a half."

"I doubt that."

"You train pretty hard?" Boyd says.

"Yeah. I mean, I didn't have a chance to work out for practically a month and a half."

There are other questions. About his relationships with teammates. About his rep as a party guy. Then Boyd goes directly to the scouting report. "How would you respond to this: 'A little bit immature, needs to work a little harder in the gym, practice a little harder, needs to learn some social skills, people skills.' We'll leave it at that."

Kessel's voice falls to a whisper. "I'd say, okay ... yeah a little bit ... some of that stuff ... it's a little hard ... work on some of that stuff, I guess."

It's over soon after that. Kessel looks disheartened as he leaves. MacLean looks sad. "If what they're saying about this kid isn't true, it's criminal. Because I don't know if I ever heard the negative stuff like I have with this kid."

"It would be a tragedy," Boyd agrees.


The article goes on to describe the reactions as Kessel went 5th to the Bruins, and Brassard 6th to the Jackets. I just found it very interesting, considering where Brassard and Kessel are now.


That is a good article, thanks. Kessel reminds me of Ken Griffey Jr. in that the game is so easy for him it seems like he's loafing or not hustling. He doesn't have the grace that Griffey did, but it's harder to look graceful with all that equipment. :)
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby FLPensFan on Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:17 am

Nice article from Jesse on how 2nd round pick Filip Hallander was a great draft choice. A few highlights:

- Calls him a cross between Hagelin and Hornqvist
- Had 9 goals, 11 assists in 40 games. While that may seem low, he was one of youngest players on the team. Age adjusted scoring had him as the 25th highest scorer in the draft. His 20 points in 40 games was the highest points pace for anyone drafted out of the Allsvenskan league in the last 7 years.
- Knee injury kept him from World Juniors, and that is main reason he fell out of 1st round.

https://theathletic.com/437281/2018/07/19/marshall-filip-hallander-was-worth-the-trade/
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Daniel on Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:30 pm

FLPensFan wrote:Nice article from Jesse on how 2nd round pick Filip Hallander was a great draft choice. A few highlights:

- Calls him a cross between Hagelin and Hornqvist
- Had 9 goals, 11 assists in 40 games. While that may seem low, he was one of youngest players on the team. Age adjusted scoring had him as the 25th highest scorer in the draft. His 20 points in 40 games was the highest points pace for anyone drafted out of the Allsvenskan league in the last 7 years.
- Knee injury kept him from World Juniors, and that is main reason he fell out of 1st round.

https://theathletic.com/437281/2018/07/19/marshall-filip-hallander-was-worth-the-trade/


By my estimate, the Penguins selected two first-round level talents without an actual first-round pick in this year’s NHL entry draft.

I love that the Pens get so much value without having a 1st round pick. I think the Pens farm system is underrated and that no team's farm system can handle having almost a dozen prospects coming up over a 2-3 year period without a drop off in farm system quality.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby longtimefan on Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:45 pm

https://pittsburghhockeynow.com/jarry-i ... s-allowed/

I disagree with Kingerski's premise that Jarry is a prime target for an offer sheet. Lots of holes in his argument, not the least of which is nobody is going to do it. Jarry is an interesting case though.

Prior to 2017-18, Jarry, 23, played in just one NHL game. Last season, he learned quickly on the job. He posted a slightly higher save percentage (.908) than starter Matt Murray (.907) and a lower goals against average (2.77) than Murray (2.92). Jarry also posted a well above average quality save percentage (.609). The league average is .530. Last season, Murray posted a .422 QS and a .553 in 2016-17.

Jarry’s future is fast approaching. The 6-foot-2, 194-pound netminder is athletic yet positionally sound. When he is on his game, he plays like a large goaltender and takes away the net from shooters.

Backup goalies such as Louis Domingue, Keith Kinkaid, Robin Lehner and even Petr Mrazek will make between $1.1 and $1.5 million this season. Other backups such as Darcy Kuemper, Aaron Dell, and Michael Condon, will make between $1.8 and $2.4 million.


It's a general assumption that DeSmith will be the backup, and Jarry will go to WBS to play. That's great. But you have to get him under contract. According to CapFriendly, he was tendered $715K, which is $40K more than DeSmith. Not much, but on a cap team, every dollar is precious. When you look at the comparables Kingerski cited, you can make a case that Jarry would warrant a higher salary, and can certainly make a case for a one way deal.

Here's his dilemma. If he asks for a higher salary, it would be more difficult for him to stick with the team, and more of a burden if he is called up. Also more likely to be sent back, no matter his performance, for cap reasons. The problem is, even without the cap hit situation, Jarry would have to be head and shoulders better than DeSmith to win the job, because they prefer he play. The issue there is, if he signs a two way contract, he's getting penalized major dollars in his pocket, even though he's considered the more valuable commodity. Such is life in the NHL.

I haven't given much thought to Jarry signing. He's an RFA without arbitration rights. He doesn't have much leverage. But he's the only guy not under contract. It's not my money, but I'm wondering if he may be looking for a one way deal? For a friendly cap hit, perhaps league minimum or the $715K QO. That way he still gets NHL money, and isn't penalized for developing. There's also no reason not to keep him around if he's the better option.

The kid hasn't proven much, partly because he's not had much of a chance. But he's 23, and matches up even now with some of the guys mentioned. It could be the kid wants reassurances. He wants a chance to play in the NHL, and wants to know if he'll get that here. Otherwise, he may want to move on. Would you give him a one way deal?
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby Daniel on Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:54 pm

longtimefan wrote:https://pittsburghhockeynow.com/jarry-is-prime-offer-sheet-candidate-are-offers-allowed/

I disagree with Kingerski's premise that Jarry is a prime target for an offer sheet. Lots of holes in his argument, not the least of which is nobody is going to do it. Jarry is an interesting case though.

Prior to 2017-18, Jarry, 23, played in just one NHL game. Last season, he learned quickly on the job. He posted a slightly higher save percentage (.908) than starter Matt Murray (.907) and a lower goals against average (2.77) than Murray (2.92). Jarry also posted a well above average quality save percentage (.609). The league average is .530. Last season, Murray posted a .422 QS and a .553 in 2016-17.

Jarry’s future is fast approaching. The 6-foot-2, 194-pound netminder is athletic yet positionally sound. When he is on his game, he plays like a large goaltender and takes away the net from shooters.

Backup goalies such as Louis Domingue, Keith Kinkaid, Robin Lehner and even Petr Mrazek will make between $1.1 and $1.5 million this season. Other backups such as Darcy Kuemper, Aaron Dell, and Michael Condon, will make between $1.8 and $2.4 million.


It's a general assumption that DeSmith will be the backup, and Jarry will go to WBS to play. That's great. But you have to get him under contract. According to CapFriendly, he was tendered $715K, which is $40K more than DeSmith. Not much, but on a cap team, every dollar is precious. When you look at the comparables Kingerski cited, you can make a case that Jarry would warrant a higher salary, and can certainly make a case for a one way deal.

Here's his dilemma. If he asks for a higher salary, it would be more difficult for him to stick with the team, and more of a burden if he is called up. Also more likely to be sent back, no matter his performance, for cap reasons. The problem is, even without the cap hit situation, Jarry would have to be head and shoulders better than DeSmith to win the job, because they prefer he play. The issue there is, if he signs a two way contract, he's getting penalized major dollars in his pocket, even though he's considered the more valuable commodity. Such is life in the NHL.

I haven't given much thought to Jarry signing. He's an RFA without arbitration rights. He doesn't have much leverage. But he's the only guy not under contract. It's not my money, but I'm wondering if he may be looking for a one way deal? For a friendly cap hit, perhaps league minimum or the $715K QO. That way he still gets NHL money, and isn't penalized for developing. There's also no reason not to keep him around if he's the better option.

The kid hasn't proven much, partly because he's not had much of a chance. But he's 23, and matches up even now with some of the guys mentioned. It could be the kid wants reassurances. He wants a chance to play in the NHL, and wants to know if he'll get that here. Otherwise, he may want to move on. Would you give him a one way deal?


While he hasn't proven it consistently, I think he's proven himself to a young team wanting a starting goalie. I don't see a an offer sheet for him as a backup, it'd be a waste and quickly matched. Detroit (but they're still in rebuilding denial) and the NYI are the only teams that could have a need for Jarry, but both are such a mess that I doubt it would happen. Every other team either has an established starter or a young up and coming goalie.
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Re: 2018 Summer Game Plan

Postby FLPensFan on Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:35 pm

Daniel wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:Nice article from Jesse on how 2nd round pick Filip Hallander was a great draft choice. A few highlights:

- Calls him a cross between Hagelin and Hornqvist
- Had 9 goals, 11 assists in 40 games. While that may seem low, he was one of youngest players on the team. Age adjusted scoring had him as the 25th highest scorer in the draft. His 20 points in 40 games was the highest points pace for anyone drafted out of the Allsvenskan league in the last 7 years.
- Knee injury kept him from World Juniors, and that is main reason he fell out of 1st round.

https://theathletic.com/437281/2018/07/19/marshall-filip-hallander-was-worth-the-trade/


By my estimate, the Penguins selected two first-round level talents without an actual first-round pick in this year’s NHL entry draft.

I love that the Pens get so much value without having a 1st round pick. I think the Pens farm system is underrated and that no team's farm system can handle having almost a dozen prospects coming up over a 2-3 year period without a drop off in farm system quality.

It may be slightly underrated, but at the same time, they really have no bonafide top 6 talent in terms of prospects, except for Sprong......and they have no bonafide possible top pairing defensemen in the system, except for Addison. That's not very much depth. The Penguins have a lot of potential top 9 guys, or 2nd/3rd line tweener guys (your Rust, Hagelin, ZAR types), but they lack any type of top end talent. Cost of being a playoff team that goes deep year after year.

The Penguins have done well though getting guys who fall in the draft for different reasons (Sprong...attitude, Addison....size, Hallander....injury) as well as converting on the college UFA route with guys like Sheary, ZAR, and Prow.

It's impossible to rate their system an A, but I'd say mid B to C+ is probably more accurate.
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