Bowser wrote:KG - If Shero's backup plan was Perreault, that's scary. I have zero interest in him, hopefully Ray-Ray feels the same way. Hopefully Pens can go hunt Moose on a harley and bag a quality player like Scott Gomez.
I think that Christensen will get his shot at the second line. If not, Malone will fill it. No need to go get someone like Perreault.
I think Malone may end up as the number 2 center also, and I think that Pivko's chances of making the team just went up way more than Chrstensen's.
I take no solace in being one of the earliest to point out that Malkin was showing signs of not coming. When he fired Meehan, there were actually folks on here saying it didn't matter. It did.
While I understand that Malkin is a human being with family in Russia and pride in his heritage, this just stinks. I also strongly disagree with all of the folks saying that we were not a playoff team anyway. We could have been a playoff team with him.
This is a kid that is reported to be dominant, and we all saw it first hand in the Olympics. At the end of last year, Crosby's line was dominant many nights, and always competitive. If Malkin is what he appears to be, then the Pens would be throwing out ANOTHER line that can play with anyone in the league, on the strength of its' center.
When you have about 60% of the icetime with either Crosby or Malkin on the ice, I would like our chances against all but the most elite teams in this league.
I understand why folks, especially Penguin fans after all the crap we endure, want to try and rationalize this as - "we weren't a plyoff team anyway". The fact is, this is a HUGE blow to the team, the franchise and potentially even the future in Pittsburgh. If the latter is a stretch, I am still certain that as a season ticket holder, I am going to see a lot fewer wins this year without him.
I also believe that he is a player that will NEVER embrace the US, and that he will always be a contract problem at every negotiation. The threat of returning to Russia will always be present, moreso than for some of the Russians playing here who are not the draw at home, and who have made more effort to assimilate themselves into the culture here.
Before folks bash me for the above, I'm not saying to trade him or that I think he is evil, only that I see that as the reality of this one guy's persona and personal situation in his homeland.
I think the whole "I want to go to the NHL" thing was what he said he wanted because he thought it was what he should say. I don't think that, deep in his heart, he ever really meant it.
Personalities are funny things, and while Ovechkin fits the image of the young Russian who loves the lifestyle in America and all it offers, Malkin seems to be a more reserved guy on the surface. He may be a momma's boy, he may be into comfort and fear change - there are many of these kinds of folks at your job or your local Grocery store, they just don't happen to be one of the greatest Hockey players in the world.
I called him spineless the other day, and in hindsight I meant that only in the sense that he was not doing what he said he wanted. Today, I lean more to the side that he is NOW doing what he wanted all along, at least for one more year. Momma must be a damn good cook.
I'm very bummed as a ticket buying fan, because I really believe he could have helped push us into some kind of playoff contention.