In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby brwi on Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:11 pm

longtimefan wrote:https://www.canescountry.com/2017/6/30/15900340/carolina-hurricanes-jim-rutherford-pittsburgh-penguins-nhl

I came across this article written by a Canes blogger after Rutherford did an interview in Raleigh after the Pens won the back to back cups. It is not favorable, as you might expect, but was telling. JR was hired originally while the team was in Hartford in 1994. He made this statement on the radio, which caused this guy to write his analysis.

Rutherford recently joined The David Glenn Show on 99.9 FM The Fan to discuss his Pittsburgh Penguins team that recently claimed their second consecutive Stanley Cup. He also shared a retrospective thought on his tenure with the Hurricanes, which, if you haven’t seen by now, you can read below:


David Glenn Show
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Rutherford: With the resources we had in Carolina, some years we missed the playoffs were some of my best management years, I believe.

1:12 PM - Jun 27, 2017
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That’s a pretty brazen thing to say on the airwaves of a city whose lone professional sports team for which there’s an argument that you ran into the ground. Honestly, it reads like a pretty serious insult to the intelligence of the fan base.


Now the blogger proceeds to dissect JR's last five years. In his view, he lacked direction. As far as his drafting, he had this to say.

I’m not going to hold Rutherford particularly responsible for the poor drafting that plagued the Hurricanes prior to 2010 (the scouting department was largely responsible for that), but for the same reasons, I also don’t think he deserves a whole lot of credit for the turnaround that we’ve seen in that department.


That kind of stumps me, since JR was the one hiring the scouts in both cases. He proceeds to break down the seasons individually, and, no doubt, JR mad some errors. He's made some here too. He isn't afraid to be bold and decisive. The writer concluded he couldn't figure out what JR meant by the quote. But I found this telling.

This was the year in which Rutherford made his biggest moves to upgrade the team. He dealt Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin, and the 2012 1st to Pittsburgh for Jordan Staal.

He then signed Alex Semin to a one-year, $7 million contract. With a top six forward group of the Staals, Semin, Skinner, Tuomo Ruutu, Jiri Tlusty and Jussi Jokinen, the Hurricanes figured to have one of the more formidable top six units in the league.

However, with all that money tied up to the forwards and with $6.3 million committed to Cam Ward in net, the defense suffered. That problem was only exacerbated when the team’s #1 defenseman, Joni Pitkanen, suffered a career ending injury during the season. Following that, the team regularly iced a defensive unit consisting of Jay Harrison, Bobby Sanguinetti, Brett Bellemore, and Michal Jordan.

Further, which so much money tied up on the top-six forward unit, the bottom six was often a mish-mash of waiver claims and AHL caliber players. Led by a huge season from the first line of Tlusty, Eric Staal, and Semin, the Hurricanes led the division through the first month of the season before their lack of depth all throughout the roster did them in. They finished with the fifth-worst record in the league.


If he wanted to know, he just has to read what he wrote. The Canes never approached the cap, They were a budget team. If they weren't, the defense and bottom six may have gotten more attention. The Pens are blessed to be a cap team, not a budget team. Which makes a huge difference in what a GM can accomplish.


True, and when you are on a budget like the Canes operated with, a mistake is more magnified than if you have some extra money to allocate. Besides the Semin disaster, Pitkanen had a #1 dman contract and he was never a #1 d-man except for his contract. His injury didn't affect the Canes as much as the blogger states either. Their #1 dman was Faulk anyway and he produced gaudy numbers on an entry wage. Gleason was a pretty solid d-man. Hainsey was good. The other 3 spots were indeed a mixed bag but that blueline wasn't that bad. Forward depth after the disappointing top-6(Ruutu,Semin,Tlusty,Skinner all had down years) was atrocious though.

Paying way too much for Semin, Pitkanen, Ward(maybe OK contract at the time), having E Staal already on the books and paying Jordan 7mil and it obviously wasn't the best use of limited resources. Can't afford to have too many mistakes on contracts and then have guys you're counting on have down years, some of whom kept fading. Pretty much a recipe for failure for a while.
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby Jim on Mon Mar 19, 2018 7:49 am

(Speaking cap wise as salary wise is not relevant to the Pens at this time)

I see a mirror parallel to the Pens now. The Pens currently have more $ allocated to defense than they ever had before, both in total $ and in % across F/D/G.
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby State College Penguin on Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:18 am

The next GM, whoever that is and whenever that is, will have the unenviable task of rebuilding this franchise from the ground up. He might have a chance to continue to go "all in" and throw picks and prospects out the door for rentals and guys like Brassard with 1.2 years left on the contract to get another title. Once Sid and Geno are gone, this place will be more like Ottawa after Karlsson is moved. Shero and JR are all about "All in". They don't really care about the draft, but they fortified the lack of assets with undrafted college free agents. According to the Hockey News, the Pens have by far the worst prospect pool in the NHL. I wish our GM would have some degree of restrain as far as going all in. You can win and still not have to fork over prime assets that will be needed down the road.
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby Jim on Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:37 am

Disagree. I've said it a thousand times and I will say it a million more, the draft is a roll of the dice, even 1st rounders, especially 1st rounders in the high 20's. People grossly over-valuate draft pics. If you can move a reasonable amount of picks for guys that are certain to deliver now (not rolls of the dice) then there is no problem with that. The pens will have issues when Crosby/Malkin retire no matter how they draft right now. A few #25 picks and #50 picks (1st and 2nd rounders) are not going to replace them.

The name of the game is to win. That is what the Pens try to do every year. The name of the game is NOT to build for the future. That is what the Pirates (claim) to try to do.
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby pens_CT on Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:42 am

State College Penguin wrote:The next GM, whoever that is and whenever that is, will have the unenviable task of rebuilding this franchise from the ground up. He might have a chance to continue to go "all in" and throw picks and prospects out the door for rentals and guys like Brassard with 1.2 years left on the contract to get another title. Once Sid and Geno are gone, this place will be more like Ottawa after Karlsson is moved. Shero and JR are all about "All in". They don't really care about the draft, but they fortified the lack of assets with undrafted college free agents. According to the Hockey News, the Pens have by far the worst prospect pool in the NHL. I wish our GM would have some degree of restrain as far as going all in. You can win and still not have to fork over prime assets that will be needed down the road.


The Penguins have had one of the worst prospect pools for a few years, according to the experts, yet they bring guys up like Rust, Guentzel, and Murray, who contribute to championships. None of these guys were on any top 100 prospect list, so I take any prospect system ranking with a grain of salt.

Sure this franchise will take a huge step backwards when 87 and 71 leave, but even if they had they kept all of their first round picks for the last 5 or 6 years, that dropoff is expected because you don't draft franchise players picking in the late 20s in the first round.
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby FLPensFan on Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:17 pm

Sheary, Sheahan, Aston-Reese, Guentzel, Simon, Sprong, Rust, Kuhnhackl, DiPauli, Blueger, Bellerive
Schultz, Dumoulin, Maatta, Oleksiak
Murray, Jarry, DeSmith

All the players above will be in the 28 to 32 years old in 5 years, with Sprong and Bellerive coming in under 28.

The Penguins have the secondary pieces. As Malkin, Kessel, Crosby, Hornqvist, and Letang coming into those last year or two of their contract, the Penguins can slow start adding other pieces. Maybe you trade a Kessel in 2020-2021 for some higher picks and good young prospects.

I think that is the bigger thing......if 2 years from now this team is not looking like a contender, you consider moving a Kessel, Letang, or Malkin, and get good young assets in return to help re-stock the team on the fly. If the Penguins intend to let all of those guys play out their current contracts, then they will be on the losing end when the contracts end.

If you can flip Malkin in a few years for a good top pairing type defender, and then flip Letang for a good young center......needs to be done. As Herb Brooks said, the name on the front is more important than the one on the back.

Of all the current Penguins and their "core", right now Crosby is the only one I see staying as a Penguin for life. I typically am a bigger Malkin fan than Crosby, but from a pure asset management standpoint, if this team wants to remain competitive as Sid, Geno, and Letang hit 34/35, they are gonna have to move some of that core and make tough decisions.

This year plus 2 more is my window on this team. After that, anyone in the core not named Crosby could be dealt for the right price.
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby Jim on Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:59 pm

If he ends up looking to move on that the end of his deal, trade Malkin for a bunch of picks deadline.

Solved!
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby BurghThing on Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:55 am

Can we trade Letang now?

Like today?
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby Humperdink on Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:58 am

BurghThing wrote:Can we trade Letang now?

Like today?


No, it's against the rules. Plus, it would ruin his chances for the Norris Trophy.
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby thehockeyguru on Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:19 pm

I hope GMJR is the one to trade Letang, I'd feel much better about him being involved than placing that on the shoulders of a new GM.
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby pens_CT on Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:19 pm

thehockeyguru wrote:I hope GMJR is the one to trade Letang, I'd feel much better about him being involved than placing that on the shoulders of a new GM.


At the draft move Letang to Arizona for OEL. GIves Arizona some cost certainty in a top four defensemen since they probably don't want to meet OEL price. For the Pens even if they can't extend OEL they get out from underneath of Letang's deal.
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby thehockeyguru on Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:17 pm

pens_CT wrote:
thehockeyguru wrote:I hope GMJR is the one to trade Letang, I'd feel much better about him being involved than placing that on the shoulders of a new GM.


At the draft move Letang to Arizona for OEL. GIves Arizona some cost certainty in a top four defensemen since they probably don't want to meet OEL price. For the Pens even if they can't extend OEL they get out from underneath of Letang's deal.


I'd love that, not sure Tocchet would though. Maybe add in Sprong and Jarry for Max Domi.
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby Jim on Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:49 am

Humperdink wrote:
BurghThing wrote:Can we trade Letang now?

Like today?


No, it's against the rules. Plus, it would ruin his chances for the Norris Trophy.


Over the summer, move Letang in one of these ways (he has 12 team veto power, but it doesn't mean he would nix 12)...

* Move him to whoever, get decent return. Maybe a solid roster player but preferably prospects/picks (to help restock those). Then use that cap space to sign JVR. The Pens have a high % of salary in D as it is. JVR would solidify a weak LW.

* Move him (package) to a team for one of the higher RFA LWs (package) like Zucher, Miller, or Namestnikov. maybe a sign and trade on that end if people are concerned about resigning/offer sheets.

A D to replace the roster spot could come via the trade package or via FA.
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby thehockeyguru on Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:46 pm

Do you think GMJR has seen enough of Letang? For all the talk about how much better the D would be with Letang vs. last season the complete opposite has happened.
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby Jim on Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:47 am

Unfortunately, no, I do not think he has seen enough. And it is quite obvious that Sullivan has no issues either. It doesn't mean that they are right though.
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby pens_CT on Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:20 am

I think both Rutherford and Sullivan understand the issues with Letang. What is the option, play Hunwick or call up someone from WBS? There are no good options at this point, you hope he starts to play better or you try to move him in the off season.
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby Jim on Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:50 am

With a minute left in the game, up by one... I would not be opposed to going with Hunwick on the ice over Letang.
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby FLPensFan on Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:36 pm

Here's what the Penguins need to be able to do post-Crosby/Malkin era.....

Someone posted on Twitter about the drafting prowess of the Anaheim Ducks. (The tweet started as an argument about NHL teams not being able to project the ability of 18 year old defensemen). Consider this as a start:

2008: Drafted Jake Gardiner and Justin Schultz
2009: Drafted Sami Vatanen
2010: Drafted Cam Fowler
2011: Drafted Josh Manson
2012: Drafted Hampus Lindholm
2013: Drafted Shea Theodore
2014: Drafted Brandon Montour

That's 7 straight years drafting top 4 capable NHL defenseman. Even more impressive, only Hampus Lindholm is a lottery pick (6th overall). Schultz and Montour were 2nd rounders, Vatanen a 4th rounder, and Manson a 6th rounder. That is an insane string of drafting defensemen that I'm not sure has been done before or since.

What's more, that's only the defensemen. If I go through those same drafts:

2009: Kyle Palmieri
2010: Devante Smith-Pelley
2011: Rickard Rackell, William Karlsson (the good one playing for Vegas), John Gibson
2012: Frederik Andersen
2014: Nick Ritchie, Ondrej Kase

I think the Penguins drafting has been sub-par for some time. While it is a crapshoot and the chances are low that you are going to get a quality player with each pick, with good drafting, you can certainly hit on a player or two each year. This is what the Penguins are going to need.
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Re: In-depth forward look: The next Penguins GM

Postby thehockeyguru on Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:21 pm

FLPensFan wrote:Here's what the Penguins need to be able to do post-Crosby/Malkin era.....

Someone posted on Twitter about the drafting prowess of the Anaheim Ducks. (The tweet started as an argument about NHL teams not being able to project the ability of 18 year old defensemen). Consider this as a start:

2008: Drafted Jake Gardiner and Justin Schultz
2009: Drafted Sami Vatanen
2010: Drafted Cam Fowler
2011: Drafted Josh Manson
2012: Drafted Hampus Lindholm
2013: Drafted Shea Theodore
2014: Drafted Brandon Montour

That's 7 straight years drafting top 4 capable NHL defenseman. Even more impressive, only Hampus Lindholm is a lottery pick (6th overall). Schultz and Montour were 2nd rounders, Vatanen a 4th rounder, and Manson a 6th rounder. That is an insane string of drafting defensemen that I'm not sure has been done before or since.

What's more, that's only the defensemen. If I go through those same drafts:

2009: Kyle Palmieri
2010: Devante Smith-Pelley
2011: Rickard Rackell, William Karlsson (the good one playing for Vegas), John Gibson
2012: Frederik Andersen
2014: Nick Ritchie, Ondrej Kase

I think the Penguins drafting has been sub-par for some time. While it is a crapshoot and the chances are low that you are going to get a quality player with each pick, with good drafting, you can certainly hit on a player or two each year. This is what the Penguins are going to need.


Pens again wont be selecting until the 50's so that will make it difficult to add to the WBS depth.

With that being said it will be interesting to see what the Pens do this offseason with regards to Sheahan and Hunwick. Both are guys I can see the Pens moving. There will be better bottom pairing possibilities out there than Hunwick. Plus if the Pens do move Sheahan it will be interesting to see if a guy like Teddy Blueger gets a shot. He's taken a nice step forward in WBS this season going from 7 goals to 21.
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