Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi article

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Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi article

Postby FLPensFan on Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:46 pm

Yohe/Rossi published an article today, and actual good one, about some potential moves that didn't happen but could have. A quick summary of most of them:

--Feb 1988 - Trading for Andy Moog. GM Eddie Johnston had a trade in place. Steve Guenette and 1988 1st round pick for Moog. EJ and Sather agreed on the trade. Pens owner Ed Debartolo nixed it. EJ knew at this point he was going to be fired. Debartolo was friends with Tony Esposito, and Espo was in his ear and told him not to give up a 1st round pick for Moog. A few months later, EJ was fired and Esposito replaced him as GM. (This was probably a good move that didn't happen, because, if it did, the Penguins likely don't get Barrasso later)

--1988 draft - Esposito takes Darrin Shannon at #4 overall. Winnipeg takes Teemu Selanne #10 overall. A bit of a mixed what if here, but, EJ had scouted Selanne and said he very well would have taken him if he was the GM and the Penguins still had that pick. That would, of course, had required EJ to keep his job but the Moog deal to still get nixed.

--Acquiring Danius Zubrus - Long story short, Zubrus was supposed to be part of the Jagr to Washington deal. Jagr and Jan Hrdina for Zubrus plus. But, apparently Zubrus being included leaked out and it highly upset GM George McPhee. Penguins ended up with the 3 busts because very few other teams could afford Jagr.

--Signing Dan Hamuis - Another shortened long story...Shero had history with him in Nashville and thought he would want to play here and be a good fit. Shero had been told Hamhuis wanted to play in Pittsburgh, but there were also rumors he wanted to go to Vancouver for family reasons. After some time negotiating, Shero felt Hamhuis agent Wade Arnott was simply using Shero to create a bidding war with Vancouver. Shero pivoted to Paul Martin, got confirmation Martin wanted to play in PIT, and Botteril worked out the deal. Arnott called asking for a 6th year for Hamhuis, Shero confirmed Martin was signed, and basically told Arnott good luck with that, we just signed Martin. (The other side note here is that, if Hamhuis was signed, belief is they wouldn't have moved Goligoski....which means no Neal or Niskanen here.)

--Peter Laviolette to the Penguins - At the end of 2014 regular season, Rutherford left Carolina, but still wanted to be a GM. Laviolette had been fired by Philly. Rutherford told Laviolette to be patient finding a new job. Expanded by saying a surprise opening might present itself and if it did, he wanted Laviolette as his coach (but couldn't provide further details on the team/opportunity). Apparently, the bad relationship between Shero, Morehouse, and the Penguins was swirling in the hockey world, but few believed the Penguins would fire the GM who was GM of the year the prior season. By late April, Laviolette grew impatient and signed on as coach of Nashville on May 6...and Shero was fired 10 days later.

There are a few others in the article, like re-signing Hossa, drafting Staal when Shero wanted Backlund. If you have the Athletic, it's a good read. https://theathletic.com/2222639/2020/11/27/pittsburgh-penguins-roster-moves/
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby sjnhiils on Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:07 am

The one that hurts the most is Shero liking Backstrom more but letting Malone take Staal. Crosby,Malkin and Backstrom would have been unstoppable!
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby Sigwolf on Sat Nov 28, 2020 9:43 am

sjnhiils wrote:The one that hurts the most is Shero liking Backstrom more but letting Malone take Staal. Crosby,Malkin and Backstrom would have been unstoppable!

I don't think that Backstrom would have brought much more success than the two final appearances and one Cup win that the Pens had with Staal, and just like Staal, the Pens would not have been able to afford to resign him without costing the team in too many other places. You can't pay that caliber of player to be a third line player.
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby FLPensFan on Sat Nov 28, 2020 11:30 am

Sigwolf wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:The one that hurts the most is Shero liking Backstrom more but letting Malone take Staal. Crosby,Malkin and Backstrom would have been unstoppable!

I don't think that Backstrom would have brought much more success than the two final appearances and one Cup win that the Pens had with Staal, and just like Staal, the Pens would not have been able to afford to resign him without costing the team in too many other places. You can't pay that caliber of player to be a third line player.

Agreed. You also lose out on Brian Dumoulin, although, Shero probably could have made a different, smaller move to get Dumoulin.
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby pens_CT on Sat Nov 28, 2020 11:47 am

FLPensFan wrote:
Sigwolf wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:The one that hurts the most is Shero liking Backstrom more but letting Malone take Staal. Crosby,Malkin and Backstrom would have been unstoppable!

I don't think that Backstrom would have brought much more success than the two final appearances and one Cup win that the Pens had with Staal, and just like Staal, the Pens would not have been able to afford to resign him without costing the team in too many other places. You can't pay that caliber of player to be a third line player.

Agreed. You also lose out on Brian Dumoulin, although, Shero probably could have made a different, smaller move to get Dumoulin.


Geez apparently no love from the Penguin's Front Office in drafting Mr. Leadership Johnathan Toews in 2006.
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby thehockeyguru on Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:23 pm

sjnhiils wrote:The one that hurts the most is Shero liking Backstrom more but letting Malone take Staal. Crosby,Malkin and Backstrom would have been unstoppable!


Filip Forsberg will be the one that bothers me the most. He fell into the Pens lap it was a no-brainer and they messed it up.
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby sjnhiils on Sat Nov 28, 2020 1:22 pm

FLPensFan wrote:
Sigwolf wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:The one that hurts the most is Shero liking Backstrom more but letting Malone take Staal. Crosby,Malkin and Backstrom would have been unstoppable!

I don't think that Backstrom would have brought much more success than the two final appearances and one Cup win that the Pens had with Staal, and just like Staal, the Pens would not have been able to afford to resign him without costing the team in too many other places. You can't pay that caliber of player to be a third line player.

Agreed. You also lose out on Brian Dumoulin, although, Shero probably could have made a different, smaller move to get Dumoulin.

Shero offered Staal a 10 year $60 mil contract in 2012 and he turned it down. Backstrom signed a 10 year $67 mil in 2010. If Shero had offered Staal that much I'm sure he would have signed Backstrom if he was with the team. Backstrom at $6.7 mil a year vs. Staal at $6 mil a year? It's not even close!! So maybe they don't sign Martin, but Backstrom would have provided much more value.
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby Sigwolf on Sat Nov 28, 2020 3:22 pm

sjnhiils wrote:Shero offered Staal a 10 year $60 mil contract in 2012 and he turned it down. Backstrom signed a 10 year $67 mil in 2010. If Shero had offered Staal that much I'm sure he would have signed Backstrom if he was with the team. Backstrom at $6.7 mil a year vs. Staal at $6 mil a year? It's not even close!! So maybe they don't sign Martin, but Backstrom would have provided much more value.

That was an example of Staal saving Shero from himself. That contract would have absolutely hamstrung the team for years. Paying Backstrom even more would have done worse, and would have cost them a heck of a lot more than just not signing Martin. With the salary cap you just cannot pay a third line center that kind of money, especially for that term.
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby sjnhiils on Sat Nov 28, 2020 4:41 pm

Sigwolf wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:Shero offered Staal a 10 year $60 mil contract in 2012 and he turned it down. Backstrom signed a 10 year $67 mil in 2010. If Shero had offered Staal that much I'm sure he would have signed Backstrom if he was with the team. Backstrom at $6.7 mil a year vs. Staal at $6 mil a year? It's not even close!! So maybe they don't sign Martin, but Backstrom would have provided much more value.

That was an example of Staal saving Shero from himself. That contract would have absolutely hamstrung the team for years. Paying Backstrom even more would have done worse, and would have cost them a heck of a lot more than just not signing Martin. With the salary cap you just cannot pay a third line center that kind of money, especially for that term.

How would have it cost them "a heck of a lot more than just not signing Martin?" Martin was given a 5 year $25 mil deal. The Pens would have been paying a 3rd line center $2-$3 mil anyways so Backstrom was only $3.7-$4.7 more. They also signed Michalek for 5 years $20 mil. They could have fit him in salary wise, Shero just made the mistake of putting too much money into the defense.
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby Jim on Sat Nov 28, 2020 4:51 pm

thehockeyguru wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:The one that hurts the most is Shero liking Backstrom more but letting Malone take Staal. Crosby,Malkin and Backstrom would have been unstoppable!


Filip Forsberg will be the one that bothers me the most. He fell into the Pens lap it was a no-brainer and they messed it up.


Random.
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby Sigwolf on Sun Nov 29, 2020 12:58 am

sjnhiils wrote:
Sigwolf wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:Shero offered Staal a 10 year $60 mil contract in 2012 and he turned it down. Backstrom signed a 10 year $67 mil in 2010. If Shero had offered Staal that much I'm sure he would have signed Backstrom if he was with the team. Backstrom at $6.7 mil a year vs. Staal at $6 mil a year? It's not even close!! So maybe they don't sign Martin, but Backstrom would have provided much more value.

That was an example of Staal saving Shero from himself. That contract would have absolutely hamstrung the team for years. Paying Backstrom even more would have done worse, and would have cost them a heck of a lot more than just not signing Martin. With the salary cap you just cannot pay a third line center that kind of money, especially for that term.

How would have it cost them "a heck of a lot more than just not signing Martin?" Martin was given a 5 year $25 mil deal. The Pens would have been paying a 3rd line center $2-$3 mil anyways so Backstrom was only $3.7-$4.7 more. They also signed Michalek for 5 years $20 mil. They could have fit him in salary wise, Shero just made the mistake of putting too much money into the defense.

So you theoretically fit him for five years... what about the remaining five years of the contract? You know, the time period they actually won two more Cups. What RFA's and FA's could the Pens then not sign? What trades could they not make? Repeating myself for the third time, teams cannot pay that kind of money to a third line center long term and expect to be successful under a salary cap. I maintain, Backstrom over Staal would have had minimal impact at the time, and he would not be a Pen now regardless (unless you would have preferred moving Malkin to keep him, but that is another big can of worms that is rather pointless to open).
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby Cow_Master66 on Sun Nov 29, 2020 1:25 pm

Why would Backstrom as the 3C brought more value than Staal in that role? Who cares who the better player is, it’s all about fit...
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby sjnhiils on Sun Nov 29, 2020 2:07 pm

Cow_Master66 wrote:Why would Backstrom as the 3C brought more value than Staal in that role? Who cares who the better player is, it’s all about fit...

Should have passed on Crosby then and drafted a winger or defenseman!
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby Jim on Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:53 pm

Redoing the 2006 draft I would have taken any of the next three picks over Staal: Toews, Backstrom, or Kessel. Both Toews and Backstrom are "better" players than Staal, but they would also have been 3C's on the Pens as opposed to the 1C's that they were on their real teams. Kessel would have been Kessel, a 1RW. People also forget that Claude Giroux was taken #22.

2006 redraft for the Pens, (without trading up or such):
2. Phil Kessel, R - Kessel was taken #5. He beat out Toews for me.
32. Milan Lucic, L - Lucic was taken #50. He is rather useless now, but he was a 30g power forward, a force. He beat out Petry #45 for me on this pick.
65. Brad Marchand, L - Marchand was taken #71. No other real contender in comparison between 65-125.
125. Mathieu Perreault, L - Perreault was taken #177. Andrew MacDonald was probably the second choice in this range, but not much of a choice.
185. Tyler Bozak, C - Bozak was undrafted. Derek Dorsett, R #189 was the only player of impact taken after 185. Bozak could slide into the 3C spot.

For the other side of the spectrum, 2006 first rounders...
#19, 20, 24 played zero NHL games
#15 played 1 game
#16, 21, 26, 27, 30 played between 5 and 45 games
#29 played 70 games
10 of 30 picks played less than one NHL season.
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby Sigwolf on Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:36 pm

Jim wrote:Redoing the 2006 draft I would have taken any of the next three picks over Staal: Toews, Backstrom, or Kessel. Both Toews and Backstrom are "better" players than Staal, but they would also have been 3C's on the Pens as opposed to the 1C's that they were on their real teams. Kessel would have been Kessel, a 1RW. People also forget that Claude Giroux was taken #22.

2006 redraft for the Pens, (without trading up or such):
2. Phil Kessel, R - Kessel was taken #5. He beat out Toews for me.
32. Milan Lucic, L - Lucic was taken #50. He is rather useless now, but he was a 30g power forward, a force. He beat out Petry #45 for me on this pick.
65. Brad Marchand, L - Marchand was taken #71. No other real contender in comparison between 65-125.
125. Mathieu Perreault, L - Perreault was taken #177. Andrew MacDonald was probably the second choice in this range, but not much of a choice.
185. Tyler Bozak, C - Bozak was undrafted. Derek Dorsett, R #189 was the only player of impact taken after 185. Bozak could slide into the 3C spot.

For the other side of the spectrum, 2006 first rounders...
#19, 20, 24 played zero NHL games
#15 played 1 game
#16, 21, 26, 27, 30 played between 5 and 45 games
#29 played 70 games
10 of 30 picks played less than one NHL season.


Think of how easy drafting would be if only they had access to 14 years of NHL data for all the players beforehand... :wink: :fist:
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby Cow_Master66 on Sun Nov 29, 2020 8:18 pm

sjnhiils wrote:
Cow_Master66 wrote:Why would Backstrom as the 3C brought more value than Staal in that role? Who cares who the better player is, it’s all about fit...

Should have passed on Crosby then and drafted a winger or defenseman!


We needed a 1C so picking him was fine.
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby sjnhiils on Sun Nov 29, 2020 9:44 pm

Cow_Master66 wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:
Cow_Master66 wrote:Why would Backstrom as the 3C brought more value than Staal in that role? Who cares who the better player is, it’s all about fit...

Should have passed on Crosby then and drafted a winger or defenseman!


We needed a 1C so picking him was fine.

They drafted a 1C in Malkin the year before.
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby murphydump55 on Mon Nov 30, 2020 2:36 am

Sigwolf wrote:
Jim wrote:Redoing the 2006 draft I would have taken any of the next three picks over Staal: Toews, Backstrom, or Kessel. Both Toews and Backstrom are "better" players than Staal, but they would also have been 3C's on the Pens as opposed to the 1C's that they were on their real teams. Kessel would have been Kessel, a 1RW. People also forget that Claude Giroux was taken #22.

2006 redraft for the Pens, (without trading up or such):
2. Phil Kessel, R - Kessel was taken #5. He beat out Toews for me.
32. Milan Lucic, L - Lucic was taken #50. He is rather useless now, but he was a 30g power forward, a force. He beat out Petry #45 for me on this pick.
65. Brad Marchand, L - Marchand was taken #71. No other real contender in comparison between 65-125.
125. Mathieu Perreault, L - Perreault was taken #177. Andrew MacDonald was probably the second choice in this range, but not much of a choice.
185. Tyler Bozak, C - Bozak was undrafted. Derek Dorsett, R #189 was the only player of impact taken after 185. Bozak could slide into the 3C spot.

For the other side of the spectrum, 2006 first rounders...
#19, 20, 24 played zero NHL games
#15 played 1 game
#16, 21, 26, 27, 30 played between 5 and 45 games
#29 played 70 games
10 of 30 picks played less than one NHL season.


Think of how easy drafting would be if only they had access to 14 years of NHL data for all the players beforehand... :wink: :fist:


It would still be hard for some GM’s, even with that data.
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby Defence21 on Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:46 am

Sigwolf wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:Shero offered Staal a 10 year $60 mil contract in 2012 and he turned it down. Backstrom signed a 10 year $67 mil in 2010. If Shero had offered Staal that much I'm sure he would have signed Backstrom if he was with the team. Backstrom at $6.7 mil a year vs. Staal at $6 mil a year? It's not even close!! So maybe they don't sign Martin, but Backstrom would have provided much more value.

That was an example of Staal saving Shero from himself. That contract would have absolutely hamstrung the team for years. Paying Backstrom even more would have done worse, and would have cost them a heck of a lot more than just not signing Martin. With the salary cap you just cannot pay a third line center that kind of money, especially for that term.

I wonder how likely it is that Shero knew Staal wanted to play with his brother and wouldn't re-sign with Pittsburgh, and so he offered Staal a contract to save face. I would presume the backlash of trading Staal without first offering him a contract would have brought about some backlash. Then again, if a GM works based on fan reactions, he's doing it wrong.

Another possibility keeps the first part the same -- Shero knew Staal wanted out -- and he offered him the contract to show player agents his wallet was open, and that he was ready to spend some money.
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby longtimefan on Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:00 am

A couple points:

-Debartolo Jr had recently been put into place by his father to run things when the Moog deal was nixed. Sr, and the fans, were getting frustrated by the Pens inability to make the playoffs as Mario's career slipped away. The odds were stacked against EJ because of the division. The top 4 made the playoffs, and the Pens missed even though they ended up with more points than 6 teams who made the playoffs. To this day I believe EJ got a raw deal. He was the first coach/GM who said they needed to blow it up in order to ever be good after years of trying to just squeeze into the playoffs. His first full season as GM produced Mario. Yes, he did tank, thank God. Andy Moog was no slouch, and the Pens could have conceivably won a cup with him. He got quite a few Vezina votes during his prime, and won three cups in Edmonton. He was in a time share with Fuhr, although he took a backseat in he playoffs. He held out in '87-'88, the same season Coffey held out and became a Pen. Moog was a big reason the Bruins were the Pens opponent in the conference finals in both '91 and '92. Esposito got into Jr's ear, and he nixed the deal. EJ took a bullet for blowing it up and remaining patient while he built around Lemieux. Before that season, Sr's impatience had forced Bob Berry out as coach, a move both EJ and Mario both disagreed with. Espo was likely the worst GM in the team's history. A lot would have changed if the Moog deal was made. The Pens likely would have made the playoffs. But, ultimately, Craig Patrick likely would neve had become GM, and Jagr would never had become a Pen.

EJ was never fired. Espo was hired, but was given control of hockey operations, not the GM title. EJ was kept on. Jr was hoping EJ would quit so he wouldn't have to pay him the last year of his contract. He didn't, and ultimately was demoted to asst GM when Espo took the GM role so he could represent the team at the Board of Governor meetings. EJ swallowed his pride, and took the money he was owed, leaving after the season to take over in Hartford. The Pens never fired him. But Jr put a knife in his back. Without EJ, Mario likely would have ended up a Devil.

-Staal was a key member of the '09 Cup team. He was a different player in Pittsburgh than he was in Carolina. He produced 20+ goals 4 times as a Pen, with 29 as a rookie, and 25 his final season here. He also played with Malkin a great deal. Backstrom has had a better career, but wouldn't have been the same fit with the Pens. Staal was a perfect 3C because of his defense and PK abilities. As a rookie, he scored 7 SH goals. Toews, Backstrom, and Kessel all have had better careers in hindsight, but none likely would have been a better fit for the Pens at the time. Toews was drafted as a LW/C, and likely would have ended up on either Sid or Geno's wing. Kessel was widely seen as the best of the group, but his attitude caused him to drop to #5. Staal was the wrong pick if you just look at the careers in hindsight, but was likely the best fit for the Pens. It's hard to argue with the results if the goal was to win a Cup, not to just draft the best player.
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby Cow_Master66 on Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:44 am

sjnhiils wrote:
Cow_Master66 wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:
Cow_Master66 wrote:Why would Backstrom as the 3C brought more value than Staal in that role? Who cares who the better player is, it’s all about fit...

Should have passed on Crosby then and drafted a winger or defenseman!


We needed a 1C so picking him was fine.

They drafted a 1C in Malkin the year before.


Yes, I know who they drafted a year before....In taking Crosby they shift Malkin to 2C which is a much better fit. Again, all about building a team.

I know you like to disagree, all I'm saying is Staal is a better 3C than Backstrom...It's fine if you don't agree.
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Re: Moves that almost happened;an actual good Yohe/Rossi art

Postby Sams_Dog on Wed Dec 02, 2020 12:22 am

Esposito set the team back a year or two. The Moog deal would have been very good for the Pens. I think they would have made the playoffs that year and maybe the year after. He may have been better than Barrasso long term. He did really well in Boston and Dallas. The trades that Esposito made did not work out and Mario and Coffey disliked him quite a bit I think. You could tell that some of the players were not on the same page with him and the coach, Gene Ubriaco, when the 1989-90 season got underway. It's too bad but you can't argue with how things turnout when Patrick came in.

If they had drafted Selanne instead of Shannon, holy cow! He would not have come over probably until 92-93 like he did with Winnipeg but can you imagine him on Mario's RW? There would not have been enough ice time for him and the other RWs - Recchi/Tocchet, Mullen, Jagr. Someone would have had to go. I wonder if they maybe would have traded him after drafting and seeing how good Jagr looked in 90. Maybe use him in a deal to get the 4/5 dman that seemed to need. Again, no regrets with the way things turned out, although I will always be bummed that they had to deal Recchi and Coffey in 92. Loved both players.



longtimefan wrote:A couple points:

-Debartolo Jr had recently been put into place by his father to run things when the Moog deal was nixed. Sr, and the fans, were getting frustrated by the Pens inability to make the playoffs as Mario's career slipped away. The odds were stacked against EJ because of the division. The top 4 made the playoffs, and the Pens missed even though they ended up with more points than 6 teams who made the playoffs. To this day I believe EJ got a raw deal. He was the first coach/GM who said they needed to blow it up in order to ever be good after years of trying to just squeeze into the playoffs. His first full season as GM produced Mario. Yes, he did tank, thank God. Andy Moog was no slouch, and the Pens could have conceivably won a cup with him. He got quite a few Vezina votes during his prime, and won three cups in Edmonton. He was in a time share with Fuhr, although he took a backseat in he playoffs. He held out in '87-'88, the same season Coffey held out and became a Pen. Moog was a big reason the Bruins were the Pens opponent in the conference finals in both '91 and '92. Esposito got into Jr's ear, and he nixed the deal. EJ took a bullet for blowing it up and remaining patient while he built around Lemieux. Before that season, Sr's impatience had forced Bob Berry out as coach, a move both EJ and Mario both disagreed with. Espo was likely the worst GM in the team's history. A lot would have changed if the Moog deal was made. The Pens likely would have made the playoffs. But, ultimately, Craig Patrick likely would neve had become GM, and Jagr would never had become a Pen.

EJ was never fired. Espo was hired, but was given control of hockey operations, not the GM title. EJ was kept on. Jr was hoping EJ would quit so he wouldn't have to pay him the last year of his contract. He didn't, and ultimately was demoted to asst GM when Espo took the GM role so he could represent the team at the Board of Governor meetings. EJ swallowed his pride, and took the money he was owed, leaving after the season to take over in Hartford. The Pens never fired him. But Jr put a knife in his back. Without EJ, Mario likely would have ended up a Devil.

-Staal was a key member of the '09 Cup team. He was a different player in Pittsburgh than he was in Carolina. He produced 20+ goals 4 times as a Pen, with 29 as a rookie, and 25 his final season here. He also played with Malkin a great deal. Backstrom has had a better career, but wouldn't have been the same fit with the Pens. Staal was a perfect 3C because of his defense and PK abilities. As a rookie, he scored 7 SH goals. Toews, Backstrom, and Kessel all have had better careers in hindsight, but none likely would have been a better fit for the Pens at the time. Toews was drafted as a LW/C, and likely would have ended up on either Sid or Geno's wing. Kessel was widely seen as the best of the group, but his attitude caused him to drop to #5. Staal was the wrong pick if you just look at the careers in hindsight, but was likely the best fit for the Pens. It's hard to argue with the results if the goal was to win a Cup, not to just draft the best player.
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