I'm not a huge Geno fan, and going back to the Philly series last year, one can argue that at times he has hurt his team as much or even more than he has helped it. However, the Pens are 65-20 in their last 85 games, excluding playoffs. Geno was in the lineup for many of those games. He does need to have a good playoff run this year, because his stats from 2010 to present (excluding that insane stretch he had during last regular season) are not those of a $9 million franchise player. If the Pens don't go far this year, Shero may decide that having three oft-injured superstars on the payroll is one two many.
I'm not saying the man doesn't have consistency issues, but I love when this gets tossed into the argument as if it was a hot streak.
He dominated the league for 75 games immediately after coming back from a serious injury. Regardless of what happens, Shero would be a fool to disregard last season as an "insane stretch."
Nobody is discounting what Geno did last season. Shero should and will resign Geno long term. He will most likely be a Penguin for life. Everybody knows how talented he is, he has rare world class skill and nobody doubts that. But its not picking on Geno to question whether or not the positive net impact he has on this team is as great as it once as. His positive net impact on the team is nowhere near the net impact Crosby has on the team. Crosby is the model of consistency, he's physically dominant, imposes his will on others, defensively responsible, disciplined in not taking stupid penalties, and almost always makes the smart pass. Yes, I know he's Crosby and you may say don't compare Malkin to Crosby, but you have to for 2 reasons:
1) They get paid the same amount of money
2) The difference in impact between Crosby and Malkin was much much slimmer in 2009. Malkin was pretty much on par with Crosby in terms of play.
The year they won the cup, he was a different player, younger, but more sound defensively, more well-rounded, more physically imposing in his play. People often said that the big difference between Malkin and Ovechkin (besides one being a center and one being a wing) was that Malkin actually played defense and played it pretty well. I'm not asking him to try to be the Selke candidate but he needs to clean up his game a bit in my opinion.