Do We Need Letang?

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Do the Penguins Need Letang?

Yes
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29%
No
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Total votes : 28

Do We Need Letang?

Postby Hugo Stiglitz on Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:38 pm

I just want to preface this thread with a few things before everyone flames me:

1) This is not a Kris Letang bashing thread

2) I'm aware that when any major roster player comes back after missing significant time it can throw the team off any groove they've fallen into. Even when Sid has come back after long periods of time and the team is doing well, the team gets thrown off a bit and takes them a few games to fall back into place.

3) This may be something to re-examine more toward the end of the season, but start looking at now

Ok, end of preface:

Before Letang came back the Penguins defense was much improved from last season. Overall the forwards and defenseman have played more responsibly and the Penguins have become one of the best possession teams in the NHL. The Power Play has been decent, not great, not bad, but decent.

Letang coming back obviously adds new dimensions and dynamics. Letang is physical and brings the ability to start attacks from the back end and generate more offense. Letang has been back for seven games and it's really been an adjustment. He deserves his time to fall back into place after being injured and not playing hockey for a while.

All that being said: Does he look that much different than last year? IMO he does not, but again we should all expect a little more of an adjustment period.

Has the Penguins PP been better since he's been back? Maybe marginally better, but it's been up and down so far this year. But not a HUGE difference better or worse.

Has the possession improved since his return? I don't think so, but it also hasn't gotten worse.

Has the overall defensive play gotten better or worse since his return? I'd say it's about the same. I'm not going to let one or two bad games say it has, but there is really no major difference IMO.


So, to the original question of the thread: Do we need Letang?

While I think it's premature to make a solid decision, it's definitely time to start carefully watching what's been happening. So far? I don't think we need Letang.

Having a player like Letang is a luxury and you can argue that any team that wins the cup has a Dman like him in their line-up.

I believe the Penguins improved play defensively and with possession is attributed to a new dedication by the players, the arrival of Monsieur Jacques and maybe the right mix of personnel. If they're able to keep it up all season long with a good amount of consistency, I think it's safe to say Letang is unnecessary.

His salary would be better served balancing out the third and fourth lines if this is indeed the case. The Penguins would be able to fill out a much stronger third line and bring in another serviceable defenseman.
Last edited by Hugo Stiglitz on Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby KG on Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:50 pm

I was on board with shopping him in this past off season especially since we didn't have a first round pick. He keeps making the same mistakes over and over again. Reminds me of Mike Green in his prime. Excellent offensive skilled player but makes mistakes at the wrong time.

When you deal a player with the skills of Letang you are more likely then not going to replace him in the trade. Going with a trade of several pieces, players, picks etc. is the type of deal that would have to be done.

I would have moved him last year if the price was right and I would do it this year. Same goes for everyone not named Crosby...
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby Hugo Stiglitz on Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:14 pm

KG wrote:I was on board with shopping him in this past off season especially since we didn't have a first round pick. He keeps making the same mistakes over and over again. Reminds me of Mike Green in his prime. Excellent offensive skilled player but makes mistakes at the wrong time.

When you deal a player with the skills of Letang you are more likely then not going to replace him in the trade. Going with a trade of several pieces, players, picks etc. is the type of deal that would have to be done.

I would have moved him last year if the price was right and I would do it this year. Same goes for everyone not named Crosby...


Well the idea of moving him would not exactly to be to replace him; that would in itself negate the reason for trading him. If he really doesn't make this team any better or any worse with or without his presence, you trade him for two main reasons:

1) Cap Space
2) Fill other holes

Trading him can garner a return of picks and maybe two players: a mid-level dman and high-end third line player with space to spare to spend on other needs.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby sjnhiils on Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:27 pm

Hugo Stiglitz wrote:
KG wrote:I was on board with shopping him in this past off season especially since we didn't have a first round pick. He keeps making the same mistakes over and over again. Reminds me of Mike Green in his prime. Excellent offensive skilled player but makes mistakes at the wrong time.

When you deal a player with the skills of Letang you are more likely then not going to replace him in the trade. Going with a trade of several pieces, players, picks etc. is the type of deal that would have to be done.

I would have moved him last year if the price was right and I would do it this year. Same goes for everyone not named Crosby...


Well the idea of moving him would not exactly to be to replace him; that would in itself negate the reason for trading him. If he really doesn't make this team any better or any worse with or without his presence, you trade him for two main reasons
1) Cap Space
2) Fill other holes

Trading him can garner a return of picks and maybe two players: a mid-level dman and high-end third line player with space to spare to spend on other needs.

Wouldn't make the deal unless it involved a top forward like Eberle, a top pick and a top prospect. That seems to be the going rate for d-men now, especially for those set to make over $7million the next several years.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby KG on Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:33 pm

I remember the contract negotiations were Letang wanted a NTC before his contract kicked in next season. Was he granted a limited NTC? I don't recall?
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby the wicked child on Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:43 pm

It was my understanding that the Penguins could not offer that, even if they wanted to... if you dig back through the Letang saga thread, I think some people addressed it in depth there.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby columbia on Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:46 pm

I suppose anything is possible, but it's reasonable to think that Shero would have traded him at the draft, if he were interested in doing so.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby jcgopens on Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:03 pm

I highly doubt Ray Shero would ever subject himself to reading message boards, since he deals with reality, facts, figures, pro-scouts, vast hockey knowledge, and indepth knowledge of the player, but I bet Shero would laugh his head off he ever read some of these threads.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby sjnhiils on Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:20 pm

jcgopens wrote:I highly doubt Ray Shero would ever subject himself to reading message boards, since he deals with reality, facts, figures, pro-scouts, vast hockey knowledge, and indepth knowledge of the player, but I bet Shero would laugh his head off he ever read some of these threads.

A lot of good it has done the last 4 years. Just what has Shero done to get the Pens back to another Cup? Two bad playoffs in a row and still pretty much the same players and coach. Chicago won a cup, retooled their roster making the necessary changes because of the salary cap, and won the cup last year. I don't see Shero willing to make those changes.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby jcgopens on Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:29 pm

sjnhiils wrote:
jcgopens wrote:I highly doubt Ray Shero would ever subject himself to reading message boards, since he deals with reality, facts, figures, pro-scouts, vast hockey knowledge, and indepth knowledge of the player, but I bet Shero would laugh his head off he ever read some of these threads.

A lot of good it has done the last 4 years. Just what has Shero done to get the Pens back to another Cup? Two bad playoffs in a row and still pretty much the same players and coach. Chicago won a cup, retooled their roster making the necessary changes because of the salary cap, and won the cup last year. I don't see Shero willing to make those changes.


Toews and Kane did what Sid and Geno failed to do. Maybe we should trade them as well.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby wondermoose on Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:32 pm

Trade him to Montreal for Soupcan.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby sjnhiils on Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:40 pm

jcgopens wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:
jcgopens wrote:I highly doubt Ray Shero would ever subject himself to reading message boards, since he deals with reality, facts, figures, pro-scouts, vast hockey knowledge, and indepth knowledge of the player, but I bet Shero would laugh his head off he ever read some of these threads.

A lot of good it has done the last 4 years. Just what has Shero done to get the Pens back to another Cup? Two bad playoffs in a row and still pretty much the same players and coach. Chicago won a cup, retooled their roster making the necessary changes because of the salary cap, and won the cup last year. I don't see Shero willing to make those changes.


Toews and Kane did what Sid and Geno failed to do. Maybe we should trade them as well.

Because they had a better mix of players around them and had 4 solid lines. Maybe if Shero would have taken Toews or Kessel we would have won another cup or two. Brandon Saad would sure look good here . But then again Shero just can't pass up that puck moving defenseman(Joe Morrow)
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby Great58 on Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:50 pm

sjnhiils wrote:
jcgopens wrote:I highly doubt Ray Shero would ever subject himself to reading message boards, since he deals with reality, facts, figures, pro-scouts, vast hockey knowledge, and indepth knowledge of the player, but I bet Shero would laugh his head off he ever read some of these threads.

A lot of good it has done the last 4 years. Just what has Shero done to get the Pens back to another Cup? Two bad playoffs in a row and still pretty much the same players and coach. Chicago won a cup, retooled their roster making the necessary changes because of the salary cap, and won the cup last year. I don't see Shero willing to make those changes.

Yes, we were all very frustrated that Shero just sat idle and did nothing to try to improve the team at last year's trade deadline.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby Great58 on Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:51 pm

Paul Martin is not available for tonight's game, leaving the #Pens with six D-men including Engelland.

Yes, I want Letang in the lineup.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby sjnhiils on Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:03 pm

Great58 wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:
jcgopens wrote:I highly doubt Ray Shero would ever subject himself to reading message boards, since he deals with reality, facts, figures, pro-scouts, vast hockey knowledge, and indepth knowledge of the player, but I bet Shero would laugh his head off he ever read some of these threads.

A lot of good it has done the last 4 years. Just what has Shero done to get the Pens back to another Cup? Two bad playoffs in a row and still pretty much the same players and coach. Chicago won a cup, retooled their roster making the necessary changes because of the salary cap, and won the cup last year. I don't see Shero willing to make those changes.

Yes, we were all very frustrated that Shero just sat idle and did nothing to try to improve the team at last year's trade deadline.

He gave up a 1st round pick,a former 1st round pick,two 2nd round picks and 2 prospects and did little to improve the team. After the Flyer series debacle, he said he was happy with the team he had. I guess he wasn't. Changes should have been made then, it would have been a whole lot cheaper than waiting till the trade deadline.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby BurghersAndDogsSports on Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:51 pm

I actually do not have a problem with Letang overall. I think he can be a tremendous asset but he looks worse because of a combination of an ineffectively built roster coupled with strange coaching. Let me explain:

Our defensive issues also somewhat have been showing up since Scuderi left the lineup as well. Not exactly but a little coincidence there, its not just Letangs return. But remember last year our defense came around a lot when MARK $%$ING EATON was added. While he was ineffective in the playoffs he settled down somewhat our problems with positioning and the like in the regular season. Whatever the stats say it doesnt matter, we looked less loss and made a ton less silly defensive errors when he joined the team.

How this relates is easy. Overall the roster is not built enough to play a sound full ice NHL hockey game. When we won the cup we had 3 defenseman who were strong positional players, a younger better Orpik, Gonchar who had an all around game that season and Letang. We had forwards on all 3 lines who could cycle and play the boards. Other than Letang and Gonchar we ran out overall some defensive minded guys to go along with 3 4th lines just with superstar centers (I get thats not exactly true but I think the point is made) .

We could cycle, play the boards, play good positional hockey in our own end and played smarter overall hockey. We wore teams down. It did not take a much coveted net presence as everyone wants now - it took players and coaching that could do the dirty work on other spots of the ice. For whatever reason HCDB and GMRS deviated from this plan to a puck moving style and all hell broke loose once the playoffs started and at points in the regular season - as people seem to forget what an off an on disaster we started to become at the end of 2012.

I dont particular care for HCDB, dont get me wrong. But guys like Mark Eaton and Scuderi should not be making that much of an impact on how foolish we do or dont look in our zone. I place a lot of blame in to both the roster (I know I know I am an idiot and we have/had the greatest roster(s) every assembled) and of course coaching.

I just dont think dumping Letang fixes much other than opening up cap space next year, until we shore up the other slots on defense and get some guys who can cycle and play the boards up front. You get that along with a reigned coaching style overall I think Letang blossoms even further.
Last edited by BurghersAndDogsSports on Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby Steve Dave on Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:58 pm

Letang to Flyers for Simmonds, Laughton (prospect) and 2014 1st?
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby Great58 on Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:59 pm

sjnhiils wrote:
Great58 wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:
jcgopens wrote:I highly doubt Ray Shero would ever subject himself to reading message boards, since he deals with reality, facts, figures, pro-scouts, vast hockey knowledge, and indepth knowledge of the player, but I bet Shero would laugh his head off he ever read some of these threads.

A lot of good it has done the last 4 years. Just what has Shero done to get the Pens back to another Cup? Two bad playoffs in a row and still pretty much the same players and coach. Chicago won a cup, retooled their roster making the necessary changes because of the salary cap, and won the cup last year. I don't see Shero willing to make those changes.

Yes, we were all very frustrated that Shero just sat idle and did nothing to try to improve the team at last year's trade deadline.

He gave up a 1st round pick,a former 1st round pick,two 2nd round picks and 2 prospects and did little to improve the team. After the Flyer series debacle, he said he was happy with the team he had. I guess he wasn't. Changes should have been made then, it would have been a whole lot cheaper than waiting till the trade deadline.

So if he had drafted Forsberg instead of Pouliout would he be a better GM? Who should he have taken instead of Maatta that would have made a tremendous impact immediately and gotten the Pens back to win a second Cup of this era? I'm pretty sure none of the draft picks or Joe Morrow he gave up for Iginla, Murray and Morrow in last years' attempt would have already improved this year's team so I struggle with your logic.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby penscup on Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:18 pm

Too early to evaluate his overall play yet this year. Back 7 games after injury and the team is 4-3 with him in the lineup. He basically just finished his preseason.

You are jumping the gun. Another 20 games minimum before even bringing this question up.

Everyone knows he can't run the PP very well. That is old news.

I still think he may be suffering effects from his concussion last year. Hasn't seemed like the same player since returning from that injury.

Plus with Scuderi out of the lineup it will be harder to evaluate the D pairings until they return to normal when he gets back.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby Pitts on Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:54 pm

jcgopens wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:
jcgopens wrote:I highly doubt Ray Shero would ever subject himself to reading message boards, since he deals with reality, facts, figures, pro-scouts, vast hockey knowledge, and indepth knowledge of the player, but I bet Shero would laugh his head off he ever read some of these threads.

A lot of good it has done the last 4 years. Just what has Shero done to get the Pens back to another Cup? Two bad playoffs in a row and still pretty much the same players and coach. Chicago won a cup, retooled their roster making the necessary changes because of the salary cap, and won the cup last year. I don't see Shero willing to make those changes.


Toews and Kane did what Sid and Geno failed to do. Maybe we should trade them as well.

That and Chicago's "make over" did not involve trading Keith or Seabrook. They moved out most of their 3rd and 4th lines and replaced them with equal players.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby DelPen on Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:07 pm

Every team can use a guy with his skill. But the problem is the guy is damned stupid. When Letang actually focuses on defense there's not many guys better than him for all the tools he brings. He looked his best last year when he had to cover for Despres. Maybe it would be a good idea to pair him with Maatta and see what happens?
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby largegarlic on Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:07 pm

I was in the trade Letang camp leading up to his re-signing, and I haven't seen anything yet to change my mind about that, but it is still early. Given the Pens' D prospects, I think the team would have been better served moving Letang if they could have gotten a package that included, say, a solid, if unspectacular, top-4 d-man, a solid, if unspectacular, physical, younger top-6 winger, and a 1st-rounder.

That said, I don't think Shero will trade him now. It just seems like a dirty, Holmgren-esque move to sign a guy to a long-term deal and then trade him somewhere he might not want to go before his no-trade clause kicks in.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby sjnhiils on Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:10 pm

Great58 wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:
Great58 wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:
jcgopens wrote:I highly doubt Ray Shero would ever subject himself to reading message boards, since he deals with reality, facts, figures, pro-scouts, vast hockey knowledge, and indepth knowledge of the player, but I bet Shero would laugh his head off he ever read some of these threads.

A lot of good it has done the last 4 years. Just what has Shero done to get the Pens back to another Cup? Two bad playoffs in a row and still pretty much the same players and coach. Chicago won a cup, retooled their roster making the necessary changes because of the salary cap, and won the cup last year. I don't see Shero willing to make those changes.

Yes, we were all very frustrated that Shero just sat idle and did nothing to try to improve the team at last year's trade deadline.

He gave up a 1st round pick,a former 1st round pick,two 2nd round picks and 2 prospects and did little to improve the team. After the Flyer series debacle, he said he was happy with the team he had. I guess he wasn't. Changes should have been made then, it would have been a whole lot cheaper than waiting till the trade deadline.

So if he had drafted Forsberg instead of Pouliout would he be a better GM? Who should he have taken instead of Maatta that would have made a tremendous impact immediately and gotten the Pens back to win a second Cup of this era? I'm pretty sure none of the draft picks or Joe Morrow he gave up for Iginla, Murray and Morrow in last years' attempt would have already improved this year's team so I struggle with your logic.

Not just draft picks, but bringing in other free agents while letting others go. Those draft picks and Morrow could have been more wisely spent on players who would be around a lot longer , not merely rentals. The only reason I thought Shero made those moves last year was because I thought they were all in because they expected to make drastic changes in the offseason. Shero turns around and resigns players and brings back basically the same team? If that was his plan all along, why give up so much to try and win last year? I also wasn't talking about just last year, I mentioned the last 4 years. I'm struggling with your logic as well.
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby KG on Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:29 pm

largegarlic wrote:I was in the trade Letang camp leading up to his re-signing, and I haven't seen anything yet to change my mind about that, but it is still early. Given the Pens' D prospects, I think the team would have been better served moving Letang if they could have gotten a package that included, say, a solid, if unspectacular, top-4 d-man, a solid, if unspectacular, physical, younger top-6 winger, and a 1st-rounder.

That said, I don't think Shero will trade him now. It just seems like a dirty, Holmgren-esque move to sign a guy to a long-term deal and then trade him somewhere he might not want to go before his no-trade clause kicks in.


Agreed...well said...
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Re: Do We Need Letang?

Postby Great58 on Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:52 am

sjnhiils wrote:
Great58 wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:
Great58 wrote:
sjnhiils wrote:A lot of good it has done the last 4 years. Just what has Shero done to get the Pens back to another Cup? Two bad playoffs in a row and still pretty much the same players and coach. Chicago won a cup, retooled their roster making the necessary changes because of the salary cap, and won the cup last year. I don't see Shero willing to make those changes.

Yes, we were all very frustrated that Shero just sat idle and did nothing to try to improve the team at last year's trade deadline.

He gave up a 1st round pick,a former 1st round pick,two 2nd round picks and 2 prospects and did little to improve the team. After the Flyer series debacle, he said he was happy with the team he had. I guess he wasn't. Changes should have been made then, it would have been a whole lot cheaper than waiting till the trade deadline.

So if he had drafted Forsberg instead of Pouliout would he be a better GM? Who should he have taken instead of Maatta that would have made a tremendous impact immediately and gotten the Pens back to win a second Cup of this era? I'm pretty sure none of the draft picks or Joe Morrow he gave up for Iginla, Murray and Morrow in last years' attempt would have already improved this year's team so I struggle with your logic.

Not just draft picks, but bringing in other free agents while letting others go. Those draft picks and Morrow could have been more wisely spent on players who would be around a lot longer , not merely rentals. The only reason I thought Shero made those moves last year was because I thought they were all in because they expected to make drastic changes in the offseason. Shero turns around and resigns players and brings back basically the same team? If that was his plan all along, why give up so much to try and win last year? I also wasn't talking about just last year, I mentioned the last 4 years. I'm struggling with your logic as well.

Yes, why would Shero go all in to try to win the Cup last year? Why? Why?
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