FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

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FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby FLPensFan on Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:22 am

Here's a look at my top 7 questions/issues heading into training camp in September (yes, it's about 45 days away but I'm bored):

1. Rebound years

- Top of the list....the Penguins desperately need both Kris Letang and Matt Murray to have improved play this season. Rutherford has taken some steps to help Letang in bringing in Jack Johnson. A full offseason of training without a looming serious injury should help, as should trying to limit some of his minutes. But, I have to wonder....Letang seemed to finally do well at avoiding those big hits he's taken over the years. Has he altered his game to the point that he isn't as effective? Matt Murray will not have the luxury of a veteran behind him should he slump again this season. A lot is riding on him being healthy, and getting his numbers back to what they were the previous two seasons. I don't want Murray playing in 60 games, but I do want him to be AVAILABLE to play in 60 games. Better numbers and no injuries would be huge for Murray.

2. Jack Johnson

- Which Jack Johnson will the Penguins get....the one the analytics community is crapping the bed over, or the player guys like Rutherford, Sullivan, and Gonchar think can come in and shine. Money isn't a question, but the term is definitely a risk. He is the Penguins biggest offseason addition. Hopefully, he works out as management planned, and doesn't become Matt Hunwick 2.0. Big gamble when the team swung and missed badly on Hunwick the prior season.

3. Defensive depth

- Quick, name me the top 3 defensive prospects that could see time at the NHL level this year due to injuries? Yeah, I can't either. Some raved about Jeff Taylor and how close he was to being a solid, bottom pair NHL player. He spent his first professional season playing the majority of his games for the Nailers, not WBS. I've heard Dane Birks mentioned....he's played 1 professional game for WBS. Niclas Almari has 3 games under his belt. Ethan Prow is probably the only guy that has stuck around that MIGHT see a look. Everyone else in WBS is a journeymen type career AHL player: Summers, Trotman, Czuczman, Elliott. Defensive depth is very, very thin right now behind Chad Ruhwedel.

4. Abundance of forwards

- Penguins have a lot of forwards between guys that they have signed, and guys at WBS level pushing for a spot. This will be an interesting element to follow, especially after adding an older Cullen, a never meeting expectations Hayes, and a guy with 1 career year in Grant. I have a fear that bringing Cullen back will work out about as well as bringing back Scuderi did. Cullen wasn't used right last year in MIN. Wasn't a good fit in their system, either.......but there were also signs of a player slowing down at age 42. It's a 1 year deal; he can be buried if needed....but I am tempering my expectations for Cullen. Grant had 1 solid year last year, because Ryan Kesler was injured. He's not going to get that luxury here with 5 centers above him on the depth chart. Can he still be useful? Hayes was a player I liked for several years, dating back to his Panther days....but, he's never done much else since. He has the ability to be a solid 3rd line type guy, but he has to be given a chance.....and I don't see that unless there are injuries here.


5. Give youth a chance

- Sprong should have a spot in the lineup, anywhere but 4th line. ZAR should have a spot in the lineup, and could really be used anywhere on the LW.....and I've seen some RW projections for him too. Simon, well, he seems to be liked by the organization, even though Sprong/ZAR, and others, seem to have more upside. What about Teddy Blueger? GMJR talks him up as close to NHL ready, but then goes out and gets 2 older centers at the NHL level, essentially blocking his path. Thomas DiPauli had been talked up over his speed and defense....a Rust type of player, but the depth above him will likely keep him out of the NHL this year. Adam Johnson hasn't been talked about much, but he had a decent year at WBS. But he's got 6-7 centers above him. And finally, what about Jordy Bellerive. The guy ripped up training camp last year, then went on to have an incredible season in Lethbridge. What do you do if Bellerive comes into camp and continues to light it up? Because he is a Juniors or NHL player....can't go to WBS. When the easy option is to just send most of these guys back to WBS/Juniors, even if they outplay the competition, it makes it tough to crack the lineup.


6. LW depth

- The Penguins LW depth was not good last year. The Penguins traded Conor Sheary this summer. The Penguins did not address LW after trading Sheary. If it was a weakness last year, its a black hole this year. Quite simply, can you expect any semblance of production from the position if Jake Guentzel gets injured? I'll be shocked if there isn't a LW acquisition at or ahead of the trade deadline this year.

7. Did they improve enough

- The Cup hangover/fatigue excuse is gone. Full summers of training all around, but, more importantly......did the Penguins do enough this summer? Washington returns its same team. Tampa brings back its team. Toronto added Tavares. Florida added Hoffman (and rumored to be poking around on Panarin). While the Penguins were a post away from going further with Washington, it's hard to forget that there wasn't much secondary scoring by the team. Did the Penguins do enough to keep pace with the rest of the East?

Thoughts? Comments?
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby Jim on Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:47 am

FLPensFan wrote:Here's a look at my top 7 questions/issues heading into training camp in September (yes, it's about 45 days away but I'm bored):

1. Rebound years

- Top of the list....the Penguins desperately need both Kris Letang and Matt Murray to have improved play this season. Rutherford has taken some steps to help Letang in bringing in Jack Johnson. A full offseason of training without a looming serious injury should help, as should trying to limit some of his minutes. But, I have to wonder....Letang seemed to finally do well at avoiding those big hits he's taken over the years. Has he altered his game to the point that he isn't as effective? Matt Murray will not have the luxury of a veteran behind him should he slump again this season. A lot is riding on him being healthy, and getting his numbers back to what they were the previous two seasons. I don't want Murray playing in 60 games, but I do want him to be AVAILABLE to play in 60 games. Better numbers and no injuries would be huge for Murray.

2. Jack Johnson

- Which Jack Johnson will the Penguins get....the one the analytics community is crapping the bed over, or the player guys like Rutherford, Sullivan, and Gonchar think can come in and shine. Money isn't a question, but the term is definitely a risk. He is the Penguins biggest offseason addition. Hopefully, he works out as management planned, and doesn't become Matt Hunwick 2.0. Big gamble when the team swung and missed badly on Hunwick the prior season.

3. Defensive depth

- Quick, name me the top 3 defensive prospects that could see time at the NHL level this year due to injuries? Yeah, I can't either. Some raved about Jeff Taylor and how close he was to being a solid, bottom pair NHL player. He spent his first professional season playing the majority of his games for the Nailers, not WBS. I've heard Dane Birks mentioned....he's played 1 professional game for WBS. Niclas Almari has 3 games under his belt. Ethan Prow is probably the only guy that has stuck around that MIGHT see a look. Everyone else in WBS is a journeymen type career AHL player: Summers, Trotman, Czuczman, Elliott. Defensive depth is very, very thin right now behind Chad Ruhwedel.

4. Abundance of forwards

- Penguins have a lot of forwards between guys that they have signed, and guys at WBS level pushing for a spot. This will be an interesting element to follow, especially after adding an older Cullen, a never meeting expectations Hayes, and a guy with 1 career year in Grant. I have a fear that bringing Cullen back will work out about as well as bringing back Scuderi did. Cullen wasn't used right last year in MIN. Wasn't a good fit in their system, either.......but there were also signs of a player slowing down at age 42. It's a 1 year deal; he can be buried if needed....but I am tempering my expectations for Cullen. Grant had 1 solid year last year, because Ryan Kesler was injured. He's not going to get that luxury here with 5 centers above him on the depth chart. Can he still be useful? Hayes was a player I liked for several years, dating back to his Panther days....but, he's never done much else since. He has the ability to be a solid 3rd line type guy, but he has to be given a chance.....and I don't see that unless there are injuries here.


5. Give youth a chance

- Sprong should have a spot in the lineup, anywhere but 4th line. ZAR should have a spot in the lineup, and could really be used anywhere on the LW.....and I've seen some RW projections for him too. Simon, well, he seems to be liked by the organization, even though Sprong/ZAR, and others, seem to have more upside. What about Teddy Blueger? GMJR talks him up as close to NHL ready, but then goes out and gets 2 older centers at the NHL level, essentially blocking his path. Thomas DiPauli had been talked up over his speed and defense....a Rust type of player, but the depth above him will likely keep him out of the NHL this year. Adam Johnson hasn't been talked about much, but he had a decent year at WBS. But he's got 6-7 centers above him. And finally, what about Jordy Bellerive. The guy ripped up training camp last year, then went on to have an incredible season in Lethbridge. What do you do if Bellerive comes into camp and continues to light it up? Because he is a Juniors or NHL player....can't go to WBS. When the easy option is to just send most of these guys back to WBS/Juniors, even if they outplay the competition, it makes it tough to crack the lineup.


6. LW depth

- The Penguins LW depth was not good last year. The Penguins traded Conor Sheary this summer. The Penguins did not address LW after trading Sheary. If it was a weakness last year, its a black hole this year. Quite simply, can you expect any semblance of production from the position if Jake Guentzel gets injured? I'll be shocked if there isn't a LW acquisition at or ahead of the trade deadline this year.

7. Did they improve enough

- The Cup hangover/fatigue excuse is gone. Full summers of training all around, but, more importantly......did the Penguins do enough this summer? Washington returns its same team. Tampa brings back its team. Toronto added Tavares. Florida added Hoffman (and rumored to be poking around on Panarin). While the Penguins were a post away from going further with Washington, it's hard to forget that there wasn't much secondary scoring by the team. Did the Penguins do enough to keep pace with the rest of the East?

Thoughts? Comments?


1. I am not sure how big of a rebound Letang can have if he keeps playing "his" game. I honestly do not understand how a skilled guy can keep hitting the defender right in front of him with the puck over and over and over. Murray is young, so anything can happen, but over the last 10-15 years there have been a lot of hot young "Wow, look at this guy" goaltenders that have gone on to not mid-range starters. The Pens won 2 Cups so people automaticcaly say "Murray won 2 Cups" but how much of it was really Murray as opposed to solid overall team? i don't think that he will get much "better" than he is now. He won't cost you games, but he isn't going to be the #1 star all that often either.

2. This could end up being the biggest factor. We have seen players go to new teams and really shine. If Johnson does that the Pens D will be really solid. If he remains the liability that he was, it will be multiplied in effect since he was the "big addition" for the year and it fizzled. His play could have the biggest impact vs last year's Pens.

3. Not much that can be done about this until school is out, at the earliest.

4. I am not impressed with any of the 3 signings that you mention: Cullen, Grant or Hayes. If any or all of these guys gets waived at some point during the season, and any or all picked away, I don't see it as an impact. Grant and Hayes are both big, but don't really play that way. Cullen and Grant are solid at faceoffs. Any of those three can potentially be replaced by young AHL guys (Johnson, ZAR, Blueger, etc) with little overall impact. Grant was 12-12-24 in 64 games last year, but was also 0-7-7 in 86 games over his other 4 NHL seasons.

5. Sprong and Simon will be in Pittsburgh simply because they most likely would not clear waivers. The Pens have 14 "NHL" forwards that would need to clear waivers. Barring Grant, Hayes, or Cullen getting waived, ZAR and all of the rest of the youth will be in WBS to start the season (14F, 7D, 2G). (IR/LTIR injuries may open a spot or two, but hopefully not)

6. If only Hagelin had hands. I'm not even talking "good" hands. Just anything better than grippers that can close around a stick.

7. I don't think that it is possible to improve every year. I also don't think that you need to improve every year (on paper). However, compared to the start of last season the Pens now have a real 3C in Brassard and a real 4C in Sheahan (who should both stay as 3C and 4C). Replaced Hunwick with Johnson. Really only loosing Sheary, Kuhnhackl, Reaves, Rowney, and McKegg. For the start of October, they should be a better team.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby Penguins Knight on Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:27 pm

FLPensFan, you have great points. I will need time to fully digest your thoughts.

I will say the depth of defensemen is a concern. Letang's shoddy play is a liability. The 2018-2019 season determines Letang being relevant long-term with improved play, or where else in the National Hockey League he finishes the season. Johnson was the best defenseman available the Penguins could find. I hope Johnson can play well and contribute in positive ways. The farm needs a replenishment of defensemen. I can see defensive prospects and/or draft picks to use on defensemen coming back if the Penguins dump salary somewhere.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby FLPensFan on Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:54 pm

Penguins Knight wrote:FLPensFan, you have great points. I will need time to fully digest your thoughts.

I will say the depth of defensemen is a concern. Letang's shoddy play is a liability. The 2018-2019 season determines Letang being relevant long-term with improved play, or where else in the National Hockey League he finishes the season. Johnson was the best defenseman available the Penguins could find. I hope Johnson can play well and contribute in positive ways. The farm needs a replenishment of defensemen. I can see defensive prospects and/or draft picks to use on defensemen coming back if the Penguins dump salary somewhere.

In terms of the defensive depth, I'd like to see the Penguins make some minor moves to sure up the system a bit more. The Penguins have some talent coming, in guys like Addison, Lauzon, Phillips, Almari, Birks....but I think these guys are all 2-3 years away from getting a chance at the NHL level. Penguins are missing that element that is ready now. Prow, Taylor, and Riikola are the closest, and I haven't seen anything that makes me think they are pushing hard for a spot at the NHL level. The team keeps turning to the journeymen (Summers, Trotman, Czuczuman....previously Warsofsky, Chorney, Ruhwedel) instead. I wasn't thrilled with Corrado, but I thought he was someone they would bring back due to his AHL/NHL experience. I guess he just wasn't developing, like he hadn't for several other teams.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby Penspal on Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:11 pm

My thoughts on your thoughts.

1. Yes, fully expect bounce back years for both Letang and Murray. To be honest, they have to be better in the regular season, not even that much, but ESPECIALLY in the playoffs.

2. I'm not a big fan of this trade at all, but I guess I've learned the hard way to give him a chance. I don't like the Hunwick comparison at all because JJ will get lots of chances, whereas Hunwick did not.

3. Yep, hopefully there is a diamond in the ruff there somewhere, but you are bang on, d cupboards are looking pretty bare.

4. You focused on two guys that I don't think are even going to factor in much as forwards, but I get your point. DAD will bring leadership and Grant better get his nacho moves down. Addressing the title of "Abundance of Fowards", there is goign to be one of them moved for a D prospect at some point (see point #3)

5. Youth have to earn the spots of course, but I am confident that ZAR and Sprong will see at least 3rd line minutes. But we are talking about HCMS, who doesn't seem to like the youth that he didn't coach in WBS.

6. LW depth will be filled by centres, and your right, not much scoring from over there.

7. No, they have not improved enough yet, but they don't need too... its a long season, lots of times for GMJR to strike a deal or two.

I'm sure its happened before, but I can't remember (outside of Netwolf) a post title containing the users name, and I kinda like it. Too quiet around here in the dog days of summer.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby longtimefan on Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:14 pm

FLPensFan wrote:Here's a look at my top 7 questions/issues heading into training camp in September (yes, it's about 45 days away but I'm bored):

1. Rebound years

- Top of the list....the Penguins desperately need both Kris Letang and Matt Murray to have improved play this season. Rutherford has taken some steps to help Letang in bringing in Jack Johnson. A full offseason of training without a looming serious injury should help, as should trying to limit some of his minutes. But, I have to wonder....Letang seemed to finally do well at avoiding those big hits he's taken over the years. Has he altered his game to the point that he isn't as effective? Matt Murray will not have the luxury of a veteran behind him should he slump again this season. A lot is riding on him being healthy, and getting his numbers back to what they were the previous two seasons. I don't want Murray playing in 60 games, but I do want him to be AVAILABLE to play in 60 games. Better numbers and no injuries would be huge for Murray.


Letang is the antithesis of Jack Johnson. He's a analytics beast. It doesn't change the fact they both had bad seasons. Letang has been here a long time. We know what he is. Brain farts. They were just worse last year. It didn't appear physical though. He could be on the slide, but the fact it isn't physical gives hope that he can get back to what he was. Which means a lot of people will still hate him. But he's been an important piece overall. I don't have a lot of concerns about Murray, except for the fact he needs to prove he can play 60+ games. I do think the "injury prone" label is tossed around too much. To me, injury prone is one thing after another. That point can be made, because Murray only has 2 1/2 seasons of service. but it's as much his timing as anything, missing the start of each Cup year playoffs. Still, he's got to prove he's durable enough. I do throw his stats out from last year. It was the first time his save percentage wasn't .920 or above since his second to last junior season, and he set shutout records in the AHL. Last season, he was a 23 year old kid dealing with the relatively sudden loss of his father. A very real and human reason. I've been there. I think he'll bounce back strong personally.



2. Jack Johnson

- Which Jack Johnson will the Penguins get....the one the analytics community is crapping the bed over, or the player guys like Rutherford, Sullivan, and Gonchar think can come in and shine. Money isn't a question, but the term is definitely a risk. He is the Penguins biggest offseason addition. Hopefully, he works out as management planned, and doesn't become Matt Hunwick 2.0. Big gamble when the team swung and missed badly on Hunwick the prior season.


Here's the thing about Jack Johnson. "Sucks" seems to be a relative term. I've read several opinions that just destroy him, then end up saying his a low end #4 dman. Which I'd be great with. I found the article from Aaron Portzline about the Jackets offering him a 6 year deal for over 20 million. I don't have a subscription, I read the terms elsewhere. I know you do. :) https://theathletic.com/249911/2018/02/ ... ion-talks/ If true, he simply wanted out. I've read a lot about his saga since the signing. Very interesting comments by Dean Lombardi, who just destroyed Red Berensen and Michigan's coaching staff. He has incredible skills, but has never really learned to use them. He was never criticized and was allowed to roam. So he needed coaching. Then the big contract was lost to the bankruptcy. Now he has the security of a deal that will go beyond his BK payments. He should have peace of mind, and be motivated, just based on the fierce pride he's known for. I also like that he plays a pretty tough game. It's nice to have guys like him and Oleksiak, who keep people aware of their whereabouts. Be it Ovechkin or Wilson. I hope they can convince him to just play a simple game. Skill isn't the issue.

3. Defensive depth

- Quick, name me the top 3 defensive prospects that could see time at the NHL level this year due to injuries? Yeah, I can't either. Some raved about Jeff Taylor and how close he was to being a solid, bottom pair NHL player. He spent his first professional season playing the majority of his games for the Nailers, not WBS. I've heard Dane Birks mentioned....he's played 1 professional game for WBS. Niclas Almari has 3 games under his belt. Ethan Prow is probably the only guy that has stuck around that MIGHT see a look. Everyone else in WBS is a journeymen type career AHL player: Summers, Trotman, Czuczman, Elliott. Defensive depth is very, very thin right now behind Chad Ruhwedel.


It's the achilles of the team. They just don't have kids who have stepped up, and they've gone the journeyman route. They also are too LH for my liking. I believe Prow would be the first true RH available. The only guys ahead of him are Schultz, Letang, and Ruhlwedel. The roster will only allow you to keep seven or eight. Without kids, depth is going to be a problem. Which is why defenseman are so expensive at the deadline. Riikola is someone you didn't mention. Supposedly can play both sides. Oleksiak is likely to play on the right side. It's something to keep an eye on.

4. Abundance of forwards

- Penguins have a lot of forwards between guys that they have signed, and guys at WBS level pushing for a spot. This will be an interesting element to follow, especially after adding an older Cullen, a never meeting expectations Hayes, and a guy with 1 career year in Grant. I have a fear that bringing Cullen back will work out about as well as bringing back Scuderi did. Cullen wasn't used right last year in MIN. Wasn't a good fit in their system, either.......but there were also signs of a player slowing down at age 42. It's a 1 year deal; he can be buried if needed....but I am tempering my expectations for Cullen. Grant had 1 solid year last year, because Ryan Kesler was injured. He's not going to get that luxury here with 5 centers above him on the depth chart. Can he still be useful? Hayes was a player I liked for several years, dating back to his Panther days....but, he's never done much else since. He has the ability to be a solid 3rd line type guy, but he has to be given a chance.....and I don't see that unless there are injuries here.


I think people overthink this. JR wanted depth. It's the word used for all three. All three are on throw away contracts. I do think it's important to point out that Cullen had ten goals in I believe his last forty-one regular season games. He's been remarkably consistent in the fact he has seventeen 10+ goal seasons in twenty years. Cullen will be with the team all year. If he's one of their twelve best, he'll be in the lineup. If not, he'll be first up in case of injury. Otherwise, he'll be scratched, or often appear on IR. He'll be around though. Which is one of the main reasons he's here. Grant has a leg up on Hayes because of his one way deal. If either gets picked up off waivers, so be it. JR may even try to get a 6th rounder if somebody has injuries in training camp. Depth. Guys who can slot in when needed. Guys who keep the other guys looking over their shoulders.

5. Give youth a chance

- Sprong should have a spot in the lineup, anywhere but 4th line. ZAR should have a spot in the lineup, and could really be used anywhere on the LW.....and I've seen some RW projections for him too. Simon, well, he seems to be liked by the organization, even though Sprong/ZAR, and others, seem to have more upside. What about Teddy Blueger? GMJR talks him up as close to NHL ready, but then goes out and gets 2 older centers at the NHL level, essentially blocking his path. Thomas DiPauli had been talked up over his speed and defense....a Rust type of player, but the depth above him will likely keep him out of the NHL this year. Adam Johnson hasn't been talked about much, but he had a decent year at WBS. But he's got 6-7 centers above him. And finally, what about Jordy Bellerive. The guy ripped up training camp last year, then went on to have an incredible season in Lethbridge. What do you do if Bellerive comes into camp and continues to light it up? Because he is a Juniors or NHL player....can't go to WBS. When the easy option is to just send most of these guys back to WBS/Juniors, even if they outplay the competition, it makes it tough to crack the lineup.


You have to start finding out about the kids. In different ways though. Center depth is all the rage in the NHL. Guys who can move to the wing add versatility, and most centers can. The top seven on the Pens depth chart are all LH. The top guy who is RH is Dea. Another area to keep an eye on. It was Rowney's #1 asset. I don't believe anybody should be gifted a place in the lineup. Sprong has to be on the roster because his eligibility was mishandled. He and ZAR should be in the lineup. If they earn the job. What line? It depends on how it's constituted. The Pens have eleven forwards who scored 10+ goals last season. Plus three kids with offensive promise. Sprong first needs to earn a spot in the lineup, then a spot on a line. Wherever that line may be called. In terms of Blueger, I think this is ideal for him. He can play LW as well, and will be the first forward up. To get his feet wet. But I think their plan is for him to play a lot at WBS. They need to determine if he can be a 3C or 4C next season. He's in a nice place. He's 7th on the depth chart, but the four guys immediately ahead of him are all UFA's. Dipauli has been injured, and I saw an article recently that he needs to carve out a niche. He's got the ability, but needs to stay healthy. He's played mostly LW last season. Johnson is a darkhorse to come up this season. He can play anywhere. The Pens put him at C because of depth last season, but I believe he played a lot of LW as well. They need to find out about this 23-25 year age group.


6. LW depth

- The Penguins LW depth was not good last year. The Penguins traded Conor Sheary this summer. The Penguins did not address LW after trading Sheary. If it was a weakness last year, its a black hole this year. Quite simply, can you expect any semblance of production from the position if Jake Guentzel gets injured? I'll be shocked if there isn't a LW acquisition at or ahead of the trade deadline this year.


Your LW depth are the guys you mentioned. If needed. Blueger, Johnson, DiPauli. You need to find out. Plus, as you mentioned before, LW tends to be the lower scoring, more defensive option. I look at this roster as 13 or 14 forwards. With six LH centers. The talk of Brassard moving I believe is media driven. They want him to add to the versatility. To play 3C, but play wing in place of Hagelin on the 2nd line when you need a goal. Like Sheahan did with Sid in defensive situations. It's all about the centers right now. Look around the league, and see how teams are building. You need to find out if you've got the guys to make you comfortable with depth. Here's a question for you though. Who were the LW's on the five cup teams? In '91-'92, they had Stevens. But Errey, Bourque, and Loney were lunch pail. Fedotenko? Kunitz coming off a 13 goal season, and adding one in the playoffs? Who was on Geno's left in 2016? 2017? If you get to the point you have to make a move, you do so. But, like you said, they need to give the kids a chance. Before you try to bring somebody in, see what you have. Rust didn't seem to care where he played, based on his advanced stats. He made everybody better. Especially Kessel. Where I'm sure he was on the left.

7. Did they improve enough

- The Cup hangover/fatigue excuse is gone. Full summers of training all around, but, more importantly......did the Penguins do enough this summer? Washington returns its same team. Tampa brings back its team. Toronto added Tavares. Florida added Hoffman (and rumored to be poking around on Panarin). While the Penguins were a post away from going further with Washington, it's hard to forget that there wasn't much secondary scoring by the team. Did the Penguins do enough to keep pace with the rest of the East?


On paper, it's the deepest collection of forwards they've ever had. They are head and shoulders better than the team they started last season with. Johnson is the biggest question mark, but most still see him as a significant upgrade to Hunwick. Plus, it helps back Letang's ice time off. Did they do enough? It's not sexy, but I've learned to understand how fickle the game is. Beating Ottawa in a 2OT game 7 and going on to win the cup. Or Kuhnhackl's final shift as a Pen. The Pens are deep. They need to keep the big guys healthy. They need to see what they have. But, on paper, they've got as good a shot as anybody. They'll tweak if the need to.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby Puck-Lurker on Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:43 pm

1. Rebound years
Letang might be a little better. By how much? The hockey gods only know. If he makes half of the unforced errors he did last season, I'll be a lot happier. Here's hoping his minutes get managed more.

Murray is an open question. He's either "got it" and proves himself as a point-snatcher, or he settles into a pattern of a goaltender who's got his moments, but we're not sure of. Needs to pick up the slack.

Letang and Murray are two issues at back that reinforce eachother negatively, or positively. But Murray plays an absolute key role in this team's ability to succeed.

2. Jack Johnson

Gotta wonder about this signing. Hunwick was much less of a risk (term), but proved to be a disaster. Honestly, worst fit I've seen in years. Hoping Johnson's better than the regular stats people say. Can't be as bad as Hunwick, can he? can he?


3. Defensive depth

We've got 3 pairs that look okay (well, see #2). We've got Ruhwedel behind that and that's just fine. Not much behind them. Summers, Trotman, Czuczman, Prow, I'm not getting excited here. Lauzon's still in the Q, unsigned I believe. (The guy we got after trading down in the draft in the Sundqvist-Reaves deal)
Got ourselves Riikola, but he smells like AHL depth only.

4. Abundance of forwards

Abundance? I'm not so sure. Our LW is a serious soft spot. Guentzel's great on that LW. Got Hagelin over there, he's alright as a top-9 solid type, stone hands though. And then the pickings get mighty thin. ZAR and Simon. Thats where our surplus C come in, Cullen, Grant, Sheahan could be the answer to our LW. I'd send ZAR down for now. We've got a full NHL boat as is, and we might as well test the non-waivers guys at LW before we expose them.

RW should be a combination of Hörnqvist, Kessel, Sprong and Rust barring injuries. Which means that HCMS is going to play someone like Jarry RW because he thinks that works... And Simon. And Guentzel. Kessel and Sprong can play in the top three lines, Hörnqvist can play any line. Rust I'd reserve for the bottom six, unless you really really need him LW (NO!)

5. Give youth a chance

If your fourth line is Cullen-Sheahan-Sprong and the line sees more ice than your average 4th line, that's fine for Sprong to play.

I'll stick with #41for41, give him half a season. Even Hunwick got that much of a shake at it and he was hurting my eyes badly.

We got the older C's for the LW mainly, I do believe. And to prevent a situation like last year. Sheahan and Brassard are UFA next season, Brassard is not going to sign for 3M. Guys like Blueger can safely stay down, get ready for when he's needed. Maybe he gets a shake when people are injured, maybe not. He's projected for next season if you look at the contracts

6. LW depth

See #4. HCMS used Guentzel and Sheary on one line a lot last year. The LW is not that much more shallow. C's come in here, or they get waived. Always room for changes at the deadline, but I think this is how GMJR wants to solve it.

7. Did they improve enough

The eastern conference is a power house. I don't think we're necessarily the strongest team. But...
- PIT - WSH: our top 9 F are an even enough match, but our 4th line is looking a heck of a lot better. I think our D is about a match as well, but our third pair is going to be better.
- PIT - TB: another top notch team at the top 9 F, but an unimpressive 4th line. Not impressed by their D.
- PIT - TOR: Matthews' wingers are less than they should be, 4th line and D are okay but meh.

I can hear Jim think: we should easily defeat all of them then!
Well, 't aint black and white and this is me spitballing, sure. But the critical difference? Last season, Murray wouldn't really be outplaying any of their goaltenders. Return to point #1
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby Daniel on Mon Jul 30, 2018 5:33 pm

longtimefan wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:Here's a look at my top 7 questions/issues heading into training camp in September (yes, it's about 45 days away but I'm bored):

1. Rebound years

- Top of the list....the Penguins desperately need both Kris Letang and Matt Murray to have improved play this season. Rutherford has taken some steps to help Letang in bringing in Jack Johnson. A full offseason of training without a looming serious injury should help, as should trying to limit some of his minutes. But, I have to wonder....Letang seemed to finally do well at avoiding those big hits he's taken over the years. Has he altered his game to the point that he isn't as effective? Matt Murray will not have the luxury of a veteran behind him should he slump again this season. A lot is riding on him being healthy, and getting his numbers back to what they were the previous two seasons. I don't want Murray playing in 60 games, but I do want him to be AVAILABLE to play in 60 games. Better numbers and no injuries would be huge for Murray.


Letang is the antithesis of Jack Johnson. He's a analytics beast. It doesn't change the fact they both had bad seasons. Letang has been here a long time. We know what he is. Brain farts. They were just worse last year. It didn't appear physical though. He could be on the slide, but the fact it isn't physical gives hope that he can get back to what he was. Which means a lot of people will still hate him. But he's been an important piece overall. I don't have a lot of concerns about Murray, except for the fact he needs to prove he can play 60+ games. I do think the "injury prone" label is tossed around too much. To me, injury prone is one thing after another. That point can be made, because Murray only has 2 1/2 seasons of service. but it's as much his timing as anything, missing the start of each Cup year playoffs. Still, he's got to prove he's durable enough. I do throw his stats out from last year. It was the first time his save percentage wasn't .920 or above since his second to last junior season, and he set shutout records in the AHL. Last season, he was a 23 year old kid dealing with the relatively sudden loss of his father. A very real and human reason. I've been there. I think he'll bounce back strong personally.



2. Jack Johnson

- Which Jack Johnson will the Penguins get....the one the analytics community is crapping the bed over, or the player guys like Rutherford, Sullivan, and Gonchar think can come in and shine. Money isn't a question, but the term is definitely a risk. He is the Penguins biggest offseason addition. Hopefully, he works out as management planned, and doesn't become Matt Hunwick 2.0. Big gamble when the team swung and missed badly on Hunwick the prior season.


Here's the thing about Jack Johnson. "Sucks" seems to be a relative term. I've read several opinions that just destroy him, then end up saying his a low end #4 dman. Which I'd be great with. I found the article from Aaron Portzline about the Jackets offering him a 6 year deal for over 20 million. I don't have a subscription, I read the terms elsewhere. I know you do. :) https://theathletic.com/249911/2018/02/ ... ion-talks/ If true, he simply wanted out. I've read a lot about his saga since the signing. Very interesting comments by Dean Lombardi, who just destroyed Red Berensen and Michigan's coaching staff. He has incredible skills, but has never really learned to use them. He was never criticized and was allowed to roam. So he needed coaching. Then the big contract was lost to the bankruptcy. Now he has the security of a deal that will go beyond his BK payments. He should have peace of mind, and be motivated, just based on the fierce pride he's known for. I also like that he plays a pretty tough game. It's nice to have guys like him and Oleksiak, who keep people aware of their whereabouts. Be it Ovechkin or Wilson. I hope they can convince him to just play a simple game. Skill isn't the issue.

3. Defensive depth

- Quick, name me the top 3 defensive prospects that could see time at the NHL level this year due to injuries? Yeah, I can't either. Some raved about Jeff Taylor and how close he was to being a solid, bottom pair NHL player. He spent his first professional season playing the majority of his games for the Nailers, not WBS. I've heard Dane Birks mentioned....he's played 1 professional game for WBS. Niclas Almari has 3 games under his belt. Ethan Prow is probably the only guy that has stuck around that MIGHT see a look. Everyone else in WBS is a journeymen type career AHL player: Summers, Trotman, Czuczman, Elliott. Defensive depth is very, very thin right now behind Chad Ruhwedel.


It's the achilles of the team. They just don't have kids who have stepped up, and they've gone the journeyman route. They also are too LH for my liking. I believe Prow would be the first true RH available. The only guys ahead of him are Schultz, Letang, and Ruhlwedel. The roster will only allow you to keep seven or eight. Without kids, depth is going to be a problem. Which is why defenseman are so expensive at the deadline. Riikola is someone you didn't mention. Supposedly can play both sides. Oleksiak is likely to play on the right side. It's something to keep an eye on.

4. Abundance of forwards

- Penguins have a lot of forwards between guys that they have signed, and guys at WBS level pushing for a spot. This will be an interesting element to follow, especially after adding an older Cullen, a never meeting expectations Hayes, and a guy with 1 career year in Grant. I have a fear that bringing Cullen back will work out about as well as bringing back Scuderi did. Cullen wasn't used right last year in MIN. Wasn't a good fit in their system, either.......but there were also signs of a player slowing down at age 42. It's a 1 year deal; he can be buried if needed....but I am tempering my expectations for Cullen. Grant had 1 solid year last year, because Ryan Kesler was injured. He's not going to get that luxury here with 5 centers above him on the depth chart. Can he still be useful? Hayes was a player I liked for several years, dating back to his Panther days....but, he's never done much else since. He has the ability to be a solid 3rd line type guy, but he has to be given a chance.....and I don't see that unless there are injuries here.


I think people overthink this. JR wanted depth. It's the word used for all three. All three are on throw away contracts. I do think it's important to point out that Cullen had ten goals in I believe his last forty-one regular season games. He's been remarkably consistent in the fact he has seventeen 10+ goal seasons in twenty years. Cullen will be with the team all year. If he's one of their twelve best, he'll be in the lineup. If not, he'll be first up in case of injury. Otherwise, he'll be scratched, or often appear on IR. He'll be around though. Which is one of the main reasons he's here. Grant has a leg up on Hayes because of his one way deal. If either gets picked up off waivers, so be it. JR may even try to get a 6th rounder if somebody has injuries in training camp. Depth. Guys who can slot in when needed. Guys who keep the other guys looking over their shoulders.

5. Give youth a chance

- Sprong should have a spot in the lineup, anywhere but 4th line. ZAR should have a spot in the lineup, and could really be used anywhere on the LW.....and I've seen some RW projections for him too. Simon, well, he seems to be liked by the organization, even though Sprong/ZAR, and others, seem to have more upside. What about Teddy Blueger? GMJR talks him up as close to NHL ready, but then goes out and gets 2 older centers at the NHL level, essentially blocking his path. Thomas DiPauli had been talked up over his speed and defense....a Rust type of player, but the depth above him will likely keep him out of the NHL this year. Adam Johnson hasn't been talked about much, but he had a decent year at WBS. But he's got 6-7 centers above him. And finally, what about Jordy Bellerive. The guy ripped up training camp last year, then went on to have an incredible season in Lethbridge. What do you do if Bellerive comes into camp and continues to light it up? Because he is a Juniors or NHL player....can't go to WBS. When the easy option is to just send most of these guys back to WBS/Juniors, even if they outplay the competition, it makes it tough to crack the lineup.


You have to start finding out about the kids. In different ways though. Center depth is all the rage in the NHL. Guys who can move to the wing add versatility, and most centers can. The top seven on the Pens depth chart are all LH. The top guy who is RH is Dea. Another area to keep an eye on. It was Rowney's #1 asset. I don't believe anybody should be gifted a place in the lineup. Sprong has to be on the roster because his eligibility was mishandled. He and ZAR should be in the lineup. If they earn the job. What line? It depends on how it's constituted. The Pens have eleven forwards who scored 10+ goals last season. Plus three kids with offensive promise. Sprong first needs to earn a spot in the lineup, then a spot on a line. Wherever that line may be called. In terms of Blueger, I think this is ideal for him. He can play LW as well, and will be the first forward up. To get his feet wet. But I think their plan is for him to play a lot at WBS. They need to determine if he can be a 3C or 4C next season. He's in a nice place. He's 7th on the depth chart, but the four guys immediately ahead of him are all UFA's. Dipauli has been injured, and I saw an article recently that he needs to carve out a niche. He's got the ability, but needs to stay healthy. He's played mostly LW last season. Johnson is a darkhorse to come up this season. He can play anywhere. The Pens put him at C because of depth last season, but I believe he played a lot of LW as well. They need to find out about this 23-25 year age group.


6. LW depth

- The Penguins LW depth was not good last year. The Penguins traded Conor Sheary this summer. The Penguins did not address LW after trading Sheary. If it was a weakness last year, its a black hole this year. Quite simply, can you expect any semblance of production from the position if Jake Guentzel gets injured? I'll be shocked if there isn't a LW acquisition at or ahead of the trade deadline this year.


Your LW depth are the guys you mentioned. If needed. Blueger, Johnson, DiPauli. You need to find out. Plus, as you mentioned before, LW tends to be the lower scoring, more defensive option. I look at this roster as 13 or 14 forwards. With six LH centers. The talk of Brassard moving I believe is media driven. They want him to add to the versatility. To play 3C, but play wing in place of Hagelin on the 2nd line when you need a goal. Like Sheahan did with Sid in defensive situations. It's all about the centers right now. Look around the league, and see how teams are building. You need to find out if you've got the guys to make you comfortable with depth. Here's a question for you though. Who were the LW's on the five cup teams? In '91-'92, they had Stevens. But Errey, Bourque, and Loney were lunch pail. Fedotenko? Kunitz coming off a 13 goal season, and adding one in the playoffs? Who was on Geno's left in 2016? 2017? If you get to the point you have to make a move, you do so. But, like you said, they need to give the kids a chance. Before you try to bring somebody in, see what you have. Rust didn't seem to care where he played, based on his advanced stats. He made everybody better. Especially Kessel. Where I'm sure he was on the left.

7. Did they improve enough

- The Cup hangover/fatigue excuse is gone. Full summers of training all around, but, more importantly......did the Penguins do enough this summer? Washington returns its same team. Tampa brings back its team. Toronto added Tavares. Florida added Hoffman (and rumored to be poking around on Panarin). While the Penguins were a post away from going further with Washington, it's hard to forget that there wasn't much secondary scoring by the team. Did the Penguins do enough to keep pace with the rest of the East?


On paper, it's the deepest collection of forwards they've ever had. They are head and shoulders better than the team they started last season with. Johnson is the biggest question mark, but most still see him as a significant upgrade to Hunwick. Plus, it helps back Letang's ice time off. Did they do enough? It's not sexy, but I've learned to understand how fickle the game is. Beating Ottawa in a 2OT game 7 and going on to win the cup. Or Kuhnhackl's final shift as a Pen. The Pens are deep. They need to keep the big guys healthy. They need to see what they have. But, on paper, they've got as good a shot as anybody. They'll tweak if the need to.


Before I start a reply, I love that Lombardi quote, thanks, and that gives me a lot of hope that Johnson can finally realize his potential. How awesome would the Pens look if he became an All Star, or All Star caliber?

I hope you're right about Letang. I think the two of them just need to keep it simple. If Sullivan can use the formula from the 2016-17 playoffs, with all defensemen playing between 19-22 minutes, it'll make all 6 a lot better. I believe all 6 are capable of top a top 4 role and the team doesn't have a bottom pair defensemen in terms of skill.

I don't love the defense depth, but I like it. I think any of the top 6 can play top 4 role, which means any of the depth just needs to be a bottom pairing. If the Pens lose any 2 defensemen, they'd be okay with the others playing top 4 roles. Frankly, if any team loses more than 2 for a long period of time, do they really have the depth to contend?

Regarding Cullen, the thing I'm most concerned with is that he is gifted a top 12 role because of who he is. All things being equal, I think he should get 40-50 games this season because of injuries and a normal rotation. If he plays much more, that probably means Simon/ZAR/Sprong, etc. aren't playing because Sullivan trusts Cullen, or they haven't earned a regular spot. Either way is bad in my opinion.

I think the only weakness on the team is goalie. I think the team can withstand a couple of injuries at defense and forward, but if Murray goes down that leaves Jarry....DeSmith....who else???
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby FLPensFan on Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:43 pm

longtimefan wrote:
2. Jack Johnson

- Which Jack Johnson will the Penguins get....the one the analytics community is crapping the bed over, or the player guys like Rutherford, Sullivan, and Gonchar think can come in and shine. Money isn't a question, but the term is definitely a risk. He is the Penguins biggest offseason addition. Hopefully, he works out as management planned, and doesn't become Matt Hunwick 2.0. Big gamble when the team swung and missed badly on Hunwick the prior season.


Here's the thing about Jack Johnson. "Sucks" seems to be a relative term. I've read several opinions that just destroy him, then end up saying his a low end #4 dman. Which I'd be great with. I found the article from Aaron Portzline about the Jackets offering him a 6 year deal for over 20 million. I don't have a subscription, I read the terms elsewhere. I know you do. :) https://theathletic.com/249911/2018/02/ ... ion-talks/ If true, he simply wanted out. I've read a lot about his saga since the signing. Very interesting comments by Dean Lombardi, who just destroyed Red Berensen and Michigan's coaching staff. He has incredible skills, but has never really learned to use them. He was never criticized and was allowed to roam. So he needed coaching. Then the big contract was lost to the bankruptcy. Now he has the security of a deal that will go beyond his BK payments. He should have peace of mind, and be motivated, just based on the fierce pride he's known for. I also like that he plays a pretty tough game. It's nice to have guys like him and Oleksiak, who keep people aware of their whereabouts. Be it Ovechkin or Wilson. I hope they can convince him to just play a simple game. Skill isn't the issue.

The Johnson deal is listed in the article as 7 years, at least 22M total....offered around Feb 22, which Johnson declined. It is mentioned that the deal was offered when CBJ thought they would be trading Ryan Murray, contract was offered and declined, Murray returned to the lineup, and Johnson's playing time diminished. Johnson requested a trade after turning down the deal. According to Portzline, LA, Washington and Boston were interested.....but LA got Phaneuf, Washington got Kempny, and Boston got Nick Holden.

This could very well be the "we know the reason" statement from Rutherford. Contract offered, rejected, trade requested. Teams were interested but in the end, they couldn't reach a deal. So why give the minutes to a guy who apparently isn't coming back next season over a guy that you plan to have on your team in future years? I don't think Johnson was going to get the 6M rumored at times during the offseason, but 7 years, 22M is about 10-50K less AAV than he got with the Penguins. He wasn't going to get 6M, but probably felt CBJ offer was an insult.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby longtimefan on Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:29 am

Daniel wrote:
Before I start a reply, I love that Lombardi quote, thanks, and that gives me a lot of hope that Johnson can finally realize his potential. How awesome would the Pens look if he became an All Star, or All Star caliber?


https://frozenroyalty.net/2010/01/20/de ... belatedly/

The article was from 2010. it was a pretty candid assessment.

“This guy has never had any coaching [at the University of Michigan],” Lombardi said. “Jack just did what he wanted.”

“Michigan is the worst.” Lombardi added. “For hockey people, if you’ve got a choice between a kid—all things being equal—one’s going to Michigan and one’s going to Boston University, you all want your player [going to Boston University]. Michigan’s players—[head coach] Red [Berenson] doesn’t coach. It’s ‘do what you want.’ He gets the best players in the country.”

During his two seasons at the University of Michigan, Johnson played as a rover, rather than as a defenseman, even though that was his official position.

“Jack was a thoroughbred out there,” Lombardi explained. “But he was all over the place. He was awful as a hockey player. As an athlete, you’re going, wow! Look at the way he skates, shoots, he can pass. But he had no idea where he was going.”

“At times, he was playing forward at Michigan,” Lombardi elaborated. “You had no idea what position he was playing. But he had always been the star and he always got his numbers. Then he turns pro and for the first time, we’re telling him ‘whoa, just make the first pass and learn to play in your own end.’ How about making a read in your own end about the right guy to pick up? He was awful.”
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby Jim on Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:53 am

FLPensFan wrote:He wasn't going to get 6M, but probably felt CBJ offer was an insult.


I don't think that professional athletes think this way. I don't think that they get "insulted" by low offers. I would think that it is more that they no longer want to be on that team or in that city.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby longtimefan on Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:22 am

Jim wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:He wasn't going to get 6M, but probably felt CBJ offer was an insult.


I don't think that professional athletes think this way. I don't think that they get "insulted" by low offers. I would think that it is more that they no longer want to be on that team or in that city.


I tend to agree with Jim on this one. I suspect that Brisson had a real good idea of what JJ's value was going to be. McKenzie floated the $6M, but I suspect that talk was spurred by a one or two year deal. Which isn't out of the question. I think his value wasn't finalized, but the per season is pretty much in line of what he got from the Pens. I think he wanted to leave Columbus. Sometimes it's easier to go elsewhere as a diminished piece then to stay where your role is far less it once was.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby Daniel on Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:39 am

longtimefan wrote:
Jim wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:He wasn't going to get 6M, but probably felt CBJ offer was an insult.


I don't think that professional athletes think this way. I don't think that they get "insulted" by low offers. I would think that it is more that they no longer want to be on that team or in that city.


I tend to agree with Jim on this one. I suspect that Brisson had a real good idea of what JJ's value was going to be. McKenzie floated the $6M, but I suspect that talk was spurred by a one or two year deal. Which isn't out of the question. I think his value wasn't finalized, but the per season is pretty much in line of what he got from the Pens. I think he wanted to leave Columbus. Sometimes it's easier to go elsewhere as a diminished piece then to stay where your role is far less it once was.


I have a feeling he targeted Pittsburgh for a few years. Maybe passively but still targeted because of the JR and Sid connection. I honestly don't think Columbus could have given him an offer he would have accepted. I agree that he likely didn't feel insulted by the offer, because any offer would have had the same response.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby Daniel on Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:46 am

longtimefan wrote:
Daniel wrote:
Before I start a reply, I love that Lombardi quote, thanks, and that gives me a lot of hope that Johnson can finally realize his potential. How awesome would the Pens look if he became an All Star, or All Star caliber?


https://frozenroyalty.net/2010/01/20/de ... belatedly/

The article was from 2010. it was a pretty candid assessment.

“This guy has never had any coaching [at the University of Michigan],” Lombardi said. “Jack just did what he wanted.”

“Michigan is the worst.” Lombardi added. “For hockey people, if you’ve got a choice between a kid—all things being equal—one’s going to Michigan and one’s going to Boston University, you all want your player [going to Boston University]. Michigan’s players—[head coach] Red [Berenson] doesn’t coach. It’s ‘do what you want.’ He gets the best players in the country.”

During his two seasons at the University of Michigan, Johnson played as a rover, rather than as a defenseman, even though that was his official position.

“Jack was a thoroughbred out there,” Lombardi explained. “But he was all over the place. He was awful as a hockey player. As an athlete, you’re going, wow! Look at the way he skates, shoots, he can pass. But he had no idea where he was going.”

“At times, he was playing forward at Michigan,” Lombardi elaborated. “You had no idea what position he was playing. But he had always been the star and he always got his numbers. Then he turns pro and for the first time, we’re telling him ‘whoa, just make the first pass and learn to play in your own end.’ How about making a read in your own end about the right guy to pick up? He was awful.”


Good grief, no one why he's had such an awful NHL career up to now. The more I read about the reasons why, the more I'm hopeful that his career can be turned around. Problem is, 15-18 years of bad habits being fixed? Going to be a challenge. Might need to pair him with someone like Maatta/Dumoulin to get him a steady presence.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby Great58 on Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:22 am

FLPensFan wrote:The Johnson deal is listed in the article as 7 years, at least 22M total....offered around Feb 22, which Johnson declined. It is mentioned that the deal was offered when CBJ thought they would be trading Ryan Murray, contract was offered and declined, Murray returned to the lineup, and Johnson's playing time diminished. Johnson requested a trade after turning down the deal. According to Portzline, LA, Washington and Boston were interested.....but LA got Phaneuf, Washington got Kempny, and Boston got Nick Holden.

This could very well be the "we know the reason" statement from Rutherford. Contract offered, rejected, trade requested. Teams were interested but in the end, they couldn't reach a deal. So why give the minutes to a guy who apparently isn't coming back next season over a guy that you plan to have on your team in future years? I don't think Johnson was going to get the 6M rumored at times during the offseason, but 7 years, 22M is about 10-50K less AAV than he got with the Penguins. He wasn't going to get 6M, but probably felt CBJ offer was an insult.

The article is dated 2/22, but refers to the contract offer having occurred the previous summer. Jack turned it down, things remained amicable, but his playing time slipped. That's why he asked for the trade in January. I don't know what he was expecting as an AAV, but he didn't seem to be too offended as it didn't appear to hurt his business relationship with the CBJ during the season.

Speaking to The Athletic‘s Tom Reed earlier this week, Johnson said he and Blue Jackets management have maintained a good relationship, even as his trade request became public Jan. 12.

In the five games leading up to Jan. 12, Johnson averaged 17:00 in ice time. In the 14 games since his request was made known, he’s averaged 20:17, third among Blue Jackets defensemen.

“They understand where I’m coming from, and I understand where they are coming from,” Johnson said. “Everything is as good as can be in that regard.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby Hatrick on Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:30 pm

FLPensFan wrote:Here's a look at my top 7 questions/issues heading into training camp in September (yes, it's about 45 days away but I'm bored):

1. Rebound years

- Top of the list....the Penguins desperately need both Kris Letang and Matt Murray to have improved play this season. Rutherford has taken some steps to help Letang in bringing in Jack Johnson. A full offseason of training without a looming serious injury should help, as should trying to limit some of his minutes. But, I have to wonder....Letang seemed to finally do well at avoiding those big hits he's taken over the years. Has he altered his game to the point that he isn't as effective? Matt Murray will not have the luxury of a veteran behind him should he slump again this season. A lot is riding on him being healthy, and getting his numbers back to what they were the previous two seasons. I don't want Murray playing in 60 games, but I do want him to be AVAILABLE to play in 60 games. Better numbers and no injuries would be huge for Murray.

2. Jack Johnson

- Which Jack Johnson will the Penguins get....the one the analytics community is crapping the bed over, or the player guys like Rutherford, Sullivan, and Gonchar think can come in and shine. Money isn't a question, but the term is definitely a risk. He is the Penguins biggest offseason addition. Hopefully, he works out as management planned, and doesn't become Matt Hunwick 2.0. Big gamble when the team swung and missed badly on Hunwick the prior season.

3. Defensive depth

- Quick, name me the top 3 defensive prospects that could see time at the NHL level this year due to injuries? Yeah, I can't either. Some raved about Jeff Taylor and how close he was to being a solid, bottom pair NHL player. He spent his first professional season playing the majority of his games for the Nailers, not WBS. I've heard Dane Birks mentioned....he's played 1 professional game for WBS. Niclas Almari has 3 games under his belt. Ethan Prow is probably the only guy that has stuck around that MIGHT see a look. Everyone else in WBS is a journeymen type career AHL player: Summers, Trotman, Czuczman, Elliott. Defensive depth is very, very thin right now behind Chad Ruhwedel.

4. Abundance of forwards

- Penguins have a lot of forwards between guys that they have signed, and guys at WBS level pushing for a spot. This will be an interesting element to follow, especially after adding an older Cullen, a never meeting expectations Hayes, and a guy with 1 career year in Grant. I have a fear that bringing Cullen back will work out about as well as bringing back Scuderi did. Cullen wasn't used right last year in MIN. Wasn't a good fit in their system, either.......but there were also signs of a player slowing down at age 42. It's a 1 year deal; he can be buried if needed....but I am tempering my expectations for Cullen. Grant had 1 solid year last year, because Ryan Kesler was injured. He's not going to get that luxury here with 5 centers above him on the depth chart. Can he still be useful? Hayes was a player I liked for several years, dating back to his Panther days....but, he's never done much else since. He has the ability to be a solid 3rd line type guy, but he has to be given a chance.....and I don't see that unless there are injuries here.


5. Give youth a chance

- Sprong should have a spot in the lineup, anywhere but 4th line. ZAR should have a spot in the lineup, and could really be used anywhere on the LW.....and I've seen some RW projections for him too. Simon, well, he seems to be liked by the organization, even though Sprong/ZAR, and others, seem to have more upside. What about Teddy Blueger? GMJR talks him up as close to NHL ready, but then goes out and gets 2 older centers at the NHL level, essentially blocking his path. Thomas DiPauli had been talked up over his speed and defense....a Rust type of player, but the depth above him will likely keep him out of the NHL this year. Adam Johnson hasn't been talked about much, but he had a decent year at WBS. But he's got 6-7 centers above him. And finally, what about Jordy Bellerive. The guy ripped up training camp last year, then went on to have an incredible season in Lethbridge. What do you do if Bellerive comes into camp and continues to light it up? Because he is a Juniors or NHL player....can't go to WBS. When the easy option is to just send most of these guys back to WBS/Juniors, even if they outplay the competition, it makes it tough to crack the lineup.


6. LW depth

- The Penguins LW depth was not good last year. The Penguins traded Conor Sheary this summer. The Penguins did not address LW after trading Sheary. If it was a weakness last year, its a black hole this year. Quite simply, can you expect any semblance of production from the position if Jake Guentzel gets injured? I'll be shocked if there isn't a LW acquisition at or ahead of the trade deadline this year.

7. Did they improve enough

- The Cup hangover/fatigue excuse is gone. Full summers of training all around, but, more importantly......did the Penguins do enough this summer? Washington returns its same team. Tampa brings back its team. Toronto added Tavares. Florida added Hoffman (and rumored to be poking around on Panarin). While the Penguins were a post away from going further with Washington, it's hard to forget that there wasn't much secondary scoring by the team. Did the Penguins do enough to keep pace with the rest of the East?

Thoughts? Comments?

1. That might be one of the biggest keys to the entire season, murray has to be better, he doesn't have to play 60 games but he needs to play a solid number of games and actually play well which he didn't even when healthy last season. I am ok with DeSmith or jarry filling in for 25-30 games but hopefully that is mostly just resting murray not injuries. Hopefully letang is more prepared this season and Sullivan doesn't overplay him, im not sold on Johnson being the season he bounces back but more of the other factors.

2. Not sold on Johnson like I said, doubt he could be as bad as people complained he would be but I hope he turns out alright and worth the money. I think the combination of money and term is a problem because they both gave him a decent aav and a longer term deal, rather than giving him a short prove it deal or giving up a lower risk 2million a year that it doesn't matter if the term is long you can deal with it.

3. It is between this and the bouncebacks from letang/murray/Johnson that I am most worried about. If one player gets hurt ruhwedel is starting, if two get hurt I honestly have no idea who is starting.

4. This is a good problem to have but will be interesting how they handle it, they signed so many depth guys over the offseason that somebody will get sent down, hayes or ZAR are the only ones that are on two way contracts. They could have a full second 4th line and it would look like an actual 4th line, we will see who makes their real 4th line and who goes to the pressbox and who goes to the AHL. I wouldn't be surprised if there is some type of rotation, especially with Cullen/grant/simon type of guys.

5. The only one that is basically guaranteed a starting spot imo is sprong(at one of the top 3 RW spots) unless he proves otherwise. ZAR if he makes the team I feel should start on the third line, but he can be sent down while some others cant. Simon I feel should be an extra. The other guys who were in WBS last year should stay there and only be used if quite a few people falter due to the amount of NHL depth. grant/hayes/Cullen/ZAR should get priority over other young guys, so if somebody else does play in the NHL it will be a bad sign cause it would most likely be to injury or possibly ineffectiveness.

6. there is a good chance that they do make a move for a LW during the season, but I don't think its that desperate of a need, there isn't a lot of proven guys there, especially offensively but behind guentzel you still have hagelin, ZAR if they start the year with him up, Cullen has proven to be good at LW, they might try brassard at LW, rust can move over to LW if needed(I prefer him on RW but hayes or somebody can fill in for him over there if he actually has to move over), simon, and I saw on capfriendly somebody had grant playing LW(but I didn't know if he actually played it in the past or not). So they have plenty of options for especially 3rd and 4th line, the only worry here is if guentzel and hagelin get injured.

7. while on paper the team didn't improve much from the end of last season since it was mostly depth signing they are still improved from the start of last season(brassard and Sheahan in). They also improved from the end of last season in reality because guys should be healthy and rested. Even ignoring the fatigue from the previous two years you had injuries to a lot of the would be important depth scorers. Beyond that go back to number 1, lots of room for improvement just by a few guys having bounce back years.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby FLPensFan on Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:35 am

I took a look this morning......defense is going to be an issue for the Penguins. There really aren't many UFA depth defensemen that are going to be available next summer as rentals. You have either solid top 4 guys (Karlsson, Myers, Bouwmeester, Edler, Chara, Methot, Stralman, Gardiner) or really meh 6/7 type guys. A lot of those top guys will be resigned before the deadline, or will be on teams that are competing for playoff spots and won't want to be moved.

Early "best choices" I can see in terms of UFA defensemen to add at the deadline: Lovejoy, Gunnarsson, Petrovic, Prosser....even a few of those are a stretch. :thumbdown:
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby Daniel on Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:59 am

FLPensFan wrote:I took a look this morning......defense is going to be an issue for the Penguins. There really aren't many UFA depth defensemen that are going to be available next summer as rentals. You have either solid top 4 guys (Karlsson, Myers, Bouwmeester, Edler, Chara, Methot, Stralman, Gardiner) or really meh 6/7 type guys. A lot of those top guys will be resigned before the deadline, or will be on teams that are competing for playoff spots and won't want to be moved.

Early "best choices" I can see in terms of UFA defensemen to add at the deadline: Lovejoy, Gunnarsson, Petrovic, Prosser....even a few of those are a stretch. :thumbdown:


I don't share your concern with the defense, not that I think the depth is great mind you. The Pens have 6 top 4 (and better) and 1-2 guys who can fill in as bottom pairing guys for a short term and I think Ruhwedel can perform okay for a longer period. I think he'd be a number 6 on quite a few NHL teams, probably including some playoff contenders.

How many teams can lose 2 guys for a long period and have enough depth to cover it? I'd put the Pens defense depth 1-7 against any teams and what team goes 1-8 in quality depth?
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby FLPensFan on Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:10 pm

Daniel wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:I took a look this morning......defense is going to be an issue for the Penguins. There really aren't many UFA depth defensemen that are going to be available next summer as rentals. You have either solid top 4 guys (Karlsson, Myers, Bouwmeester, Edler, Chara, Methot, Stralman, Gardiner) or really meh 6/7 type guys. A lot of those top guys will be resigned before the deadline, or will be on teams that are competing for playoff spots and won't want to be moved.

Early "best choices" I can see in terms of UFA defensemen to add at the deadline: Lovejoy, Gunnarsson, Petrovic, Prosser....even a few of those are a stretch. :thumbdown:


I don't share your concern with the defense, not that I think the depth is great mind you. The Pens have 6 top 4 (and better) and 1-2 guys who can fill in as bottom pairing guys for a short term and I think Ruhwedel can perform okay for a longer period. I think he'd be a number 6 on quite a few NHL teams, probably including some playoff contenders.

How many teams can lose 2 guys for a long period and have enough depth to cover it? I'd put the Pens defense depth 1-7 against any teams and what team goes 1-8 in quality depth?

You lose one defenseman to injury. Ruhwedel steps in. Who are you calling up? It's probably going to be a Trotman or Czuczman type. I think Ruhwedel has shown he is a good 7th guy, and can play for a good 40-50 games a season, and a handful of playoff games. Trotman, Czuczman, Summers......right now, I'd say they are good for about 5-10 games before they are exposed for the high level AHL defenders that they are. Beyond those 3 experienced guys, I have no clue who would be the next callup. Haven't seen enough from Prow, Taylor played more in ECHL than AHL, Riikola is a complete unknown.

It's a concern because the Penguins had a relatively light injury history with the defense last year. Yes, guys were injured, but there wasn't a huge run of guys injured all at the same time like a few years ago. The Penguins are due for some beat up defense.

Definitely not standing on the ledge of a bridge ready to jump over it, but it is going to be an area to watch as the season unfolds. If the Penguins are going to move a Kessel or Letang in the next year or so, I'd like to see them acquire a young, under 25 top 4 defenseman in any of those deals. Whether it is an 18-19 year old recently drafted kid who is a solid top 4 guy and maybe only a year away, or young 22-24 year old that is already a top 4 guy on the current team.

The league is getting younger, especially on defense. Other than Addison, the Penguins don't have a lot of high end defensive talent in the pipeline.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby Hatrick on Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:17 pm

Daniel wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:I took a look this morning......defense is going to be an issue for the Penguins. There really aren't many UFA depth defensemen that are going to be available next summer as rentals. You have either solid top 4 guys (Karlsson, Myers, Bouwmeester, Edler, Chara, Methot, Stralman, Gardiner) or really meh 6/7 type guys. A lot of those top guys will be resigned before the deadline, or will be on teams that are competing for playoff spots and won't want to be moved.

Early "best choices" I can see in terms of UFA defensemen to add at the deadline: Lovejoy, Gunnarsson, Petrovic, Prosser....even a few of those are a stretch. :thumbdown:


I don't share your concern with the defense, not that I think the depth is great mind you. The Pens have 6 top 4 (and better) and 1-2 guys who can fill in as bottom pairing guys for a short term and I think Ruhwedel can perform okay for a longer period. I think he'd be a number 6 on quite a few NHL teams, probably including some playoff contenders.

How many teams can lose 2 guys for a long period and have enough depth to cover it? I'd put the Pens defense depth 1-7 against any teams and what team goes 1-8 in quality depth?

not many got 1-8 in quality depth but some at least have guys who at least can sometimes fill in at 8th, we don't know if the penguins even have that in the 8th spot in the depth chart, of course that isn't something you worry about that badly since it isn't a common need.

As for the 6 top 4 dman, Johnson definitely doesn't qualify as that until proven otherwise, a few of the other guys I guess you can argue are top 4 quality but can also argue that they aren't. I could see ruhwedel being a number 6 on some teams but not a ton of playoff ones, the leafs are the only one off the top of my head with worse defensive depth but there are probably a couple more.

While the depth isn't a huge worry, it is one of the weaknesses people can point to, because the team is very solid otherwise.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby Hatrick on Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:22 pm

FLPensFan wrote:
Daniel wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:I took a look this morning......defense is going to be an issue for the Penguins. There really aren't many UFA depth defensemen that are going to be available next summer as rentals. You have either solid top 4 guys (Karlsson, Myers, Bouwmeester, Edler, Chara, Methot, Stralman, Gardiner) or really meh 6/7 type guys. A lot of those top guys will be resigned before the deadline, or will be on teams that are competing for playoff spots and won't want to be moved.

Early "best choices" I can see in terms of UFA defensemen to add at the deadline: Lovejoy, Gunnarsson, Petrovic, Prosser....even a few of those are a stretch. :thumbdown:


I don't share your concern with the defense, not that I think the depth is great mind you. The Pens have 6 top 4 (and better) and 1-2 guys who can fill in as bottom pairing guys for a short term and I think Ruhwedel can perform okay for a longer period. I think he'd be a number 6 on quite a few NHL teams, probably including some playoff contenders.

How many teams can lose 2 guys for a long period and have enough depth to cover it? I'd put the Pens defense depth 1-7 against any teams and what team goes 1-8 in quality depth?

You lose one defenseman to injury. Ruhwedel steps in. Who are you calling up? It's probably going to be a Trotman or Czuczman type. I think Ruhwedel has shown he is a good 7th guy, and can play for a good 40-50 games a season, and a handful of playoff games. Trotman, Czuczman, Summers......right now, I'd say they are good for about 5-10 games before they are exposed for the high level AHL defenders that they are. Beyond those 3 experienced guys, I have no clue who would be the next callup. Haven't seen enough from Prow, Taylor played more in ECHL than AHL, Riikola is a complete unknown.

It's a concern because the Penguins had a relatively light injury history with the defense last year. Yes, guys were injured, but there wasn't a huge run of guys injured all at the same time like a few years ago. The Penguins are due for some beat up defense.

Definitely not standing on the ledge of a bridge ready to jump over it, but it is going to be an area to watch as the season unfolds. If the Penguins are going to move a Kessel or Letang in the next year or so, I'd like to see them acquire a young, under 25 top 4 defenseman in any of those deals. Whether it is an 18-19 year old recently drafted kid who is a solid top 4 guy and maybe only a year away, or young 22-24 year old that is already a top 4 guy on the current team.

The league is getting younger, especially on defense. Other than Addison, the Penguins don't have a lot of high end defensive talent in the pipeline.

I wouldn't say they are due, what happened several years ago is a once in a long time type of thing, that is the outlier not the norm.

IF they do move letang or kessel that would be an ideal target since that is definitely the need based on the system.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby Daniel on Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:18 pm

FLPensFan wrote:
Daniel wrote:
FLPensFan wrote:I took a look this morning......defense is going to be an issue for the Penguins. There really aren't many UFA depth defensemen that are going to be available next summer as rentals. You have either solid top 4 guys (Karlsson, Myers, Bouwmeester, Edler, Chara, Methot, Stralman, Gardiner) or really meh 6/7 type guys. A lot of those top guys will be resigned before the deadline, or will be on teams that are competing for playoff spots and won't want to be moved.

Early "best choices" I can see in terms of UFA defensemen to add at the deadline: Lovejoy, Gunnarsson, Petrovic, Prosser....even a few of those are a stretch. :thumbdown:


I don't share your concern with the defense, not that I think the depth is great mind you. The Pens have 6 top 4 (and better) and 1-2 guys who can fill in as bottom pairing guys for a short term and I think Ruhwedel can perform okay for a longer period. I think he'd be a number 6 on quite a few NHL teams, probably including some playoff contenders.

How many teams can lose 2 guys for a long period and have enough depth to cover it? I'd put the Pens defense depth 1-7 against any teams and what team goes 1-8 in quality depth?

You lose one defenseman to injury. Ruhwedel steps in. Who are you calling up? It's probably going to be a Trotman or Czuczman type. I think Ruhwedel has shown he is a good 7th guy, and can play for a good 40-50 games a season, and a handful of playoff games. Trotman, Czuczman, Summers......right now, I'd say they are good for about 5-10 games before they are exposed for the high level AHL defenders that they are. Beyond those 3 experienced guys, I have no clue who would be the next callup. Haven't seen enough from Prow, Taylor played more in ECHL than AHL, Riikola is a complete unknown.

It's a concern because the Penguins had a relatively light injury history with the defense last year. Yes, guys were injured, but there wasn't a huge run of guys injured all at the same time like a few years ago. The Penguins are due for some beat up defense.

Definitely not standing on the ledge of a bridge ready to jump over it, but it is going to be an area to watch as the season unfolds. If the Penguins are going to move a Kessel or Letang in the next year or so, I'd like to see them acquire a young, under 25 top 4 defenseman in any of those deals. Whether it is an 18-19 year old recently drafted kid who is a solid top 4 guy and maybe only a year away, or young 22-24 year old that is already a top 4 guy on the current team.

The league is getting younger, especially on defense. Other than Addison, the Penguins don't have a lot of high end defensive talent in the pipeline.


Honestly, I don't care who they bring up as a number 8 since if they're playing more than a handful of games the Pens are in trouble no matter what. Teams generally don't keep NHL caliber #8 defensemen in their organization and there is only so much depth a team can have. If someone gets hurt, the Pens can trade from their forward surplus for a defenseman and it wouldn't need to be a huge trade, which will make it easier to accomplish.

I think organizational speaking, the Pens had so much youth come up over the past few years (including Maatta/Dumoullin) that they simply need to wait for the kids to develop. The defensemen that will make any kind of impact are 18-19 years old (Lauzon/Addison) and should be ready when the Pens need them.

I agree that the Pens absolutely have to get under 25 F and D when they trade Letang and Kessel.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby Pitts on Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:09 am

FLPensFan wrote:
Spoiler:
Here's a look at my top 7 questions/issues heading into training camp in September (yes, it's about 45 days away but I'm bored):

1. Rebound years

- Top of the list....the Penguins desperately need both Kris Letang and Matt Murray to have improved play this season. Rutherford has taken some steps to help Letang in bringing in Jack Johnson. A full offseason of training without a looming serious injury should help, as should trying to limit some of his minutes. But, I have to wonder....Letang seemed to finally do well at avoiding those big hits he's taken over the years. Has he altered his game to the point that he isn't as effective? Matt Murray will not have the luxury of a veteran behind him should he slump again this season. A lot is riding on him being healthy, and getting his numbers back to what they were the previous two seasons. I don't want Murray playing in 60 games, but I do want him to be AVAILABLE to play in 60 games. Better numbers and no injuries would be huge for Murray.

2. Jack Johnson

- Which Jack Johnson will the Penguins get....the one the analytics community is crapping the bed over, or the player guys like Rutherford, Sullivan, and Gonchar think can come in and shine. Money isn't a question, but the term is definitely a risk. He is the Penguins biggest offseason addition. Hopefully, he works out as management planned, and doesn't become Matt Hunwick 2.0. Big gamble when the team swung and missed badly on Hunwick the prior season.

3. Defensive depth

- Quick, name me the top 3 defensive prospects that could see time at the NHL level this year due to injuries? Yeah, I can't either. Some raved about Jeff Taylor and how close he was to being a solid, bottom pair NHL player. He spent his first professional season playing the majority of his games for the Nailers, not WBS. I've heard Dane Birks mentioned....he's played 1 professional game for WBS. Niclas Almari has 3 games under his belt. Ethan Prow is probably the only guy that has stuck around that MIGHT see a look. Everyone else in WBS is a journeymen type career AHL player: Summers, Trotman, Czuczman, Elliott. Defensive depth is very, very thin right now behind Chad Ruhwedel.

4. Abundance of forwards

- Penguins have a lot of forwards between guys that they have signed, and guys at WBS level pushing for a spot. This will be an interesting element to follow, especially after adding an older Cullen, a never meeting expectations Hayes, and a guy with 1 career year in Grant. I have a fear that bringing Cullen back will work out about as well as bringing back Scuderi did. Cullen wasn't used right last year in MIN. Wasn't a good fit in their system, either.......but there were also signs of a player slowing down at age 42. It's a 1 year deal; he can be buried if needed....but I am tempering my expectations for Cullen. Grant had 1 solid year last year, because Ryan Kesler was injured. He's not going to get that luxury here with 5 centers above him on the depth chart. Can he still be useful? Hayes was a player I liked for several years, dating back to his Panther days....but, he's never done much else since. He has the ability to be a solid 3rd line type guy, but he has to be given a chance.....and I don't see that unless there are injuries here.


5. Give youth a chance

- Sprong should have a spot in the lineup, anywhere but 4th line. ZAR should have a spot in the lineup, and could really be used anywhere on the LW.....and I've seen some RW projections for him too. Simon, well, he seems to be liked by the organization, even though Sprong/ZAR, and others, seem to have more upside. What about Teddy Blueger? GMJR talks him up as close to NHL ready, but then goes out and gets 2 older centers at the NHL level, essentially blocking his path. Thomas DiPauli had been talked up over his speed and defense....a Rust type of player, but the depth above him will likely keep him out of the NHL this year. Adam Johnson hasn't been talked about much, but he had a decent year at WBS. But he's got 6-7 centers above him. And finally, what about Jordy Bellerive. The guy ripped up training camp last year, then went on to have an incredible season in Lethbridge. What do you do if Bellerive comes into camp and continues to light it up? Because he is a Juniors or NHL player....can't go to WBS. When the easy option is to just send most of these guys back to WBS/Juniors, even if they outplay the competition, it makes it tough to crack the lineup.


6. LW depth

- The Penguins LW depth was not good last year. The Penguins traded Conor Sheary this summer. The Penguins did not address LW after trading Sheary. If it was a weakness last year, its a black hole this year. Quite simply, can you expect any semblance of production from the position if Jake Guentzel gets injured? I'll be shocked if there isn't a LW acquisition at or ahead of the trade deadline this year.
7. Did they improve enough

- The Cup hangover/fatigue excuse is gone. Full summers of training all around, but, more importantly......did the Penguins do enough this summer? Washington returns its same team. Tampa brings back its team. Toronto added Tavares. Florida added Hoffman (and rumored to be poking around on Panarin). While the Penguins were a post away from going further with Washington, it's hard to forget that there wasn't much secondary scoring by the team. Did the Penguins do enough to keep pace with the rest of the East?

Thoughts? Comments?

Washington returns the same team, but a completely different coaching staff. I also think they just happened on that once in a life time luck of everyone playing perfectly while the competition did not to make it happen. I see Washington dropping off a bit and no repeat for them. Tampa disgusts me with their talent and team. They will be our biggest hurdle. Florida will be on the rise, but not a true threat. I think Philly will be very improved. They will soon be back to prominence and that ever present thorn in our side. For the Pens, I bank on a renewed Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Letang any day. I expect Brassard to show huge improvement after having a full camp and finally feeling like part of the team. Doumolin, Maatta, Shultz and Johnson will all improve over last season. i see no reason they shouldn't. I still think the Pens have what it takes and agree with you that they will add a top flight LW this year at some point, possibly at the cost of Brassard if Sheahan continues to show improvement.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby no name on Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:11 am

Jack Johnson: I think the question is as simple as can our coaching staff get him to play a simple system game as Ian Cole did for us. No more or no less, I think its that simple.

If JJ wants to change his style and embrace the teachings of Sully, Jaques Martin and Gonchar, he can be even a bit more than Ian Cole was. Its up to him. I hope Rutherford did enough homework on this guy and knows what he is getting.
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Re: FLPensFan 2018-2019 Training Camp Questions

Postby Malkintent on Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:57 am

I don't like making excuses but don't underestimate the significance of Malkin and Kessel playing hurt last spring.
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