Jonathan Cheechoo is a Very Viable Option for the Penguins – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Blog

Jonathan Cheechoo is a Very Viable Option for the Penguins

A few days ago former 56 goal scorer and Rocket Richard Trophy winner Jonathan Cheechoo was placed on waivers and the Penguins and every other team in the NHL passed on him and his 3 million dollar salary. Cheechoo cleared waivers and joined Ottawa’s AHL minor league team the Binghamton Senators.  The Pittsburgh Penguins have been searching for a sniper for either Crosby or Malkin’s line for an eternity and Cheechoo is the best candidate for the job.

pp0170I like everyone else would like the Penguins to land a top notch rental Marian Hossa type player, but it’s just not going to happen. One, that player is just not out there and two, the Penguins just don’t have the salary cap to do it this year without getting rid of a Gonchar or Kunitz.

Dave Molinary of the Post-Gazette offered that Cheechoo’s salary is too high for the Penguins to consider him.  He also offered that because of his output as of late he wouldn’t very good, and will probably spend the rest of the season in the AHL.  You can read it in his question and answer: Is there a chance the Penguins might sign Jonathan Cheechoo?

I offer this:  Molinary’s statements are just not true.

With the salary cap and the Ottawa Senators bid for the playoffs, they are not stupid enough to leave $3 million dollars in salary cap sitting in the AHL. Most likely they had hoped that Cheechoo would either get picked up off waivers or he would not report to the AHL. Unfortunately for them neither happened. Cheechoo reported to the AHL. While things didn’t start out that well for him last night landing a tripping penalty 50 seconds into the game, he recovered by scoring the first goal for a Binghamton team that didn’t score the night before in a 7-0 loss. He wound up with a goal and an assist and a win.

Cheechoo has been granted the Olympic break off by the NHL and will not have to play for Binghamton again until March if he chooses not to. Most likely he will not play another game for them.

As for his salary, for the Sens to get rid of it, they have 2 options. They can trade him or they can have him re-enter waivers at which point they will be responsible for half his salary, and he most likely will have plenty of suitors at $1.5 million a year for two years. Well worth a shot for a 29 year old sniper. Most likely for the Penguins, Cheechoo will not be available for picking off the waiver wire for that price as the Pens are very close to last in line for pickings according to waiver rules.pp0171

As far a Cheechoo’s output, there are a few factors that led to the lowering of his goal point average. Starting with the Sharks, Cheechoo had a led the NHL with a 56 goal year then a 37 goal year. Not that bad considering all the sudden he was the guy to guard. Then he started having groin and hernia trouble leading to missing over 20 games each of the last two seasons with the Sharks. He had a double hernia surgery in the 2009 off season.

This season for the Senators he was pretty much treated the way Dany Heatley and many other Senators have been treated which led them begging for the door. Not to long after the season started, Cheechoo who just a few years before was the top sniper in the NHL, got minimal ice time (under 12 minutes a game) and never saw the light of day on the starting powerplay. Then he got demoted to 4th line and eventually to the AHL. It is a known fact that the Senators don’t have a clue how to handle players and there is a reason top players on the team beg for a trade every year then blossom elsewhere.

As for the Penguins, they need a right handed sniper on the powerplay.  Billy Guerin is a great 39 year old player, but I’m just not seeing it from him on the failing Penguin powerplay. Keep in mind no one wanted Guerin last year when the Islanders benched him at the end of the season until Shero scooped him up at the last second for a bag of pucks (a fourth round draft pick that ended up being a 3rd round pick because the Pens went to the finals).

When the Penguins landed Hossa a few years ago, Malkin’s 9 million a year salary had yet to kick in. Now landing a proven quality winger will not happen for the price that the Penguins can pay. I’m sorry, it just won’t.  For the Penguins to have a quality linemate for our superstar’s they need to take a chance with either a prospect or a proven player that has fallen on bad times.

Cheechoo’s shooting ability will open up ice for both Crosby and Malkin, and I promise you that being on either of their lines he will score more and play better than Fedotenko, Guerin and Talbot and any of the other Pens that have tried and failed. At his young age of 29 he could be a fixture for years to come as he possibly would be willing to take a lower salary after seeing life at the other end of the spectrum.

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  1. Kelly's Gravatar Kelly
    May 15, 2010 at 12:58 am | Permalink

    As a Sharks fan, I can testify that Jonathan Cheechoo is a clutch player. He annihilated penalty shots for the Sharks last season, and plays well in playoffs. He is a fast player and amazing when used effectively. He also drew numerous penalties for the Sharks in the 08-09 playoffs (which unfortunately the Sharks chose not to capitalize on…) and I would love to see him make a comeback.

    Age has nothing to do with it. Jody Shelley is 34 and not someone you want to get in a fight with

  2. Jean Pronovost's Gravatar Jean Pronovost
    February 27, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    “With the salary cap and the Ottawa Senators bid for the playoffs, they are not stupid enough to leave $3 million dollars in salary cap sitting in the AHL. Most likely they had hoped that Cheechoo would either get picked up off waivers or he would not report to the AHL.”

    Just thought I’d point out that Cheechoo’s $3 million salary does not count against the Sens cap as long as he is in the minors. Yes, they still have to pay him, but his salary does not count against their cap. I wouldn’t take this guy if the Sens offered him up for nothing. Trust me, they’re still laughing their asses off in San Jose that not only were they able to get the Sens to trade them Dany Heatley but that they would take Cheechoo and his bloated salary off their hands too.

  3. DR Hook's Gravatar DR Hook
    February 19, 2010 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    This summer’s FA market of wingers looks pretty bad. It’s made up of most old and over-paid (that means at the minimim… way more than the Pens can afford) players.

    It appears that we will lose about 3 (or more) of our FA’s and the FA’s on the market are in their late 30’s and just about cooked. Kariya, Selanne and Tkachuk (unless their investments have gone sour) aren’t going to hang around and get beat-up especially for peanuts which is all the Pens can afford to pay.

    If anything… I think the Pens should put into the collection basket everything they have at one forward. Get one forward and then fill in the blanks with players like Caputi, Johnson and Jeffery.

    Wasting money and praying for a Jonathan Cheechoo to find whatever he lost or some other reclamation project IMHO isn’t worth the time nor the trouble.

    If this Olympics have shown anything they’ve displayed that a team playing a system can provide solid competition to even the most heralded of teams.

    I think the Pens will have to breakup the “best 3rd line in hockey” as Kennedy is the best winger we have under contract next season. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Malkin and Staal share center duties on a line with Kennedy. It would be a lot better than having 2 of the best centers in the NHL playing with wingers that just can’t convert the scoring chances that they get.

    I am not one of those on the Cheechoo bandwagon.

  4. Boombastic's Gravatar Boombastic
    February 19, 2010 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I thought you were all talking about Julie SheChoo being the next Penguin forward SheChu——she scores.
    Boom– Boom– Boom

  5. RBuckle's Gravatar RBuckle
    February 17, 2010 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    @ kultscater @milore – there are no wingers inthe penguins system right now. 2 say cheechoo is washed up at age 29 and after his injuries which he took care of in the off season and was never been given a chance since is ludicrous.
    why don’t you 2 explain to all of us how exactly the pens are going to get a quality winger without any cap to spare and with the cap possibly going down next year instead of just stupid talk.

      February 17, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Cheechoo makes $3.5 million and doesn’t fit under the cap this year. On top of that the guy just isn’t performing. I’m sure you must have a medical background that allows you to determine he’s healthy unfortunately when you combine that with your business degree it sort of looks like you got your degrees on off the back of a match book cover. We can’t afford him now if he actually was playing good yet he sucks and on top of that you claim the salary cap is going down. Brilliant? Not.
      Unfortunately there aren’t tests to pass before posting here.

      Now to explain how the Penguins are going to get a quality winger……… the only thing I know for sure is that Ray Shero won’t be calling you or you buddy McLovin for help.

    February 17, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Shero is going to be searching for winger each season until someone rises to the top in WB?S and that will happen as long as we have the core players down the middle and as long as the NHL has a salary cap. Cheechoo for whatever reason has lost it and 29 teams feel the same way Ottawa does.

    BTW, I thought eternity is what took place between the trading of Jagr and the drafting of Crosby!

  7. Penguin871's Gravatar Penguin871
    February 16, 2010 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Looks like he can skate to me, this is a goal he had a month ago against the Capitals, one of the few time he got to be on the powerplay.

    • Penguin871's Gravatar Penguin871
      February 16, 2010 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      ooops that didn’t work, here is the link:


      The only reason he got to play on the powerplay was because the game was over – I think he can play, probably is trying to get away from the horribly managed senators

      • Ron Malore's Gravatar Ron Malore
        February 16, 2010 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        LOL. Those horribly managed Senators who had (Mr. Mercenary)Dany Heatly hold them hostage have the same number of points as the Penguins. They got Milan Michalek and a 2nd round pick but were forced to take Cheechoo as Heatley made no secret of his wish to be traded and wouldn’t lift his no trade contract for a deal worked out with Edmonton. Players like Heatly are better off playing where they don’t get the media attention in Canadian cities. All in all, the Senators are surviving pretty good and some might say better than they did with him. Cheechoo once again is finished. He skates like he is in slush.

  8. Ron Malore's Gravatar Ron Malore
    February 16, 2010 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    There’s no chance whatsoever of Cheechoo turning it around. He simply can’t skate anymore.

  9. dekhead33's Gravatar dekhead33
    February 15, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    I agree that should give him a try.

  10. Jesselvis's Gravatar Jesselvis
    February 15, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Toss my hat in as a vote for chechoo – maybe not give anything up for him, but if he’s still available, pluck him from waivers upon re-entry. for 1.5 mil u never know, and he doesn’t sound like a bad guy to take a chance on – only 29 years old? let’s give him another chance.

    • Ron Malore's Gravatar Ron Malore
      February 16, 2010 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Cheechoo would COST the Penguins $854k. Hey, why not, eh—- It’s not your money!

  11. RBuckle's Gravatar RBuckle
    February 15, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Shit, trade Guerin straight up for him and have the Senators pay the difference, I would take him in Guerin’s spot on the powerplay any day. Anyone who can say that last year at this time they would have wanted the benched Guerin over Cheechoo is lying. Throw Cheechoo on Crosby’s line instead and you will see some numbers.

    BTW Cheechoo’s middle name is Earl.

    • Ron Malore's Gravatar Ron Malore
      February 16, 2010 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Cheechoo’s middle name is Falling-star

  12. McLovin's Gravatar McLovin
    February 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    The Senators will not see him on their roster again, there is no way he makes it back through at half price, they will be looking to rid themselves of his salary and are probably taking suitors right now even though they are not allowed to while there is a trade embargo…

    Maybe the Pens should offer up a prospect (maybe Letestu or Jeffrey), a draft pick and offer to pay 2 million of his 3 million salary, that is way more than they would get going back through waivers.

    • Ron Malore's Gravatar Ron Malore
      February 16, 2010 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Sure why not Jeffery a top scorer under 22 years old in the AHL for a nothing. It would make Brian Murray’s day. Do you guys really think Shero is that stupid?

      • McLovin's Gravatar McLovin
        February 16, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        If by top scorer in the AHL you mean tied for 43rd overall with 13 other players for goals scored, I guess you could say that. The guy skates worse than Rick Tochett and he can’t put the puck in the net, that why he got 10 minutes of NHL ice time and they never brought him back up.

        • Ron Malore's Gravatar Ron Malore
          February 16, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

          This is what happens when their are way too many snow days— Jeffrey (I believe)the leading scorer for players under 22 years old. The others are mostly lifer AHL players. That a big difference. So, not only do you look a tad silly thinking Cheechoo fits in here but trading away Jeffrey just adds to it. Just for the record, Jeffery albeit no speed demon he would skate circles around Cheechoo.
          Good GM’s don’t trade prospects for has-beens. Good GM’s send has-beens like Cheechoo down to the AHL while paying the rest of his $3.5 million in salary because they aren’t good enough to cut it in the NHL.

        • McLovin's Gravatar McLovin
          February 16, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

          Your wrong on everything. Tyler Ennis is the number one overall scorer under 22 and Jeffrey isn’t even in the top 10 under 22 goal scorers. If your talking playing time and powerplay time yes he leads the league.
          Unfortunately I beleive you may well fit in Krundles Taco Bell combo platter comment. Maybe if you watched the players like Cheechoo play instead of taking Molinary’s and others opinions who don’t watch as your own you would be better off. Ottawa has traded away more talent over the last few years than most teams have, there is a reason no one wants to stay there.

        • McLovin's Gravatar McLovin
          February 16, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

          If you could let me know also, how soon do you think the Penguins will be in need of this 22 year old left handed CENTER prospect who can’t forecheck? Do you think he’ll be replacing Staal? or Crosby? maybe Malkin? Perhaps you want to use this slow as molasses guy on the fourth line checking line? I’m interested, please let me know.

        • Ron Malore's Gravatar Ron Malore
          February 17, 2010 at 6:03 am | Permalink

          Besides your postings appearing to have been written with a Thesaurus in your holster this all gets down to you thinking Cheechoo has some worth. Plus that he can play on Crosby’s line. You also think that Dustin Jeffery is not worth not much more than a bag of pucks. Since most of us know that Shero could make this move in a NY minute let’s just say that your post sort of plays him out to be a fool for not getting it done.
          As to your SMOKING side comment about me suggesting a Jordan Staal trade I’d don’t recall that but wouldn’t have a problem supporting my thoughts at the time – that is, if I actually posted that. I would also need to know the context of the discussion at the time. I hope you can LINK it, otherwise this could be one of those “Calvin” flights of fantasy wouldn’t it?

      • Ron Malore's Gravatar Ron Malore
        February 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        It’s hard to figure out where to start in a response to you McLovin— Obviously I’m not WRONG WITH ANYTHING ABOUT JEFFREY because all I posted was that “I thought” he was the leading scorer in the AHL for players under 22 years old. As it turns out Brock Trotter of Hamilton just passed him up. And Tyler Ennis also just passed him up. A week ago Jeffery was on top. Anyhow, missing in this is one thing and that’s the point. My point is that Jeffery has more trade value than dumping him for a has been hockey player. Your suggesting that we get the has been Cheechoo and put him on a line with Crosby or Malkin. I’m saying you could probably pick up Cheechoo for future considerations and still keep one of the Penguin’s top prospects who BTW is 13th in scoring not 43rd. But who’s really counting, eh.

        • McLovin's Gravatar McLovin
          February 16, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          Apparently your benignant disposition I referred to above has led to your inability to read that I wrote Jeffrey is tied for 43rd over all in GOAL SCORING with 13 other players. Because Jeffrey has played more games than most of the other players puts him at 51st overall in the league. If we could get a roll of hockey tape for this guy it would be amazing.
          Dave Molinary’s opinion that you read about Cheechoo being washed up goes unambiguously with who knows who’s opinion you misappropriated of the way Ottawa’s team is managed and your entire knowledge of hockey in general. Last year at this time you were saying the Penguins should trade Jordan Staal. For the record, he’s younger than Jeffrey. Keep up your effulgent comments, I’ve been needing a good laugh ever since Bill Watterson stopped his daily strip.

    • Ron Malore's Gravatar Ron Malore
      February 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      As per your second comment which also has very little top do with Cheechoo. Jeffery played well enough to be selected to play for Planet USA in the AHL ALL-STAR game. I never indicated he would be on the Penguins replacing Staal or Crosby or Malkin or on the 4th line as a checker either……… but since you claim to be interested and have asked politly to let you know – I will. Dumping one of your better prospects for a nobody isn’t very intelligent IMHO. Developing an asset can be for future trade material or working into the NHL lineup if someone gets injured. Jeffery has some limitations and Blysma likes him because he’s a North South skater who always keeps his legs moving. He He’s not a great lateral skater and that’s what they are working on with him but he is a good skater with start and stopping skills and can change direction so fast that his skating isn’t a liability (at least not in the AHL). Jeffery is a hard worker and doesn’t shy away from any contact and while he’ll probably never be a great goal scorer he goes for the net plays with his head-up and is one of the gritiest players in WB/S.
      I hope that helps you a little better than just looking at stats.

      • McLovin's Gravatar McLovin
        February 17, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        Wow! Your post suggesting the Penguins trade away Jordan Staal and keep Petr Sykora is almost exactly one year ago. I guess memory and being able to judge a hockey players ability go hand in hand. Throw in your lack of basic Engish skills and my guess is your borderline a Philadelphia fan. Faster than a tick of a clock you have went from amusing to annoying. Good luck with your ignorance, I’m finished trying excercise the minds of the doltish, you are on you own.

        • Ron Malore's Gravatar Ron Malore
          February 19, 2010 at 9:12 am | Permalink

          In other words the 2-hour delay is over and your school bus just arrived. LMAO. I will let Cheechoo’s career from this day on serve as your epitaph.


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