The Mike Johnston Watch has officially restarted. Indeed, in the wake of Saturday’s dismal 4-0 drubbing at the hands of New Jersey—one of the worst inflicted on a Penguins team in years—MJ may want to dust off his resume. Or deny any association with the team.
Talk about lifeless. The Penguins could’ve saved ownership some bucks by seeking a [...]
From the moment he first skated onto an NHL rink as a callow 19-year-old, Marc-Andre Fleury flashed the extraordinary flexibility and cat-like reflexes that had pro scouts drooling. Attributes that encouraged then-Penguins GM Craig Patrick—seeking a franchise goalie—to trade up in the 2003 Entry Draft to take the Cape Breton marvel No. 1 over [...]
To everything there is a season.
While it may seem odd to open a blog post with a Bible verse (Ecclesiastes 3:1), it is appropriate. Everything in our world runs in cycles. The four seasons, for example. Winter, spring, summer, and fall. A time to plant and a time to harvest.
The same holds true for hockey teams. They run in cycles, too. Ther [...]
“We want to be a team that’s tough to play against.”
Remember when former GM Ray Shero uttered those words? Shortly after he took over the reins from Craig Patrick in the summer of 2006? It seems like a lifetime ago.
Shero backed up his words by building a team that could physically compete. Guys like Matt Cooke, Ryan Malone, Brooks Orpik, Ga [...]
A while back I read an article that downplayed the importance of building through the Entry Draft.
I beg to differ. Developing young talent is the life blood of any hockey team. Fail to do so, and eventually your team will collapse like a house of cards.
Ever since the Penguins won the Cup in 2009, they’ve used draft picks as fodder to trade [...]
It’s been a topsy-turvy season in Penguin-land. For starters, there’s a new coach and GM. Not to mention tons of personnel changes and the usual spate of injuries and illnesses to contend with. Even team captain and reigning Art Ross and Hart Trophy winner Sidney Crosby hasn’t been immune, enduring an uncharacteristically epic scoring drought [...]
Two seasons ago Ray Shero won the NHL’s General Manager of the Year Award. Back then the Penguins’ mantra was “In Ray We Trust.” A confidence well-earned…until chronic playoff failures, salary-cap issues, and an uninspired season at the helm cost him his job.
Could Shero’s successor win the award this year? Given the fact that the Pens may f [...]
Noted philosopher and poet George Santayana once wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
There’s another famous quote, one uttered by hockey legend Conn Smythe. “If you can’t beat ‘em in the alley, you can’t beat ‘em on the ice.”
Don’t count the black and gold among the teams that subscribe to Smythe’s time-hon [...]
Daniel Carcillo’s career has come full circle. When the two-time NHL penalty king signed a tryout contact with the Penguins on September 4, he returned to the organization that drafted him over a decade ago.
“He’s played with a lot of different teams,” Penguins GM Jim Rutherford said. “You wonder why that is. But at the same time, when [...]
In the wake of Ray Shero’s dismissal in May, Penguins owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle repeatedly stressed the need to add more grit and character to their hockey team.
On the first day of free agency new GM Jim Rutherford devised a novel approach for addressing that need. He let the Pens’ grit-and-character guys bolt.
In a mass depa [...]