Your friend and mine Dave Morehouse, Penguins Team President, announced that our 12 Art Ross and 5 Hart Trophy recipients will be displayed upon new banners which will be revealed at the home opener on Saturday. The existing banners which display our Stanley Cup, President's Trophy, Conference, and Division Titles will be "standardized", which means one style and color scheme. No word on the Michel Briere Blue and White banner - I assume that one is left alone. I'm guessing the banners are going to be really, really big, because they're going to be getting a lot of additions. Speaking of additions, I suggest some kind of board displaying Pittsburgh's obvious lording over our rivals, especially Washington.
I live in San Jose's viewership area, so I catch a lot of Sharks hockey. Obviously they have made some splashes, and find themselves without cap room for 6 4', 235er Kyle McLaren. We should attempt to pick him up should he be placed on re-entry waivers. Why is that? Gonchar.
McLaren has virtually no upside to his offensive abilities, though he has a pretty heavy, low shot. He doesn't have any business being on a PP unit, then again that isn't what we need right now. Gonch was our #1 guy when it came to shutting down the opponent, and now w/o Whitney, we're woefully unable to match against secondary threats. Orpik becomes the #1 guy on this defense now, whoever he plays with, but the drop-off is quite noticeable.
McLaren brings a real sense of malice to the blueline. He stands out because he rocks that yellow visor, but also because he really destroys people. His scouting reports say things like "tends to put himself out of position" trying to go for big hits, but I disagree. He reads developing plays extremely well, and watches the eyes of the poor bastard he's about to send to the locker room. He does this thing where he points at the open man, and when the puck carrier takes that look out at open ice, Kyle closes in fast and explodes through the check. He isn't afraid to brawl, either. I like that in a guy.
So, just imagine getting a slightly bigger, more experienced Brooks Orpik for 1.25M. He's a UFA after this season, so its a high-reward, low risk pickup, much like Satan and Fedotenko. My guess is that the guy brings it; according to a recent interview in The SJ Mercury in which he says he's dedicated to "show 30 NHL GMs they were wrong" in not initially claiming him, unlike Kris Beech, had no trouble reporting to Wrcester, SJ's AHL team to start working towards returning to the NHL. Therrien would love him, and so would we the instant he lays out Scott Gomez.
I'm just generally so happy Hockey is back. This blog is going to be more active now that there will be actual content, so lets drop the disc. Go Pens-