Friday, October 5, 2007

Pens Name Alternate Captains

The Pens announced the alternate captains today, and none came as a surprise. Recchi and Gonchar will continue to wear the letter on their shoulder, while the venerable Gary Roberts now carries the third on his uniform.

It is hard to disagree with these choices at all. Recchi and Roberts have three cups between them and have seen as many playoff games than some of the younger players have regular season games. Gonchar has also been to a cup finals in '96 with the Capitals (remember that unforgettable easy win by the Red Wings in four games?) So the plethora of experience is quite obvious. Add in Petr Sykora and Darryl Sydor who have two cups each, the experience on the team gets even greater, and with the young players going through their trial by fire last year a playoff appearance this year should look much better.

Interesting to note that that Roberts (41), Recchi (39) and Gonchar (33) are three of the four oldest players on the team, Sydor (35) being the last.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Pens Finalize Roster

The Pens Finalized their Roster on Tuesday and there were really no surprises. Kris Letang, who had a disappointing preseason, was sent to the minors along with Ryan Stone, Jonathan Filewich who both failed to show they were NHL ready. This cleared the way for Adam Hall who had an impressive preseason on a try out contract, earned himself a one year, two way deal that will pay him $525k in the NHL and $100k in the AHL, though he too would have to pass through waivers to be demoted. Mike Weaver, signed in the off season, was claimed by the Vancouver Canucks off waivers.
The final roster stands as this:

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Erik Christensen, Maxim Talbot

Right Wing:
Petr Sykora, Mark Recchi, Colby Armstrong, Georges Laraque, Adam Hall

Left Wing:
Jordan Staal (just moved from center), Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts, Jarkko Ruutu

Sergei Gonchar, Ryan Whitney, Brooks Orpik, Mark Eaton, Darryl Sydor, Rob Scuderi, Alain Nassreddine

Marc-Andre Fleury
Dany Sabourin

Replacing Michel Ouellet and Josef Melichar with Petr Sykora and Darryl Sydor are both large upgrades, even though neither are top tier guys. Plus anytime you can rid yourself of your two worst players and add too effective one in their place is always a bonus.

The only area that got weaker was goaltending, as Sabourin still only has 14 NHL games under his belt, and the cushion that Jocelyn Thibault, now with Buffalo provided was much greater. He also provided veteran experience to help Fleury, something Sabourin cannot. I am going to be weary every time Sabourin is in the net as I do not think he has proven himself yet.