Friday, September 29, 2006

Pens Roster 06

There are 27 players left in camp. The roster size for the NHL is 23 players, and they can dress 20 guys each night.

Here's the current state:

Forwards - 16
---------------
Crosby
Armstrong
Eckman
Malone
Leclair
Recchi
Moore
Ruutu
Roy
Pivko
Staal
Stone
Ouellet
Talbot
Carcillo
Stewart

Defensemen - 8
--------------
Gonchar
Eaton
Whitney
Orpik
Melichar
Scuderi
Welch
Letang

Goalies - 3
-------------
Fleury
Thibault
Sabourin

Injured
-------------
Cairns
Malkin
Petrovicky

I've put in bold the players who are guaranteed to make the roster on opening night. Anyone else is open for discussion, so let's discuss!

The final roster breakdown is likely to be either:
13 forwards - 8 defensemen - 2 goalies
14 forwards - 7 defensemen - 2 goalies

Given that, either two or three forwards have to go to Wilkes Barre, and more will follow once Malkin and Petrovicky return. So, out of the following group, two or three will go:
Pivko
Staal
Stone
Ouellet
Talbot
Carcillo
Stewart

If it were me, I'd send down Carcillo, Stone and Stewart. Staal can play up to 10 games before he either has to be returned to juniors, or stick for the entire season (he can't go to Wilkes-Barre). I'd use him to fill Malkin's spot and see if Jordan is ready for the NHL. After Petro returns, I'd either evaluate Pivko closely, or send down Talbot (much as it pains me to say that).

For defensemen, the Pens can keep 7 or 8. Given Cairn's injury, I can't see Welch not making the team. I would even expect the Pens to give a 10 game tryout to Letang (same rules apply for Kristopher as for Staal) before deciding whether to send him to juniors again. Letang's situation is more precarious, because the Pens either have to sign him, or risk him re-entering the draft next year. He's become quite the prospect in the last year or two, and he seems tailor-made for the new NHL.

On the goalies, I know what Molinari has said, but I can't see anyone but Fleury and Thibault playing here this year. The team badly needs Fleury to become a #1 goalie. The Pens are not likely to be cup contenders this year (heck, they'll struggle to make the playoffs), and they are already considering having two players straight out of juniors on their roster. Why not let Fleury play so he can grow? Goalies are notorious for the time it takes them to mature.

So what do YOU think? Who would YOU keep?

3 comments:

ees said...

I'd really like to see Talbot make the team. He worked hard last year when nobody else would. That alone should be a free ticket onto the team.
I also think making Fleury anything less than the starting goalie would really mess with his head. Just go with him, you can't keep holding him back. I know he hasn't had a strong camp but I still think he should be the #1 goalie.

Will said...

I agree that Talbot should be in there. I like Carcillo and Stones aggressivness but we might have enough of that with Ruutu and the likes. Staal has looked good in the pre-season but still a little wide eyed. I think he'd do well with another year outside the NHL but it would be fun to see what he could do if he could do it.

Looking forward to hearing when Malkin should be back, the Pens are being kind of quite about it.

Pat said...

Yeah, you kind of get the sense that the Pens don't want to hurt ticket sales for the early games, so they're not saying much about Malkin's status... or maybe I'm just too cynical :)