Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Jordan Staal arrested

Jordan Staal was arrested, along with his brother Eric (and possibly Marc, though the story doesn't make that clear) on Monday night. They were charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process. Jordan was also cited for underage drinking.

The intersting thing in this is that their agent, Rick Curran, had this to say:
"It's nothing. It's ridiculously nothing. Eric and Jordan and Marc had gone to bed."
Curran goes on to say that he expects the charges to be dropped or reduced.

While the group had been partying at the Lutsen Resort and Sea Villas, they had been kicked out and were walking along Highway 61, where they decided that "harassing passing motorists" might be a fun thing to do. That's when 14 of them were arrested.

Someone explain to me how "had gone to bed" is equal to arrested while yelling at cars on the highway. Maybe they were arrested later... I dunno...

Anyway, this can't make Ray Shero or Mario Lemieux happy, but hopefully they'll see it for what it was - a rowdy bachelor party.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Pens sign D Alain Nasreddine

Nasreddine has signed a two-way contract. With the off-season acquisition of Sydor and the likely arrival of Letang, Nasreddine is probably going to be in Wilkes-Barre again.

Pens sign G Ty Conklin

The Pens have signed Ty Conklin to a two way contract, worth $500,000 if he plays in the NHL and $100,000 if he plays in Wilkes-Barre.

Why is the contract status significant? Because Dany Sabourin has a one way contract, paying him just over $1 million, no matter where he plays. That means that Ty is just depth, and he'll likely play in Wilkes-Barre.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Crosby signs contract extension

Sid signed a 5 year contract extension with the Penguins today. It goes into effect in the 2008-2009 season. The Post-Gazette breaks it down like this:

08-09 - $9 million ($5 million of which is a signing bonus)
09-10 - $9 million
10-11 - $9 million
11-12 - $9 million
12-13 - $7.5 million

In signing the contract, Sid is not earning the maximum, which is currently just over $10 million per season. It's a small way of showing the winning is more important to him than the extra $1 million per year. In fairness, he does have several other revenue streams that make a statement like that a little easier to make. It is refreshing, however, to see a player accept less than they're "worth", since all we seem to hear about is how it's not about money, it's about the respect.

The other thing that the Pens are avoiding is someone throwing the max at Sid after next season when he'd be a restricted free agent. Vanek got a huge offer from Edmonton. It would be easy to imagine someone offering Sid whatever he wanted. Good not to have to go through that.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Pens sign G Dany Sabourin

The Pens brought Dany Sabourin back into the fold with a 2 year deal for just over $500,000 per season.

Some are saying that Sabourin will be Fleury's backup. I think that he'll have to battle Nolan Schaefer for the job.

Pens sign RW Petr Sykora

The Pens signed a two year deal with RW Petr Sykora.

Petr is a speedy winger that will fit nicely on one of the top two lines. Supposedly he's a bit suspect in his own end, but you have to think that Therrien will be able to work that tendency out of him.

He's only 30, so if he fits well into the system here, you could see him as a complimentary part for years to come, as long as his speed holds up.

Upgrade over Michel Ouellet? Heck yeah!

Pens sign D Darryl Sydor

The Pens signed defenseman Darryl Sydor to a two year contract for $5 million.

Sydor used to be terrific. He's bounced around a few times in the last few years, from Dallas to Columbus to Tampa and back to Dallas. He doesn't shoot the puck as much as he used to and he's 35, but for the price the Pens paid, he's a good addition. Look for Darryl on the second power play unit. That's an upgrade over Scuderi and Orpik.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tampa Bay signs Michel Ouellet

The Lightning have signed Michel Ouellet to a two-year contract. Listen to what Tampa GM Jay Feaster says about him (from the Lightning web site):
"Michel Ouellet is a goal scorer and has been throughout every level of his career. He is extremely effective on the power play and he has a knack for burying his chances in the offensive zone. We feel his game is best suited to playing in a top-two line role and he will get that opportunity in Tampa. The fact he played junior hockey with Brad Richards in Rimouski is a real plus, as we believe there will be good chemistry between the two, and he knows how to win. For all of these reasons we feel strongly that Michel is the right fit for our hockey team."
I'll agree that he's a force on the power play, and that he has that offensive knack for burying chances, but a top two line player? In the new NHL? I'm not so sure about that. I hope he does well, but I think the Lightning will grow weary with the lack of speed and lack of fore checking.

UPDATE: The deal was for $1.2 in year one and $1.3 in year two. That's more than Ray Shero was willing to pay, and reasonably so, I believe. Michel would have been a restricted free agent had the Pens made a qualifying offer to him of only $550,000. I think this was a case of Shero simply not wanting Ouellet.

Pens sign Ryan Whitney to new deal

The Penguins have signed Ryan Whitney to a new 6 year deal, valued at $24 million.

This is great news for the long term stability of the blue line. I think Whitney is a small risk, and this deal looks very good in comparison to the Kimmo Timonen deal doled out by the Flyers. That one was 6 years and $37.3 million. That may not be fair, however, I think most deals will look good in comparison to the contracts the Flyers agreed to with Hartnell and Timonen.