Thursday, June 30, 2011

#jagrwatch - This is starting to get dumb...

A decision within one hour of landing in the US has turned into hours upon hours of stalling by Petr Svoboda and Jaromir Jagr.

Either he's really as indecisive as he seems, or it's a cheap ploy to try to get the Pens to raise their offer, because if money was the only factor, he'd have agreed to go elsewhere by now. Detroit, for instance, has much more money to throw at him.

You have to think that Svoboda is a bit embarrassed every time he talks with Ray Shero... I mean, how can those conversations go?

Svoboda: Hey, Ray! We have nothing new to report, except that Jaromir hasn't made up his mind. Several more teams have stepped up to volunteer more money. Any chance you guys could do the same?

Shero: Hi Petr. No more money is available, but we will provide free soft-serve ice cream after the game in the locker room if it will make Jaromir feel better.

How many times can they go over "options"? How many times can Svoboda tell Jagr what teams are offering?

Svoboda: Jaromir - no more money from Pittsburgh, but they will provide soft-serve.

Jagr: Chocolate, Vanilla or Twist?

Svoboda: Which one do you prefer?

Jagr: I'm not sure - let me think about it. And find out what my options are for the cones.

Svoboda: (sigh)

You'd have to think things like this happened back in the day, but that we all never heard about them because Al Gore hadn't invented the marvel that is the Internet yet.

The worst part about all of this is that even though it's annoying to watch this as a fan of the Pens (and Jagr), I'll still cheer my guts out for him if he signs in Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Penguins re-sign F Aaron Asham

In a sign that they may be moving away from Mike Rupp, the Pens re-signed Aaron Asham to a one-year contract worth $775,000.

This is a solid low cost move for a team that is amazingly low on the grit factor. Asham didn't inspire much during the regular season, but he did step it up during the playoffs. Let's hope he can carry that effort over into October.

The Pens now have 10 forwards under NHL contract with Eric Tangradi and Dustin Jeffrey both possibilities to make the roster.

According to, they have about $5.6 million left under the cap with 20 players signed (if you count Tangradi). The maximum they can carry is 23.

#jagrwatch - No update tonight, per The Pensblog

The guys over at the Pensblog were streaming on uStream when they managed to get Petr Svoboda (Jagr's agent, in case you didn't know) on the phone.

How did they do that, exactly?

They pretended to be Ron Cook from the Post-Gazette.

A little social hacking never hurt anyone, right?

Anyway, Svoboda was unhappy with the call after 9:30 pm at night, but he did state that no news would be forthcoming this evening.

This will be interesting to see what Ray Shero does. He's on the record as saying that the decision would be made today (and so was Svoboda, for that matter).

Seems that this will all stretch into another day.

Pens offer to make Jagr the Two Million Dollar Man

We knew the Pens were in contact with Jaromir Jagr, and that they had likely made him an offer, but a new story from the AP (via Yahoo) this afternoon puts a number on that offer.

The Pens offer is believed to be around $2 million for one year.

That's interesting in that Detroit could likely offer Jagr much more since they have much more room under the cap.

We'll see if he's a Dupuis or if he's a Hossa now.

The decision could come as soon as a few hours from now.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Penguins re-sign Pascal Dupuis

According to IPS, the Pens have Pascal Dupuis locked up for two more years at a cap hit of $1.5 million per season.

This was a great move by Ray Shero. Dupuis can play on any line, kill penalties and put up some points every so often. If he scored 15-20 goals and kills penalties, he'll be worth every penny.

The Pens now have 9 forwards under an NHL contract, with Jeffrey and Tangradi both yet to make the NHL roster (though certainly Jeffrey could at the very least).

That leaves about $6 million to sign 3-4 players (likely all forwards). Depending on who is available and how they play this, one of those guys could be a certain Mr Jagr.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

2011 Round 7 - Penguins Draft F Scott Wilson

The Pens took a player from one of the second-tier junior leagues with their seventh round pick in the draft - forward Scott Wilson from Georgetown in the OJHL.

Scott has put up some decent numbers in the OJHL, but those numbers aren't against top talent (the top talent is in the OHL, WHL or QMJHL). There were only two players drafted from the OJHL this year.

He's a long term project, to be sure.

2011 Round 6 - Penguins draft F Josh Archibald

The Pens went with a US high school player for the third consecutive year in picking Josh Archibald from Minnesota in the sixth round.

Much like Kenneth Agostino and Ben Hanowski before him, Josh will be heading to play college hockey and develop. He had some good numbers in high school.

He'll play at Nebraska-Omaha in the fall.

2011 Round 5 - Penguins draft C Dominik Uher

The Pens shifted their focus to offense with their fifth round selection of center Dominik Uher.

Dominik played in the U18 (and U20) Czech leagues before coming over to play in Canada. He plays for the Spokane Chiefs in the WHL (the same league that first round pick Joe Morrow plays in).

Dominik started slowly as a 16-17 year old in juniors, but started to score a bit more last season, with 21 goals and 60 points in 65 games.

He'll have another year or two to improve in the WHL.

2011 Round 2 - Penguins draft D Scott Harrington

The Pens continued their emphasis on the blue line in the early rounds with the selection of Scott Harrington.

Harrington played for London in the OHL. He's considered a shutdown defensemen (meaning, not much offense) but is a bit small for the role, without the reach you usually see from a shutdown guy (he's 6'0"). He logged some big minutes on the #1 pairing (with Jared Tinordi). He just turned 18 in March, so he'll have another year or two in Juniors before going to the AHL.

Another pick that will hopefully develop down the road and provide some possibilities when the contracts of Letang and Orpik run out a few years down the road.

Friday, June 24, 2011

2011 Round 1 - Penguins Draft D Joe Morrow

The Pens took defenseman Joe Morrow from the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL.

Here's the draft prospect card from

He's an excellent skater, but probably needs some time to fill out. That's not a problem for the Pens, as they have 5 of their top 7 defensemen under contract for the next three seasons, and that's without Simon Despres being in the picture yet (or any of the other guys in the AHL for that matter).

Interesting how Ray Shero and the Pens continue to stock up on the blue line prospects.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dan Bylsma - Jack Adams Award Winner

Congratulations to Dan Bylsma on winning the Jack Adams Award as the top coach in the NHL for the 2010-11 season.

The way the Pens played after losing both Sid and Geno is a testament to the system put in place by HCDB as well as the positive attitude that he seems to espouse.

Now let's see if he can get better results when more talent is around for the whole season (hopefully).

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Pen re-sign Craig Adams

The official announcement is here.

Its a two year contract with $675,000 per year. That's a slight raise over the $550,000 he was making last year.

Of all of the free agents on the Pens, you probably would not think that Craig Adams would be the first one to get a deal done. He gets a slight raise and the Pens lock up a key fourth line guy that plays on the PK. The fact that he's right-handed only adds value.

I'm glad he's back for two more years.