Thursday, June 21, 2007

Stanley's Upcoming Trip to Cole Harbour

Okay Sidney fans, the draft starts tomorrow, and the Penguins don't make an appearance until the 20th pick!!! What a difference a year makes, no? First up on the shopping list should be a right handed defenseman. The Pens' defensive roster has nine southpaws - a couple more righties would come in very handy. I know - they've got Kris Letang and Jonathan D'Aversa, but those two may end up spending most of their time in Wilkes-Barre. But then again, there was a time when a lot of people thought Jordan Staal should have been sent back to Peterborough...

Let's get to the news. First up: there doesn't appear to be an instant superstar like Sir Sidney in this year's draft, and Dave Molinari of the
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette found out that Jay Heinbuck doesn't exactly have lofty expectations for the type of player that the Penguins can get this year. wouldn't matter much to the Penguins because, after selecting first or second in four consecutive drafts, they won't choose until 20th this time. Even in years when the quality and depth of the talent available border on legendary, the superstars-in-waiting aren't stacked 20-deep.

No matter, though. The Penguins, after all, already have a stable of rarefied young talent and having the No. 20 pick hardly dooms them to getting a guy who will be manning a drive-through window before the decade is over. Consider that in recent years, Alexander Frolov of Los Angeles, Buffalo's Daniel Paille, Travis Zajac of New Jersey and Minnesota's Brent Burns are among the players who have gone 20th overall.

"There are a lot of guys [selected] at 20 who are playing in the league," said Jay Heinbuck, the Penguins' director of amateur scouting. "There are a lot of guys who aren't playing, too. We just hope we get one who does."
Well, that's not exactly a pep rally, now is it? Oh well, maybe the Pens will score a couple of good ones with the free agents (say it with me now - Roberts! Roberts!!! ROBERTS!!!!!!).

Moving on, the NHL Board of Governors has
changed some of the rules for next season. None of the changes are particularly earth shattering.

And finally, since this is Sidney Crosby's show, I figured I should include a little something about him in this post. ;) I found this article from detailing Sid's plans for the big day when Joe DiPenta brings Lord Stanley's cup to Cole Harbour:
He says he's not upset that he won't be the first player from his Nova Scotia community to return home with the Stanley Cup. Anaheim defenceman Joe DiPenta will get first crack at that now that the Ducks are NHL champions. He'll get his day with the Cup. Arrangements haven't been finalized.

"I don't think I'll be around when the Cup is around," said Crosby. "I'll stay away while that's going on. But it's great for him, and it's great for the kids there. A lot of kids, hopefully, will get the opportunity to see it up close."

Good for DiPenta, Crosby added. "I'm sure there are a lot of people there who coached him or helped him get to where he is," said Crosby. "It's a great way for him to come back and say thanks."
Something tells me if the kids miss seeing hockey's Holy Grail when it visits Cole Habour this year, they'll have more than a few opportunities to see it in the coming years. :)

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