Monday, June 16, 2008

More Geno & Hossa Rumors

I hope all the dads reading TSCS had a great Father's Day! My sister and I took my dad to see The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (confidential to the ladies → Ben Barnes alone makes it worth the price of the ticket. YOW-ZAH!!!), and then the 3 of us headed back to his house to join my mom for dinner. Since I seemed to have missed a lot while I was hanging out with my family yesterday, I'll try to get caught up:

Another day, another set of rumors! Friend of The Show Daily Su sent me this article from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that, in short, makes the case that, maybe not this year, but eventually Evgeni Malkin will be leaving Pittsburgh. (A lot of you were discussing it in the last post's comments section yesterday.)
Though the two [Crosby and Malkin] appear to get along just fine, nobody can predict the dynamic over time when two elite-level players share the same locker room. This is especially true in hockey and basketball, where only five players (not including a goalie in hockey) share the playing surface at once.

Sometimes it works, as in the case of Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg for several years in Colorado, or Gretzky and Messier with the dynastic Edmonton Oilers, or even Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemieux of the mid-1990's.

Other times -- think Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O'Neal or Lemieux-Jagr after Lemieux's return from retirement -- the mixture implodes.

Every superstar athlete has an ego. If you're that good, you probably want to be regarded as the best, and you definitely want the ball (or puck) at critical moments.
As hard as I looked to find a point I could make that would make this all go away, author Joe Starkey has a point. I don't think circa 1991 anyone would have even entertained the thought that the Mario Lemieux/Jaromir Jagr story would have such an ending, so Starkey is correct in his point that no one - not even Sid or Geno - knows how the two will get along in the future. And another good point Starkey made was that the only reason that Geno is not the Pens' franchise player is because the Pens already have one in our title man. Whether that is something that drives Geno away remains to be seen. Basically all we as fans can do about it is sit back and enjoy the Sid and Geno show as long as we're fortunate enough to have them both.

Then there's the rumor that the Pens are offering a 7-year $50 million deal to Marian Hossa. All you Hossa fans can thank me, haha - over the weekend I bought my husband a Hossa t-shirt because I'm just that confident he'll stay. :P Seriously, though, that would be great to keep Hossa for 7 years, but at $7 million a year + Sid's $8.7 million a year + $7 to $9 million a year likely earmarked for Geno = nearly half the salary cap in 3 guys! This will make it much more difficult to hang on to key players like Ryan Malone and Brooks Orpik, for sure.

But if we've learned anything this season, it's that the Pens have an embarrassment of riches in talent at their disposal on their Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Baby Pens farm team. Recall that more than a few times guys like Connor James and Jeff Taffe were called up to help out when seemingly everybody but Michel Therrien suffered a high ankle sprain, and the Baby Pens had their own championship run for the Calder Cup, although they, too, lost in 6 games. No matter what happens this summer, we aren't going to have a mass exodus of all of our superstars. Ray Shero has shown time and time again that he knows what he's doing, so I guess the point I'm trying to make is that the Pens are going to be a good team for well into the future. Feel free to keep leaving your thoughts (and links!) about in the comments.

I'll end the day with a video sent in by Friend of The Show Pensgirl. It's highly likely our Northern Friends have already seen this on Hockey Night In Canada. But for anyone who hasn't, here's a video of Siddo's pre-game superstition stretching ritual.

Come back tomorrow for information about a TSCS Summer Project with which I will be needing your help... ;)

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