Absolutely, if he needs the whole season to get healthy, you give him the whole season. There is no benefit from rushing him and setting him up for another setback, he is the face of this franchise for the next 12 years or so
Forwards: Craig Adams, Arron Asham, Matt Cooke, Ryan Craig, Sidney Crosby, Brandon DeFazio, Pascal Dupuis, Brian Gibbons, Dustin Jeffrey, Nick Johnson, Tyler Kennedy, Tom Kuhnhackl, Chris Kunitz, Bryan Lerg, Mark Letestu, Steve MacIntyre, Evgeni Malkin, Colin McDonald, James Neal, Richard Park, Nick Petersen, Zach Sill, Jordan Staal, Ben Street, Steve Sullivan, Eric Tangradi, Paul Thompson, Dominik Uher, Keven Veilleux, Joe Vitale, Geoff Walker, Jason Williams
Defensemen: Robert Bortuzzo, Simon Despres Deryk Engelland, Alex Grant, Scott Harrington, Kris Letang, Ben Lovejoy, Paul Martin, Zbynek Michalek, Joey Mormina, Joe Morrow, Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, Alexandre Picard, Philip Samuelsson, Carl Sneep, Brian Strait, Boris Valabik
Goaltenders: Marc-Andre Fleury, Brent Johnson, Patrick Killeen, Scott Munroe, Brad Thiessen
Anyone paying much attention to these preseason games? I watch a little but of them but I find it difficult to get into watching a bunch of Penguins I don't know play. I have the same problem with the NFL preseason and MLB Spring Training.
I usually watch at least a period of them. Overall, I could care less except for a few things:
How Malkin and other injured players return
How prospects play against other NHLers
What players are battling for a roster spot
Other than that, I find them difficult to really enjoy as well. I'm glad hockey is back and nice to see Malkin flying around again but watching half a team of people that won't be playing for us doesn't really hold my attention
Kinds of go along with what I posted Bylsma said the lines looked like before the preseason. He had Neal at RW then too. I'm not sure what pairing I like more. I definitely like would prefer Kunitz on the first line over Sullivan but I also want to see Kunitz with Staal and Kennedy I think that will be a good line for the Penguins.
I have a feeling Kunitz will be on the top line but I agree, Kunitz with Staal and Kennedy would probably be better. While Neal has more of a scoring touch, both he and Kunitz play a physical game and Kunitz could open things up for Staal and Kennedy
Can't say I'm surprised about Tangradi being demoted. He still has things to work on and with the amount of players Shero brought in this year, his 2-way contract made it easy.
On a side note, I wonder if we hold on to Thiessen this season or trade him at the deadline? He had a monster year in the AHL last season and looked good in the preseason but Fleury is obviously ahead of him and Johnson could probably play a few more years. That being said, I believe Johnson is in his last year of his contract so maybe Thiessen becomes the backup after?
Thiessen was reportedly seeking a two year contract this off-season with the second year being a one way deal. He didn't get it and settled on a one year deal. Johnson is indeed in his last season and Thiessen will be 26 at the end of the year meaning the Penguins have one more season of control before he reaches UFA status. So with Thiessen pushing for an NHL contract and control of him almost being up a decision will be needed this year. I'm thinking the Penguins will let Johnson walk and give him a chance to be the backup in 2012.
As for the rest of the list really no surprises there, I thought Johnson may hang around a little longer but seeing him go is no big surprise he would have been cut sooner or later. I don't see any of the prospect defensemen cracking the top 7 so basically there are two forward spots left. Should be interesting to see who gets them.
Those were my thoughts with Thiessen as well. While I really like Johnson for his love of Led Zeppelin and fighting DiPietro, I think Thiessen could be a very solid backup and could spell Fleury when he needed it.
I agree that a prospect defenseman will most likely not get a roster spot but I would really like to see what Despres or Bortuzzo could bring. Maybe I'm alone in this but I can't stand Niskanen. In my eyes, he brings nothing: offense, shutdown defense, physicality, veteran prsesnce, nothing.
I'm not a big Niskanen fan either nor am I particularly a fan of Lovejoy. As for the rest I like all of them but I think the 5 million per season for Martin is going to become an albatross. His play is good but with all the young defensemen in the system I think they would be best served trying to move him.