The Penguins 2018-2019 Season Revisited – Pittsburgh Penguins – PenguinPoop Weblog
April 8, 2021
Once I was requested “what would the Penguins appear to be if I had been in cost?”, at first, I didn’t notice how exhausting of a query that will be. Seasons don’t exist discreetly. One season builds upon one other. That’s the reason I began with the 2017-2018 season; on the level I began to query the Teaching and GM choices.
As I wrote final time, nobody can know if the roster I might have put collectively might have received the Cup, the coach was nonetheless the identical and Kris Letang was nonetheless on the staff.
What does that should do with it?
Letang was on the ice for 11 of the 19 Objectives (G) the Washinbton Capitals scored in that fateful playoff sequence. His staff Objectives Towards per 60 minutes (TGA/60) was a bloated 4.27. in Recreation 1, he was on the ice when Evgeny Kustnesov scored 17 seconds into the lean and when Alex Ovechkin scored 28 seconds into the second interval of that match. Our waddling waterfowl finally received that opening recreation, however Letang helped put them behind the eight ball to begin the sequence. I might have cherished to commerce within the coming low season, however I can not think about anybody desirous to tackle his contract after that pathetic show.
As for the Coach, no matter who the GM went out and added to the roster, the Coach, Mike Sullivan displayed and continues to show an aversion to enjoying any gamers with dimension and grit. His flip the opposite cheek and play by it mantra could also be laudable to the pacifists on the market however it solely encourages bullies like Tom Wilson to take liberties with all gamers (the hit on and damage to Zach Aston-Reese actually gave the Capitals momentum), together with the celebrities. He additionally continues to proof a rigidity, holding on to outdated methods and participant mixtures lengthy after opponents adapt to them. Likelihood is our Pittsburgh Penguins fail to repeat beneath any, and all, circumstances.
And that leads me to the primary motion I might have taken as GM following the 2018 playoffs. Through the conventional damage disclosures that comply with a staff’s exit from the playoffs, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford disclosed that Phil Kessel had been enjoying by and damage. Coach Sullivan, within the media, selected to contradict his GM and recommend that Kessel was not likely injured. At that time, I might have had a severe sit down with my Coach that included a corrective motion for insubordination. He would have been informed in no unsure phrases that he could be terminated for trigger ought to he ever strive that once more.
UFAs As soon as once more, in the summertime of 2018, the Penguins had a bunch of Unrestricted Free Brokers (UFAs) and Restricted Free Brokers (RFAs).
Re indicators UFAs; Ian Cole, Frank Corrado, John Cullen, Kevin Czuczman, Jean-Sèbastien Dea, Patric Hornqvist, Tom Kuhnhackl, Greg McKegg, Carter Rowney, Scott Wilson, and Tom Sestito
Due to his age, exhausting model of play, and I had Brian Dumoulin Andrei Markov, and Olli Määttä beneath contract and Andrey Pedan ready within the wings I might not have resigned Cole. Corrado actually added nothing to the staff or to the Wilkes Barre – Scranton Penguins (WBS), so I might not have wasted cash or a contract on him. And I might have let Sestito retire.
I do know I’ll take a number of warmth for this, and I discussed this manner again when, I might have tried to resign Patric Hornqvist, however I by no means would have given him that fats contract. I’m not going to say that the person didn’t earn it. He most actually did. I simply by no means would have given him that lengthy of a contract, nor a No Commerce Clause (NTC). Like Cole, along with his model of play and age, though the staff was almost as deep at Proper Wing (RW), I might by no means have paid that a lot.
Cullen nonetheless had some pace and willingness to play – I might have resigned him. Tom Kuhnhackl is a strong defensive ahead however is a pure RW. Regardless that Sullivan at all times desires to miscast him as a LW, I resign him. Czuczman confirmed some capacity on the AHL stage, so I might have resigned him however for WBS. I in all probability resign Dea for WBS as effectively. I’m not certain if I resign McKegg, Rowney, or Wilson.
RFA’s Anthony Angello, Lukas Bengtsson, Thomas DiPauli, Jamie Oleksiak, Sam Lafferty, Andrey Pedan, Ethan Prow, Bryan Rust, Dominik Simon, Daniel Sprong, Oskar Sundqvist, Zach Trotman
I might have resigned all of the RFAs besides Bengtsson. I favored what little I noticed of Bengtsson however along with his accidents, illness and want to go house, I might not have pushed it. I might have let him go. Nevertheless, identical to Pouliot the 12 months earlier than, Rutherford signed Sprong to a 1-way contract. I might have in all probability signed him to a 2-way contract, if I might, for the flexibleness.
New Signings: Going into Free Agent (FA) season, earlier than the 2018-2019 season my greatest concern would have been at wing. The one high 6 Left Wing (LW) I noticed on the staff was Jake GuentzeI, so would have cherished to signal a LW however James van Riemsdyk signed for $7 Million for five years with the Philadelphia Flyers and David Perron, who solely signed for $4 million, had already failed in Pittsburgh as soon as earlier than. Due to this fact, although I needed a LW, I might not have signed one.
Additionally, as you noticed above, I might not have paid Hornqvist’s value, so I might have regarded for a Proper Wing (RW). With veterans Kessel and Bryan Rust already on my roster and should you keep in mind I did need to give Sprong a shot on the NHL, I might not have tried to signal a much bigger identify. I might, nevertheless, have tried to signal Ryan Reaves. Yep, the exact same Ryan Reaves that I might not have traded for the earlier 12 months, I might have signed in 2018. He was an UFA and since he was not traded to the Vegas Knights the earlier season. He should have been toiling for the St. Louis Blues. He signed a 2-year contract for $2.775 million. I might have gone as much as $3 million to exchange the grit I used to be dropping by letting Hornqvist go.
Since I might have saved Sundqvist, I don’t suppose I might have even signed Derek Grant.
And at last, contemplating that I had the above-mentioned depth amongst my Left-Handed Defensemen (LHD), I might by no means have even thought to signal Jack Johnson.
The Trades: Hagelin for Pearson On November 14, 2018, Carl Hagelin was traded to the Los Angeles Kings for LW Tanner Pearson. Sure, I make that commerce too. Hagelin was not producing anymore, and a shake-up was so as.
Grant for Blandisi On January 14, 2019, Derek Grant was traded for Joseph Blandisi. Since I might not have signed Grant within the first place, this commerce couldn’t have occurred.
Bressard – Sheehan for Bjugstad – McCann On February 1, 2019 Derick Bressard and Riley Sheehan, with the staff’s 2nd and 4th spherical picks within the 2019 draft had been traded to the Florida Panthers for Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann. Identical to the Grant for Blandisi commerce, as you recall from my final submit, since I might not have had Brassard or Sheehan on my roster, this commerce doesn’t happen both. I preserve the draft picks.
Pearson for Gudbranson On February 25, 2019 Pearson was traded to the Vancouver Canucks for Proper-Handed Defenseman (RHD) Erik Gudbranson. After a profitable honeymoon section Pearson cease scoring, identical to the participant that he was traded for and the staff was trying reasonably comfortable, so sure, I make this commerce as effectively.
Letang for anybody? With the Abysmal Playoff efficiency, although I might have cherished to commerce Letang, at this level, I doubt anybody might have discovered a taker.
The Draft Since I might not have traded my 1st spherical Draft choose to the Ottawa Senators for Bressard, I might have been ready so as to add some extra future depth to my staff. The participant I might have taken was Alexander Alexeyev. He’s a 6’-4” 197lb Left Handed Defenseman. The Capitals drafted him with the final choose of the first spherical, so he undoubtedly would have nonetheless been obtainable. I nonetheless would have been capable of seize Calen Addison with my 2nd spherical choose, however I might not have had the prospect to get Filip Hållander with the opposite 2nd spherical choose we had that Draft 12 months.
Due to this fact, the staff I might have taken into the playoffs that 12 months would have regarded like this;
No, I actually don’t like how my LWs look. For some time I might have had Hagelin and Pearson to assist Guentzel, however the LWs I might have been left with to enter the Playoffs would have been underwhelming to say the least. Nevertheless, I might have seen proper then and there that Simon was no reply and would have been capable of transfer on.
To be honest to me, this line up couldn’t have carried out any worse than the one which bought swept by the New York Islanders. A minimum of with Reaves, Gudbranson, Pedan, and Oleksiak nobody would have tried hurting Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, or Guentzel. Moreover, Pedan and Oleksiak can really shoot the puck from the purpose.
Extra importantly I might now have one other first spherical choose in my system to develop.
Now, for many who requested the query “what would this staff appear to be had I been GMing, we’re 1 12 months nearer to the reply.
Odds and Sods
The New Jersey Devils traded Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac to the New York Islanders for his or her 1st spherical choose within the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, A.J. Greer and Mason Jobst. Sure, on paper, it seems just like the Islanders bought some offense to assist them make a Playoff run. Due to this fact, I do perceive some peoples considerations. Nevertheless, take into account this, with 5 extra of the 8 video games our Penguins should play in opposition to the Devils, doesn’t that commerce improve the chances of our Boys of Winter profitable these video games. 5 extra Ws might go a great distance in solidifying a playoff berth.
Hopefully, the Buffalo Sabres will commerce Taylor Corridor. That means the 4 extra video games in opposition to the Sabres will look a complete lot higher as effectively.
Generally the trades different groups make are extra essential that than the trades you make. Living proof, through the Penguins 2nd Cup run, the Capitals snagged the darling of that deadline, Kevin Shattenkirk. Marc-Andre Fleury stayed put in Pittsburgh and our Black-and-Gold beat the boys from D.C.