What's up everyone, Tony here. Really looking forward to contributing to the machine that is The Pensblog.
Before I get started, allow me to express my gratitude to Derek, Adam and Rick. They immediately offered a spot on the TPB crew when I announced I was hanging up my daily blogging skates at The Confluence over at Kukla's Korner. I won't be posting here at nearly the same frequency, just every now and then, depending on what's going on. And now with the launching of TPBradio, that should really be great. Hopefully you'll think so too.
OK, enough ass-kissing.
The Penguins are fortunate in that they have excellent depth. Moreover, there are a handful of players in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton that could easily be on NHL rosters elsewhere. Of course, the risk you take when you send some of those players down to the farm is that you expose them to waivers. We saw the first shoe drop today, as forward Nick Johnson was swooped up by former Pens coach Mike Yeo and the Minnesota Wild. Johnson is a promising forward, looked like he has a decent set of hands. You know, someone that can actually put the puck in the net and not clang it off the frickin' glass.
Speaking of players down on the farm, it was mildly surprising (but not surprising, really, if you know what I mean) when Eric Tangradi was sent down. Tangradi is the guy we all hope will become the next big power forward for the Pens. But Tangradi's in a tough situation competing with HCDB's offensive style. Tangradi says he's worked hard during the summer on his conditioning and his speed. And that's the potential conflict. He's worked on his speed, but will it eventually be enough to compete with the speedy forwards that HCDB covets?
Just a quick thought? Has the emergence of Joe Morrow dampened your enthusiasm when it comes to Simon Despres? Or rather, does it have you salivating at the prospects of what our blueline is going to look like in a couple of years?
Hey, for the low, low cost of $7,566, you too can skate with Mario Lemieux at his fantasy camp. And that's the cheapest rate, by the way. Love that the proceeds go towards his Foundation, and I hope he continues to build as many Austin's Playrooms as he can, but damn, that's a lot of clams.
Lastly, why not, let's talk about Sid. Sid continues to skate with the infamous white helmet, intended for non-contact players. But you have to wonder, when will Penguins management and his doctors finally flip the "contact" switch. He's been busting his arse in practices (of course, we don't know what his "exertion" level is, but it looks damn high). He's been involved in controlled scrimmages, certainly without contact, but it's not like he hasn't been getting bumped here and there. Considering the pressure from the fans and the non-stop questions from the media, you have to applaud the Penguins and Crosby's medical team for continuing to be extremely cautious. Are we getting close? Maybe, but then again, maybe not.
A special thanks to TPBStephen for the logo, it makes my goatee black again, appreciate that.