Monday, August 30, 2010

Stempniak Returns To Phoenix

-After not being able to agree to a deal before July 1st with the Phoenix Coyotes, Lee Stempniak re-upped with the team by signing a 2 year, $3.5 million contract. The winger joined Phoenix as a trade deadline acquisition last season and finished the season with 28 goals and 48 points. He had 14 goals and 4 assists in 18 games with the Coyotes. The 27 year old did not get as many offers as he thought after a good season, but he took what he could get, a decline in salary. He made $3.5 million last season. This season, he will make around $1.75 million.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

O'Sullivan, Others Lining Up For Offer From Penguins

-Lately, the Penguins have heard from several players who want to play in Pittsburgh. There is a lot of interest from players such as Patrick O'Sullivan, Marek Svatos, and Jeff Halpern. It is good to see they want to come here, but Shero may only choose one of them or possibly none of them. O'Sullivan, 25, scored 11 goals and recorded 34 points in 73 games with the Edmonton Oilers last season. O'Sullivan has contacted the Penguins already about joining, but Shero does not seem too interested at this point. It is a possibility if he is still available, Pittsburgh could give him a training camp invite. Marek Svatos' agent has already said that his client would love to play for Pittsburgh. Svatos scored 32 goals in 2005-06, his rookie season. Despite some people saying Svatos is talking to Pittsburgh, I have not received anything. The next few weeks will be interesting for sure.
-Paul Kariya will not play this season, due to post concussion syndrome.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Guerin Not Returning

-The question has been answered. Bill Guerin will not be a member of the 2010-11 Pittsburgh Penguins. Ray Shero told him this morning that the team will not make him an offer after lengthy discussions earlier. Guerin became a fan favorite  in 2008-09 when the Penguins won the Stanley Cup. He was the veteran leader that kept everyone loose, especially after Game 5 of the Finals. In 95 regular season games with Pittsburgh, Guerin scored 26 goals and recorded 57 points. Guerin plans to play another season still. The Flyers and Bruins are two teams that have talked to him. Shero said that Guerin's skills were not needed anymore. Many fans are very sad and many are glad he is gone, but things change in this game. Thanks and best wishes Bill!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

NHL Notes

-LW Raffi Torres has found a new home, with the Vancouver Canucks. The 28 year old waited over a month and a half to sign a 1 year, $1 million contract with Vancouver. The Penguins had interest in him at the trade deadline last season, but ended up with Alexei Ponikarovsky. The Penguins did not seem too interested in him this summer.
-The drama still has not ended on the Ilya Kovalchuk front. Bill Daly of the NHL, as well as Gary Bettman, said that the Devils met with the NHL on Monday to talk about Kovalchuk, but he also stated that no contract was submitted. Yahoo Sports then reported that a contract was presented and that the NHL should have decided on it in 24 hours. It has been 48 hours and counting already. When will this end?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Guerin Rumors Swirling

 UPDATE: Andy Strickland has reported the Penguins will make a decision on Guerin in the coming days.

-Bill Guerin still remains a free agent, but it may not be for too much longer. Rumors about the 39 year old have been swirling the last few days. On Sunday, Eklund reported that the Philadelphia Flyers were interested in Guerin. Earlier today, NHL News reported that the Los Angeles Kings offered him a contract. Those could be true, but I have not heard either one of those. The latest I have is that Guerin is willing to take a considerable paycut to stay with the Penguins. He will start talking a new deal with Pittsburgh this week. Does that mean he will get a contract offer? No, I did not say that. It is no guarantee that Guerin will sign with Pittsburgh. There are a lot of mixed opinions about the team signing Guerin. There are a lot of fans of Billy, but there are also people who do not want him back. One fan said, "This would, potentially, be the best news I've heard since July 1st." Clearly, Guerin has some big fans from Pittsburgh, but we will see if Ray Shero is such a fan to sign him.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pens Nation Logo Unveiled

-Today we are happy to unveil the official logo of Pens Nation. We are very proud to have this logo as well as the header at the top of the page. Both of these fantastic pieces of work were made by Travis Ulrich, of Ulrich Design. I highly recommend him if you are looking for any of the following:
• Logos
• Business Cards
• Letterhead and Business Stationary
• WordPress sites
• Brochures and Booklets
• Posters
• Web Graphics
You definitely should check out his website!
You can also follow him on Twitter and Facebook!
He is an easy guy to work with and does a fantastic job! He is also a Pens fan!
Thanks again Travis and thank you to all Pens Nation readers for your support!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Asham Signing Does Not Rule Out Guerin

-After the Penguins signed Arron Asham yesterday, many fans questioned the decision and then stated, "No more Billy G!" From what I have heard today, that is not exactly the case. The Penguins will have internal meetings next week and Guerin is fully expected to make a decision by then. Guerin remains an option with Pittsburgh and has not been ruled out. Ray Shero and the Penguins have kept in contact with Bob Murray, Guerin's agent, in the past week. Guerin has made it known he would like to play in the Consol Energy Center and stay with the Penguins, but Shero wants him to take a discount.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Penguins Sign Arron Asham

-The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed a winger. A scoring winger for Sidney Crosby? No, but it still is a good signing by Ray Shero. The Penguins signed RW Arron Asham to a one year, $700,000 contract. The deal is a one way contract. Asham, 32, recorded 24 points in 72 games with the Philadelphia Flyers last season. He scored a career high four goals and seven points in the postseason. He also had 126 penalty minutes during the regular season, which ranked 24th most in the NHL. That would have been the most penalty minutes on the Penguins had Asham played with Pittsburgh last season. Asham is regarded as a tough guy who will likely play on the Penguins third or fourth line. Asham signed with Pittsburgh because he felt they gave him the best chance of winning a Stanley Cup after losing in the finals with Philadelphia last season. This signing may mean that the Penguins will consider putting Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal on the same line. Pittsburgh now has around $1.5 million left to spend.

Nasreddine Returns To Wilkes Barre/Scranton

-Does anyone remember Alain Nasreddine? The defenseman played with the Penguins organization from 2003-04 until 2007-08. He only played 56 games with the Penguins, recording five points. Nasreddine, 35, was named the new assistant coach of the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins, the AHL team in which he played 249 games for. He helped the team to two Calder Cup appearances by recording 55 points total in those 249 contests. Nasreddine was the captain of the team for a period of time, but now will be behind the bench along with new head coach John Hynes.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

NHL 11 Demo Now Available

-For all of you hockey gamers out there, EA Sports has released the NHL 11 demo for PlayStation3 and Xbox 360. The demo features the third period of a Battle for the Cup game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks. The demo also includes a starter pack of the Hockey Ultimate Team, a new mode in the game where you collect hockey cards as you try to build the ultimate team by increasing team chemistry and other elements. The full game will be released on September 7th.

Kaberle Stays in Toronto

-After months of speculation and rumors of Tomas Kaberle being traded from the Toronto Maple Leafs, GM Brian Burke decided to hold on to the defenseman. A Ryan Malone deal from Tampa Bay was discussed and kept many fans on their heals before midnight last night, which is when Kaberle's no trade clause kicked in. While many members of the media stayed up until midnight, Ryan Malone was informed he would not be traded at 6 PM Sunday.
-Paul Martin, Zbynek Michalek, Alex Goligoski, and Marc-Andre Fleury participated in today's first skate at the Octagon Sports Agency training camp.
-There is chatter that Lee Stempniak is headed back to the Phoenix Coyotes.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

NHL Quick Hits

-Many people along with Tomas Kaberle's agent believe Kaberle will be traded very soon. The trade would likely be before Sunday night as he will have a no trade clause after Sunday. There are over ten teams interested in the defenseman and the offers are expected to grow around Friday.
-The Ilya Kovalchuk talk will not stop. It has been somewhat quiet with him lately, but everyone is wondering what is going on. The New Jersey Devils still appear to be the favorite, but the Los Angeles Kings are back in the Kovalchuk sweepstakes. An agent of a player said today that Los Angeles will not make any more moves until Kovalchuk has signed.

-Marek Svatos' agent said today that Pittsburgh would be a great fit for his client. However, he is not close to signing with any team.
-Some AHL news: The Wilkes Barre/Scranton Penguins have a deal in place that would let them play a game in the Consol Energy Center on New Years Day, while the Pittsburgh Penguins play at Heinz Field.

Monday, August 9, 2010

NHL Defeats Kovalchuk

-The drama continues. Arbitrator Richard Bloch ruled in favor of the NHL to reject the 17 year, $102 million contract Ilya Kovalchuk signed with the New Jersey Devils. Kovalchuk is now a UFA once again. However, there is chatter that the Devils are talking a new deal with Kovalchuk already. The NHL looks like they are starting to wake up by looking at the long term deals that were signed, especially ones over ten years. The league may go after other long term contracts as well, such as Marian Hossa's.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Afinogenov Signs 5 Year Deal With KHL Team

-Another former NHL player is headed to the KHL. Maxim Afinogenov has signed a five year contract with the SKA St. Petersburg. Terms were not disclosed, but he decided on the KHL because of the length of the contract. NHL deals were two years at the most.
-A lot of sources are saying that Marek Svatos is still a player on the Penguins radar. It would be a good fit for both sides, as long as he is on a two-way contract.
-John Madden has signed with the Minnesota Wild.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Afinogenov Likely To Make Decision By Saturday

-Maxim Afinogenov is one of the best free agents left and he will likely be off the market by Saturday. He has received multiple offers from NHL and KHL teams. He could join the KHL if he feels that there is no good situation for him in the NHL for the right amount of money. He will likely not sign with Pittsburgh. They have not made an effort to stay in the mix.
-Another rumor should be put to rest. Eklund's rumor of Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne joining the Penguins is highly unlikely. It is realistic in Anaheim, however.
-According to Joe Depto, the Penguins season ticket holder waiting list is around 10,000. One of his sources told him about that. That is truly amazing.