Tag:Pittsburgh Penguins
Posted on: August 15, 2011 4:55 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 5:37 pm

Check out Mark Recchi's Stanley Cup tattoo

By: Adam Gretz

Mark Recchi retired earlier this summer after a fantastic career that saw him score 577 goals with a number of teams, including the Penguins, Flyers, Canadiens, Hurricanes, Thrashers, Lighting and, most recently, the Boston Bruins. Going to Boston during the 2008-09 season seemed to give his career a jump start at the age of 40, and in parts of three seasons with the Bruins, he managed to score 42 goals as a valuable asset to their offense.

He was also a nice addition during the playoffs this past season, recording 14 points in 25 games, as the Bruins took home the Stanley Cup for the first time since 1972.

For Recchi, it was his third Stanley Cup, having previously won with Pittsburgh (1991) and Carolina (2006).

To celebrate, Recchi decided to celebrate his championships permanently in the form of a tattoo on his ankle that features the Cup, the logos of the three teams he won it with, and the years he earned his rings.

Here's a video from the Bruins website that features Recchi showing off his new ink, and his plans for future artwork to accompany it.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: August 15, 2011 9:10 am
Edited on: August 15, 2011 4:54 pm

Shero addresses Sidney Crosby status

CrosbyBy: Adam Gretz

Following another series of conflicting reports on Sidney Crosby's status for the start of the upcoming season, Penguins general manager Ray Shero addressed the status of his captain late Sunday night.

Said Shero, via Rob Rossi of the Tribune Review, Crosby has still had symptoms as a result of the concussion that prematurely ended his 2010-11 season, but nothing that's forced him to shut down his offseason workouts. He also pointed out that he's yet to have a situation this offseason where he's needed to be cleared to play.

Shero later addressed the media on Monday, expounding on what Rossi wrote.

"Training camp is a month away, so there's no expectation for me that he won't be ready or will be ready," Shero said. "He's doing his usual routine. He'll probably be in a week before camp starts. We'll evaluate him then.

"I think [Sid] has had some symptoms on and off depending on how hard he's pushed himself. Sid has pushed himself pretty hard this summer, which is the good news. Sid has never had to get to the point where he’s had to shut himself down or anything. That's the good news.

"The thing for me and for the organization is the bigger picture with Sidney Crosby. We want to make sure Sid is 100 percent cleared & ready to play when he does come back. He's not going to be pushed."

It had been a quite a while since the Penguins made any statement regarding Crosby, but after Josh Rimer, the NHL Home Ice Producer for Sirius XM Radio, reported that he heard from three different sources that the Penguins captain may not be ready for the start of the season, the conversation picked back up.

It's certainly nothing to downplay that Crosby is still apparently having some symptoms, but it's also worth noting that, at this point, it has little to do with his availability for the start of the regular season which is still nearly two months away. A lot can change in that time period (good and bad).

Without Crosby (and Evgeni Malkin, who was out with a knee injury) for half of the season the Penguins offense dropped significantly last season from years past, and ended up costing them in the postseason where they were eliminated in the first round by the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games after jumping out to a 3-1 series lead. Malkin's rehab seems to be on track, but Crosby's remains a mystery surrounded with plenty of uncertainty.

At this point I'll believe he'll be back for the start of the season when he's on the ice and cleared for contact, and actually suited up on October 6th. On the other hand, I'll believe he won't be back when he's not on the ice on October 6th. Anything else is hard to believe at this point.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: August 14, 2011 2:35 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2011 6:34 am

Reports conflict on Sidney Crosby's camp status

By Brian Stubits

Sidney Crosby could be out even longer, three separate sources told Josh Rimer of NHL Home Ice on SiriusXM Radio. According to Rimer's report, the only information is that Crosby might not be ready to start the season.

But then there was this from Kevin Allen at USA Today on Saturday:

[Crosby} has not talked to the media about his injury this summer, but the word is that he is training and planning as if he will be ready for the start of training camp. The NHL brings its Stars to New York for media interviews every September, and Crosby is planning to be there.

Earlier this summer there were even rumors that Crosby was mulling a very early retirement. Those were clearly way too premature and were taken with the biggest grains of salt you can find.

The conflicting reports are tough on the ol' sanity section of the brain. It's like a tug of war that makes this whole situation maddening. The silence from Crosby and the Penguins, while completely understandable, contributes to the angst and speculation. Silence might be golden, but in cases like this it's rotten.

While these reports should cause some alarm, it's certainly not panic time. I'll wait until the team comes out or Sid himself saying it will be a longer wait before fretting too much. But the idea of the NHL being without arguably its top star for longer is not good news. Even if you dislike Crosby -- and I know a vast number do -- you can't honestly think it's anything but bad for hockey, let alone Pittsburgh. We'll know for sure when camps start up next month.

Until then, we'll wait and wade through the rubbish.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 14, 2011 1:54 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2011 9:06 am

Daily Skate: Leighton odd man out for Flyers?

By: Adam Gretz

LEIGHTON THE ODD MAN OUT? Two years ago Michael Leighton was the unlikely goaltender that played between the pipes as the Flyers went to the Stanley Cup Finals, falling just two games short of winning their first title since 1976. Today he's potentially the odd man out in Philadelphia's goaltending situation with the presence of youngster Sergei Bobrovsky as well as this summer's high-profile acquisition of former Phoenix Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. Chuck Gormley of the Courier Post takes a look at the Flyers goaltending situation on Sunday.

CANADA WINS IVAN HLINKA TOURNAMENT: Canada's Under-18 team captured its fourth straight gold at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament on Saturday by defeating Sweden, 4-1. Coach Steve Spott accused the Swedish team of filming their practices and said that Sweden acted like it had already won the Gold Medal after beating Canada earlier in the tournament.

ZYUZIN MAKING A RETURN? Genadi Boguslavski of Sovetsky Sport reports that defenseman Andrei Zyuzin is close to making a return to the NHL after spending the past three years in Russia. He last played in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2007-08 season, and in 496 career games with Chicago, Minnesota, Calgary, New Jersey and Tampa Bay the defenseman scored 38 goals.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: August 13, 2011 1:17 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2011 4:33 pm

Islanders to hold viewing party to rewatch brawl

IslandersBrawlBy: Adam Gretz

One of the highlights of the 2010-11 New York Islanders season was a 9-3 dismantling of the Pittsburgh Penguins in mid-February. The good news was the Islanders blew out a division rival, scored nine goals and sent a message to a team that had embarrassed them during the previous meeting (that was the game Penguins Brent Johnson fought, and injured, Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro).

The bad news is that game was also the one that featured a series of ugly moments (including Trevor Gillies elbow on Eric Tangradi and Gillies yelling at him from the tunnel, Matt Martin's sucker punch on Max Talbot, Penguins enforcer Eric Godard leaving the bench to join a fight, Michael Haley and Johnson fighting), and saw the two teams combine for 342 penalty minutes and many ejections.

In the aftermath the NHL issued a number of suspensions, including nine games for Gillies and 10 games for Godard (which was automatic for leaving the bench to join a fight), while the Islanders organization was also fined $100,000 by the NHL. The Penguins, meanwhile, were furious that the NHL didn't do enough.

It was madness.

Why is this news again now in the middle of August? Because the Islanders organization has announced plans to hold a viewing party to watch a replay of the game on August 19.

Here's the invite from the Islanders official website:
The night of February 11, 2011 was memorable for Isles fans. Whether you were in the stands at the Coliseum or watching on TV, you were on your feet through all the ruckus cheering for the Islanders to beat the Penguins. On Friday August 19th, MSG Plus will re-air the game and we want the fans to join us for a viewing party at Champions. Same awesome deal as usual, raffles, prizes and more. RSVP now and remember to there early and get a table with your friends. Stay tuned to #Isles and #IslesMeetup for all the latest and for more information.
It was certainly a memorable game, but mostly for the wrong reasons. The party has already sparked some controversy from Penguins fans and impartial observers. Right or wrong, fighting is a part of the hockey culture, and is often times celebrated (heck, think of the events during a hockey game that bring fans out of their seats: goals and fights), and yes, I myself do enjoy watching two heavyweights drop the gloves to a mutually agreed upon bout.

But should the Islanders -- or any team -- be celebrating an event that the NHL deemed bad enough to suspend two of their players for a combined 13 games and fine the organization six figures? Even though times have been rough in recent years for the Islanders franchise, they do have some players in their young core that are worth being excited about. This just seems a bit odd coming from an organization that used to celebrate Stanley Cups.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: August 9, 2011 9:43 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2011 1:40 pm

A look at what's being tested at RDO Camp

rdoBy: Adam Gretz

The NHL will be holding its Research, Development and Orientation camp in Ontario next week, an event that helps the league test potential rule changes. They will be using 30 prospects, as well as head coaches Dan Bylsma (Pittsburgh) and Dave Tippett (Phoenix) to test the potential changes, ranging from no-touch icing, hybrid icing and no line changes for a team guilty of being offside, among many, many others.

Dan Rosen at NHL.com has a complete rundown of everything that will be tested (and there's a ton of stuff going on), as well as a schedule for each day.

A couple of the proposals that will be tested that stand out to me:

1) REMOVAL OF THE TRAPEZOID Yes. A thousand times yes. Implemented after the lockout as part of the effort to increase goal scoring across the league, it put a restriction on goaltenders leaving their crease and going into the corners to play the puck, limiting players that had spent years improving their puckhandling ability (guys like Martin Brodeur, Marty Turco, etc.). When I spoke with Phoenix's Mike Smith a couple of weeks ago, a goaltender that's regarded to be a strong puckhandler, we talked about this briefly and you can probably count him as somebody else that's probaby in favor of giving goaltenders more freedom. Limiting the movement of players on the ice (which this rule does) just seems to go against what the game is all about. And if your goaltender can't handle the puck effectively, well, he either needs to improve that aspect of his game or your team needs to find a goaltender that's capable of doing it.

2) NO ICING PERMITTED WHILE SHORTHANDED Now here's a way to potentially increase scoring, at least as far as the power play is concerned. By calling icing in shorthanded situations (you're currently allowed to ice the puck while on the penalty kill, which is the only advantage the shorthanded team has) you're going to increase the number of offensive zone faceoffs for teams on the power play, which is bad news for teams that are down a man. The dangers of defensive zone faceoffs are obvious -- the closer a team starts to the net it's trying to score on, the better chance it has of getting a shot on goal and scoring if it can win the faceoff (you can read more about the dangers of Defensive Zone Faceoffs by clicking here). And this is true in even-strength situations, let alone power play/penalty kill situations. Not a huge fan of this one as it gives teams on the power play yet another sizable advantange. Playing a man up (or two) is enough. A couple of years the NHL made it so every power play starts in the offensive zone, regardless of where the offending team gained control the puck to draw the whistle on a delayed penalty call.

3) OVERTIME VARIATIONS The current tiebreaking procedure in the NHL consists of five minutes of four-on-four sudden death overtime, followed by a shootout if the tie is not broken. The shootout has been a polarizing addition to the league, and last year the NHL took a small step toward reducing its impact by not including shootout wins as part of the tiebreaking procedure in the standings.

Another way to help reduce its impact (and the number of shootouts) is to give teams more overtime to play with, including several minutes with fewer players on the ice.

One idea that will be tested will be to switch ends, play four minutes of four-on-four hockey and then, if the tie is still not broken, switch ends again and play three minutes of three-on-three hockey. After seven minutes of four-on-four and three-on-three hockey it stands to reason that, given the amount of talent that will be on the ice and the additional room that will be out there, somebody will manage to get a goal and break the tie before a shootout is required. I like this idea quite a bit and would like to see it get some serious consideration, if for no other reason than the potential to see some of the three-on-three lineups teams like Pittsburgh, Detroit, Washington, Vancouver or Chicago could throw out there, and the type of back-and-forth hockey that would follow.

Just because these are being tested doesn't mean the rules will be changed or added to the league, it's simply a way to see them in action and take a test drive.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: August 8, 2011 2:01 pm

Mike Comrie to put career on hold while hip heals

By Brian Stubits

Mike Comrie isn't retiring, he's just taking a break while his injured hip heals. Let's call it a sabbatical.

The veteran announced through the NHLPA that he is putting his career on hold while his hip continues to rehab from surgery. Comrie spent last season on a one-year deal with the Penguins, playing just 21 games and scoring one goal.

Comrie said that part of the problem with the recovery is that he tried to resume playing too soon, causing a setback in his return.

"In wanting to return to play after surgery," Comrie said, "I pushed myself too early and that has not helped my recovery. I will return to the NHL when I am healthy and able to play at the level I have come to expect of myself."

Comrie has played more than 41 games just once since 2005-06, skating in 76 games with the Islanders in 2007-08. Not coincidentally, that was the last time he eclipsed the 30-point mark.

His best seasons came with the Edmonton Oilers, the team that originally drafted the Edmonton native.

It's pretty safe to say that he isn't likely to play this season. If he's ready, he'll likely have to prove next year in camp that he's still able to contribute. In the meantime, he can enjoy some time off and maybe take a few more trips with wife Hilary Duff.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 8, 2011 12:53 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 12:58 pm

Alex Kovalev rips former Sens coach, Ottawa media

By Brian Stubits

One of the best parts about breakups in professional sports is the possibility of parting shots. Now that Alexei Kovalev has left not only the Ottawa Senators (he did that at the trade deadline when he was shipped to the Penguins) but the NHL, he's letting his feelings be known on one of his old stomping grounds.

After signing a two-year contract with Atlant of the KHL (where he will join Nikolay Zherdev), Kovalev said he did have offers from two teams in the NHL, but he was hoping to find a contract beyond one season, which he received in the KHL.

But first, the not-so-fond farewells to those around the Sens (stick tap to Puck Daddy for translation).

"In two seasons I still couldn't understand the ideas of our coach Cory Clouston," Kovalev said.

I guess the good news for Ottawa fans is that the team has a new coach to clearly direct the team. And give the NHL one ridiculously awesome mustache. George Parros, you have company.

Perhaps he saved his most scathing shots for those in the Ottawa media.

"And the fact I am criticized ... There are different journalists. My opinion of Ottawa journalists is that they don't watch hockey at all. When they fly with the team and go through the [metal detector] at an airport, their bags are filled with beer. You realize right away what these people do when they write about the NHL." (Note to self: Ask boss for relocation to Ottawa.)

"I am annoyed when people write [nonsense]. Figuratively speaking, to earn half a hundred dollars they are ready to make up some garbage. But they show that they're doing their job."

Gee, Alexei, how do you really feel?

But we might not have seen the last of Kovalev in North America. He says he would still like to finish his career in the NHL since that's where he began. Count me among those who would like to see that and would be glued to his return to Ottawa.

Photo: US Presswire

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com