Should be a totally new team next season. Minus Malone, Hossa, Orpik, Roberts, DUPUIS THANK FN GOD, and probably Eaton. I'm sure I'm forgetting people but whatever. You've gotta have faith, given their recent track record, that Shero/Fitzgerald/Fletcher can assemble enough talent in front of Fluery to play either side of Sid, Geno Malkin, Staal, and Talbot to contend forever.
Big Hall Gill is big.
The crowd tonight was lame. I'm sorry and maybe I was jealous or something but all I heard all night was "Lets go Pens clap clap clap" after the Wings would get a goal. Participate. I know the tried and true season holders were probably representing but the rich nerd bandwagoners were straight fail.
Yeah, they are going to take some roster hits next season. That's price you pay for having a cap in the league. I'm definately not complaining. It's better than watching NY, Philly, Detroit and Colorado simply buy up all the talent and it's better than it resembling that joke of a league that we call MLB.
As for the players you named...
I've said it before, I believe both Malone and Orpik are gone. Losing Malone wouldn't be as bad if we are able to sign Hossa (which I'm still holding out hope) and losing Orpik wouldn't be as bad if we actually had another physical defensive d-man to fill his place. Unfortunately we are lacking that at the NHL level and in WBS/Scranton.
In my opinion, I think there is a good chance Roberts will retire after this season. Between the injuries he took this season and his recent comments, I believe Scary Gary will hang them up. IF Roberts does decide to retire, I would love to see him take over for Andre Savard. Rumor is Savard is looking strongly at the Florida HC job.
Personally, I felt Dupuis was a welcoming addition. The way I look at it, he brought more to the table than Christensen and Armstrong ever did. His PK abilities alone is reason enough to resign him. He hustles non-stop. Throws out hits when he get's the chance and chips in a goal from time to time. Obviously with every player on this roster, it depends on his asking price when it comes to resigning him.
When it comes to Eaton, from my understanding his injury is not career ending. We should be able to sign him cheap. He's pretty damn solid when he is healthy and is the closest thing we have to a Orpik-type defensive defenseman on this roster.
As for the others.... Conklin:
Conklin is gone and I can't say that I blame him. I'm guessing he will attempt to test the FA waters and could possibly
land a starting job. If not, I'm sure there will be another organization out there who is willing to overpay for his services as a #2 (Thibault and Buffalo).Laraque:
If Laraque doesn't take a cut, I would say bye-bye. Second year in a row the guy was benched during a cup run and went AWOL when the team needed a physical presence. Yes, he fights. Yes, he's intimidating. No, he doesn't play a physical game outside of fighting. It's not worth the money. Particulary when that money becomes a healthy scratch on more than one occasion per year.Hall:
Another one that should come cheap. I'm not crazy about the guy, but he is one of Shero's past players.Fleury (RFA):
It's automatically a given on what should be done with this guy. Last night I heard he would be willing to take less money for a longer contract. Get it done.Ruutu:
The guy has stated on a number of occasions about how he loves this city. He sort of went AWOL in the finals (last game being exception). He's another one who I feel has some type of injury simply because the guy was a non-stop wrecking ball for the majority of the playoffs and the regular season. Nevermind the fact that it seems like the guy nets a goal when it's needed most.
Other FA's/UFA's that we should be able to sign cheap IF
we decide to do so...
Connor James, Ryan Lannon, Alain Nasreddine, Nathan Smith, Jeff Taffe, Mark Ardelan, Paul Bissonnette, Tim Brent, Patrick Ehelechner, Daniel Fernholm, Jonathan Filewich, Joe Jensen, Ryan Stone and Kris Beech. Now, I'm sure a few will be gone from that list *coughs Kris Beech*.
As for the fans....watch it...lol.
Anyways, I'm with you and I can only speak for myself and my buddies who were also at the game, but my voice is shot. Extra mentholated Halls have been my friend for the last day and a half. I'm sorry though, if playoff hockey doesn't get you pumped up as a fan while you are at the game
, I'm not exactly sure what will. Stay at home for Christ sake. We went down by only two goals and all we could muster up was a weak "Let's Go Pens" chant while a good number simply sat mute. It was pretty sad. I guess that's the price you pay considering....
Oh well, should be interesting to watch Shero wheel and deal. He's done a pretty damn good job up to this point. Work your magic!