Which line should Jarome Iginla play on?
Seth Rorabaugh: Greetings all. Eventful week to put it mildly.
Guest: any thoughts on the new lines
Seth Rorabaugh: I don't see any reason to break up Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis at the moment. At least in the first game or two, I would ease Iginla into the lineup and system with some time on the third line in place of Kennedy on the right wing.
Jason: So do we get ANOTHER Captian to anchor our 4th line now??
Seth Rorabaugh: I think Craig Adams may have been a captain at Harvard if that counts.
Blasto: fact is-Crosby and Iginla had no chemistry in the Olympics sans the final goal. I say put Iginla with Malkin.
Seth Rorabaugh: In fairness to Crosby-Iginla, I'm not sure you can properly develop chemistry in a two-week sprint of a tournament like that. Until that point, they had never played organized hockey together at any level.
Guest: Seems that with Bylsma, there are never any lines that stick together 100% of the time. I think he'll see time with Crosby at least for a few shifts in the first couple games.
Seth Rorabaugh: Bylsma made that suggestion today that while he has no inkling to break up Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis, you will see Iginla up there from time to time.
Guest: no way iginla should go on the 3rd line -- if you keep the 1st line intact, 2nd = malkin/iginla/neal, 3rd morrow/sutter/cooke, 4th vitale/adams/kennedy
Seth Rorabaugh: The think to remember about the second line: Iginla has little history as a left winger. Neal started out on the left wing but I will tell you he hates playing on the left wing. Also, Morrow has little history as a right winger.
Jerry: Are all the acquisitions free agents at the end of year?
Seth Rorabaugh: That is correct, Murray, Morrow, Iginla as well as Cooke, Adams, Dupuis and Eaton are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents this offseason. And keep in mind, as part of the new CBA, the salary cap will be going down this offseason.
Chris: Why did Calgary pull the trigger last night?
Seth Rorabaugh: Good question. I have a feeling once Iginla's list of approved teams came out - which was allegedly limited to Pittsburgh, Boston and Los Angeles - Flames GM Jay Feaster was almost painted into corner where his market for trade suitors was limited. At some point, Iginla limited to only Pittsburgh.
Guest: bigger question are who are the top 6 d-men, with murray? I go with orpik/martin, letang/eaton, niskanen/murray
Seth Rorabaugh: If everyone is healthy, I would go with those pairings you listed. And have Despres as the seventh defenseman once the 23-man roster limit is lifted on April 3.
Brent: assuming the season goes well, do you see iginla staying on after this season, or is he purely a half season rental?
Seth Rorabaugh: Even if it does go well, I don't know how that would be possible given the salary cap constraints as well as the impending free agencies of Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang in the 2014 off season. Presumably, Iginla would want a 2-3 year deal at minimum for his next contract.
Guest: What roster move(s) will allow Malkin to play tonight, maybe, and Letang when he comes off IR? Bennett and Despres down, or do you see trade for TK, Jeffrey, Glass, etc.?
Seth Rorabaugh: Keep in mind, as pointed out by Ray Shero today, Iginla is still going through the immigration process to legally join the Penguins. During that time, the NHL allows a roster exemption. So Iginla is not technically on the roster as of yet. If any other moves need to be made for Malkin, Bennett would presumably be the first to be sent to Wilkes-Barre as he does not need to clear waivers.
Guest: What does the roster number go to after April 3?
Seth Rorabaugh: Essentially it's unlimited after April 3 provided you stay in your 50-contract limit and stay within the salary cap.
Guest: Seth, I hate, HATE to see the first line get broken up but Dupes has demonstrated his versatility and can be effective on other lines. Kunitz-Crosby-Iginla just sounds scary and with Dupes on the third, well, that makes a scary third line. Do you agree?
Seth Rorabaugh: One think Dan Bylsma reminded us of today was that in 2009 when Bill Guerin joined the team, Dupuis was a first-liner at the time and was demoted to third/fourth line duties during that Stanley Cup run. Dupuis was even a healthy scratch after Sergei Gonchar was injured and the team had to dress seven defenseman. I don't think Dupuis would have a problem to a role on the third or fourth line in this situation.
Guest: Think about the power play lines we can field now!
Seth Rorabaugh: I can't fathom how Dan Bylsma is going to construct his power play now with this embarrassment of riches.
Matt: I feel like Bennett has been more productive at both ends of the rink than any of the 4th line guys. Any chance he sticks with the big club?
Seth Rorabaugh: I doubt it. Bennett has been a very solid two-way player who has been physical in all ends of the ice. But he's not a fourth-line player. You don't do him or the team any good by putting him in a fourth line role. As a first-round pick, you don't help his development as an asset by giving him 4th-line minutes. If you send him to Wilkes-Barre to play first-line minutes, you further his development far more. Don't worry, assuming Shero has no other trades planned, you haven't seen the last of Beau Bennett in Pittsburgh.
Zach: How important is team chemistry? Is it overrated?
Seth Rorabaugh: No. Not at all. Look at the Flyers. That team has NO chemistry despite being a pretty talented roster. That's why they're in the bottom of the Atlantic division.
James_Pittsburgh: The Penguins have three Art Ross Trophy winners? Has any other team done that in recent NHL history?
Seth Rorabaugh: One could argue the Penguins have a fourth Art Ross winner. The last one is just paying the bills.
Jerry: Have the Pens traded too much (draft picks) to get these players. Mortgaged the future?
Seth Rorabaugh: Perhaps, but look at what's left. You still have Simon Despres and Beau Bennett on the NHL roster. you sill have Derrick Pouliot and Olli Maatta, first-rounders from this past draft, in the system. You still have Scott Harrington, who some felt was better than Joe Morrow, and Brian Dumoulin, both former second-rounders in the system. The Penguins may have gutted a few drafts here, but they still have a lot of top prospects in the system.
Clank: Seth, have you ever seen a story turn around so dramatically? I mean, Iginla to Boston was on NHL.com and just about every credible source said it was a done deal.
Seth Rorabaugh: If you recall, Marian Hossa was all but going to Montreal 8right8 at the 2008 trade deadline when Shero swooped in and traded for him. This is very similiar except this time, it happened a week before the deadline.
T: Are you worried about Fleury? I would be surprised if he was Vokoun's backup tonight.
Seth Rorabaugh: There doesn't seem to be too much concern among his teammates and if this is a good sign, the team rarely allows injured players to talk to the media. He did talk to the media today.
Matt in Ann Arbor: Do you think Shero will make any minor deals -- send Bortuzzo or Engelland for late picks -- or does he keep them as roster players next year?
Seth Rorabaugh: I could see Shero making a "courtesy" trade to someone like Bortuzzo or Engelland, much the same way he did for Ben Lovejoy earlier this season. They aren't going to crack this lineup outside of injuries. Perhaps, if a suitor comes along with a nice deal, Shero makes it. but I don't think he's actively pursuing a deal at this time.
pensfan: Do you think there will be any ego conflicts that will change the chemistry of the team?
Seth Rorabaugh: Absolutely not. Morrow and Iginla chose to come here and they were captains of their former teams. They pretty much had everything they wanted - minus wins - in their former cities. They chose to come here knowing the hierarchy is already established. They want to win the Cup and chose the best option.
Seth Rorabaugh: FYI, I'll try to answer as many questons as possible but I'm signing off at 2:30 to get some writing done. My apologies if I don't get to your question.
Guest: Couldn't you construct an amazing third line with Sutter-Iginla-Morrow. It seems that their playing styles suit each other; then Blysma can even out the playing time, and take Sid's line into the playoffs rested.
Seth Rorabaugh: Crazy as it might sound, that could be a possibility. The embarrassment of riches here is staggering.
Guest: Seth--long time reader, keep up the great work. What are the chances this team crumbles under the weight of expectations because they either play too anxious, lackadaiscal or chemistry just doesn't form?
Seth Rorabaugh: It's very possible. At this point, this is Stanley Cup WIN or bust. Getting to the Cup final isn't good enough. A few people could have their jobs on the line if this team doesn't win it all.
Nitschke: I would go with Glass, Adams, and Kennedy on the 4th line and Jeffrey as the next in line with Vitale, Bennet as the odd men out.. your thoughts?
Seth Rorabaugh: My only problem with benching Vitale is the faceoffs. He's the second best faceoff man on the team after Crosby. Sutter is at 50.2 percent and has been underwhelming in that area. Adams and Malkin are each sub-50 percent.
Agustin: Hello, I'm a Mexican fan; no questions, just learning from all of you. Let's go Pens??????????
Seth Rorabaugh: ??Bienvenido!
Seth Rorabaugh: Alright folks. I hate to cut this short but I have a little writing to take care of. This was a tremendous chat on short notice.
Seth Rorabaugh: Thanks again for joining. We'll have to have some more chats on non-game days.