Shelly Anderson's Penguins chat transcript: 02.03.14

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Shelly Anderson: 

Hello, everyone. The Penguins chat will be on hiatus for the Olympic break starting next Monday, so now is the time to get your questions in. 

2:29
 
Comment From Ross 
Have you heard of any friendly bets between the players/coaches going to Sochi?

 

2:31
 
Shelly Anderson: 
Some of the Penguins were asked about that today. The word is, Russia's Evgeni Malkin and Finland's Jussi Jokinen, who are linemates in their NHL lives, have been doing some trash talking. But the others -- the Americans and Canadians and Finnish defenseman Olli Maatta -- say they haven't been involved so far.

 

2:31
 
Comment From Bruce 
Am I the only one that think Kris letang has been traded but Shero is waiting until the olympic break to announce?

 

2:33
 
Shelly Anderson: 
I don't believe you are the only one who thinks it, but it's not true. There would be no reason to hide such a trade, and there is a roster freeze during the Olympic break that would prohibit announcing a trade then. More on Kris Letang in a bit.

 

2:33
 
Comment From Dan 
Shelly have you heard anything on the play of Scott Harrington at WBS ? Also it seems that Eric Hartzells play of late has really come around...would he be the next goalie in line if the flower or Zatkoff went down ?

 

2:36
 
Shelly Anderson: 
I haven't gotten specific reports on Scott Harrington. i know the first-year pro defenseman has gotten some points and has a fairly healthy plus-minus. But I do not believe he is ready for the NHL yet, and I think the Penguins feel the same way.
As for Eric Hartzell, he was just named AHL goalie of the month for January. While he would probably be called upon in the short term -- backing up for a game or two -- in a pinch, he also is a first-year pro considered not ready for the NHL yet.

 

2:36
 
Comment From Allie 
Sid is going through a little bit of a scoring slump? Is it all because if duper be out?

 

2:39
 
Shelly Anderson: 
Sidney Crosby has no goals (but I believe three assists) over the past four games. He still leads the NHL in points. There's no question that having his regular linemates would help, but the absence of right winger Pascal Dupuis isn't enough to stop Crosby. Dupuis has missed more than a month, and Crosby has produced during that time.

 

2:39
 
Comment From The Chief 
Shelly, do the Penguins have to maintain a certain number of players on the roster or can they send some guys back to the Baby Penguins during the Olympic break?

 

2:40
 
Shelly Anderson: 
They could send a couple of players to Wilkes-Barre to stay active, but that would probably be limited to those few players who don't need to clear waivers.

 

2:40
 
Comment From Arby 
While Glass has been playing much, much better these past few games he still has been a subpar and overpaid player. What are the chances he returns as a Penguin next season while there are players like Sill and Payerl that could do the same as Glass, but for cheaper?

 

2:43
 
Shelly Anderson: 
You're right; Tanner Glass has had some good games since he fully recovered from a broken hand. Zach Sill looked as if he could be regular on the fourth line. Adam Payerl might be ready for a similar role next season. Glass has something they don't -- experience -- plus he can slot up to the third line. I believe the Penguins are still evaluating their options in terms of free-agents-to-be.

 

2:43
 
Comment From Bob 
How long do you think it will take for Tomas Vokoun to play for the pens?

 

2:45
 
Shelly Anderson: 
Good question. The Penguins have been careful to emphasize that he's making steps on a long road to possibly playing again. However, he has started facing shots, which means the blood-thinners are out of his system. Barring any sort of setback or reason for concern from his doctors, I see no reason he couldn't get himself back to game shape and game sharpness before too long after the Olympic break.

 

2:45
 
Comment From tteot 
kris letang is a real peach of a talent. its a treat watching him play. but he is hurt a lot. does that worry you? do you think that worries the pens?

 

2:47
 
Shelly Anderson: 
There's no question Letang's injuries have been frustrating to him, and to the team. He is not, according to the Penguins, hurt right now. He is ill. He has missed the past two games, and coach Dan Bylsma said today that Letang is undergoing tests and evaluation to determine what he is dealing with. That's a bit concerning.

 

2:47
 
Comment From Jay 
I know the team is tight lipped regarding injuries/illness to players, but do you have any sense of what is going on with Letang? It's not often you hear about a players with the possibility of a long-term illness since these guys are so physically in shape and health conscience.

 

2:49
 
Shelly Anderson: 
The Penguins have not said much, including what type of symptoms Letang is experiencing, although it does not seem as if it is something respiratory. Unfortunately, being in great shape and health-conscious does not make anyone immune to illness.

 

2:49
 
Comment From Simon D. 
Can you name any specific players that you, or the Penguins, believe would add to the team at a reasonable cost? And what specific assets would we have to move to acquire those players?

 

2:51
 
Shelly Anderson: 
Hard to do, because I don't know what other teams might be asking for. The word is that prices are high in this period before the trade freeze goes into effect for the Olympic break. I do believe that Penguins general manager Ray Shero, if he makes any moves before the March 5 trade deadline, would prefer to make "hockey trades," and not deals for rental players who are eligible for unrestricted free agency in the summer.

 

2:51
 
Comment From Beliavski 
What do you thinnk of Bylsma running with Scuderi-Bort and Määttä-Nisky instead of using pens two best d-pairings, this season, Scuderi-Nisky and Määttä-Bort

 

2:54
 
Shelly Anderson: 
Honestly, I don't know that I've seen enough of most of the pairings to rate them as distinctly as you do. I don't have a problem with a Rob Scuderi-Letang pairing, for instance, but they have only played together for a little more than a dozen games, so how can anyone really pass judgment? And Matt Niskanen seems to do well in whatever role they place him. Niskanen-Olli Maatta would be the third pairing with everyone available, and that's a darned good third pairing.

 

2:55
 
Comment From JamesinNYC 
What is the real scoop with Letang?

 

2:56
 
Shelly Anderson: 
Again, he has some sort of illness and is now having tests and further evaluation. We might have something more tomorrow.

 

2:56
 
Comment From Kirk 
After hearing the rumors that Nikolai Kulemin is available, do you think he could be a possible trade target for the Pens? I read Dave King’s book (Malkin’s former coach in Russia) and he said that Kulemin was a perfect fit for Geno since he didn’t play an overly skilled game and could retrieve pucks in the corners for him. Would Kulemin be a solution to the team’s top 6 winger problem?

 

2:58
 
Shelly Anderson: 
That thought has been around for a while, at least since last season. The problem with Nikolai Kulemin is that he is a UFA after this season, so no cost certainty or guarantee he would be anything more than a short-term rental player.

 

2:58
 
Comment From Beliavski 
Which penguin is the best at math and Physics?

 

2:58
 
Shelly Anderson: 
Odd question, but Craig Adams and Tanner Glass are Ivy League graduates.

 

2:58
 
Comment From SDWC 
What are the Pens non-olympians permitted to do during the break? I’m guessing there are no formal team practices, but what about workouts, use of the facilities, treatment, etc.?

 

3:00
 
Shelly Anderson: 
I believe the league will shut down, and the arena will be off-limits. However, that's only for a certain amount of time. I believe the Penguins will resume practices around Feb. 19. Not sure if those will be mandatory for the non-Olympians or optional. Before the 19th, no doubt there will be some trips made to warmer climates or to visit relatives, but the players will be expected to stay in shape.

 

3:00
 
Comment From dave 
Do you think they're unhappy with Sutter? His line isn't contributing much at all.

 

3:02
 
Shelly Anderson: 
The Penguins no doubt would like to see more of an offensive contribution from Brandon Sutter, but he's filling his defensive and penalty-killing roles well, and, let's face it, the team has supplied him with an ever-changing cast of wingers. It would be difficult for anyone to develop any sort of chemistry or consistency.

 

3:03
 
Shelly Anderson: 
OK, everyone. Thanks for the questions. The chat is going on hiatus for at least the next two Mondays while the NHL shuts down for the Olympic break. Enjoy the Games, and we'll chat with you later in the month

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