More new management, and also many new players, have decided to come along the rollercoaster ride that is the new Pittsburgh Penguins lineup. We have a hard time letting go here in Pittsburgh, but we will do our best to welcome the new players and management, without making them prove they’re not jagoffs first.
First, let’s start with our losses:
-James Neal (Nashville Predators)
-Jussi Jokinen (Florida)
-Tanner Glass (NY Rangers)
-Joe Vitale (Arizona)
-Brooks Orpik (Washington)
-Matt Niskanen (Washington)
-Deryk Engelland (Calgary)
-Tomas Vokoun (unrestricted free agent, but no longer with the Pens)
We say farewell to you guys, and I know I’ll miss Neal the most, but hopefully these guys will have success on their new (less awesome) teams.
Now, for our gains, and some one-sentence bios on all of our new players:
–Patric Hornqvist: This guy was traded for Neal from the Nashville Predators and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty in the way of the puck; is a right wing.
–Nick Spaling: The other guy that was traded for Neal from the Nashville Predators, is a center, and has posted career-high goals of 13 assists and 18 points in 2013-2014.
–Steve Downie: Hockey’s most quoted new Penguin split his time between Colorado and Philadelphia in the 2013-2014 season and is a 5’ 11” forward who has been coached in the past by none other than Rick Tocchet, our new Assistant Coach.
–Taylor Chorney: He has played chunks of four NHL seasons with St. Louis and Edmonton, is a defenseman, and his father, Marc, was a defenseman for the Penguins from 1982-1983.
–Marcel Goc: We re-signed this forward that comes from Calw, Germany, and gained a 58.5 percent faceoff success rate when he played in nine Penguins post-season games.
–Zach Sill: A native of Truro, Nova Scotia, this forward has totaled just three goals, three assists, and six points on the Pens Wilkes-Barre-Scranton AHL team.
–Christian Erhoff: This guy has come to be known as the most sought-after defensemen on the hockey market right now, and was traded from the Buffalo Sabres.
–Blake Comeau: New pens forward Comeau is a 6’ 1” powerhouse who can skate as well as he can check, and has played in 422 career regular-season games, most recently with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
–Thomas Greiss: This goaltender is the newest player on the team I find most interesting (which is why he deserves two sentences). He is going to be pitted against Jeff Zatkoff for the backup goalie position on our team, and whichever of them loses in training camp will not make the cut this year; Greiss and Zatkoff have very similar stats. TK-Noodle of SB Nation/PensBurgh says, “So why exactly did we need Greiss when we already have a more talented and cheaper backup?”
…And I can’t end this blog without mentioning (more) new management:
We have a new head coach, Mike Johnston, who was a former Canadian hockey player. He has coached for universities in Alberta, Calgary, and New Brunswick. Johnston has also coached the Canadian national men’s hockey team, the Vancouver Canucks, and the Los Angeles Kings, the newest Stanley Cup holder.
Also, joining the new management team are Rick Tocchet and Jacques Martin, who will serve as our new assistant coaches. Tocchet is a former Penguins right wing. Most recently, he coached the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2010, then after being relieved of his duties, served as an analyst on Comcast SportsNet. Martin has coached the Ottawa Senators and the Florida Panthers, just to name a couple. He was also an assistant coach for the Canadian men’s national ice hockey team, and is Franco-Ontarian.
That about wraps it up! And Pens fans, let me know if I missed any other good little Pens tidbits.
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