This has been highly anticipated by myself, and I hope you have been looking for it as well.
With the signing of Jeff Taffe, everything changes in my mind. And the fact that Ray Shero decided to sign him even after signing Kris Beech tells me a lot.
Coach Therrien, here you go. Now you don’t have to even think about it. I’ve done the work for you. Call me.
Fedotenko – Crosby – Satan
Fedotenko now moves to the first line to play with Sidney Crosby and New York Islander teammate Miroslav Satan.
Evgeni Malkin has a new linemate, of whom you will find out shortly, which moves Fedotenko off of the second line. His talent would be wasted on a third or fourth line, and he is getting paid too much as well to not see more ice time.
Hopefully he and Satan will be able to produce early chemistry, and this line will come out of the gates hot. If not, I still expect this line to do very well.
Reports are that Satan should be able to get back to 30-goal status again (TIOPS). Fedotenko should benefit from playing with Satan and Crosby to hopefully knock out a 20-goal season.
The line could be deadly, or a dud.
Reports of Satan also allude to the fact that he is not a team player and has been a disruption in the locker room. Being with Sid will hopefully change this.
Staal – Malkin – Sykora
Maybe this should be the first line. The potential of this line is unprecedented.
Jordan Staal moves back to the left wing on Evgeni Malkin’s line, where he scored 29 goals in his rookie season. He moves there because Ray Shero signed Taffe Monday afternoon.
Shero would not have signed Taffe, a fifth National Hockey League-ready center, to the roster if he had not planned on moving Staal. There would have been no need for another center. Nevertheless this is what happened and I’m ecstatic about it.
TIOPS reported the same thing earlier this month:
I’m hearing the Penguins are going to make a initial offer worth 4yrs – 13.5 million and the two sides can begin negotiating off of that offer. There have been some rumors that Staal is seeking 5 million per season but there were also rumors that J.P Barry the agent for Evgeni Malkin was seeking 11 million per season for his client. There is always a chance that when the two sides begin talking they will find common ground. The Penguins have also had internal discussions about using Jordan Staal as a winger on the top 2 lines when the season begins.
Taffe’s signing affects the lineup in a few more places soon to come.
And as before, Malkin and Sykora together is a must and a no-brainer. The two have too much chemistry to separate. I don’t think anyone will disagree with this.
Malkin and Staal had chemistry:
Pesonen – Talbot – Kennedy
The more I’m hearing, the more it sounds like Janne Pesonen will be on the Penguins roster come October. Time will tell if that is just wishful thinking or good scouting.
This might be the fastest moving line in the Atlantic Division. Scouts rave about Pesonen’s speed, and we already know what Maxime Talbot and Tyler Kennedy bring to the table.
Once again, Jeff Taffe influences a lineup change.
Maxime Talbot moves to the third line, which I believe to be well-deserved. He had an amazing playoffs, and has always been a solid player for the Penguins.
Cooke – Taffe – Godard
I’m still not happy with Matt Cooke on the fourth line, but I just honestly don’t see him fitting in anywhere else. He has some offensive talent, but none more than any forward listed on the three lines in front of him.
Taffe and Eric Godard are an easier fit.
Godard will be the enforcer and Taffe will fill the role I have so been anticipating. I’m very excited about Shero’s signing of Taffe considering I had heard reports of Taffe being close to signing a deal with Carolina.
Taffe is only 27, and I think he has a tremendous upside and future for the Penguins.
Boy do I hope he lives up to my hype.
So there you have it. This is totally my take on the situation and I’m sure you have your opinions. That’s what the comment queue is for.
Look for a Pitt football preview in the coming days as well as how much of a presence Penguins fans have online. Friday will be another ‘Weekly Rant’ installment.