Jan 4, 2017
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<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>pharrow</b></div><div>look, how many defensive guys you see there signed till they are 30 or actually are 30?
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You look at the comparable ages and you being to realize, the penguins are holding onto older players, who have no chance to reach the NHL, while the whole rest of the league is filling their AHL roster with youth on their back end.
It is a matter or will. You can't keep stacking your back end with 28 year old guys signed till they are 30 and saying, it's fine.
If the WHOLE rest of the league can do it, why can't the penguins figure it out. The simple answer is attitude of somehow, older = better. Older is needed for "forward development" etc....
it's a myth. The whole rest of the AHL is stacked with youth on the backed. Their forward development is going just fine. Sign and play.</div></div>
Alright, this is going to be my last post in this thread. The fact that you'd ask me how many guys in the UFA age group are signed for next season when free agency doesn't open until Monday is disingenuous, but I decided to take a look at how many of these coveted young UFA's there are that you're convinced the Pens should be stocked full of. I went through all 31 NHL teams and counted how many U25 defensemen were RFA's or under contract, then checked which were undrafted or signed after they were picked but went unsigned. For clarity, I only went through the non-roster defensemen because the NHL rosters were turning out almost 100% draft picks and we're discussing signing guys for AHL development anyway.
Across all 31 teams, there were only 43 undrafted U25 defensemen out of a total pool of 176 players. It was a fairly even split between the number of teams that had had either 1 or 2 players that fit the description, with a few outliers of 0 and even less with 3. I didn't keep an exact count of how many of the 43 UDFA's had played primarily in the ECHL, but it was noticeable amount (probably around 6 or 7).
All of the stacking of youth you talk about is done through the draft, and the average team has 1 guy like Ethan Prow who might not even be good enough to play in the AHL. The gaps are filled by veterans who are 27 or older, which every single team either has right now or is about to sign next week. Nice talk.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>pharrow</b></div><div>These guys practically don't exist in summer free agency. The college guys are almost all signed or committed for the fall, and anyone let go by a team who's young enough to still have "time to develop" isn't going to outperform a known entity. You're left with overseas coinflips (which are a nice gamble but not something you build a team around) and garbage guys like the ones who fill out development rosters. If you want to argue for different veterans that's fine, but you're arguing against having guys who fill the veteran role entirely and that's asinine.</div></div>
I don't really think you are getting the argument. I know they aren't going to find 3 of these guys at once. But like I said, if you bring 1 in a year, you don't have that problem. And they don't do that. It's not like there are not players to be signed. From the NCAA Jimmy Schuldt, Bobby Nardella, Brady Keeper, Grant Hutton, Cooper Zech, were all signed.
Mattias Goransson is from the NCAA he's still not signed. He played good minutes for UMass-Lowell.
Derek Daschke is at UO miami, unsigned, but probably returning to school but still unsigned.
Nick Wolff is unsigned....which is a prime candidate of someone that could sign. He was a solid player for Minnesota-Duluth.
Colton Poolman of North Dakota.
Collin Saccoman is a decent prospect.
Connor Mackey might be a guy who at 22 could be interested in jumping over for a chance.
I mean that's just out the NCAA. There are at least 3 guys there who I think could put up minutes in the AHL. Especially Wolff who has really good size and speed.
So lets not pretend they can't find guys. There are players out there. They need a chance. You will never know though if you constantly only keep signing 28-29 year old players.
The truth is a lot of those players are coming from schools with solid programs that play good competition. It's not a huge jump to the AHL level.
SIgn one a year and then add your picks, and over 4 years or so you will fill out a defense core. But if they continue to sign 28 year olds who will never make that jump, they will never have a prospect pool that looks like anything.
Just look at what they have done with the forward group. 8 of the 14 are 23 and younger. The oldest is 27, There are only 3 guys there older than 26, most of which probably won't be back after this year. Clearly, they want the younger players there to develop and build a prospect pool. It should be no different for the defense. Believe me, the younger players know they have a job to do there too. It can't be all about the forwards.
There are older players in europe as well that are 23-24 who have the skill level to help at the AHL level and possibly advance. Riikola wasn't an anomaly in a bubble. They are there. You have to be willing to bring them in. Instead they sign 28 year old guys to 2 year contracts. So now out of your 6 open spots you got 2 guys there with no potential to develop.
And if they keep signing guys like that it will stay that way. At some point you have to make the commitment to say, hey we want to bring in 1-2 young guys a year. They haven't made that commitment and it shows. Because if they did, their D core would be under 26 years old and cycling those who can't make it out after they are hitting their prime to bring in someone else who can have a shot. Let some other team horde old players.[/quote]
Let me be clear. I have zero problem with Pittsburgh signing young guys out of college or overseas in the hope that maybe they turn into something. In fact Pittsburgh has been one of the better teams at doing that the past few years, finding Conor Sheary and nabbing two Hobey Baker finalists in Ethan Prow and Zach Aston-Reese. Pittsburgh scouts and signs these guys all the time, and in the last two years they heavily recruited top free agents that went elsewhere like Brickley and Butcher.
You've conflated the fact that Pittsburgh hasn't signed these guys with the idea that they have no desire to, and further muddied things by suggesting that younger UFA's and overseas signings occupy the same space on a roster as veterans. If the Pens has signed a guy or two out of college this past spring, they'd still sign guys like Czuczman or Trotman to fill out the roster because the AHL team needs talent to win and veterans to lead, and without a consistent flow of drafted players who can turn into those veterans over the years there's no other substitute. The Penguins have had two or three UFA defensemen every year since the drafting pipeline on D dried up because you cannot routinely find and recruit guys that are skilled enough to replace established AHL players.
Pittsburgh is out there every year looking for young talent, and almost every year they bring someone in. They can still sign a free agent vet <em>and</em> bring in a guy from europe or the KHL. They won't find anyyone from college because college guys really don't turn pro in the summer, but they'll be scouting every potential guy who wants to turn next spring and they'll probabky sign somebody good. All that is great and a sign of a strong organization, but your suggestion that the Penguins should rarely or never sign veterans is wrong. You'll never recruit and hit on enough undrafted UFA's to ice a competent roster, and the without the consistent talent of draft picks you can't run a youthful defense.
Let's say the Penguins had managed to sign Joe Duszak a few months ago and he was a lock for the AHL. The defense with him and without vets would look like:
That defense is going to get caved in, every night, all season, and that's before Pittsburgh takes a guy or two. You can even add another guy like Jimmy Schuldt, but the team won't be deep enough or talented enough to work. Now the only ways to improve that unit and give the forwards a working defense are:
1.) Hop in your time machine and get Jim Rutherford to keep his picks and draft better, or
2.) Sign some free agents
I would absolutely love to see another youth movement on defense in Wilkes-Barre. 2011-2015 were some of the most fun teams to watch defensively, and they were lights out for incredible stretches. But you're not going to get that through free agency, the numbers aren't there and the talent isnt there.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>rebecca</b></div><div>I’m thoroughly impressed that 2 people can have such an INTENSE and detailed back-and-forth conversation about marginal AHL D-Men. I love me my AHL hockey and I think I can go off on tangents but wow, you guys give me hope that I’m not totally nuts.
Of course, the rest of the room is sorta staring, and starting to back away slowly. But I’m glad you’re having this conversation.
One thing I would consider is, by my math, with remaining RFA’s likely to be resigned, PGH will be at 48 contracts. Meaning they would have just 1 or 2 spots for incoming ELC’s (presumably they have a draft pick or two they want to sign). They’ve signed several verteran AHL’ers this off season. Not sure if it’s the best use of their 50 contract slots.</div></div>
This is what happens when the entire Penguins system either misses the playoffs or gets swept, mixed with being a season ticket holder in Wilkes-Barre for over a decade, combined with being out of a job and it being too hot to do anything outside during the longest days of the year.
Let me assure you that we are in fact totally nuts, and that's fine. If I counted right the Pens will have used 46 contract slots once all the RFA's they've qualified are signed, and Addison and Hallander will both come off that total if they return to juniors/overseas. Even if you assume Pittsburgh is going to keep Jarry and carry three goalies there's still room at add to the AHL and NHL teams.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>pharrow</b></div><div>Czuczman, Trotman were both just signed. You act like they were on long term contracts. They were not. Which was he whole point to begin with.
You huff and puff he but you really don't say anything. One of Riikola or Chad R will be in WBS next year. Pick your poison. They aren't holding onto 8 defense man as a team tight up against the cap. That isn't even remotely even worth considering. I did misjudge addison age, I thought he was 20 this year, next year.
But that doesn't get rid of the fact that the are not bringing in youth to fill these roles.
Also stop trying to say there is no talent in undrafted free agents. Panarin was an undrafted free agent. There is a whole list of guys who were undrafted guys who made it to the NHL level. Furthermore, they don't have to all make it to the NHL level, they only need be as good as the older guy they are replacing who was never going to make it there, with the possibility that maybe because they are younger they can develop into that guy.
There are players like that out there. You can look at any league and they are there. Guys who are late bloomers, didn't hit their stride till 22-23, and are deserving of at least a look. Guys who maybe were drafted and were never signed, but now maybe ready. There are a lot of players like that out there. The problem is people like you clutch onto what you have, and aren't willing to risk signing a younger player. Hell CBJ signed Kukan in what 2015, he's a solid younger guy who might eventually turn into a bottom pairing guy, he has a better chance than Trottman.
If they put the effort into signing 1 or 2 guys like this every year you wouldn't be in a situation where the cupboard is so bare. The level of the player has nothing to do with their age.
There are younger players out there undrafted. They are just as good. Yes there will be a small learning curve but if you can play hockey you can play hockey.
Use a farm team accordingly. give the opportunity, that's what it's their for. It's not going to harm other players development. If anything it will make them more responsible players and help them learn to not make mistakes that put other people in bad positions.</div></div>
So what's your ideal D corps for Wilkes-Barre this year, then? If they build the team entirely out of guys already in the system you're looking at:
Now that team is absolute trash, and it's still really bad even if you drop in one of Riikola or Ruhwedel (who both spent the majority of the year in Pittsburgh <em>just last season</em>). So let's say one of them comes down, and the Pens land a guy like Dean Kukan (why he's your go-to example I don't know). Now the lineup looks like:
So now you have a guy who's either never played professional hockey or who's never played in North America on your top pairing, your 2nd pairing has one ok defenseman on it who and will probably get shelled, and your 3rd pair has two guys that are ECHL level or worse. Without strong drafted players coming in or signing veterans to fill holes this is the best you can do, and it's trash. That defensive group is not only going to get destroyed and leave the two prospect goalies in WBS out to dry on a nightly basis, they'll hamstring the entire forward group by making them play defense and puck retrieval for 75% of the night. You can't fill a team with random garbage for the sake of it and expect NHL players to be made.
Side note, Panarin is literally the best example available and yet you make no mention of the other big foreign free agent that year, Sergei Plotnikov. All of these guys are gambles, and almost all of them turn out to be AHL caliber at best. Specifically,
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quote:</div>Furthermore, they don't have to all make it to the NHL level, they only need be as good as the older guy they are replacing who was never going to make it there, with the possibility that maybe because they are younger they can develop into that guy. </div>
These guys practically don't exist in summer free agency. The college guys are almost all signed or committed for the fall, and anyone let go by a team who's young enough to still have "time to develop" isn't going to outperform a known entity. You're left with overseas coinflips (which are a nice gamble but not something you build a team around) and garbage guys like the ones who fill out development rosters. If you want to argue for different veterans that's fine, but you're arguing against having guys who fill the veteran role entirely and that's asinine.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>pharrow</b></div><div>I think you under rate a lot of players.
So many people have this idea that these young players all suck and some how if you are older you are the "better player."
That's just not true, and you know that's not true if you look at the NHL and see players younger than him playing full time roles there.
There are players who come out the NCAA undrafted, players who come out of europe, etc. Look at Riikola. He came out undrafted.
Tell me he couldn't play that role. He's better than that role to be honest.
You have to have faith in younger players. This idea that you clutch onto everyone just because of familiarity is bad news. This is why you have things like scouts. You don't need to find a whole team of these guys. Yes your prospects are going to play to develop. But truth be told, they don't "need to be sheltered" No one is sheltering players down there for any significant length of time. What do you think, you go from a sheltered role in the AHL directly to the NHL. It doesn't work that way. Learn the system in a few games and get in there and show what you can do. They only get better playing against better players. You shouldn't be sheltering a player like Addison if you want him to come in and be a 2RHD. He should be playing 1RHD minutes in wbs. That's the only way you are going to know if he's good enough to actually play that role.
You look at what is there.
neither of which should sit.
and you are at 3 defense men.
We can sit here and debate the facts, but the reason there are no defensive prospects on this team is because they keep signing guys who are 28 years old and never going to be NHL level defense men under the guise that you need vets.
If you absolutely can't find anyone, then I under stand you sign someone to come and fill in. But you have a whole scouting department there and you are going to tell me between the CHL, NCAA< and Europe they can't find 3 guys to come in and play AHL level quality hockey who are undrafted and deserving of a chance. I'm going to call bs on that.
You end up putting a team together year after year with older guys who are 26+ and then say, we have no depth, no prospects no nothing......
Well of course we don't. We stacked the AHL team full of players who have no hope of ever playing the next level.</div></div>
You don't even have the facts right, and even if you did you're vastly overrating the free agent pool and the caliber of guys comimg out of college/juniors.
Wilkes-Barre currently has three AHL level defensemen signed for next season: Czuczman, Trotman, and Almari. Riikola is most likely signing a one way contract and hanging in the press box with Ruhwedel for most of the season, Addison needs to play out the year in Juniors, and the rest of the group (Birks, Erkamps, Abt, Lizotte, Siebenaler) are either borderline ECHL players that need years of development or straight garbage. These aren't players you fill a competent AHL roster with, you give them a few games here or there or glue them on the bottom pairing with an actual AHL defenseman. It doesn't have anything to do with the fact that these guys are young, they're <em>bad</em>.
Maybe in a few years one of them will be less bad and stick in the AHL, but expecting any young guy in Wilkes-Barre except Almari to ever be an NHL option is foolish. The best part is, those five guys are about as good as anyone you're going to find looking for a contract this time of year. Sometimes a potential AHL gem like Riikola or Bengtsson will fall from the stars overseas, but you're lucky to find one every few years. If you didn't draft them, sign them out of development camp, or nab them after a Hobey Baker nomination, they're probably garbage. No one they could have signed the last few summers would have ever turned into a serious prospect.
Honestly, when's the last time a team signed some undrafted, unnoticed, unscouted player and they turned into a serious prospect? The Pens currently have four undrafted defensemen in their development camp, none of them impressive, two of which are too young for the AHL. Maybe one guy ends up in Wilkes-Barre this season, but you're still left needing AHL vets to fill out the roster.
Aa for why there's no depth, the Penguins have been trading and whiffing on draft picks for years. They've added a few UFA's that either impressed in camp or were on the national radar from college, but there's no substitute for the draft. At one point the Pens defensive system had Maatta, Dumoulin, Harrington, Strait, Bortuzzo, Morrow, and Pouliot all either in the AHL, on the waiver bubble, or a year away from turning pro. How? The draft. You can't build a farm system with free agents, the talent isn't there. You'll occasionally nab a Prow or a Sheary or an Aston-Reese but a good system has a bunch of those guys, and when you draft rarely and miss hard on the picks you do make, you're not going to develop anything.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>WhatsaMaattaWithYou</b></div><div>With your mindset, every GM would welcome the opportunity to make trades with you because you would grossly overpay and terribly overvalue players. You contradicted yourself stating an older 50 pt winger that is a unique powerplay asset. Key word older. He plays a physical game and his body will wear down well before his contract expires making him not worth the contracts value at the end of it's term. Just because you have Stanley Cup rings doesn't automatically drive your value through the roof. Sports is a what have you done lately business. Look at how many not so bright GMs sign players based on past achievements and give players the "Cup raise" to find themselves in cap trouble. The Hawks are a good example. And again, Brassard, last season was worth that because of his potential with the team. Now, after his lack of production, he is not. He isn't capable of carrying a line and doesn't make his line mates better and he can't even stick on Crosby's line and be productive. You guys need to stop with hometown assessments. I'm from Pittsburgh too and 95% of these published transactions from you guys are nothing but making other teams give up the farm for peanuts.</div></div>
Brassard is on track to produce a little less at evens than he has historically, which can pretty well be explained away be a drop in ice time and not being healthy. His overall point totals are down because he's always been a factor on the powerplay and he's not getting the time in Pittsburgh, but he had that same problem with the Sens. He was fine after he got acclimated last season, the he got hurt. He's shown flashes this season, then he gets shuffled to wing or has to deal with Kessel. He's pretty much the same player he was in Ottawa, so as a deadline rental why wouldn't he be worth a 1st to a team in desperate need of a middle six center?
There are very recent examples of players still being capable into their mid-30's on this team. Kunitz and Dupuis were both still strong, viable NHL players up through their age-35 seasons, and there's no reason to think Hornqvist won't still be at least serviceable by the time his deal is up barring an injury that every player is at risk for. Is a 36 year old making $5.3 million a year and topping out at 40 points worth a 1st? No, but that's not what we're talking about trading. Hornqvist has maybe three good runs left in him after this year, and he'd make whatever powerplay was adding him one of the better units in the league. A win-now team wouldn't have any issue giving up a 1st at minimum for Hornqvist.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>FreeTacosAreBestTacos</b></div><div>Bad Rels though, for the most part. Very high PDO too, suggesting regression. Rangers pass, Smith is cheaper, on a shorter contract, and doesn't block as many spots for the young Dmen they have coming up.</div></div>
The trade is a big loss for the Pens, but you're really undervaluing Maatta. Players with his credentials at his age are very scarce and valuable, and while he isn't a world beater he is a solid second pairing option. His relatives numbers aren't great because the vast majority of ES numbers when he is off the ice are being eaten by either the Dumo-Letang pairing or a sheltered 3rd pair. His PDO is high, but it's not out of place for the team and a 1-2% slide would line him up with his historic average without making a huge difference in results.
I do think Maatta to the Rangers makes sense, just not for that return. A Top-4 of Skjei, Maatta, Pionk, and Deangelo is young enough to still have relevant pieces once the rebuild is done, and parts can always be moved for team improvements. In particular I think Maatta+ for Shattenkirk retained makes a lot of sense as it balances out everyones handedness and makes their defense a lot younger. Sounds crazy, but Shats ice time has dropped and he's being used more as a powerplay specialist, so its not like he's untouchable.
<div class="quote"><div class="quote_t">Quoting: <b>MajesticWalrus</b></div><div>Shinkaruk was once a highly touted prospect and went in the first round. He's still young. And Suzuki is a really good young centre prospect. And they get two draft picks. Not a bad return for a team that's always getting criticized for its lack of young talent, it's not like brassard is going to be resigned by The Penguins. He would want a raise from his current contact and on top of that his current contract is almost half retained. They won't afford him and Johnson, we don't need him. Pyatt is not bad, he's one of the best shot blocking players in the league like bonino was. I got skapski and dansk, they're both still young for a goalie. And we don't need anyone too extravagant backing up desmith because Murray will be back soon. Also as a penguins fan from Vancouver, gaunce, granlund, chatfield and Stecher are all great bang for your buck. They're all really good defensively and relatively young. And Stecher is way better than maatta.</div></div>
Shinkaruk has a multi-year track record of being an average AHL forward, and has a grand total of 6 points in 22 games this season. Unless he's literally free off the waiver wire, pass.
Suzuki might end up being great, but he's a 19 year old that's still plugging away in juniors. Brassard is more likely to help the Pens win a Cup in 2019 than Suzuki is in 2020 or 2021, and after that the core of the Pens will be too far gone for Suzuki to make enough of a difference.
Now I'm not against trading Brassard, but if Suzuki is the only piece coming back then the Pens are punting on one of their last chances at a Cup in this era. A pick at the end of the draft or a 3rd that will end up somewhere between 80th and 90th overall don't mean a lot to this team, and the Brassard package to Ottawa just last season ended up being a 1st, two 3rds, and a really great goalie prospect. That'll fall off a bit since whoever would be adding him would probably just have him as a rental, but the package would still be decent. If the Pens are only getting Suzuki, a 3rd, and partial relief on the Johnson contract when you're giving up Brassard <em>and</em> Jarry, that's a loss.
Tom Pyatt is watching 65% of shots go on his own net while he's on the ice, along with being on the ice for nine goals against while shorthanded in just 58 minutes of PK time. We already have to deal with Cullen trudging around the ice, and Pyatt isn't an improvement just because he's quick enough to throw himself in a shooting lane.
Dansk isn't an NHL goalie. Skapski isn't even an AHL goalie. The Pens don't need to be trading away the only young cheap goaltender left in the system that might be able to give you NHL starts without a multi-million dollar contract, especially not as a sweetener in a deal where we're losing a ton of value already.
I'm not buying what you're selling on Vancouver. Chatfield has nothing in his history to suggest an NHL ceiling at 22, Gaunce can't hold down an NHL job despite the Canucks needing all the young help they can get, and Granlund has been on the ice for a league-worst 18 power play goals against. I also don't see how you can look at everything Maatta has done so far in his career and say that Troy Stecher is even as good as Maatta, let alone "way better". Maatta outproduces him, he logs more time on the PK (and would log more all situations minutes if Stecher didn't play on a tire fire of a D corps), and he's got a professional track record stretching back to before Stecher left the BCHL. Don't forget how much sway having a Cup ring on your finger holds with GM's around the league, and Maatta has two of them before turning 25. Stecher is the better skater and he's right-handed, that doesn't mean he's better overall and it certainly doesn't mean he's more valuable. Maatta might very will be traded, and soon, but it won't be for pennies and projects.