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THN Predictions

There's always this adolescent sort of giddiness channeling through my nervous system when I see the newest edition of The Hockey News resting idly in my mailbox.  Whether it's the pristine pages of an otherwise hot off the press issue, or the otherwise soggy and matted edition that awaits when my mailman fails to securely place the magazine far enough into the mailbox during a rainstorm, I always have this child-like anticipation when the pages hit my hands.

It's like - Christmas morning.  Only instead of asking "What did Santa bring me" you ask, "What stupid thing are they going to say this time?"

I suppose one has to define stupid in this sense, seeing as how the word, similar to a four letter article of vocabulary can take on countless meanings.  In this case, stupid means outrageous; outlandish.  It means fictious rumors to fill pages.  Stupid stands for the exasperated and yet contemplative "really?!" that eminates from your vocal chords when you wonder where these ideas come from.

Stupid is how I feel when I get billed for the magazine.  Stupid is how I feel when I can't resist renewing my subscription.  Stupid is a way of life, and I live the life proudly.

So, what stupid element of this week's edition of THN awaits the Penguins?  I ask the question every week, and I soon get my answer.  Now, I shall share those answers with you guys.

According to this edition that places emphasis on the trade deadline, the Pens rumors are as follows.

The Penguins get Nashville's netminder Dan Ellis, in exchange for a second round draft pick.  I can't say much on Ellis's part, since I haven't seen him play all that much, but I'd think base on stats he wouldn't be a bad consideration.  Ellis is 13-5-2 in 24 appearance this season for the Preds and a respectable 3-0-2 in his last five.  I don't know why the staff of THN zoned in on Ellis.  There are many quality goalies around the league taking on the role as backup.  

Throughout the season the Pens have had a few rumored discussions with the Blue Jackets.  Well, Fredrik Norrena wouldn't be a bad choice.  

But let's stop the distraction of reviewing the league's valuable backups.  What about Conklin?  What has he done that warrants a replacement?  Fleury is due back by March.  Sabourin will most likely get the demotion, although his play in the last few appearances has been acceptable.  

Conklin is 14-3-3 on the season.  Considering no one would have guessed (including Conklin) he'd be playing for the parent club this season, I'd vouch to say he's done a stellar job.  Above expectancy.  In fact, THN agrees.  (Yet why they'd suggest Ellis is beyond me.)  An article titled "No Time for New Losses in Pitt" discusses the Pens' goalie situation in full detail.  It even says, and I quote:

Ty Conklin has earned the right to hold on to the starting job after Fleury's return.
THN - Joe Starkey

Now granted, that's Starkey's statement and not that of THN.  I'd also like to go on the record as saying I've hardly ever disliked anything Starkey writes.  It's always highly factual and backed up with his own highly regarded insight.

But getting back to the topic at hand.  Do people consider the fact there is already an existing three goalie situation in Pitt, and now THN is throwing Dan Ellis into the mix as well?  Come on.  It has the same chance of developing as one of Eklund's rumors from hockey buzz.

As the deadline approaches, THN also speculates that the Pens are looking to offer up Ryan Malone and Brooks Orpik in exchange for veteran leadership.  I guess they print these things before Malone goes on a tear and warrants the alternate captainship.  As for Brooks, well there's been some speculation surrounding him all season anyways.  Does he hate Therrien, does he like Therrien?  Does he want to leave Pitt, stay in Pitt; the list goes on.  

At least THN and I can agree on something, and that is working out deals to keep Malkin and Fleury around after this summer.  They also mention Staal, but I'd have to say I'm going either way on that one.  If he keeps up his play as of late, I say he's a keeper.  Moving a guy like Christensen might not be a bad offer for a vet.  

As far as my agreeing with THN on the re-signing topic, let's allow one of America's finest songwriters to sum it up for me:

"Two out of three ain't bad."

Thoughts?  I KNOW YOU GOT EM.