Kris Beech is back for another season in Pittsburgh, and that mental pause you just made from reading the comma is pretty much my reaction to it.
But the acquisition of another Pittsburgh native and a potential agitator replacement has some people talking Maloney and Ruuuuuuu.
Bill Thomas, a native of Pittsburgh, is set to join the ranks of the Penguins to the mumbles of another Malone. Best of all, he has some NHL experience:
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Thomas made his NHL debut during the 2005-06 season and recorded 17 points in 40 career games with the Coyotes.
Not bad, I can take that. Malone's best season was - well, last year. But when he was coming up through his years in Pitt those were the kind of numbers he tossed up. To think we may see another guy rise up through the ranks in a similar fashion is pretty exciting, if not worrisome, that his best year will come right before he leaves town for the sunny skies of Florida. But who's really bitter anyway?
Ryan Stone has been amongst the prospects for what will be his third season now. The guy is a physical player who has carried much likeness to that of Jarkko Ruutu. Just last year alone, Stone was a prospect who had his name tossed around with Kris Letang as potential full-time call-ups. Well Letang made the team last year, and perhaps this season is Stone's for the taking.
Penguins writer Brian Metzer says:
Ryan Stone is getting to the point where the Penguins would like to see him earn an NHL roster spot out of camp and some feel that this could be the year. He plays a physical, agitating style that would combine perfectly with Matt Cooke to offset the loss of Jarkko Ruutu.
Stone hardly was a blip on the Penguins' radar last season, but he did join the ranks of the parent club on six different occasions. He registered only one point, as assist to forward Chris Minard on March 12 against Buffalo.
Beech - Thomas - Stone, in the runnings for next year's squad.