What’s Their Impact?

Fine! Dont experience the dynasty!

Fine! Don't experience the dynasty!

The 2008/2009 Penguins will be a completely new team from last year’s Eastern Conference Champs team. Bits and pieces of that stacked team were broken up by salary cap issues and players decisions to go elsewhere. Unfortunately that Cup contending team couldn’t stay in-tact for one more season but some of the losses aren’t as big as you think. However, it’ll be hard to replace some players that will be wearing different uni’s next season.

Let’s do the rundown of how each player’s loss will impact the 08/09 Penguins…

Marian Hossa – Well we all knew Hossa was only going to be a ‘rental’. Of course the Pens fans will boo him bloody murder when he comes back to Pittsburgh in a Wings uni, but that’s a different topic.

Anyways, I’m one of the few Pens fans out there that feels Hossa’s loss will hurt. Sure we only had him for a few months but he came up big in the playoffs. Hossa was our best player in the playoffs and without him, I truly don’t think the Pens make the Cup finals. Another year with a Crosby-Hossa line could’ve been SICK and possibly the best in the league.

So yes, losing Hossa is big. It’s always big losing an elite player. But hey we have a strong enough team to still be Cup contenders without the traitor.

Ryan Malone – Let’s face it folks, Ryan Malone only had one good year and it was last year. However, it was a damn good year and I would’ve loved to keep Malone. But Malone wanted too much money. $5 million per year?! I think I speak for the rest of the Penguins fan base in if you want that much money to stay in Pittsburgh and your last name isn’t Crosby, Malkin, Fleury or Staal, please get out and thanks for your time here. Once again, that’s a whole different topic.

Malone though only had one good year. Most of his career he was lazy and lacked consistency. Which is why I don’t feel like he’ll be as big of a loss as people are making it out to be, especially when Feds will be replacing him. The only reason why Malone was so good last season was because one man, Evgeni Malkin. Malkin MADE Malone and there’s not many Malkin’s in this league, definitely no Malkin in Tampa Bay since he won’t be playing with Vincent Lecavalier.

Is he a loss? Yes. Is he a big loss? No.

Jarkko Ruutu – Oh I’ll miss the wacky Jarkko Ruutu. I’ll definitely miss the RUUUUUUUUUUUTTUUU cheers in Mellon Arena.

For the third/fourth lines, I’ll admit it, the Pens will miss Ruutu. Yeah, yeah, yeah he’s a third liner but so many times he saved Crosby and Malkin’s butt and was a great character guy. He got along with the team greatly and contributed to the great chemistry that team had last year. Add that he was one of the best grinders in the league and even chipped in a goal or two from time to time and of course it’s hard to lose someone like that. Not going lie, Ottawa got a good one in Ruutu. Sucks he’s not going to be a Pen anymore.

Oh and FYI, I’ll still RUUUUTTUU him at Mellon Arena. Hopefully everyone else does too.

Gary Roberts – I feel like if I say anything negative about Gary Roberts, he’ll karate chop my ass or something. Ahhh I’ll miss the “WWGRD” signs and the hilarious jokes about Roberts on Pens boards (the one I just made was lame).

I would’ve loved to kept Roberts. I mean c’mon, who wouldn’t want to have Gary effing Roberts on their team?! He’s so intimidating that the devil is scared of him (ehhh I’ll stop). But I don’t think Roberts is a big loss. Sure he has a lot of valuable experience but this team already made the Cup finals. Instead of knowing how to get there, it’s more like “ehh been there, done that”, with this young team. Plus Roberts didn’t play that much and at his old age, was getting to be a bit injury prone.

WWGRD? Well he did what we didn’t want him to do – he left Pittsburgh.

George Laraque – Aaahhh George Laraque. What a hilarious figure. However, what a horrible skater and player that didn’t play much. Add to the fact that he didn’t do what he’s supposed to do most of the time and that’s fight. He didn’t even make an appearance in the Stanley Cup finals and didn’t play much in the whole entire playoffs. 

Not a loss by any stretch of the imagination.

Ty Conklin – Talk about a guy that saved our butts last season. After Crosby and Fleury went down, Ty Conklin (yes Ty freakin Conklin) came up in a HUGE, HUGE way. Along with Malkin, Conklin was a big part in why the Pens didn’t completely collapse without Crosby and Fleury.

When Fleury does take a break and doesn’t start, I’d breath a lot easier if it was Conklin, not Sabourin, that was our back-up goalie. If Fleury doesn’t get injured this year, losing Conklin isn’t THAT big of a loss. However, if Fleury does get hurt, we’re screwed big time and regretted ever letting Conklin go.

Adam Hall – Like Laraque, not a huge loss at all. He had his moments in the playoffs but that was about it. Horrible skater and doesn’t throw his body around like he should. We can easily fill him with Jeff Taffe or a WBS guy.

Overall, the Penguins lost a couple solid players. However, a team that has Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin won’t fall out of their elite position. Plus they filled positions with more than adequate players that will get the job done.



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