Home > Sports > What Tumultuous Offseason?

What Tumultuous Offseason?

Julia Stumbaugh recently wrote an argument about the Penguins and their 2017 offseason changes. She correctly notes a rather minor offseason change for the Penguins of 2016 offseason when compared to the 2017 version. She lists a bunch of changes and notes the players that hurt the Penguins.

According to Julia, Fleury, Kunitz, Bonino, Daley, and Cullen hurt the Penguins. I am stuck with what she considers to be so damaging. Fleury, Kunitz, and Daley were instrumental for the injury plagued team while Cullen had a noticeable drop in skill the past two seasons. Even Bonino had a major drop. What is so glaringly wrong now that these players have moved on?

She states there is a significant loss in the veteran presence? First, this is an often overstated claim usually made by those who do not look deeply into what makes a team run. Veterans do add an element to a team, but after two Stanley Cup victories, I would say Sheary, Rust, and Dumoulin are veterans in some way or is it age based? She lists four current stars as the veteran presence, but this contradicts the idea of what a veteran is.  Is she trying to say that star players are veterans? If so, then the loss was truly insignificant. Fleury was the closest but he was relegated to more of a minor role this past season until the injury of Matt Murray. An assistant captain doesn’t mean the loss of a veteran. How long had Kunitz held this role? Don’t you think this is overplaying the assistant captain role for a guy that not only dropped in lines but also playing time?

Second, she mentions the high-quality backup goaltender. This is only an issue when your main goalie is injured. Just about any team in this league will suffer if their main goalie goes down. Why not include the scrubs or development players if you are going to include a backup? She is basing the future on the past. Anyone familiar with sports is well aware that the injury bug is not predictable

Julia concentrates on the point production for players lost but doesn’t dig deeper into other issues. She could have made a case about Bonino but doesn’t. Where she could strengthen her argument she ignores while plopping fluff to support her argument. She falls flat on her face with her article.

She doesn’t use the term leadership in her article. It is here where she could have mentioned Kunitz, Bonino, Cullen, and Fleury. But is leadership someone who is willing to give all as these players did? If so, then why include Malkin as he takes a backseat much of the time.  There is so much to dig into with this element.

The truth of the matter is that the players lost were becoming minor role playing partners on the team or were not in a position to push the team forward. Fleury was more of an aberration this past post season and the other players were more fortunate than skilled in helping the team. This isn’t to say their skill didn’t help, but my argument is there are other players out there that could have done the same thing. Kunitz’s series winning goal against Ottawa was not because he was a veteran. It was the fact he was in the right place at the right time and with a little luck, his end over end shot went in. This is similar to 2016 Stanley Cup Finals game two goal by Connor Sheary.

Julia does not know the Penguins players with much detail or she could have provided more information to support her weak argument. This is typical of most writers of any sport. They misguide the reader and claim they know what they’re talking about. The 2017-18 may suffer from weakened the 3rd and 4th lines, but their success is ultimately dependent upon the core players. The counter argument is that the 3rd and 4th line was getting progressively weaker anyway.

The team has gained veteran depth with younger players winning two cups. When you are playing 23 playoff games, you gain experience and doing it two years in a row provides much to build on. No, I don’t say Sheary, Rust, and Dumoulin are veterans, but they are on their way to being veterans. Who you cannot exclude are Hornqvist, Cole, Hagelin, and Kessel. Losing role players doesn’t necessarily mean doom and gloom. The Penguins lost periphery players that had to shine when injuries took their toll and some players were sadly overrated. Hey, I like Bonino, but his name to fame was the HBK line and a Punjabi goal chant. His 2016-17 season was mediocre at best, so what are the Penguins giving up? Cullen is another year slower. Daley was a minor role player for the team as injuries riddled his time with the team.

The Penguins will fight for the Stanley Cup next season and the team will have to battle improved opponents in order to win the Stanley Cup. If they do not win, it will be their opponents who earned the victory while the Penguins squandered their chances.

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: