Penguins Name MP General Manager for the Day

(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Penguins just announced that Marc Penner will be the General Manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins, for the Day.  His duties are effective immediately.  His Mission…to Fix the Pittsburgh Penguins, Like now.

The Facts – Just the Facts

Penguins Record is: 22-15-6 = 50 Points

They are tied with NYI for the 2nd Wild Card spot

6th -Tied, in the Metropolitan Division

7th -Tied, in the Eastern Conference

11th Tied, in the League (Note there are many ties)

The Penguins just barely beat a brutal Ducks team last night.  Oh no. Oh no. Oh no no no no.

They have performed below expectations to date and are in the part of their schedule where they should be beating up on teams, not just getting by.

GM Penner Says:  The Penguins are trending in the wrong direction.  The Stars on this team need to play like Stars.  I understand the Pens have injuries.  However, its all hands-on deck time in Penguin Land.  Any more long slumps and it will simply mean its golf season instead of the Playoffs, come April.

You know what they say, “if there are no easy games on your schedule, you are the easy game”.

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The Facts – Part 2 – Injuries

The Penguins are injured right now.  Period.  I understand that will always be the excuse with the third oldest team in the NHL.  However, you must admit, that if any other teams were missing these calibre of players such as; Letang, Petry, and Pettersson on D, Their starting Goalie Jarry, (who at times can play All-World) as well as some injured depth players, those teams would be in trouble too.

GM Penner Says:  The Penguins need to get these key players back into the line-up, ASAP or this ship will sink.  The leaks are obvious.

The Facts – Part 3 – The Critics

The current situation that the Penguins find themselves in, could have been avoided or at least the names would be different.

Critics are getting all over Heinen, and want him traded.  Really?  Do you really think this guy is the issue in Penguin Land?

I know he can be playing better overall.  So could the entire Penguins team for that matter.

However, you know he is capable of scoring maybe 10 goals in a season, right?.  He cost $1 Million to re-sign for one season.  He is a third or fourth line depth player and people are putting the current Penguins situation on him?  Come on folks…you know better than that.

Other critics are all over the bottom 6 forwards.  Really.  In a Cap World, there simply is not enough money to go around when you pay the Stars Top Dollar.

GM Penner Says:  So, what this means is there is an HR problem.  It’s all about who’s doing the hiring and how much they are paying the employees.  It’s a Budget issue.  And Budget dictates employees, like who, how many and at what price.

Both you and I know that the Penguins opted for signing what they already knew they had, this past off-season, instead of making the difficult changes that needed to be made.  And now the critics are calling for more youth to be added to the team?  Lol.

That boat sailed last off-season folks.  So, how can anyone be shocked at who they are or where they are in the standings?

If the HR objective was / is to simply make the playoffs, they have a chance.  If the HR objective was / is to Win the Cup, then they needed to move on and move forward from what they already had.

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The Facts – Part 4 – Penguins HR Re-Signings

Letang-D – age 35 -signed for $6.1 Million over 6 years. (Gm MP: You knew he played lights out, crazy good for that final contract of his career and could not replicate that kind of production right?)

Malkin-F- age 36 -signed for $6.1 Million over 4 years.  (Gm MP: You knew his MVP days were in the past and that he is weak Defensively) (career 44% Face-off win %.)…right?

Rakell-F – age 29 signed for $5 Million over 6 years.  (Gm MP: You knew he hasn’t been a 30-goal scorer for 5 years now., and that he is a weak defender, and not tough along the boards…right?)

Kapanen-F age 26 -signed for $3.2 Million over 2 years.  (Gm MP: You knew he was brutal last year, and so you re-signed him for more term?  And he is underperforming again this year…or is he simply performing…you know what I mean…right?)

Heinen-F age 27 -signed for $1 Million over 1 year.  (Gm MP: As a depth guy, as mentioned above.  He hits and has some sandpaper.  He is not a scorer, but you knew that already…right?)

DeSmith-G age 31 -signed for $1.8 Million over 2 years. ( Gm MP: I was not convinced he was the answer, I’m still not convinced he is…but you were?)

Tokarski-G age 33 -signed for $775k over 1 year.  (Gm MP: Depth in G-ok, however after watching him play, he will not be the answer.  I can see it now, but you couldn’t?)

The Facts – Part 5 – Penguin Trades

Knowing what they already had, the Penguins opted to trade defenseman Matheson and a 4th round pick in 2023 to Montreal for Jeff Petry-D and Ryan Poehling-F.

The Penguins also traded Defensemen Marino to New Jersey for Ty Smith-D and a 3rd round pick in 2023.

GM Penner Says:  All are still on the roster.  Petry and Poehling are injured, while Smith is getting some playing time. Let this play out for now.

Trending. Pens Win...when they do this. light

The Facts – Part 6 – Father Time

I like Jeff Carter and respect his game. I know he can score in the league and is good in faceoffs as well as a veteran presence.  However, signing a 38-year-old for $3.2million until the 2024 season was absurd.  He has nothing left to prove, is in decline and you need the cap space.

GM Penner Says:  Oh yeah, and contracts like this also allowed your Swiss Army knife Rodrigues, age 29- to walk over to the Avs for $2 Million.  (And people are crying for more scoring depth in the bottom 6…really?  #9 was not the answer, but he sure wasn’t the problem.) 

Hey, I know you missed the memo…but the league is now all about youth and speed.

The Facts – Part 7 –  The Reality of Today

So, what are we left with?

Weak in Goalie.

Weak on D.

Weak on Depth Forwards.

GM Penner Says:  The Sky Is Falling!  The Sky Is Falling!  Some of you will say hindsight is 20/20.  Well, I saw this coming and wrote about this last year.  Others have been in pain for longer.

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The Facts – Part -8 – The Fix

The fix for this, was in the past.

GM Penner Says:  Let’s Turn Back the Clock in order to fix this team.  The available money from the above mentioned Free Agent situation heading into this past off-season, Would Have Been $27, 175,000. @ 8 Players.

GM Penner then Signs these players who were Free Agents in the summer of 2022:

D – Klingberg – age 30 – $7 Million @ 1 year -13 pts (Replaces Letang-age 35 -16pts)

LW – Johnny Gaudreau – Age 29- $9.750 Million @ 7 years – 41 pts (Replaces Malkin-age 36-39 pts)

Center – Trocheck – age 29- $5.625. Million @ 7 years-31pts and 56.24% Face-Off win %. (Replaced Rakell-age 29-26pts)

Center – F-– Rodrigues – age 29 $2 Million @ 1 year-21 pts and 48.44% Faceoff win %. (Replaces Kapanen-age 26-17pts)

LW – Heinen-age 27 -signed for $1 Million over 1 year.  (Re-signed sure why not)

G – Martin Jones – Age 33 $2 Million @ 1 year – 21 Wins.  (Replaces DeSmith-age 31-5 wins)

X – no need to replace Tokarski – 1 win – other goalies are already in the system.

Center – F – Stefan Noesen – Age 29 $762,000. @ 2 yrs – 21pts and 58.6% Faceoff Win % (Relaces Jeff Carter-age 38-19pts)

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The Lines would have been

Guenzel – Crosby – Rust

Gaudreau – Trocheck – Zucker

Heinen – Rodrigues – McGinn

O’Connor – Blueger – Noesen


Pettersson – Klingberg

Dumoulin – Petry

P.O Joseph – Rutta

Ty Smith – Fedun




GM Penner Says:  We are happy to have signed these 7 players @ $28.137 Million.  Keep in mind that I simply used the existing contracts they signed.  I would have negotiated better deals…lol

I dropped the average age, in general.  Younger usually means more speed.

We are strong up the middle as well as along the boards.

I’m still not sure about the D.  In reality, we would need to see them all play together before passing judgement on this group.

I brought in players who are tough to play against, in today’s game, yet are crafty as well.

I know I’m over by $962, 000.   However, the Penguins have $1.2 Million of open cap space.


I wonder how this roster would have made out?  Your thoughts?

My View from the Cheap Seats

I thought I would share with you, the actual view from my cheap seat

Section: TV

Row: PVR

Seat: The Couch

This will conclude my Day as the GM of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Now, I understand this is all hypothetical.  We will never know who would have signed or not, and what kind of salary or term they would really have ended up with.

I am not sure if the Penguins, even after all these changes, would still be in the same position in the standings, as we see today.

I am also not sure how the Team would have responded to losing longtime Penguins, Letang and Malkin, let alone the others that would have left.  Pulling the band aid hurts, but it’s needed in order to fully heal.

That said, the Penguins have handcuffed themselves to Letang, Malkin and the rest of this gang for the next 3-4 years, with very little wiggle room.

They are at the Cap Max, so any trades are going to be, money in, for money out.

Oh, by the way, there is no savior in the Minors.  There is also very little overall depth in the system.

Upcoming Free Agents at the end of this year.

Zucker  @ $5.5 Million

Blueger @ 2.2 Million

Heinen @ 1 Miillion

Dumoulin @ $4.1 Million

Tokarski @ $775,000.

And I don’t think Edmonton is willing to trade McDavid for these guys…lol.  Oh and by the way, he isn’t the missing piece…ouch.

GM Penner Says:  It’s time to start making calls to GM’s around the league.  The March 03.2023 NHL Trade Deadline is fast approaching.  I would love to hear what the other GM’s around the league are offering for certain players, who could help the Pens.  If they can even be helped now.

We know who the Penguins are.  We know what they are. My question, is it time to Activate the Penguin Way?

Is it to late to Tank Hard for Bedard…? (Can you say another Penguins Generational Re-Load?)

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The reality is, when the Injured Players return, I am hopeful the Pens have enough time left in the season, to get on a roll and make the NHL Playoffs with momentum.

We have already seen and witnessed the last Four First Round Exits…

Remember, “Once is a Fluke.  Twice is a Coincidence.  Three times is a Trend.”

I watched the Penguins vs the Jets game the other night, and that effort and outcome is what I’m afraid of seeing for the next 4 years.  Ugh.

Quote of the Day:

Let me be strong, for to be anything else is to languish in the abyss of compromise and to descend to places of impoverishment so destitute that they will squelch my soul and crush my heart.

Craig D. Lounsbrough – Author