Tag: Ben Lovejoy


Report: Penguins won’t re-sign Martin, Ehrhoff; intend to spend on wingers


Even with the trials and tribulations they faced at times in Pittsburgh, one would think there was a chance that the Penguins might bring back either Paul Martin or Christian Ehrhoff. Instead, it sounds like they’ll go very young in 2015-16.

Le Presse’s Marc Antoine Godin reports that the Pens are opting for a “full youth movement” on defense, and that they’d rather spend their cash on wingers this summer.

It’s easy to pick out the Penguins defensemen who would rank as “experienced:” Kris Letang, Ian Cole, Rob Scuderi and Ben Lovejoy.

Beyond that, you have promising (and resoundingly unlucky) young blueliner Olli Maatta leading a group of fresh faces that includes the likes of Derrick Pouliot and Brian Dumoulin. Some would go even further with that youth movement, actually:

On paper, the Penguins could very well have a healthy amount of cap space, especially if they go with young and cheap blueliners instead of signing veterans. Beyond the go-to answer of Justin Williams, it’s to say how robust the free agent market will be regarding wingers, although the Penguins could also aim for a trade or some other move.

/Waits for wave of Brandon Saad comments.

Anyway, it’s an interesting and bold strategy, assuming Godin’s report is correct. We’ll see how that situation shakes out in what’s looking like a summer of change both on and off the ice for Pittsburgh.

Rutherford admits mistakes, but has support of Penguins ownership

Mike Johnston Press Conference

You may question some of his moves, but you can’t say he lacks candor.

Penguins GM Jim Rutherford met with reporters today in Pittsburgh, and proceeded to:

Admit the club erred in the development of Beau Bennett, that the player should have spent more time in the AHL.
Express regret for trading young defenseman Simon Despres for veteran defenseman Ben Lovejoy.
Concede he could have handled an interaction with a certain member of the media better.

Those were the mistakes for which he held himself accountable.

But Rutherford also said:

— He has the full support of ownership to make the changes he sees fit, which may include buyouts. (Rob Scuderi?)
— He will look to add a top-six winger, most likely through a trade, given the dearth of options in free agency.
— The head coach he hired, Mike Johnston, did a good job, and the players said so.

Anyway, it should be a very interesting offseason in Pittsburgh. The Penguins have a number of pending unrestricted free agents, including Paul Martin, Christian Ehrhoff, Steve Downie and Thomas Greiss.

It could also be a challenging one for Rutherford. If he wants to add a top-six winger through a trade, what, exactly, could he offer in return? He already traded his first-round pick to get David Perron, and it’s not like the Penguins are blessed with an overabundance of prospects.

Besides, they need to develop their prized youngsters, not trade them away for short-term fixes. (You know, like they traded away Després.)

Related: Friedman says Penguins need to ‘think about’ trading Malkin

Columnist: Penguins have stolen ‘psychological’ edge from Rangers

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game Two

Hey, remember last week when a Pittsburgh newspaper columnist was bemoaning the slim chances of the Penguins in their series versus the Rangers?

Well, fast forward to today and here’s Larry Brooks of the New York Post with a rather different take:

To walk into the Penguins’ locker room on the morning of Monday’s Game 3 is to feel the confidence this eight-seed gained by splitting the first two matches of the opening round in New York.

Where is Yogi when we need him to step up and talk about how a playoff series is 90 percent mental and the other half physical? Because that is what this exercise has become for the Rangers, who must not only adjust their tactical approach against a Pittsburgh team that has done an outstanding job of limiting New York’s signature diagonal stretch-pass, rush game, but also needs to swing the psychological aspect of the best-of-seven back to their side.

Welcome to playoff hockey, where one game is all that’s needed to turn the tide (or at least perceptions).

In a related story, get a load of what Ben Lovejoy was saying about Saturday’s 4-3 victory:

We’ll have to wait and see if the good Penguins vibes are sustainable. The odds makers still have the Rangers as slight favorites tonight, even though the game’s in Pittsburgh.