Tag: Marcel Goc

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game Two

One less pest: Pens will reportedly let Lapierre walk


The Pittsburgh Penguins brought in some agitating new presences in 2014-15, but it sounds like at least one of them won’t be back.

TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reports that the team won’t re-sign Maxim Lapierre, allowing him to hit the unrestricted free agent market.

The 30-year-old was best known for getting under opponents’ skin. In 80 regular season games, he managed 11 points and 32 PIM, and probably received a wide array of profane insults for his pesky ways. After 45 games wih the St. Louis Blues, he joined the Penguins via a trade (the Blues nabbed defensive forward Marcel Goc in the deal).

Penguins fans and observers seem pleased that he’s on his way out:

The Penguins have other fish to fry this offseason, including a tougher decision to make regarding another (more productive) pest, as Steve Downie’s also heading toward free agency.

Armstrong: All Blues signings on hold ’til Tarasenko ‘taken care of’


These are uncertain times in St. Louis.

With the future of head coach Ken Hitchcock up in the air, the club will now put all restricted and unrestricted free agents on the backburner in order to deal with this summer’s No. 1 priority — re-signing Russian sniper Vladimir Tarasenko.

“We are not going to be active in signing other players until we get him taken care of,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong said, per the Post-Dispatch. “If it means allowing players to go to free agency, if it means making players sweat it out on what their deal’s going to be, he’s the priority for us.

“I’d like to partner with him, I’d like to partner with Mike [Liut, Tarasenko’s agent]. If it happens in May, great. If it happens in June, great. If it happens in August, great. He’s the primary guy.”

To be fair, the Blues don’t have a ton of other decisions to make this summer. RFA goalie Jake Allen is No. 2 on the priority chart after Tarasenko, and the club has suggested it’d like to try and get something done with RFA d-man Roberto Bortuzzo.

As for UFAs, longtime Blue Barret Jackman’s future is in doubt. Armstrong said last week the club has “no answer” at the moment to questions about re-signing Jackman, which is obviously tied to Tarasenko. Trade deadline pickups Olli Jokinen, Marcel Goc and Zbynek Michalek would appear to be lower on the aforementioned priority chart.

Armstrong isn’t divulging much about the status of negotiations with Liut, but did reveal a few nuggets. One, there is zero chance No. 91 leaves via an offer sheet, with Armstrong saying it’ll be “easy” for the club to match whatever’s put forth. Armstrong also said the deal will be contingent upon next year’s salary cap, and that — in keeping with the deal struck last summer for forward Jaden Schwartz — Tarasenko will be hamstrung a bit by his RFA status (lest we forget Tarasenko just wrapped his entry-level deal, which paid a base salary of $900,000.)

“He’s going to be very well compensated on a second contract,” Armstrong explained. “But you make more money when you have more rights. He doesn’t have unrestricted free agency rights and that’s just the nature of the beast.

“That’s the business. He gets it, Mike gets it, I get it.”

Blues without Jori Lehtera for Game 5 vs. Wild

Jori Lehtera

The St. Louis Blues are looking to build off of their commanding 6-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild, but they’ll have to do so without Jori Lehtera. The 27-year-old forward absorbed a shot from teammate Jay Bouwmeester during the final frame of Wednesday’s contest and is sidelined as a result.

Lehtera also missed St. Louis’ morning skate, but at the time Blues coach Ken Hitchcock wasn’t ready to completely rule him out.

“I’m thinking he’s 50-50 to play, but we’re leaning more toward playing him than not,” Hitchcock said after the practice, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’ll see how it goes.”

With Lehtera unavailable, Paul Stastny is projected to play alongside Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko. Marcel Goc will reenter the lineup after being scratched in Game 4 and he’s likely to center the third line.

Lehtera, who made the move to St. Louis this season after excelling in the KHL, scored 14 goals and 44 points in 75 contests in the regular season. He’s recorded two assists in four playoff games.

Minnesota and St. Louis’ series is tied at 2-2.