Monday, October 30, 2006

Staal stays, Letang goes home; Cairns recalled

Not too much suspense by this time, ya know ??

As had been unofficially reported for a few days now, and speculated for over a week now, the Pens made it official today, announcing that Jordan Staal would remain with the Pens for the remainder of the year.

In addition, the club also did the expected in returning Kris Letang back to Juniors. Letang is going to be an excellent D-man for the Pens, as early as next year, but I think it was becoming apparent that he still needs a little seasoning before playing in the NHL full-time.

The Pens also filled the vacancy left after Letang's departure by recalling Eric Cairns, who had been in WBS on a conditioning assignment.

Now that Cairns is back, that leaves the return of Brooks Orpik as an interesting decision that the Pens must make.

Should the Pens;
  • Send Noah Welch back to WBS ?
  • Send Max Talbot back to WBS ?
  • Or the more radical approach, release someone or is a trade a-brewin' ??

I would really hate it if they sent Welch back down, they need to give this guy more than a few games to prove himself at the NHL level, especially while pylons like Cairns are still here.

I don't see them sending Talbot back down either. He's already proved that his presence on the 4th line makes them a much more balanced offense.

So, to me anyway, that leaves either someone getting release (read: Andre Roy) or a trade going down. As I'm sure most of the Pens fans have read recently, there have been rumblings about a trade between the Bruins and Pens, involving some combination of Malone/Christensen/Thibault, and Boyes/Murray/Thomas. I wouldn't doubt it at all, if it came to fruition. I can already see that Shero is an excellent talent evaluator, and I can definitely see him moving Malone. I think it's fair to say that Malone has not lived up to his expectations.

I'm sure we'll find out soon, perhaps by Tuesday, when the Pens fly to L.A.

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