Monday, August 4, 2008

Forget the Gloom and Doom Pens Fans

This was written following the first couple days of the crazy NHL Free Agency season. The sports radio shows were alive with the Yinzers screaming at Ray Shero and Maid Marion and anyone else. I needed to settle some things down.

Taking a Look Back at What Has Transpired in the Past 48 Hours, and How All the Gloom and Doom May Be Over the Top

I’m aware Pens fans: Yes the Pens did not get priority numero uno this offseason, that of course being Marian Hossa.
Yes, I’m also well aware that said priority signed with the much-loathed Red Wings for a head-scratcher of a deal.
I also have seen the number of role players that have been scooped up by the rest of the league.
I also am quite attentive to the little detail that we are severely lacking in wingers.
And yet, I’m not quite ready to join the rest of you atop the USX Tower just yet.
Yes, it has not quite gone really the way that so many of us envisioned it going thus far, but to those of you moping about town in this miserable rain, I have four simple words for you, three words that could (and should) change your life and your off-season perspective on our Pens: In Ray We Trust.
And there it is.
That’s all I should have to say, end of story, end of column, end of bitching. That’s a wrap.

Sooooooo, that’s not quite enough to settle your nerves, then? Fine, I can live with that, but please, allow me to continue before you call up the Yinzer Yap Line and give Junker and Crowe a piece of your mind.
Is our team worse then we expected it to be at this point? Almost unquestionably. Thankfully, though, the season doesn’t yet start, and that’s where those four little words come into the equation.
Now look, I understand the desire for everyone to play the role of GM and evaluate the here and the now without looking at the fact that no games happen until October, and the playoffs don’t start for roughly 9 months. With that in mind, though, fans, I’m asking for something I know that you, as a collective unit, absolutely, positively do not have: Patience.
I know it’s still a mildly small sample size, but has Ray Shero let us down yet? Absolutely not. Not to sure about that statement, are we? Fine, let’s go to the Book O’ Facts.
(Channeling My Inner Dwight Schrute)
FACT: There was a ton of grumbling when the Pens picked Jordan Staal in Shero’s first draft because he was another center, and that worked out spectacularly.
FACT: Shero got Sid the Kid, Geno, The Flower, and Brooks “Free Candy” Orpik to all take less then their market value.
FACT: Shero’s trade for Gary Roberts was widely scrutinized at the time, partially because Dom Moore, a fan favorite, was dealt away in another trade at the same time. Hmmm….it sure seems like that worked out reasonably well, right?
FACT: He scooped up Sykora, Sydor, Conks, the aforementioned Moore, and several others on the free agent market on the real cheap, all of which way outperformed their contracts.There are numerous other facts that are relevant, but, truthfully, not one move Shero has made can really be construed as a poor one. And as for you crazies who are back to hating on the Hossa trade again now that he left, well all I can say to you is that if you think Army, Crusher, the vastly overrated Angie Esposito, and a near second rounder is worth more to this team then a few months of the Hoss, and that the aforementioned bunch of scrubs can’t be easily replaced, well then you, my fellow ‘Burghers, do not know hockey, and should be banned from any and all discussion of hockey.
Ray thus far has had the Midas touch, just like Goldmember, and, at least not yet, he has not yet touched it to much. (I deeply apologize for paraphrasing Beyoncee there, but it needed to be done).
Whenever you doubt these Pens, and after two sneaky good moves today in acquiring Satan and Fedotenko, you really shouldn’t be doubting them too much these days, just repeat those four words to yourself:
In Ray We Trust.

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