(No, we couldn't find a more recent picture of the two.)
Losing Ryan Whitney for three-to-five months was going to be a tough blow to overcome for the Penguins. No team will easily replace anyone who put up 99 points from the blueline the past two seasons.
The blow would've been softened a bit by the fact the Penguins still have the top point-producing defenseman the past two seasons in Sergei Gonchar. But a hard check by Tampa Bay goon David Koci Saturday night potentially put Gonchar off the ice for a few weeks with what is suspected to be a shoulder injury.
So with Gonchar and Whitney out of the lineup for extended periods of time possibly, what exactly have the Penguins lost?
Quite a bit.
Only one team, the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings, can boast having a pair of blueliners currently on its roster who have produced more points than Gonchar and Whitney since 2005-06.
A look at all 30 teams and the highest two point totals by defensemen on their rosters since the lockout:
|Red Wings||Nicklas Lidstrom||212||371|
|Maple Leafs||Tomas Kaberle||178||277|
|Greg de Vries||74|
|Blue Jackets||Rostislav Klesla||59||118|
When looking at this list, keep in mind, it doesn't necessarily mean these are the points a player has produced for his current team. These are that individual player's offensive totals in the past three seasons. For example, Chris Pronger's total includes the 2005-06 season which he spent in Edmonton.
(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS
-Holy Randy Cunneyworth, Kelly Gruber and Estelle Getty! Pittsburgh Sports and Mini Ponies spotted a commercial featuring the talents of actress Bea Arthur, Mario Lemieux and former baseball all-star Tony Fernandez.
As odd as that combination is, it still pales in comparison to the cameos of Arthur and Harvey Korman in the Star Wars Holiday Special:
(We can't believe we just referenced the Star Wars Holiday Special.)
-The Penguins will face a much tougher Lightning lineup tonight. Goaltenders Olaf Kolzig, Riku Helenius, forwards Ryan Malone, Steven Stamkos, Radim Vrbata, Vaclav Prospal, Jussi Jokinen, Evgeny Artyukhin, David Koci, Zenon Konopka, Jason Ward, Dana Tyrell, Michel Ouellet. Paul Szczechura, defensemen Shane O'Brien, Mike Lundin, Andrej Meszaros, Ty Wishart, Janne Niskala and Matt Carle will dress for the Bolts.
-If he wants to make the roster, Ryan Stone needs to have a big preseason.
-Still no word on Gonchar.
-Is Janne Pesonen a first-liner?
-Pirates outfielder Nate McLouth wants PNC Park to be like Mellon Arena. We don't think he's talking about the chalk marking the rows in the aisles.
-FYI, no live blog for tonight's games since we'll be stuck at home and the game won't be televised.
-Don't expect the Islanders to have a full-time enforcer.
-Flyers forward Steve Downie lost some weight and drowned some puppies this offseason.
-Montreal enforcer and former Penguin Georges Laraque is dealing with a slight groin injury.
-The Canadiens opened training camp at a local arena where former Penguins Alex Kovalev and Robert Lang received the loudest ovations.
-Former Penguins forward Dan LaCouture is trying to stick with the Hurricanes.
-The Lightning cut former Penguins prospect Jamie Heward. He was in camp on a tryout basis.
-The roof of the Miami Arena, the original home of the Florida Panthers, was imploded yesterday.
-The Blues unveiled a very slick new third jersey with a solid classic look to it.
-Drop the blue note on the shoulder and that jersey is perfect.
(Photo: St. Louis Blues)
-Sidney Crosby isn't the only product of renowned hockey academy Shattuck-St. Mary's to suit up for the Penguins eventually in his career. Red Wings goaltender and former Penguin Ty Conklin did as well.
-Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard is the next Lance Armstrong.
-The Wild needs some centers.
-Canucks forward Kyle Wellwood has been eating too many doughnuts from Tim Hortons.
-The the sounds of things, Colorado will be a fun team to watch this season.
-Former Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville was arrested on suspicion of DUI.
-The best and worst facial hair in Oilers history.
-In Sharks camp, 38-year-old Jeremy Roenick is getting into fights with 18-year-old rookies. He wants them off his grass.
-Sharks forward Torrey Mitchell is dealing with a broken leg.
-After being dinged up most of last season, Ducks forward Samuel Pahlsson is hoping to stay healthy in 2008-09.