Tom Venesky of the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader has a good piece today on Penguins prospect Ryan Stone, the team's second-round draft pick in 2003.
Basically, it explains that after years of waiting for his
opportunity, this is Stone's best chance to stick with the Penguins full time.
It's also probably his last chance. Should he not make the team out of training
camp, he would need to clear waivers in order for the team to send him
back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
From our vantage point, we think the Penguins need Stone. He's a physical player with some decent size (6-foot-2, 199 pounds) who can play a power forward type of game. Plus Stone doesn't mind getting his knuckles bloody. He had ten fights between the NHL and AHL last season. He also seems to have a healthy dislike for the Flyers organization which certainly won't hurt his cause:
Additionally, Stone can provide offense on occasion:
("Softer than yogurt" might be the greatest call ever.)
Considering the losses of Adam Hall, Georges Laraque, Ryan Malone, Gary Roberts and Jarkko Ruutu, Stone, a restricted free agent after this season, is exactly the player the Penguins need to compliment the finesse of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Petr Sykora and others. He won't make Penguins fans forget Ruutu or Roberts, but he's certainly capable of replacing some their toughness.
If nothing else, Stone's presence on the roster would be
something of a rarity for the Penguins. Only a handful of players drafted in
the second round by the Penguins have played at least 82 games for the team. And
none of them have been "recent" selections. Stone and Alex Goligoski
(2004), each have a chance to change that trend and end the franchise's "curse" of poor second-round picks.
A look at every second-round pick in the history of the franchise and how many regular season games they suited up for in a Penguins jersey:
|Jeremy Van Hoof||1999||0|
(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS
-Penguins forward Sidney Crosby was awarded with an Order of Nova Scotia Award. To us, that sounds like something you would give someone you would trust in defending your land from marauding invaders.
-The Sidney Crosby Show found a picture of the award.
-The NHL will be using that "Is This They Year?" campaign again in its advertising. Crosby will be featured in the national ads.
-The Penguins' center ice design won a contest over at Icethetics.
-The Hockey News is holding a tournament involving the logos of seemingly any organized hockey team in existence. The Penguins aren't doing too well in the first round. You can vote here. (Kudos to EN Reader Jennifer Nelson of Virginia for the find.)
-Tiger Woods? Roger Federer? Brett Favre? They're only half as good as Janne Pesonen.
-Former Penguins goaltender Paul Harrison was awarded with a Commissioner's Comendation from the Ontario Provincial Police.
-EN Reader Jarrett Rathke of Milwaukee noticed something rather... um... unoriginal... about the logo of HC Slovan Bratislava a team in the Slovak Extraliga, Slovakia's highest professional hockey league:
That use to the Capitals' shade of blue is a complete rip off.
-Former Flyers forward Eric Lindros explained why he won't be attending a puppy-drowning ceremony at the Spectrum.
-The Senators signed former Canucks forward Brad Isbister to a one-year two-way deal.
-Apparently, Empty Netters is a good source for amateur hockey news in Western New York.
-The Thrashers signed 2008 first-round pick Zach Bogosian.
-The Hurricanes will unveil their third jersey next week.
-Forward Jeff O'Neill isn't exactly a lock to make the Hurricanes roster this season.
-The Lightning's season ticket sales are down this year.
-The Blues signed 2008 first-round pick Alex Pietrangelo. He is a cousin of former Penguins goaltender Frank Pietrangelo.
-Red Wings coach Mike Babcock isn't planning on playing forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg on the same line together.
-Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard got to spend a day with the Stanley Cup.
-The Canucks will retire the jersey of former captain Trevor Linden.
-New Canucks enforcer Darcy Hordichuk spent some time with mixed martial artist Chuck Liddell.
-Former Wild forward Mark Parrish is still looking for work.
-The Kings signed restricted free agent forward Jarett Stoll to a four-year deal worth $14.4 million. Stoll's rights were acquired from Edmonton in a June trade.
-New Sharks defenseman Rob Blake wishes he were five years younger.
-The KHL is mad at the NHL again.
-Remember when the NHL cited rising ticket prices a reason for staging the lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 season? We don't either.