Like Bucs, Penguins Still Have Work to Be Done? Analysis of This Crazy Article

Kyle PomerleauContributor IMay 23, 2010

PITTSBURGH - MAY 23:  Zach Duke #57 of the Pittsburgh Pirates walks back to the dugout inbetween innings during the game against the Atlanta Braves on May 23, 2010 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Look at this article, by Pirate Report's Paul Ladewsky, who is an establisher writer who has a Hall-of-Fame Vote in the MLB.

My comments are bolded

Like Bucs, Penguins Still Have Work to Be Done

Paul Ladewsky

PITTSBURGH -- The Penguins may be out the playoffs already – c'mon, they lost to the eighth seed, really? – but at least one Pittsburgh team won this hockey season.

Yep, you guessed it – the Pirates.

Now that the Penguins have gone belly-up in the playoffs for the fourth time in five years in the Sidney Crosby era, maybe we'll hear less about how their ownership will turn around the Pirates in no time if given the chance. In a 32 team league, only one team doesn't go "belly up".

The fact is, despite every conceivable advantage from first or second overall choices in four consecutive drafts to the mother of all lottery picks to a league that operates with a salary cap to a pucks-mad fan base, the Penguins have been unable to dominate their own division let alone the entire league. Everyone knows that early picks don't guarantee a winning season (look at the Pirates), let alone league "domination."

Or did you know that, while the Pirates have gone 17 years without a sniff of .500, the Penguins have hoisted exactly one Stanley Cup in that period? The Penguins have made the playoffs 13/17 years. Pirates? 0/17 years and 3/30 years.

Pure and simple, like the Pirates over the years, the Penguins have made mistakes in the draft and the open market. Lots of them.

For instance, take the 2003 draft, in which the Penguins owned the No. 1 pick on the heels of a anorexic 65-point season. (Yes, Bubba, they were dog breath themselves not that long ago.) The golden rule states that you never, ever select a goaltender at the No. 1 pick, but the Penguins chose Marc-Andre Fleury, anyway. Here are some of players that they could have taken instead -- Eric Staal, Thomas Vanek, Jeff Carter, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Mike Richards, Corey Perry, Shea Weber . . .

Hey, maybe Bryan Bullington wasn't that bad, after all. (Except that he didn't win 1 game) Sorry, forget I wrote that.

Here it is, five years after Crosby was drafted, and the guy still doesn't have a regular linemate that is in the same zip code as his talent level. Quick -- name the last legit 30-goal-scorer to be developed in the Penguins farm system.

OK, 25 then.

Uh, 20?

God help the franchise if Sid the Kid goes down any time soon. Cart him off and the Penguins are the New York Rangers all of a sudden. If the New York Rangers had Malkin, Gonchar, Letang, Orpik, and Stall, they would be doing a lot better.

I wouldn't wish that on even a Philadelphia Flyer let alone Crosby, who represents everything that is good about professional sports. I wouldn't wish that on any team owner let alone Mario Lemieux, a guy that only the devil could root against.

It's just that, before people wish for the Penguins to step in and save the baseball team in this town, they should remember that the Penguins have to help themselves first. They have helped themselves: to 4 consecutive playoff appearances, 2 Stanley Cup final appearances, and 1 Stanley Cup.