Waiting for the Book To Close: A New Beginning for the Penguins

Amber AlexanderContributor IJune 9, 2010

PITTSBURGH - MAY 12:  Jordan Staal #11 of the Pittsburgh Penguins attempts a wrap around on Jaroslav Halak #41 of the Montreal Canadiens as Roman Hamrlik #44 of the Canadiens defends in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Mellon Arena on May 12, 2010 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
Dave Sandford/Getty Images

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm really hoping that the Blackhawks finish it up tonight. Not only because they are my favorite team in the West,—and the fact that I couldn't stand to watch the Flyers hold up the Cup that the Penguins had held up a year ago—but also because I'm ready for this book to be closed. 

If you're like me, you have been miserable watching round after round without the Penguins in it. If you're like me, you have watched old games from last year's playoffs, where you got chills from watching how passionate the Pens were.

This year isn't the same, and I know that.

As much as we each want that dream season to come back, it may never happen.

Or will it?

The Pittsburgh Penguins have remained the most talked about team in the NHL, whether some want to admit it or not.

Does it help that big names like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and, yes, even Jordan Staal are on the team? 


If these three were separated, they would be on the number one or two lines.

The fact that both Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal are happy on the second and third lines, makes this team extremely special.

All three centers have taken what has been called the "Hometown Discount" by many Pittsburghers.  They have taken less money in order to salvage the cap space that management has to use.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are making $8.7 million, where on any other team, it could be more. 

Jordan Staal is the cheapest to me. He is remaining with the Penguins for a mere $4 million. I can think of how much he is worth. Give Staal a couple of years, maybe even one year and he is going to be worth closer to $6 million. His value to this team is undeniable. Everyone has realized what Jordan Staal is to hockey.

I wonder how all those doubters of Staal are feeling right now? 

Didn't they want him traded a year ago? Where would we be right now?

Anyways, players follow their leaders.

Bill Guerin took a pay cut to get a year deal with the Penguins last year and is now looking for another deal.

Will it be $2 million? 

I don't think so. It might be between $1 and $1.5 million, but he'll take it. 

He will retire a Pittsburgh Penguin and we will see him again in the future, maybe alongside Mario and Gary Roberts in the box. 

Matt Cooke has stated he wants to remain with the Penguins, and the Penguins would love to have him back. Talks have already been circulating that the Penguins would being willing to offer Cooke three more years of his contract. 

Every player that has left this team has said nothing but nice things about the players and management. 

That is what a winning team is made of.

When a player is not doing well or not producing, you don't see teammates knocking him down. They are right there defending him to the media or helping him out in practice.  

Management doesn't just give up on players unless that player gives up on themselves. 

I'm proud to be a fan of this game and of this team. The heart of EVERY team in the NHL should be shown to the world.

Hockey would become a main event, if only it could be shown.