Five Reasons Why Id Take Bobby Ryan Over Sidney Crosby

Rookie Stud Bobby Ryan celebrates one of his many goals.

Rookie Stud Bobby Ryan celebrates one of his many goals.

Sidney Crosby crying about yet another call not going his way. Does someone need a nap?

Sidney Crosby crying about yet another call not going his way. Does someone need a nap?

Sidney Crosby vs. Bobby Ryan

Let me first say Sidney Crosby is an amazing hockey player. But as a Fantasy Hockey manager and die hard hockey fan I’ve decided I would have preferred #2 draft choice Bobby Ryan over #1 Sidney Crosby from the 2005 Draft. Call me crazy, but I think in the long run Ryan will show he is the better hockey player than the over-glorified pre-madonna, Crosby.

5. Facial Hair – Being a newly turned 22 years old, these 21 years old’s should be more than capable of growing facial hair. Bobby Ryan is just as baby faced as Sidney Crosby, but Ryan sports the skipping a shave here and there look while Crosby looks like a 15 year old hitting puberty in need of a shave when he sports the playoff beard look. Sid, please hit puberty.

4. Crosby’s nickname – Someone, somewhere is proud of this nickname, but Sidney and those at the NHL who love him as the face of the league are probably horrified by the nickname of “The Kid”. Ryan hasn’t been in the league long enough but with a name like Bobby Ryan, who needs a nickname. I wish I had two first names.

3. Sid’s a diver – Sidney could be on the U.S. Olympic team for diving. Now I won’t live in denial and think he is the only one, because he isn’t. Problem is Sidney is the (baby) face of the NHL, pick a guy that doesn’t flop on the ice like a fish and then stare down the ref for the call. Its pathetic Sid, grow up. I pulled that garbage when I was like fourteen; I think you can rise above it now. For Ryan, he is considered a Power Foward, he doesn’t shy away from big hits and is much the same type of player as Ryan Getzlaf. In a recent game against the Buffalo Sabres Bobby Ryan was injured twice and came back both times to keep playing. Sidney would just lay on the ice like he is dying for pity.

2. Sid is a whiner – as much as there’s a joke here to call him a wiener, ill settle for the mature high road and just say the constant chatter to refs for him to get special treatment is sickening. I never thought I could find some truth in Flyer’s fans taunting, but they might be right on about Crosby. Maybe he really is a girl? Ryan is a quiet leader for Anaheim, still searching for his own voice in the locker room, his leadership is through his play, while Crosby thinks having a “C” makes him special, special ed maybe.

1. Crosby only seems to skate hard when he has the puck – My bantam coach would have a stroke with some of the ways I’ve seen Sidney skate. It could be possible he is trying to save his legs a bit but still, as the captain and emotional leader of a team he should skate hard when on the ice. Maybe it is just my coach, but that is what I was taught. Ryan on the other hand is always fighting for the puck in the corners and is truly an all around player.

Is Sydney Crosby your man? or Bobby?

The Hockey Writers

  • Irish

    First of all I thought this was a Hockey Writers website, not a troll blog about nonesense that has nothing to do with the game of hockey. I love how you said you’d pick Bobby Ryan because he has facial hair, doesn’t have a nickname and apparently doesn’t try hard enough. You must be a Philly fan from Anaheim because you picked 5 things that have nothing to do with fantasy value.

    To address the actual issue, I’d pick Sid or Bobby for the obvious fantasy reasons. As of 1/15/10 Sid is 2nd in goals (8th in PPG) 3rd in points and 23rd in Assists. Bobby is 14th in goals,(tied for 13th in PPG), he’s not in the top 40 for assists and is exactly 40th in points. So you tell me Mr. Hockey Writer. You’d really pick Bobby over Sid huh? Oh wait, this artice was from a long time ago so you were even more retarded because he was sick last year too when we (yes I’m a pens fan) won the cup. I’d love to have you guys in my fatnasy hockey league, because you’d get owned every year for picking a team full of scotty hartnells, cavemen, yetis and George Laroche.

  • Buzz

    Is this the blog and posts from the Mental Ward, You have two player that have won the Cup, Mvp,Playooff mvp, best defensive center in hockey, the toughest best skater and passer in hockey, gretsky even compared Sid to him with his vison to make others better players. And Last but not least PROVEN WINNERS. And good kids.
    comparing Malkin and Crosby to any of the Flyers even the whole team is INSANE> you guys need your lobotomys

  • MJ Kasprzak

    I hope that settles the Crosby/Malkin argument—the two top scorers in the playoffs led their team to four series wins on the road, with Crosby the youngest captain ever to hoist the Cup. I linked this article in the midst of the following one:

    • Bruce Hollingdrake

      Thanks for the link MJ – nice to see you here.

  • Mark

    Let’s be honest, Crosby is a 21 year-old “kid.” I will take nothing away from his talent. He has the “potential” to be a great player. I liken him to Eric Lindros – a cry-baby, sissy. Crosby has what it takes to be a super-star if he would just get on with playing hockey and quite the whining. Learn to take bumps & bruises like a man Sid. I just got thru watching his post-game interview of game 5, 2009 where the Wings shut em out 5-0. He about cried, gave all kinds of excuses why this happened and didn’t happen. Suck it up Sid. The Wings just out-played you. It’s been a great series. Detroit now has Datsyuk back and you’ll probably get your butt kicked, unless you again condone Talbott slashing Datsyuk’s foot again. Anyway, Grow up Crosby. You are earning humongous bucks, so go ahead an take a few on the chin and quite crying. Lindros earned a reputation as a baby. I certainly hope you do better. GROW UP!

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  • Rafal Ladysz

    Great piece Ken. Your humor articles are always enjoyable.

  • Bruce Hollingdrake


    I think it’s time I spoke up.

    I think it’s best at this point if you agree to disagree and move on.

    Thanks for calling it a day on this one. Playoffs are coming – there will be plenty more to argue about in the coming months.

  • MJ Kasprzak

    Meant to say re: what you pay people on: “that’s why I cite facts about their past performance even though they were making different money then.”

  • MJ Kasprzak

    OMG you’re not even paying attention! Ken, is the writer of this article. And you pay guys based on what they have done and what they will do. Talk about skewing facts: you simply dismiss any facts as irrelevant if you don’t like them. You keep glomming on to my citing the $17.4 mil when that’s what Crosby and Malkin will be paid NEXT year. And if you can’t see my argument is that THOSE TWO GUYS ARE BETTER THAN YOUR THREE GUYS MAKING THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY even though I have said it a half dozen times. well, that’s why I put it in caps to help you see the obvious.

    As for your article, I just hope you cite actual cap figures, since you have not in the “debate.” It’s one-sided because you keep telling me your opinion without backing it up with any empirical supporting data.

  • MJ Kasprzak

    And just another case of arrogance about your opinion: “everyone knows that +/- is a useless stat…” Really? ‘Cause I know a lot of other people, including most TV analysts, voters for awards (yeah, it’s a pretty big consideration for the Norris, Hart, and especially the Selke), and fans who think it matters.

  • Chris Shafer

    I’ll be writing an article on how the cap situation will be effecting teams shortly. Feel free to comment there.

  • Chris Shafer

    No you’re skewing facts again. My three guys have been outscored by your two guys for the past three years because they weren’t developed yet. They also were making far less than your two guys during that time period. Now my three guys are scoring more than your two guys and will be making basically the same amount next season when Malkin gets his raise.

    The debate is only one-sided because you have no side. I don’t know what the heck you’re trying to argue. I don’t care if Ken (Ken Holland I presume?) is more afraid of the Pens than the Flyers. All you do is keep saying my argument has no basis but don’t provide any argument yourself other than that my argument has no basis. Just stop. For the love of God. I’m done.

  • MJ Kasprzak

    You started the disrespect with the “anyone who thinks” will agree with you comment. And I cited actual numbers (heard of those? That’s why I am the one who HAS read up) for the cap, and once again, you three guys making the same were outscored by these two in the last three years. This is an irrefutable fact (which explains why you haven’t tried), even if you wanna disregard the +/- advantage of 3:1. And naturally you did not see Ken himself also saying he would rather face the Flyers than the Pens, since it did not back up your position…but little does, which is why the balance of stats cited in this “debate” is so one-sided. If you’re not even gonna try to keep up…

  • Chris Shafer

    Everyone knows +/- is a useless stat unless used in context. Salary cap was the whole point of this and I explained it thoroughly each time it was brought up. The qualifiers for this experiment were points, defensive ability (not +/-), physicality, leadership, other intangibles, and salary cap hit. I’d take Carter and Richards over Crosby and Malkin. If we were playing in a league based on 2 vs. 2 games then I’d take Crosby and Malkin but since the Flyers can afford wingers for these two star players whereas the Pens will be strapped very tight in the future I’ll easily take those two.

    And as far as fellow writers…who? Bruce? He was the only one that mentioned anything in regards to Crosby/Malkin vs. Carter/Richards other than us. Yes, I’m dismissing that argument you have saying that all these writers somehow disagree with me only because I have only seen you and Bruce disagree with me. That won’t change my opinion. Your other “factual” data is just skewed and tells half-truths.

    I insist on keeping this going because you’re insulting me, and because your opinion is fallible.

    Here’s our argument expanded:

    Read up and come back to me later. Point in case: for a team that doesn’t draft well (I’m talking about lesser known guys who don’t get 2m+ in entry level deals) with two gigantic superstars making $8.7m a year in cap hit there is going to be hard times ahead as the cap shifts. The Pens will be able to invest less and less outside of Crosby. The Flyers (and other teams like them) will only have to drop one relatively large contract and will still keep the majority of their depth. That’s the entire point I’m trying to make for you. But you don’t seem to see that the Penguins’ cap implications are in trouble.

  • MJ Kasprzak

    Right, points and +/- are stats that don’t mean anything. Salary cap means nothing, even though the reason you started this was because you were saying your guys are better because Crosby and Malkin cost too much. Now you just sound foolish…and remember when you said “I’m sure most fans would agree with me as well?” Based on the comments from people other than two of us, obviously most of your fellow writers don’t…but I’m sure you’ll dismiss that like you did all my factual data in favour of your opinion based on emotion.

    Why do you insist on keeping this going? You should have seen by now that I cannot let a supremely fallible opinion completely unsupported by statistical data go unanswered.

  • Chris Shafer

    I didn’t ignore anything. All I did was point out every time that the stats you site don’t matter. They have nothing to do with anything. They’re just going around in circles.

  • MJ Kasprzak

    No, Chris, those TWO GUYS scored MORE points and had a HIGHER +/- over three years than the THREE guys they cost the same as. Jeez, do you even read my stats or just ignore them ’cause they don’t support your argument.

    I’m done talking to you about this. I have presented facts, you continue to use conjecture. Now that the Pens have Gonchar back, they are winning (19 points in 12 games), and will continue to do so in the playoffs. If they don’t fare as well in the playoffs as your Flyers even though they are playing higher seeds, then you can write a “Told Ya So” article…

    But you are right about questions about most of the East’s goaltenders. Theodore has never lost in the first round, but rarely wins in the second (hey, he’d be perfect for the Sharks!). No one’s taken over well for him in Montreal. Thomas and Fernandez have been great, but no one is truly confident they will be this good in the playoffs. Vokoun has shown himself on the world stage and Lundqvist has had more direct playoff success, but they are not backed up by any offence. That’s why New Jersey is almost a good enough bet to take over the field in the East.

  • Chris Shafer

    Actually a lot of these eastern goaltenders making the postseason are ones that shine in the late year going into the playoffs. It was widely believed that Marty Biron had “broken out” with his crazy streak going into the playoffs last year, and his performance in the postseason only solidified that claim. But when he faltered early in the season even his most supportive fans seemed to be unsure of what would happen to him. Now he’s coming off 3 of his best games of the season right as we turn the corner into the postseason. Playoff goaltenders usually perform in the playoffs. I’m not guaranteeing it, but all the signs are there. Fleury is much the same way I think. Theodore always performs well down the stretch and falls apart by the second round. Tim Thomas is a complete mystery. We all already know what Cam Ward is capable of when you put him in a playoff atmosphere. Carey Price fell apart last season completely which is why I think the Canadiens are counting on Halak to be there to help him out. And Brodeur is Brodeur…I don’t need to say anything more on that.

    Either way, just like last season, I don’t expect Antero Niittymaki to be on the Flyers’ postseason roster. The east will have some surprises, but I think goaltending will be solid. The only thing that can make goaltending a nightmare is defense. Teams that can skate deep lines this season will be able to tear apart defenses especially with the new league wide strategy of getting puck moving defenders that help out on the rush too often. The Flyers fall into that as well.

    I think if we see any surprises this year it won’t be because of the guys in the pipes. I expect defensive mistakes/let downs are going to be at an all time high when you start getting offenses like Boston’s, Washington’s, and Philadelphia’s into the mix. It’s almost a good thing that the Rangers won’t be there this year. Their offense would appear completely out of place among the heavyweights even if Lundqvist is stellar. Hell, even New Jersey’s offense has hit another gear. The Hurricanes are pumping out points as well. I expect shot totals to be there up so goalies are going to have to shine more than ever.

  • Bruce Hollingdrake

    Chris – I was thinking more of Malkin vs, Richards more than Pitt vs. Philly. In the playoffs it’s often the single best player on the ice that makes a difference in a series.

    I haven’t heard much about another key area – Goaltending. Both sides, from what I’ve seen, have been running hot or cold, with Nittymaki being at times just awful. Which net-minder will shine – if any. The East could have some surprises – generated from the guy between the pipes…any thoughts on that?

  • Ken Armer

    Good eye Brian, even i didn’t notice that until you pointed it out.

    Thanks for the comments guys. Although if were talking spending tons on players id prefer to overpay for a guy like Mike Green and get a unproven gem like Bobby Ryan or another youngster than a proven stud like Malkin, Crosby, or Ovie any day. I prefer bang for my buck.

    It is an understatement to say Malkin, Crosby, etc. are talented, and worth every penny. But ill take a less talented guy who plays for the love of the game and is worth a ton monetarily over a superstud who is trying to break the bank. Guys like Brenden Morrow, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Chris Kunitz, Andy McDonald, Mike Green (becoming a super stud) and several others who escape my mind are my idols, not the overpaid studs the NHL plasters to everything corporate.

    Ovie is good for world hockey, but too much of a showoff.
    Sid outside of the NHL Front office, and Pittsburgh is largely considered an overpaid child.
    Malkin is a firecracker, but is sadly outshined by the aforementioned 2.

    As far as the Flyers or Pens, id rather face the Flyers than the new look Penguins…Kunitz and Big Billy G scare me with a healthy crybaby and Malkin.

  • Chris Shafer

    So you’re more afraid of Crosby, Malin, and co. than you are of Richards, Carter, Gagne, Briere and co.?

    While the Penguins can only skate two scoring lines deep with one strong defensively talented line the Flyers can skate three scoring lines two of which are already defensively skilled. I’m not talking about Malkin, Crobsy caliber defense. I’m talking about Richards, Carter, Gagne, Staal defensively.

    Sorry Bruce and MJ, but if you think you can shut down the Flyers then why don’t you think you can’t shut down the Penguins? I haven’t seen an as deep an offense as this since the Carolina Hurricanes when they won the Stanley Cup.

    And actually they perform as well as any three flyers that earn the same amount MJ. They don’t perform better than them.

    And also if you think Ovechkin is scary, think of him in the postseason without Timonen shadowing his every move. The scariest team this post season is easily the New Jersey Devils, but if the Capitals can get their goaltending together they’re by far the scariest. Close behind are the Bruins and Flyers.

    I don’t think you guys are giving the Flyers nearly enough credit for their defense or even their offense. Let’s say you’re an opposing team. You put your two best defenders against the Hartnell – Carter – Lupul line. Then you put your second best pairing against the Gagne – Richards – Knuble line. Even then you’re pressing it. Then you have your 3rd best pairing basically trying to take on a combo of Carcillo – BRIERE – GIROUX. How many defenses are that deep? The Penguins’, Capitals’, and Devils’ defenses certainly aren’t. Boston’s defense is and New Jersey’s goaltending is. I just don’t know how you match up against 3 scoring lines with a point per game player. It’s hard enough to match up against two scoring lines such as the Penguins with the Crosby and Malkin lines.

    Anyway, I think you guys are just jumping on the Penguin bandwagon because it’s the Penguins. No offense, but if the Penguins were that good offensively they would’ve been dominating all year instead of having to wait for Guerin and Kunitz as deadline additions.

  • Brian Rudisel

    Anybody else notice that behind Crosby’s crib is a Kovalchuk Army poster? Just sayin’…

  • MJ Kasprzak

    Not sure whether I feel Richards and company can be shut down, but I certainly don’t think Crosby and company can. My reason for picking them is they produce more for the dollar than any three Flyers who earn the same total amount. That’s simply a statistical fact, and it’s why I feel I have bested my formidable foe in this interesting debate.

    25 comments on an article, even if it’s after a delay–great job, Ken!

  • Bruce Hollingdrake

    You guys have both made some great points – thanks a lot for that.

    Often the strength of a team comes down to it’s single best player – when he performs at his best. All the accountants and statisticians will agree that on the ice, one great hit, one great dangle wipes out all the theoretical chatter.

    My two cents – if I were to face either team in the playoffs I’d choose to take on the Flyers for only one reason. If I’m at my best I can shut down Richards and company.
    Malkin at his best, like Ovechkin, is simply scary.

    Can’t wait for the Playoffs!

  • MJ Kasprzak

    You mentioned micro vs. macro when I had in fact been the one looking at more than a couple salaries to make my point, and you mentioned not being able to sway the other when I had said that with regard to the debate. That was when your points to me only proved my points I had made.
    And you are still holding to that–macro means large and micro small. Your original point was about two guys’ salaries and mine is about a larger view.

    Plus you originally were WAY off-base about the extent to which their salaries handcuffed them, because you thought you could have all those guys for the same money, when again–and you STILL HAVE NOT ACKNOWLEDGED THAT. That’s what I am saying regarding your guys compared to theirs–their two guys score more than your three guys and have a better plus and get paid less. Therefore, their two salaries are not handcuffing them as much as your three.

    Bottom line: your own response is “well, duh, they’re Malkin and Crosby;” that refutes your original assertion that you are better off with your three guys than their two. All I am doing is refuting your point, but you failed to see it.

    That’s why I went further into MACRO-cap info by showing how much deeper into the roster your team was spending more for less, and you come back to the standings because you refuse to acknowledge your original view was based on a faulty assumption that their players are being paid so much more than yours.

    And trust me, as a Sharks fan I know that the regular season means nothing. I would not be calling Thornton and Marleau better than Richards and Morrow even though, unlike with you, in my case they actually ARE out-performing those two in the last three years because I understand that they beat us when it counted. You should feel the same way.

    Now please, don’t just write another response reiterating the same point. Say something to counter my statistical fact-checking about the cost of the two players you said you’d take your guys over and their production. Oh, wait, you can’t, because they cost less than the three you mentioned and produced more than any three who cost the same.

  • Chris Shafer

    Your points? I missed something apparently because you’ve been saying the exact opposite of me since this began.

    1. Agreed it will never change, but as articles begin to pile up about the approaching revenue crisis you can’t help but wonder if the Penguins have all their eggs in one basket so to speak. The Flyers can lose a 50 point forward and hardly even flinch.

    2. Yes, how hard a concept is it? If you don’t spend as much money somewhere you have the luxury of spending it other places, such as on a player like Danny Briere. Unfortunately he’s been injured all season. That still doesn’t change the fact that with a point per game offensive forward out of the mix the Flyers are still out producing the Penguins offense. Could the Penguins possibly fit another $6.5m point per game forward on a realistic cap hit for such a player on their roster to even attempt to keep up with the Flyers stacked offense? Not a chance.

    3. You can count as many players as you want to add up to whatever amount of salary the Flyers have used. You’re still thinking in terms of micro. Macro is something completely different. If I change the pieces around in a micro aspect the results can vary. I can make my argument seem more powerful when it really isn’t.

    4. Malkin and Crosby have outproduced our top three forwards in the last three years? Well duh. They’re Malkin and Crosby. Richards had his break out season last year and Carter is just getting into gear this season. So what am I missing? By that same argument Mark Streit is worth more than Mike Green because he has had more points in the last 3 seasons than Green has in Washington.

    5. Is that trash talk? You’re a Sharks fan haha. The Penguins don’t need you to fight their battles for them. If it comes down to another playoff matchup then I’m sure it will be interesting. Let’s face it, the Penguins aren’t coming anywhere close to the division title and are very hard pressed to even make it to the 4th spot. So who does that mean they have to face to make it deep? They will either play Boston, Washington, New Jersey, or Philadelphia. The Flyers are the weakest team in there without Danny Briere, but as I’ve said he’s a freak of nature in the playoffs. Even if Danny Briere gets injured again the Flyers can win a series against all but the Devils (history designates so). Are you willing to bet that the Penguins can beat NJ, Washington, or Boston in the first round? Like I said, they’ll have their hands full even if it’s Philly.

  • MJ Kasprzak

    Interesting that you are now using my points.
    1. I said the debate is one that obviously will not result in a change of opinion. The difference is I did not say someone who does not agree with mine is not thoughtful.
    2. This started when you said their two guys cost too much, and you listed FIVE more, even though the difference between your two guys and their two guys this year is barely over $1 million, and you could not sign ONE of the other five you listed.
    3. I talked about macro- vs. micro-economics first, although I did not use those terms. You had said that you like your top guys because you can sign more players. I showed you how the top seven on their team get paid the same as the top SIX on yours, and talked about how fiscal responsibility cannot be measured on the basis of a couple players but on many.
    4. I showed how these two guys have out-produced your top three forwards in the last three years.
    5. I also find it interesting that you are saying your guys are better because of your record now. The Pens beat you in the playoffs last year, right? And they will go at least as deep as you guys do, even though they will play a higher seed in the every round.

    But at least we’re getting Ken’s article a TON of play!

  • Chris Shafer

    Of course we can debate next year’s cap figures next year when we see how they play, but it is extremely pointless to debate this year’s when there is nothing either team can currently do about their cap situation. I win that debate of managing assets right now based solely on the fact that the Flyers are doing better than the Penguins. Of course you can argue that the Pens were without Gonchar, but the Flyers were without Briere.

    You dragged me back into this, and I was planning to write a long post. Still I thought this was a better way to solve this. We can pair different combinations forever and make each of our points sound better. I can put Carter, Richards, and Gagne against Malkin, Crosby, and Fedotenko for all I want.

    All of your combinations comparing this group of players salary wise to that group is just beating around the bush. Anyone can “prove” their argument that way. I can do the same.

    The only way to solve this is to look at the cap management through macro methods as opposed to micro.

    The Penguins this season without Gonchar, Kunitz, and Guerin were far worse than the Flyers without Briere. Now the Penguins have Gonchar, Kunitz, and Guerin dropping Satan and Whitney. Since then they have played far better on par with the Flyers. Yes, they have a winning streak but every good team has though. Basically both teams have been winning relatively solidly. The Flyers though have been doing it still without Briere who has had a few more issues to work out. Hopefully Briere will perform well as he is expected in the lineup tomorrow night. So add a point per game player to the Penguins and maybe then they’ll catch up. The Flyers will in fact be adding that point per game player. He also happens to cause unbelievable matchup problems for teams trying to play against three scoring lines each with at least one dominant top 30 NHL forward.

    The Penguins have given up 204 goals and scored 210. The Flyers have given up 188 and scored 212. The season is basically over so strength of schedule is a non-factor. The teams are in the same division. The Flyers obviously have the better offense. Now add Briere to that. You can say the Pens get Gonchar back boosting their defense making their blueline/goaltending better than the Flyers. But the Flyers have had injury problems this season as well. Parent and Jones weren’t out for the entire season like Gonchar, but they each missed roughly half. On top of the that the Flyers have had goaltending issues as you mentioned. Always a believer that Fleury is overrated I’ll still give it to you that he’s better than Biron and Niitty at least for now. Biron’s just started to get hot.

    So there we have it.

    Flyers Offense is better than the Penguins
    Flyers Defense is better than the Penguins
    Flyers Goaltending is a little worse than the Penguins (for now)

    The Flyers have more points, are higher in the standings, have had as many serious injuries than the Penguins if not more, and have played less games.

    The Flyers have more bang for their buck this season since both teams have spent relatively up to the salary cap.

    Next season the Penguins get less bang for their buck adding $5.00m in salary without adding a player at all. It’s safe to say the Flyers who have their core locked up into contracts will have more bang for their buck next season as well.

    And there you have it. That’s what this whole argument was about wasn’t it?

  • MJ Kasprzak

    The Pens have been missing Gonchar. How are the two teams doing since his return? He opens things up even more than Timonen, which is why he’s better.
    I agree that Staal is not top seven on the Flyers, and I do not argue that you have more depth at forward. But again, it is not because of cap space for Malkin and Crosby. I reiterate that they earn only about $300K (not even enough to get a player for the minimum) right now than Briere and Carter, and they are better than those two. We can debate next year’s figures when we can see how they play next year (THAT’S when they will combine for $17.4 mil).

    You keep talking about a hypothetical because your argument that those two weigh down the Pens cap could be said about your top two forwards, and your top two are not as good, period. Plus, I would argue that your team’s focus on forwards has cost you a goaltender…
    Your top four salaries actually cost more than their top four and simply are not as good: Briere, Timonen, Richards, Gagne vs. Crosby, Gonchar, Fleury, Malkin = NO CONTEST, and you spend $1.3 mil more for inferior talent. Go three players further and you get Carter, Hartnell, and Carle; for the extra $13,936,633 (including the $1.3 you were over them before), the Pens have Kunitz, Orpik, and Guerin, and Mark Eaton.
    That’s what I mean about you not refuting my stats. You are looking only at what two guys cost NEXT year vs. what three of yours do, and talking about how great your forwards are in comparison, but that’s where you put your money, and if I’m not mistaken they have gotten more out of their roster than you have yours. That will be repeated in the playoffs.

  • Chris Shafer

    Wow, Giroux is our third center, not defender. It’s getting late and I’m typing too much too fast. Oh well. Take care.

  • Chris Shafer

    Giroux is our third defender and is as sound defensively as at least Crosby is. Briere is now playing on his wing. And I can’t remember a time when Gagne played center except for juniors when he played it at times.

    And if you think I didn’t refute your statistics then you missed something. I’m tired of the Pens vs. Flyers arguments. There’s too much animosity involved. Just know I know plenty of professional hockey writers that are Pens fans who agree that the contracts of Malkin and Crosby are going to hurt their ability to obtain wingers. In the mean time the Flyers can afford plenty of wingers.

    And you can say Staal is good defensively. He is. I’m not going to deny that, but let’s be realistic. In terms of offense he isn’t even a top 7 player on the Flyers. Sykora is about on par with Lupul and Knuble who aren’t in the Flyers top 5. Kunitz and Guerin have done well for the Penguins, but even their offensive totals aren’t that much higher than the Flyers 6th and 7th best forwards. So inability to pay for really talented wingers has already hurt the Penguins. The Flyers on the other hand don’t have that problem.

    That was the whole point of this exercise. The Penguins can’t afford top-end wingers now so they will be in even more trouble with a shrinking cap while spending even more space on Crosby and Malkin.

    Everything else that we are arguing over is completely based on opinions. All this defensively responsible stuff and offensively talented stuff doesn’t matter. What matters is results. The Flyers wingers are performing well while the Penguins wingers haven’t all season.

    I won’t be responding to any more comments because really I don’t feel like dragging this out anymore. You can accuse me of not respecting you, but if I didn’t I wouldn’t have have had a discussion with you to begin with.

  • MJ Kasprzak

    Well, that’s why I asked–I didn’t know if Gagne was on the top line because I know he used to be a centre.

    But when you say “the ones with any thought wouldn’t” you are dead wrong. That is the reason I had to hit you with all the data: I AM an analyst with thought, I’ve laid those thoughts out and backed them up with statistics. Saying someone who doesn’t agree with you isn’t putting any thought into it is insulting. I could say the same thing about you since you have failed to refute my statistical data, but I’m not because you have given other sound points–they may not be persuasive enough for me to change my opinion, but they are reasonable and thought out. Too bad you can’t afford me the same respect.

    BTW, I think you meant it’s better to pay that for three guys than two (not four), but in mentioning the two-way thing, you are off-base. Staal is a defender and no slouch on their third line, which produced pretty well in last season’s playoffs. You are right that your third line is better than theirs, but since you have Briere in that trio, their defence is better–all three of their centres are good defenders, only two of yours are. And their two guys have a higher plus than your three in two of the last three years.

  • Chris Shafer

    The Flyers have 4 awesome centers: Richards, Carter, Briere, and Giroux. So Briere will probably be moved to wing. I know what it’s like to have awesome centers, trust me.

    And as for those analysts, the ones that don’t care about cap or intangibles will obviously pick Malkin and Crosby. The ones with any thought won’t. And you can complain about Briere’s contract, but he’s a luxury for the Flyers. He’s supposed to be that extra piece on top of Richards, Carter, Gagne, and Hartnell that can help us win the cup. So either the Flyers have spent their luxury cap space in a much better way than the Penguins, or their depth is far better than Pittsburgh’s.

    And for your comment about Gagne battling top line defenders. Of course he is. He’s on the Flyers’ top line next to Richards and Knuble. The good thing about having three scoring lines though (something the Flyers have and the Pens don’t) is that they cause match up problems. That’s why it’s better to spend $17m on three guys rather than four especially if those 3 guys play two way hockey and put up a point per game.

  • MJ Kasprzak

    They were both in the last five seasons, so that is injury-prone. Know how many games Joe Thornton has missed? None. Sid has missed in one of four seasons–that’s not two of five, and he has played more minutes against better defenders because he was the top line all four of those seasons; Gagne isn’t even there now, is he?

    I can tell this is pointless, and I have an article to write–I can’t read your article length responses. If you honestly think your five guys are better than theirs, even in the face of the statistics (both individual and team success), I am not going to try to change your mind. But if you asked an analyst, the majority would trade Gagne, Briere, and Richards for Malkin and Crosby, and many would even be willing to give up a decent pick to boot.

    Now, if the question is Richards, Carter, and Gagne, I’ll give you the edge in talent RIGHT NOW (I’d still take the two younger players in a trade), plus you’d be saving about a million. Briere’s the one who is not worth it on your team–he gets paid almost as much as them and is nowhere near the player on defence, and not quite the player on offense.

    But remember, right now they are making only about $300K less than Briere and Richards. Malkin’s big contract does not kick in ’til next year. And the Sharks are paying Joe and Patty over $13 mil; trust me, it’s worth it to have two awesome centres.

  • Chris Shafer

    Having seasons less than 80 games isn’t being “injury prone”. Like Briere he has only had one other season where he missed a substantial amount of games. So Gagne and Briere have missed a significant amount of games in 2 seasons while playing basically double the amount of seasons as Crosby. Crosby has missed significant time in 1 of his 4 seasons and has been out a couple of times this season therefore by your definition must be injury-prone.

    And by the way. Timonen might just be the best player on the entire team. He is a top 10 defenseman in the NHL. And yes, he is as good if not better than Gonchar. When he is out the Flyers defense is left in shambles. Timonen is the Flyers MVP for the past two seasons, not Carter or Richards. That’s why when I say the Flyers lost the series to Pittsburgh last year in the Eastern Conference Finals when both Timonen and Coburn (their two top defensemen) were out, I’m not just blowing hot air. That is why the Flyers lost the series. Everything else that people point out was a direct result of that.

    And you can go on and on about how many big salary players the Flyers have. The fact remains is that the Penguins organization this offseason thought they could plug anyone in at winger next to Malkin and Crosby and that it would work out because the two of them would make whoever is around them better. When that didn’t work they went out and got Kunitz. Since then how are the Penguins by the way? Thought so.

    The Flyers may have numerous contracts that equal a lesser amount of yours but that’s the whole point. The Flyers pay guys across the board who perform well even if they’re just point per game players instead of 100+ point getters. Then they have room to invest on more solid talent all around. That’s why the Flyers have been winning all season and the Penguins were panicking at the deadline to get into the playoffs.

    Down the road that $17.4m will hurt the Penguins far more down the road as they have less and less to spend on depth. The Flyers can just drop one of their big name contracts such as Lupul should the cap fall. That way they’ll still have the depth to compete. The Penguins on the other hand will be forced to find cheap talent. The Flyers also have a talented and deep pool of prospects to pull from. The Penguins do not.

    See it how you want, but either way I’d rather have Richards and Carter and Gagne and Briere and Timonen than Crosby and Malkin and Staal and Kunitz and Gonchar.

  • MJ Kasprzak

    You’re joking, right? ‘Cause you realize that Gagne has only had two 80-game seasons in the ten years he’s been a NHL player, and played just 25 games last year, right? (And while I did not say Briere was injury-prone, the reason people tell you that is he is too: two of his last four seasons, he has failed to reach 50 games; if he plays every game for the rest of this year, he won’t even have 30.)
    And by the way, you’re paying almost $13 mil for two guys that aren’t as good (Briere and Timonen), so I wouldn’t be too haughty about cap suicide.
    And the choice is not Carter, Richards, and Gagne, it’s BRIERE, Richards, and Gagne. That’s an even trade for money. As for “most fans” agreeing with you, that’s your perception because you are a Flyers fan. Let’s look at their production the last three years (Briere was with Sabres one of those, but still counting his numbers):
    Pen’s duo: 562 points, +71; Flyers trio: 531 points, +37. Advantage, Pens, and their players are younger than any of your three–that’s part of the reason they are paid more: upside.

  • Chris Shafer

    I’m sorry. Paying $17.4m for 2 players (not 3) is nearly cap suicide…

  • Chris Shafer

    No offense, but you’re completely wrong on various points. Carter is at least as physical as Malkin, and Richards is hands down more physical. I know Malkin is very good defensively, but we’re talking about two of the most defensively solid forwards in the NHL. Richards is right up there with Datsyuk and the glory days of Rod Brind’Amour.

    On top of that I don’t know what people are talking about when it comes to Gagne and Briere being injury-prone. Gagne has had one serious injury since joining the NHL, that was a concussion last year. His play this season should’ve made people realize that he isn’t going anywhere. I was constantly informed that he would not be as big a factor this season as seasons before because of his injury. I still don’t understand how one concussion makes a player injury-prone. On top of that he is the 2nd most defensively responsible forward on the team, even surpassing Mike Richards in some ways. He continues to be underrated by those who know nothing about him.

    Briere on the other hand may not be very strong defensively, but he is disgusting on the powerplay and his league leading playoff goals since the lockout is nothing to overlook. His groin injuries have become a problem this season, but he has only missed more than 5 games twice in his career including this season. He has played virtually full seasons 5 of the 7 years he’s been in the league.

    I’d hands down take Carter, Richards, and Gagne over Crosby and Malkin. I wouldn’t even think twice. I would also very easily take Richards, Carter, and Briere. I’m sure most fans would agree with me as well. Paying $17.4m for 3 players is nearly cap suicide without an incredible prospect core which the Penguins don’t have.

  • MJ Kasprzak

    Malkin is a great defensive player, and I’d rather face either Richards or Carter than him because he’s more physical, and after you pay those guys, you cannot pay even one of the others on your list for what Malkin and Crosby make. Their cap figures are $12,583,000 this year; Carter and Richards alone cost $10,750,000.
    But I know what you mean. I think a lot of people are unaware of the fact that all of them are two-way players, though, because you see that kind of offence and you just think that’s their focus. Your guys are awesome penalty killers and very dangerous as shorthanded scorers. And next year, Malkin’s figure goes up, so they combine for $17.4 mil; that’ll be exactly what you pay Briere, Richards, and Gagne. (I’d still take Sid and Malkin–Briere is not the defender either of them is, Gagne gets hurt too much, and both of them score more than Richards. But it’s close.)

  • Chris Shafer

    It’s exactly why I would take Richards and Carter hands down over Crosby and Malkin. I don’t care if those two will put up more points. Carter and Richards and better defensively, add far more in intangibles, and will be cheaper forever. It allows us to get players like Gagne, Briere, Hartnell, Lupul, and Knuble to add to our offensive depth.

  • MJ Kasprzak

    The cap thing is a good point–you’re actually getting Ryan and Marchant or someone like him for Crosby, and I’ll take the two over the one.

  • Chris Shafer

    Reason #6. Bobby Ryan grew up just a few miles from me. He went to a rival high school as well. How’s that for bias?

    Anyway, I’ll take Bobby Ryan on the Flyers over Crosby only because he fits the Flyers mold far better as a bruiser who can put up points and because he’s far cheaper.

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  • Ken Armer

    I never had heard about Bobby’s past and his dad. Sure is good for him to be moving on.

  • MJ Kasprzak

    No, I get the humour, but it was obviously said with an element of truth I was addressing. I have been reading Ken’s stuff since my Sharks choked to his Stars last May, so perhaps I was able to see something others could not…

  • Mark

    MJ, there is a reason this is in the “humor” section. Any unbiased fan will probably take Crosby over Ryan. Crosby is a once in a life time talent. But he is so much fun to make fun of :)

    But I agree on point #3, I would love to have the name Bobby Ryan. Bobby has gone through alot to get to this point. His dad was in jail for a while for bail hopping. But him and Bobby have made up and they now have a good relationship

  • MJ Kasprzak

    Wow, that’s bias! Ryan is a great player, but Sid is far and away better. Crosby scores more even though his is the only line that can, he has mad skills few in the league possess, and while I do not like the diving and the whining, it gets results. It shows a craftiness and actually a maturity to work the refs.

    I love your reference to the lack of beard-growing ability and I do think it is reflective of which is more manly: Ryan is definitely more my kind of player. But ask me which I would rather have on my roster and it’s a no-brainer for Sid.