Buries It and Burkle Release Statement

The Penguins became one of the last teams (I think) to issue a statement to the fans thanking them for their patience and sacrifice during the now (nearly) resolved lockout. This is what it says:

To our Penguins Fans and Community:

We offer our apology. There is nothing we can say to explain or excuse what has happened over the past four months.

However, now that the NHL is back, we want to assure you that the Pittsburgh Penguins will do everything we can to regain your trust and show how much we value your amazing support.

The sounds of skates churning across the ice and pucks banging against the glass are returning to CONSOL Energy Center. That means a healthy Sidney Crosby is about to rejoin NHL MVP Evgeni Malkin, first-team All-StarJames Neal, Marc-Andre Fleury, Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik and others as we begin our quest to bring the Stanley Cup back to Pittsburgh.

We want to thank you for your patience and your loyalty to the Penguins. We hope to repay it many times over. Our commitment to winning the Stanley Cup and our commitment to you has not changed.

We look forward to seeing you at CONSOL Energy Center.

So in other words, what they’re saying is “We’re sorry, but it was out of our hands. But don’t worry, because we still have a good hockey team.” And you know what? That’s fine by me. It doesn’t absolve them (or the players) of their guilt of complicity in the lockout, it doesn’t excuse the lockout, but it’s enough, for now. Get more after the break.
I know a lot of people, none more famous than Dejan Kovacevic (in one of his “SuperFan” moments) clamored for Mario to take charge and use his role as one of the game’s all-time great players and current owners to resolve the lockout unilaterally. Now I know a lot of people didn’t pay attention to the Penguins or to the NHL during the 2004-05 lockout, but, believe it or not, Mario did try just such a thing back then, and he even had Wayne Gretzky’s help. But if we know anything about the 2004-05 lockout, the whole season was lost, so I guess Lemieux failed didn’t he? And from what I understand he received a stern tongue lashing from Bettman et al. for even trying to do the right thing back then.

With that said, why on Earth should it have been Mario’s responsibility to do a damn thing this lockout? As if saving the team from bankruptcy twice (true story, the Penguins were in bankruptcy when they first drafted Mario, but because of his mere presence the team started to make money ultimately getting out of bankruptcy and being able to afford the contracts to bring in the talent for the ‘91-’92 Cup teams–which would bankrupt the team again, but that’s neither here nor there), delivering three Stanley Cups, and keeping the team in Pittsburgh for at least another 30 years.

So to summarize, I don’t know what you feel about the statement (although I suspect few of you care) but for those that are naysaying Penguins ownership for making such a statement: grow up. These guys have basically given you everything a hockey fan could ask for, and if there’s one thing we can be certain about: the Pens aren’t done paying back the fans for their support.

A couple of other notes:

  • Bovada has the Penguins as the favorite to win the Cup at 8:1. The Rangers are right on their heels at 17:2 (for what it’s worth the Flyers are fifth at 12:1, the same as the reigning Cup champs, the LA Kings). Just saying, but with 3 Atlantic Division teams in the top 5 to win the cup, can there be any doubt about how good this division is? I like Bodog’s trust in the Pens, but let’s not fool anyone, the Pens are going to have to make some huge moves at the trade deadline to really stand a chance.
  • Speaking of the trade deadline: it looks like team will have until early April (5th or 7th depending on different sources) to make their final changes. I guess the expectation is that the Stanley Cup will be awarded in late June instead of early June, but that seems like a later than usual date, which could be extra valuable for a team with such great player-personnel development like the Penguins.
  • According to LetsGoPens, Robert Bortuzzo, Beau Bennett, and Eric Tangradi were all scratched from yesterday’s AHL game and are expected to have the opportunity to make the NHL team. Again we’re gonna start breaking down positions a little later this week, but Bortuzzo seems to be in line for the 7th defenseman spot (especially if LGP is also correct about the Wild having interest in Ben Lovejoy), and it looks like we could see a battle royale between Bennett (who has impressed in his rookie campaign) and the Big Dawg to earn a spot with the top team.
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One Comment on “Buries It and Burkle Release Statement”

  1. […] Not to say I told you so, but the Penguins announced today that they will be offering fan initiatives throughout the first four home games of the season this year. All fans who attend one of the first four games will receive three vouchers for free food and drink, and all Pens merchandise will be half off at “Pens Gear” stores at Consol and Southside Works. Read the whole thing here. […]


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