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Dad memes > Improving team

July 1, 2018, 2:35 PM ET [71 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Jack Johnson. Ok that is out of the way. Surprisingly that wasn’t the only signing today. The Penguins are reaching back to past glory, not with Chris Kunitz (Blackhawks), but with Matt Cullen.

Another subpar move for this offseason. Matt Cullen was a great addition for the two years he played for Pittsburgh previously. He’s completely shot now. His value to the Penguins was his ability to create offense in a limited role. He has no value if he’s not able to do that. Last year he wasn’t able to do that with Minnesota. His possession related numbers were horrendous. His CF% was 40.96. His xGF% was 46.21. Relative to his teammates he was among the worst of Minnesota’s forwards. Brutal numbers. He isn’t all that effective on the penalty kill either. This is just a clear intangible signing with a familiar face.

Rutherford spoke about how Brassard, Sheahan, and Cullen are all options to play on the wing. I’m not really a huge fan of that idea. Having Crosby, Malkin, Brassard, Sheahan down the middle is a real strength for the team. Adding Cullen doesn’t fit. Making him a left wing just means you get Tom Kuhnhackl production again. This isn’t the same Matt Cullen that left the team after 2016-17. He’s 42, it’s understandable that his play would decline. He’s had a great career. If the team wanted nostalgia and locker room intangibles Chris Kunitz at 1M for one year like he signed in Chicago would have made a lot more sense. If Brassard moves to the wing you’ll have Sheahan playing in a role that won’t give him his best chance to succeed. Cullen is a Carter Rowney level player barring the ultra-rare bounce back at 42 years of age.

But hey, yay Dad memes.

Back to Jack Johnson because that signing is official now *CONFETTI*

Jim Rutherford talked about Mike Sullivan and Sergei Gonchar watching film of Jack Johnson. They are all in on the Sergei Gonchar will fix everything train. Didn’t seem to work with Matt Hunwick. They are putting all their chips in on the table that none of Jack Johnson’s coaches did a good job in the decade plus he’s been in the league. The Gonchar stuff rings hollow not because he’s not good at his job, but because if he is good at his job you shouldn’t have to pay a premium to get a bottom pairing guy.

There’s a phrase worth bringing up from yesteryear: “In Shero we trust”. Remember that one? Remember what happened? The shine wore off. We’ll have to wait and see what tricks Rutherford has up his sleeve moving forward, but as of this moment we have back to back years where the offseason has been a complete dud.

Thanks for reading!
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