I took a random day off Thursday. Needed a day to clear the mind and come up for air, ya know?
So “U mad, bro?” was pushed back a day.
Nothing like erasing the mental health benefits of 24 hours off like opening your email and social media after the Penguins traded a wildly popular player, Mike Tomlin lost a challenge, and the Steelers didn’t cover the point spread.
So here is a belated, but no less bristling, edition of “U mad, bro?”
Let’s start with Rick.
Thanks, Rick. Clearly an indisputable point. But could you be more specific next time?
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Now let’s get to a bunch of folks who replied to our story on Wednesday about the Penguins’ proposed trade of Patric Hornqvist to the Florida Panthers for defenseman Mike Matheson.
Eventually, the trade was consumated, as the Panthers threw in forward Colton Sceviour.
Thomas: “Sure, rip out the grit and soul of this team.”
JK: “This turnover machine will fit right in with (Kris) Letang and (Jack) Johnson. (General Manager Jim Rutherford) needs to go now.”
E.: “Matheson is a left-handed shooter (don’t need any more lefties). He’s tall at 6’ 2”, 192 pounds. Does he hit (not many penalty minutes in the last two years. Eight goals per year average for four main years)? Geez, sounds like your ordinary, third-line defenseman. On top of that, a very high, carry-over contract salary. Don’t just give Hornqvist away, JR !!”
Jimmy John: “A trade for the sake of a trade never works out. J.R. has had quite a few trades lately that haven’t worked out. It’s Carolina all over again. This group has seen its last cup with J.R. running the show.”
On the surface, I agree. If it’s really just Hornqvist for these two Panthers — and not a set up for a second trade — I give this deal a thumbs down, too.
After all the offseason preaching about needing to get younger, hungrier and developing more net-front presence, this trade only helps the first cause and seriously dents the other two.
Plus, the Penguins take on $575,000 of a cap hit for the upcoming year.
Also, as of now, the Penguins have a glut of left-handed shooting defensemen. They don’t have anyone to replace Hornqvist’s net-front presence.
True, Hornqvist isn’t what he used to be. But I don’t think Matheson has ever been anything but overpaid.
Plus, Hornqvist is still the organization’s best net-front guy on the power play. And I don’t know what was expected of him on a third line with Patrick Marleau and Jared McCann.
If this trade is a precursor to moving Johnson and getting a younger, cheaper version of Hornqvist off another roster, then Rutherford may be onto something. But until I see evidence of that or of Matheson being close to worth his price tag, I’m not a fan of the move either.
• • •
Meanwhile, John is mad at fans for ripping the trade.
“Fans, when are you gonna get it in your heads? This team is old and washed up. Next year they are gonna be another year older. Rebuild and don’t look back!!!”
OK, John. You’re right. As stated above, Matheson does get them younger. But if they want to go with youth as a potential replacement for Johnson, don’t block Pierre-Olivier Joseph with this new, much more expensive, acquisition.
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As for @Stanggeo, he is encouraging another Penguins trade. He’d prefer to see one involving goaltender Matt Murray.
“Send him anywhere!! Just get him out of here!!!”
Stanggeo, you act like Murray was Jarrod Dyson in goalie pads. He won two Stanley Cups and has plenty of hockey left. They didn’t lose the playoff series to the Montreal Canadiens because of him. And he may find his top form again later in his career.
Remember Marc-Andre Fleury got to the Stanley Cup Final in back-to-back years at ages 23 and 24. Then, between the Penguins and Vegas Golden Knights, he was part of three straight teams that went to the Final again at ages 31-33.
I agree that it’s probably best for the Penguins to keep Tristan Jarry and trade Murray. But let’s stop acting like he should be thrown out with the trash.
• • •
Keenan disagreed with my post about how the Houston Texans are attempting to overcome the loss of DeAndre Hopkins, as the Steelers were last year after the trade of Antonio Brown.
“I just wanna say the comparison to the Texans losing Hopkins with the Steelers and Antonio Brown is ridiculous. The Steelers have plenty of talent at wide receiver unlike the Texans. The Steelers also did not have a franchise quarterback last year while the Texans do in Deshaun Watson. Nothing similar. Antonio only had a few years left while Hopkins has plenty of time.”
Well, I pointed out the obvious difference between the quarterbacks in the story, Keenan. And the Texans are trying to replace Hopkins with talent in numbers the same way the Steelers are doing. They are just doing it with players who have more veteran standing in Randall Cobb and Brandin Cooks, unlike the Steelers who are using lots of youth.
Also, your point about the difference in how much “time” each player has left is a little off, too. Hopkins is 28 years old. Brown was traded at 30.
They both are (was, in Brown’s case) talented enough to be around for a long time.
• • •
Finally, Erik has a suggestion for Steelers owner Art Rooney II.
“Should Rooney impose a permanent ban on Tomlin throwing the challenge flag…EVER AGAIN?!?!?!”
Here’s my idea. From now on, Tomlin should have to throw his mask on the field instead of the challenge flag. That way, he knows he’s getting a $100,000 fine regardless of the outcome of the call.
And Rooney should tell him in advance he’s getting reimbursed from the front office only if the call is overturned in the Steelers’ favor.
Maybe that system will work better.
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