Before yesterday's draft the possibility of me writing this headline was slim to none. At least in my mind.
Angelo Esposito, the consensus top prospect heading into the past season, slipped to the 20th overall selection, and the Pens were there to snatch him up.
Shero even admitted that the team had no name tag for Angelo, because they thought he would be long gone before the 20th pick. PSaMP thought the same thing.
Whether by luck or design, Ray Shero is out to prove that he's the anti-Dave Littlefield. As the Pirates continue to pick pitchers, thus alienating fans, the Pens have been able to consistently snag top players, creating a corps of young talent that is unrivaled in the current NHL. If Littlefield was the GM of the Pens, he probably would've drafted defensive-minded defensmen in 8 of the last 10 drafts, with 7 or so of them blowing out a knee before making an impact on the team. Shero, on the other hand, is trying to help the struggling NHL by giving fans a unique opportunity to watch what could be the best group of young players ever assembled on one team. Yes, its a little early to make that claim, but try to look at the team and not say something along those lines.
Some scouts claim Esposito plays with creativity, but not enthusiasm. Shero hopes Esposito can find enthusiasm by playing with the likes of Crosby, Malkin, Staal and Fleury.
Yesterday, I wrote a headline that read Its a Good Day to be a Pens Fan. This was only to express my happiness that Shero brought back wingers Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts. I never imagined that those signings would be overshadowed by a middle-first round draft pick. So I was right. Yesterday was awesome for Penguins fans. A little bit of youth added into some veteran wisdom, and PSaMP is already thinking about the start of the NHL season. And some people claim that Pittsburgh's just a football town...