Penguin Notes: Sir Sidney, Couture, Bylsma, and the old two-niner

by John Toperzer

When I wrote for Hockey Buzz a couple years ago, we (readers and myself) joked about giving Sidney Crosby the nickname “The Ferrari” instead of “Sid the Kid.” After all, Crosby was already 24 at the time and a concussion specialist had referred to Crosby’s brain as a Ferrari.

Here we are in 2014 and Sid’s still a kid. I guess no one would argue if his nickname stayed with him forever. But Mike Lange, the Hall of Fame Penguins announcer, has called Crosby “Sir Sidney” for years.
It might be time we all get in the fast lane and go with “Sir Sidney.”



I was listening to another Pens broadcast a week or so ago with Lange and Phil Bourque, who is affectionately known as the “old two-niner” (not the old 29er, which rhymes with 49er).

Anyways, Bourque was asked on his intermission gig “#tweetarama” by a twitter follower “what is your favorite car?”

Bourque named a few cars and then went with the Corvette.

Well, my first career after college was as an auto claim representative for State Farm Insurance. Sure enough, one of my “insureds” as I called them hit Bourque’s parked car. I’m pretty sure it was a Corvette (though it might’ve been a Trans Am). Now remember, this was in 1989 or thereabouts.

Our State Farm estimator either went out and wrote an estimate on the Corvette or Bourque sent me a repair bill, I can’t exactly remember.

I could’ve sent simply sent Bourque a check but instead I asked him to come in and pick up the check personally.

He did and we talked for a bit. It was fun.

So hearing him on the radio 25 years later about his Corvette was kind of special to me. I helped repair his favorite car back into mint condition.



Did Pens coach Dan Bylsma error by sitting both Robert Bortuzzo and Deryk Engelland in Dallas on Saturday night?

Tanner Glass did a great job of hitting everything that moved – his 13 registered hits tied an NHL season-high – but the Pens could’ve given Glass a little help.

The team looked out of sorts and was beaten up and beaten to the puck on numerous occasions.


Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist, Dejan Kovacevic, wrote about increasing the size of hockey nets to add more goals back into the game.

That led me to thinking about a change which was made prior to the 2013-14 season. The depths of nets were brought in four inches to provide skaters with more room to work with behind the goal. How has that worked out?

I haven’t even heard anyone mention the change since the first week of the season. Net loss.


I wouldn’t mind if the NHL decided to skip the Olympics and send Wheeling Nailers to Sochi. Vladimir Putin can have his borsch and eat it, too, but make it optional for North Americans skaters to attend the games.

I wonder how many North American Olympians would go to Sochi if they didn’t have to?

Don’t me wrong, the 1980 Olympics are one of my all-time fondest sports memories, but times change. I would be surprised if NHL commissioner, Gary Bettman, doesn’t change the way NHL players compete (or don’t compete) in future games.



Tuesday morning I tweeted Elliotte Friedman, he of Hockey Night In Canada. Friedman wrote here that San Jose Sharks defenseman, Dan Boyle, is 35 years of age.

I tried to tactfully tweet him that Boyle is 37 not 35. Pointing out someone else’s mistake is always a tricky thing to do. Here are the tweets.

I looked into the Sharks and other team’s needs. Boyle is coming off a concussion and his play seems to be fading for the second season in a row.

What if the Penguins sent Kris Letang – who is a right-handed shot like Boyle – to San Jose in exchange for Logan Couture?

Couture likely has greater value than Letang. Both are locked up in long-term deals (with Letang’s kicking in over the summer).

If the Penguins added a Beau Bennett for Tommy Wingels, that deal might make sense for both teams.

Hockey trades are trades which help both teams, they don’t dump salary or have other motives.

The Penguins would fill first- and third line forward woes with Couture and Wingels while the Sharks would gain a first-rate offensive defender and a forward with upside.

At the time of this writing (two hours after tweeting Friedman), his article still misstates Boyle’s age. At least I can say I tried!


Tuesday Interviews

Dan Bylsma:

Sidney Crosby:

Kris Letang:

Rob Scuderi:

Tanner Glass:

Brian Gibbons:

Courtesy Pittsburgh Penguins


Treasure Life!


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