Penguin Notes: Painful Mumps, Kunitz’s Future, Bylsma #TBT

Warning: This first note is a bit graphic

One out of four adult males with mumps deals with orchitis, according to emedtv. Orchitis, as described by NHS, has some potentially serious complications.

Swollen testicle

Pain and swelling of the testicles (orchitis) affects one in four males who get mumps after puberty. The swelling is usually sudden and affects only one testicle. The testicle may also feel warm and tender.

In affected boys and men swelling of their testicles normally begins four to eight days after the swelling of the parotid gland.

Occasionally, swelling can occur up to six weeks after the swelling of the glands.

Any testicle pain can be eased using over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. If the pain is particularly severe, contact your GP who may prescribe a stronger painkiller for you.

Applying cold or warm compresses to your testicles and wearing supportive underwear, may also reduce any pain.

Just under half of all males who get mumps-related orchitis will notice some shrinkage of their testicles and an estimated 1 in 10 men will experience a drop in their sperm count (the amount of healthy sperm that their body can produce). However, this is very rarely large enough to cause infertility

Statistically, if the NHL has 14 confirmed cases of the mumps, then there are likely three players suffering (or suffered) from what sounds like a painful malady.



Former Penguins James Neal became the first NHL player to be fined for diving, according to CBC Sports.

Neal, who is tied for ninth in the league with 106 shots, has scored 11 goals and 19 points through 30 games. The big winger is mostly a liability when he’s not scoring and for the most part he’s struggled in Nashville. At $5 million per season, his AAV isn’t bad (though it’s the highest number among all Predators forwards). Neal has shown signs of heating up a bit – he has five points in the last six games – but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Nashville move him in
the right trade.


If the KHL folds and/or some teams dissolve, it’s not difficult envisioning North American and/or North American-trained players returning to the NHL.

According to the Globe and Mail, the ruble has tumbled about 50 percent against the U.S. dollar since July.

Click here to see the KHL’s leading scorers thus far.

And no, there’s no chance of Alexei Morozov returning to the Penguins after an 11-season absence. The 37-year-old has retired. He was only good against the New Jersey Devils and Martin Brodeur, anyhow.


Some of the most up-tempo, fun-to-watch hockey the Penguins played in 2013-14 was last December, when injuries forced the team to recall boat loads of players from the AHL. History appears to be repeating itself this season. Bobby Farnham has been tons of fun to watch.

Penguins radio analyst, Phil Bourque, said his playing style was similar to that of a torpedo prior to his first NHL game and that description is proving to be more than accurate. Coach Mike Johnston commented on Bryan Rust and Farnham following Monday’s game.

“Rust did some really good things … I really liked how he managed the puck and his skill, that’s something we’re looking for and then Farnham adding that energy, he’s going to be a great depth guy, for sure.”

Johnston didn’t heap lavish praise on Farnham, but Columbus’ Nick Foligno had this to say about Farnham.


I recently unearthed a DVR recording of former Penguins head coach, Dan Bylsma, speaking about the NHL draft in 2012. He had this to say about the Jordan Staal trade (which transpired just before the draft).

Said Dan Bylsma:

“The nervous part about that deal was we wanted to get Pouliot with that eighth pick. Sitting at the table, knowing the deal was done, and that we were looking to hopefully get this guy, I talked to his coach as well two days ago and he talked really highly of that player as well. We wanted to get that player with that pick.”

So Bylsma talked with current Penguins coach, Mike Johnston, before selecting Derrick Pouliot. Could he even have imagined that the Portland Winterhawks coach he was talking to would replace him as Pittsburgh’s head coach two years later? No way. Crazy stuff.


Speaking of the Jordan Staal trade, then Carolina GM, Jim Rutherford, had this to say of the deal in the News Observer.

“When you’re acquiring an elite player you have to give a lot for it,” Rutherford said. “And we did. We paid Pittsburgh a good price.

“We love Brandon Sutter. It was really hard to let him go. He’s been a very good player for us and has a very good future ahead of him. … But when you get into a deal like this you usually give up something you don’t want to give.”

“This improves our team,” Rutherford said. “You name me two or three other center icemen that are like Jordan Staal. You just can’t find them.”

Rutherford either overvalued Staal or really wanted to get him for brother Eric — or perhaps a little of both.

Fast forward two and a half years. Now Rutherford is charged with finding at least one, if not two, top-six forwards in Pittsburgh.

Will he overpay? That seems to be a reasonable question to ask, considering the Staal trade. Giving Alexander Semin $35 million for five years was also a highly questionable move.

Of course, with the Penguins he’s picked up Patric Hornqvist, who has exceeded expectations. Rutherford has also signed Marc-Andre Fleury to a four-year, $23 million deal.

Here’s what Rutherford said he’s weighing before pulling the inevitable trigger on a trade.

“We’re looking for more than one (top-six forward) now and trying to juggle what cap space we have,” Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “This is not an easy process, by no means, to accomplish our goal, but we’re going to try and do it.

“Ideally what we’d like to do is make a deal that’s for the bigger picture, for the long run.”

“It’s something I’m aware of,” Rutherford said of the need for top-six help. “It’s a matter of, ‘Do we go get a forward now for the sake of adding more depth and experience? Or do we try to hold out as long as we can to see who all becomes available?’

“I’m watching on a daily basis to try and decide which way to go.”

Rutherford said over the summer that he’s not afraid to make a big deal a month before the trade deadline.

Injuries and mumps may have shifted some of the Pens’ focus (or at least, time) in recent weeks, but the team’s needs will likely come into clearer focus as it gets healthier.



Olli Maatta’s shoulder injury puts a serious crimp in the Pens’ defensive depth at the NHL level and hurts trade talk. Not knowing how healthy Maatta is makes it difficult to trade other blueliners. Maatta’s trade value, in itself, is compromised. One shoulder surgery is bad enough for a 20-year-old, but what happens if he needs a second?

The Winnipeg Jets repeatedly stated that they were not looking for defensemen in trades last season. This year, they’ve had a number of injuries to their blue line and now Jacob Trouba is out until February.

Plenty of Penguins fans have targeted Evander Kane as a top-six forward who could help Pittsburgh. While it could still happen, Maatta’s situation throws a wrench into the plan.

Interestingly, there are reports that the Philadelphia Flyers came close to trading for Kane over the summer.



The Penguins have looked pretty good without Chris Kunitz and his $3.85 million salary cap hit. Kunitz has two more years left on his deal. For that reason and the fact that he’s becoming more inconsistent, it wouldn’t be surprising to see GM Jim Rutherford include Kunitz’s name in trade talks.


From Elliotte Friedman’s 30 thoughts, an incidental Pittsburgh reference.

“It’s not important for coaches and players to like each other. But, it is important they pull in the same direction and understand where each other is coming from. At his post-firing briefing MacLean said last weekend’s comment about being scared to death of who he was going to put on the ice against Pittsburgh was a joke that was badly misinterpreted.”

The fact he thought that way, while the organization and players felt opposite, shows how “off” the relationship became.


Pittsburgh Interview Audio (Courtesy of Penguins)

Mike Johnston:

Sidney Crosby:

Marc-Andre Fleury:




Penguins defenseman, Scott Harrington, is expected to make his NHL debut Thursday night.


Treasure Life!


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