Welcome to another weekly installment of The Pensblog Friday Mailbag Delight Extravaganza, where we take your questions and do words about them!
1. Our first question comes from Darb on The Twitter
Any idea what the cap relief in $ the Schultz injury saves the Pens?
Well, Darb, we do! Great question!
Per Cap Friendly, they have the full $5.5M in cap relief after making a paper call up of Jeff Taylor prior to putting Jultz on IR to maximize that relief.
Graduate of the indisputable Havard of Washington County Mike Colligan had a really good piece back in 2014 covering this all if you want a more in depth explanation. Cap Friendly is also an incredible resource for cap related questions.
2. From VoltronBeatsPowerRangers, hopping back into the bag of mail again:
Does Tom Wilson still drink pee?
Related: Does the pope shit in the woods?
Look, it’s important that we as a society do not kink shame. Tom Wilson is bad for reasons far beyond his predilection to drink urine, but your use of the word “still” makes it sound like there were rumors that he stopped. He hasn’t, but because of his suspension, he’s just not able to afford the expensive, gourmet piss right now. He needs the ‘lectrolytes to survive.
Lectrolytes! It’s what enforcers need!
3. From Peep, who decided to ask a question in a mailbag in which he is helping answer questions. Who the fuck knows, but here it is:
Are the Penguins going to miss the playoffs?
For the #taeks alone, we sorta hope they do. Then they get one of those “next year” scenarios, but please refer to last week’s answer about how it’s hard to care about the weird shitty parts of your job, like playing Vancouver on a Tuesday night. We will never care about Vancouver. Ever.
That said, if they do, well, we made this proclamation:
There is only one time ever where I’ll have to join Tommy Pissmouth on drinking a gallon of piss. That’s a lot of piss.
4. Next up, from @scunjo:
Is it time to start looking for a better than second string goalie? Is Matt Murray cursed with Beau Bennett syndrome? (I’m a huge fan of Murray by the way and I know its early in the season but the smell test for 30 is off a little)
Short answer: probably not.
Long answer: Definitely not. If you take a look at his injury history, he has the broken hand from the World Cup of Hockey where he jammed it against the post, which you really can’t do too much about. That shit happens.
He had the hamstring tear in 2017 as well as a few nagging soft tissue injuries, which you can maybe put more on him. He went in depth that summer explaining how he went about his muscular injury prevention to curb that.
That brings us to the concussions, which are equal parts unlucky and unfortunate and aren’t your standard soft tissue injuries. There’s not a whole lot you can do to prevent concussions from happening from stuff like getting DDTed by Brendan Gallagher or taking a slap shot off the skull or whatever. That’s all a far cry away from the Beau Bennett Syndrome, which scientifically speaking is getting hurt from simple things like sneezing or picking up a spoon or eating cheese.
All that being said, The Smith is fine for a 2nd string* goaltender. He’s proven over the last year+ that he’s a reliable backup, perhaps the most reliable that they’ve had since maybe Brent Johnson (not including Backup Goaltender #29).
And look, let’s be real here for a second. Braden Holtby is one of the top 5, maybe top 2 goaltenders on Earth right now. He was backing up Phil Grubauer at the end of last season and into the first two games of the postseason. He went on to win the Stanley Cup. Everything is going to be fine.
*We love the use of “2nd string” here. Jargon like “2nd string” is like how they talk in 80’s sports movies and we should talk like that more.
5. Moving along children, from “Big Tasty” on Twitter, which is an elite fucking display name:
Trade one defenseman (not letang riikola or dumolin for) for a right handed dman to make the defense a game changer. (I know it’s early in the season I’m just curious)
Given the precious commodity that is a RHD in this league and the Pens current cap situation (without considering Jultz’ cap relief), it’s not the easiest thing to do. Fortunately, Schultz will be back when the games matter a bit more, so maybe that’s your workaround for addition without subtraction, which is just regular addition.
Without a whole lot of moveable parts that would yield any kind of worthwhile return, and without the aid of a time machine to go tell GMJR that Jack Johnson is a Porta-Potty where cess pools take a shit, the market probably wouldn’t be too kind to them. If it’s up to us, we’re probably moving either Johnson or Maatta, with the latter probably being the easier of the two to move.
That being said, Dylan DeMelo has gotten off to a nice start in Ottawa and he was someone we really wanted GMJR to take a look at this summer instead of Johnson. He’s signed for 2 years at $900k per and is still only 25. Give us him.
Or Erik Karlsson. Fuck the cap.
6. The penultimate question of the week comes from an emailer called Drinking Club, which is a club we can all get behind:
I liked the answer RE: “Will Matt Murray ever play in 50+ games? Discuss.” And I wondered if you were the same guys that wrote the great piece several years ago in a court trial format on Fleury and wether or not Conklin should take his job.
It wasn’t us, but we vaguely remember it being from the OG Pensblog regime. Derek and Adam were wizards.
Unrelated, but big fans here of “Will Matt Murray _________? Discuss” becoming a meme though.
Will Matt Murray ever drop a rap album? Discuss.
7. Finally, the best question of the week comes from an entity known as Tyler Chen:
I want Sid Geno Kessel and Letang to bukkake me while Oleksiak watches. Is this something most Pens fans think about.
Have we thought about it? Yes. Would we commission an artist to create that scene? Also yes.
The important thing here is that you nailed the Oleksiak watching part. There’s a nonzero chance he has a burner Tumblr account that’s into some weird shit. You can see that in his eyes. In another life, the watchman would’ve fallen on the deadass church-bitch eyes of Brooks Orpik, but sometimes reboots are better than the original.
Bukkakelypse Now: Penguins Edition. Coming in Fall 2019.