Mark Madden

Mark Madden

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THE FREE-AGENCY DEBATE


The Penguins’ free-agency debate seems divided into two camps: 

*Geno-maniacs comprise 49½ percent. YA GOTTA KEEP GENO! GENO, GENO, GENO, GENO! 

*Letang haters are 49½ percent. Letang is at fault for all of the Penguins’ failures.

*The remaining one percent are people who think sensibly. 

Sidney Crosby would like to see Malkin and Letang stay but is unlikely to take a stand over it. 

Given choice, I’d rather keep Letang than Malkin. 

Letang is better, in better shape, much tougher to replace and more probable to have a longer run of good hockey in him. 

But the Penguins can’t pay Letang what he can get elsewhere, and the Penguins shouldn’t pay Malkin what he wants. 

If, as reported, Malkin and Letang find offers submitted by the Penguins to be “insulting,” maybe they should take the hint. 

Anyway, Jake Guentzel is the Penguins’ second-best player now. Times change. 

If the Penguins must replace Malkin and Letang, they won’t be better next year. 

But what about the year after that? Or the year after the year after that? 

The Penguins aren’t playing a short-term game anymore. The notion that this group of players is capable of “one more run” lies dead in the casket of a fourth straight first-round playoff loss. 

The Penguins have shown you what they are. Believe what you see. 

To read more on the aftermath of the Penguins’ elimination, click HERE.

Photo: Getty Images


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