I'm a firm believer that things happen in groups of threes, for better or worse. I'm probably even tempting fate by writing this, but as far as I'm concerned we just got dealt two blows today.
Brooks Orpik has declined the Penguins first offer and former Penguin Martin Straka is heading home to play for his Czech team.
Both of these may not be as big a deal in the end, but it's still a blow nonetheless.
The first one I can't say I'm surprised by. In any negotiation who takes the first offer? Let's say you get a new job. Do you accept the first rate of pay that the employer offers? Most likely not, because you and the employer know it's just a formality.
The first offer in any deal is like the Fox News channel. Just a bunch of one-sided fluff that means nothing.
It's just a bunch of unsubstantiated drivel where both sides know it's just a starting point and the effort now shifts to finding a middle ground.
Supposedly both sides will sit down again to try and work out a deal, so this may not be a dead deal just yet.
As for Straka leaving, I have been secretly hoping for years that Straka would return to Pittsburgh after being one of countless salary dumps by Craig Patrick. After refreshing my memory, I don't blame Straka for heading home and not returning to Pittsburgh as many rumors had him doing.
Check out these two trades he was involved in as a Penguin:
Apr 7, 1995: Pittsburgh Penguins traded Martin Straka to the Ottawa Senators for Troy Murray and Norm Maciver.
Nov 30, 2003: Pittsburgh Penguins traded Martin Straka to the Los Angeles Kings for Sergei Anshakov and Martin Strbak. (See link at bottom of this post for link to other Straka NHL info.)
My head hurts from trying to even process that information. No wonder he went home. Would we end up trading Straka at the deadline for Rico Fata?
Wait we traded for Fata once already? Really? Who'd we give up for him? Kovalev?! You're joking? Ugh.
You should have seen me in my dorm room in college when that deal went down. My roommate refused to talk to me until the swelling in my hand subsided after punching the floor until it went numb.
I spent the better part of two years cursing out Fata every time he hit the ice after that deal. Mainly it was due to the fact that everyone knew that trade was a salary dump and the NHL almost rejected it as such. The first time I traveled to Pittsburgh to see a game at the igloo was shortly after that deal. Mario set him up countless times on the back post and he somehow managed to suffer a stroke every time the puck came to him.
Anyway, back to Straka. How can you not like this guy? I think he would have been a good fit on this young team and could help out with the lack of veteran presence that we're going to have heading into next season. I'm convinced the city of Pittsburgh would have welcomed him back with open arms.
I hesitate to end this post knowing full well that something else has to happen to complete the negative trifecta.