Friday, April 10, 2009
Controversial "created" player helps Pens reach playoffs
It is no surprise that the Pittsburgh Penguins have qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It is surprising however, that it wasn't Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin that lead the team to the postseason, but a virtual unknown, non-drafted, "created" player by the name of Mark Rose. Rose, no doubt on his way to the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie, put up 135 points this season, thanks in large part to playing on a top line with Crosby and Malkin, and taking valuable powerplay time away from veterans like Petr Sykora and Bill Guerin. "He's had a great year, but I don't think its exactly fair that he just shows up one day, unheard of, and gets to play wing with two of the best players in the world", said Rose's teammate Chris Kunitz, a player who's ice time was drastically reduced due to Rose joining the lineup. Kunitz isn't alone in offering some alarming verbatim towards the created superstar. "Honestly, when I saw him in camp, I thought he was a waterboy," stated Jordan Staal. "It says in his profile that he weighs 185 lbs, but to me, he looks about 160, soaking wet." Rose has caused a storm, both good and bad, in the organization from the day he was signed, thanks in large part to the jersey number he selected: Mario Lemieux's retired 66.