Throughout the off-season, we here at Pens Universe are going to provide you with player profiles that will summarize our opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of each player as well as highlighting their performance this past season, and we'll also include an outlook for the 2010-2011.
Points: 109 (2nd in the NHL in scoring)
Penalty Mins: 71
Scoring and passing ability; play creation; skating ability (speed and quickness); puck handling, vision; hockey IQ; face-off ability.
Sid most certainly had his finest year since the 06-07 season. Not only did he mark up the score sheet like as usual, but he likewise continued to do all of the intangibles as he stayed a consistent threat throughout the season. His leadership has continued to grow thanks to locker room presence of Bill Guerin, but so has his game. A year ago one might say Sid was just a set-up guy who created plays and skated well. You might also hear about his ability to handle the puck and great vision in the same sentence. But this year #87 completely redefined his game. He changed his stick to a one piece in the off season and decided to start shooting more. The 60 more shots he did take this year increased his goal production by 18
Probably as equally impressive was his ability to take the draw. He increased his winning percentage from 51.3% in 2009 at 42nd in the league to 55.9% in 2010, good for 11th overall in the entire NHL. Likewise he really stepped up his game in the playoffs holding the #1 spot in scoring for some time, even after they were eliminated by Montreal at home in game 7.
Unlike Gonchar and Malkin, Sid has decided to take a rest from hockey in the off season to relax and continue to work on other attributes of his game. Not that’s there’s very much lacking, but those things listed above commonly come with age and maturity.
Rocket Richard Trophy (shared with Stamkos).
Much of what Sid will accomplishes next year will depend on who he has as linemates. There’s not much he can’t do anymore as evidenced by the past season; he’s the ultimate threat with the most complete game. I’m sure what we can expect out of Sid is a mixture of intense hunger (after the early playoff exit) coupled with an increased maturity. Heading into his sixth season at the ripe old young of 23, Sid will likely hone in on all the experience he has learned over the years and become even an even more composed player.
Worth his salt? At $9MM per year, Sid is a steal.
Staying with the Pens in 2010-11? Likely to stay with the Pens until I’m over the hill. Right now I’m 32.