Sunday, July 13, 2008

Beech is back, TST cries

According to various rumor blogs and, it looks like Kris Beech is back again. The former center piece from the Jagr trade to Washington--which was seven years (!!) ago last week has had a crazy career.

By our account it goes something like this:

``Drafted by the Washington Capitals 7th overall in 1999
``Played 4 games in the NHL in 2000 before being returned to WHL
``Traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Jaromir Jagr in July 2001
``Played the whole 2001-02 season in Pittsburgh (10 goals, 15 assists)
``Played 16 games in Pittsburgh up to the lockout (0 goals, 2 assists), spent the rest of the time in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton either moping around, being injured or showing flashes of brilliance (103 games, 39 goals, 87 points)
``Spent the lockout season in WB/S, impressively scoring 62 points in 68 games.
``Traded to the Nashville Predators September 2005 for a conditional draft pick....We can't find the conditions nor anything that Nashville ever sent Pittsburgh. Beech would play just five games with Nashville (and 48 with their AHL affiliate before
``Traded back to the Caps (with a 1st round pick that ended up being prospect goalie Semen Varlamov) for a playoff rental, Brenden Witt. Beech got five games with Washington before going to Hershey and helping to lead the Bears to a Calder Cup victory (in 21 playoff games he had a team high 14 goals).
``Spent 2006-07 with Washington (64 games, 8 goals, 18 assists)....First season since '01-02 that he didn't play in the minors...Cut loose by the Caps
``Signed by the Columbus Blue Jackets August 2007....Didn't make their NHL team out of camp
``Claimed off of waivers by the Vancouver Canucks January 10th, 2008
``Waived by Vancouver 1/22/08, claimed by Washington
``Claimed by Pittsburgh off of waivers on 1/26/08

Kris Beech is now 27 years old.

The contract he signed is reportedly a two-way contract that will pay him less for time spent in the minors. Surprisingly, even though our feelings about Beech are no secret, we don't have much a problem with this deal. If he can come into camp with a good attitude and make the team over a younger player like Tim Brent or Ryan Stone, he gives the Pens a better NHL option as a 4th liner. If not, the Pens will send him to Wilkes-Barre (unless of course someone else claims him) and the Baby Pens will have a great point producing forward and an injury call-up "just in case".

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