“I think I can play any role,” Dupuis said. “I can play the left side, right side. I can kill penalties. I get my share of goals here and there. I can bring leadership. I’m 32, I’m getting old (laughs) so I bring experience as well.”
But while Dupuis’ description of his most valuable assets is accurate, he’s not quite giving you the full story.
Dupuis did chip in his share of goals while seamlessly meshing with any combination of linemates head coach Dan Bylsma paired him with, finishing fourth on the team with 17 tallies. But what’s even more impressive is that Dupuis scored every single one of his goals even-strength or shorthanded.
Dupuis recorded a team-best four shorthanded markers while helping Pittsburgh finish the 2010-11 campaign with the league’s No. 1-ranked penalty kill for the first time in franchise history. His four shorthanded scores ranked fifth (tied) in the NHL and helped the Penguins finish the regular season with 13 shorthanded tallies, the second-highest total in the NHL behind the New York Islanders.
But one of the most outstanding aspects of Dupuis’ season that doesn’t always translate to the stat sheet was the energy and passion he brought to every game. Dupuis didn’t shy away from physical contact – finishing the season with 117 hits – nor was he afraid to sacrifice his body when the opportunity arose, recording 55 blocked shots (second among team forwards).
Pair those qualities with his explosive speed and you’ve got one of the Penguins’ strongest two-way players. Because not only did Dupuis pressure hard on the forecheck and generally wreak havoc in the offensive zone, he backchecked diligently to chip in defensively.
Dupuis also provided plenty of veteran leadership during an adversity-riddled season. The 32-year-old winger, nicknamed "Duper," brought that invaluable experience to the ice and the locker room that comes with having played 668 regular-season games and 76 playoff contests over his nine-year career.
Dupuis, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, has thrived in Pittsburgh since his arrival at the 2008 trade deadline, recording a total of 115 points (49G-66A) in 249 regular-season contests and seeing action in 56 playoff games while winning a Stanley Cup in 2009.
“All I can say is yes, I do want to be back, and I want to be part of this team again,” he said.
Appeared in seven games, scoring one goal on 16 shots … Logged 2:41 shorthanded minutes per game, second among forwards … Finished third (tied) on team with 20 hits.2010-11 REGULAR SEASON:
Appeared in 81 games for Pittsburgh, recording 17 goals, 20 assists, 37 points and a plus-16 rating … His 37 points were the third-highest total in his career … Broke the 30-point barrier for third time in his career and hit double digits in goals for ninth straight season … Led team with four shorthanded goals, ranking fifth (tied) in the NHL … Scored the game-deciding shootout goal to secure the longest shootout win (seven rounds) in franchise history at Washington Dec. 23 ( CLICK HERE TO WATCH!
) … Appeared in his 600th career NHL game at Anaheim Nov. 5.
|GP ||G ||A ||P ||PIM ||+/- ||PP ||SH ||S |
|81 ||17 ||20 ||37 ||59 ||16 ||0 ||4 ||171 |
|GP ||G ||A ||P ||PIM ||+/- ||PP ||SH ||S |
|7 ||1 ||0 ||1 ||2 ||-2 ||0 ||0 ||16 |
Photos courtesy of Getty Images Click here to view the full photo gallery of Pascal Dupuis during the 2010-11 season!
Below is the full transcript of Pascal Dupuis' chat with the media on the Penguins' locker cleanout day on April 29.
On how the process of free agency works:
Basically my part is yes, I do want to be back. Yes, I want to be a part of this team for long runs. But there's the business end of it. My agent’s got to talk to Ray and they’ll take care of it.
On the thinking that him and Talbot might be the hardest to sign out of the free-agent group because of they seem to be the most offensive players:
I don’t know what to say about that. Yes, I do want to be back, and hopefully they’ll consider my numbers for bringing me back.
On if part of him is curious to see what offers might come his way from other teams:
Like I said, the agent’s going to talk numbers and with Ray. All I can say is yes, I do want to be back, and I want to be part of this team again.
On what he thinks his biggest strength is he has to offer:
I think I can play any role. I can play the left side, right side. I can kill penalties. I get my share of goals here and there. I can bring leadership. I’m 32, I’m getting old (laughs) so I bring experience as well.
On if he feels almost cheated that if it is his last year, it had to be one filled with injuries:
No, I don’t want to think about it that way. In my head, I’m coming back. So this was not my last game, hopefully.
On if this was a disappointing year because even though they had a good run at the end of the year, the goal was to win a Stanley Cup:
Yeah, we did have a good run. We went through a lot of adversity this year. The playoffs obviously didn't end up the way we wanted – I still have a hard time swallowing it, actually.
On what it is about this place that makes him want to stay:
There’s so much. Like the hype, the city loves their sports. It’s a great place to live. I myself have four kids, and everybody’s happy to be here, everybody loves it. Friends, schools, everything. At the same time, you come to the rink and you see all the fans, everybody’s wearing the black and gold outside – it’s such a sports city that you do want to play here and you do want to live here.
Author: Michelle Crechiolo