Pens Points Saturday: Last Weekend Without Hockey

The captain is looking good! Portrait sessions were on September 5 at the Prudential Center. - Bruce Bennett

Your weekend open thread of Pens and other hockey news. Last weekend without Pens hockey. Camp starts on Wednesday! Sid wants to play a full season for a change. Is Dan Cleary coming to Pittsburgh? Vokoun is on the Czech Olympic team loooong list. It's Cookie's birthday and I miss him already.

It's a beautiful Saturday morning, and it's the last weekend without Penguins hockey! Camp starts Wednesday, September 11, and the scrimmage on Saturday, September 14, will be free and open to the public. Pens Report has it all for you!

Sid's goal for the new NHL season is simple and correct: he just wants to play the full season. I'm all for that. We know how he'll play, so just stay on the ice captain!

The rookie tournament is underway in London, Ontario. In the first game the Pens rookies were very underwhelming. Lots of looks, but converting them was a challenge.

Free agent forward Dan Cleary said he won't attend the Red Wings camp on a professional tryout. Seems like he's had enough of the Wings saying the want him but not offering him a deal. Instead he's talking to three other teams, reportedly Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Anaheim. The Pens even sent Sid to pitch Pittsburgh to him (they recently worked out together in Vail), but knowing Sid's coercion skills, that's not bound to work. They should have had Geno call him ("Dan, come to Pittsburgh, we are score!")  and that'd be a done deal.

The Czech Republic Olympic hockey team will be picked out of a very long list of 67 players announced yesterday. Old-timers such as Jagr, Nedved, et al are all on the list. So is Tomas Vokoun, who said back in April he was retiring from the Czech national team to spend time with his family during the Olympic break, so I'm slightly confused. Now they're saying he's going to battle for the starting spot. He doesn't need to battle for that. He wants it, it's his.

Vancouver Canucks will retire Pavel Bure's number on November 2 before puck drop. When are the Pens going to retire some numbers? I know 68 is still playing and that's obvious, but he's not the only one we should ever consider. I'll be honest when I tell you that what bothers me most about it is that it makes it appear as if we don't have that much of a history. We do. Raise some shirts to the rafters.

Happy 35th birthday, Matt Cooke! You will be my sole reason to care for or watch the Wild this season. If the Wild fans won't wake up and realize people can and do change, they'll be worse off. I know Rick Nash won't miss you because he won't have to hide on the bench behind his teammates any more, but all Pens fans will miss the Cookie Monster, especially on the PK (welp), or right after PK.

On this sad day two years ago, an entire hockey team was wiped out. RIP Lokomotiv.

This morning Pittsburgh and the Penguins are walking to defeat ALS. Here is Craig Adams cutting the ribbon. He and his family have supported the effort for a long time to honor his father-in-law, former Massachusetts governor Paul Cellucci, who passed away three months ago battling this horrendous disease.

Single-game tickets went on sale yesterday. I'm much poorer but considerably happier. Who got tickets, and to which games?

We're off to Delaware Water Gap for our traditional camping and hiking weekend trip before start of school. Talk to you Monday.

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