Mark your calendars: camp opens on September 16. No one could be more excited about it than the Penguins' own head coach Michel Therrien.
On the Penguins' website, Michel discusses a variety of subjects. Perhaps one of the most important questions he addresses is, "What will the Penguins do without Ryan Whitney?"
e’re going to let training camp dictate things. That’s why there is a training camp and there are some openings. There’s a young kid like Alex Goligoski, who played really well last year at
. We have some depth with our defensemen. We’re proud with our depth just in case injuries happen. The season hasn’t even started yet and Ryan’s not going to be there when we open up training camp, but we have depth. That’s the most-important thing for us." Wilkes-Barre
Good to see he has some faith in Go-Go. That's been my personal nomination since the news of Whit's injury hit the wires. But I'd also imagine this isn't a lock for the youngin', and that this will pose as the most coveted position in prospect camp.
Here's what Therrien said about Kris Letang:
“Kris Letang really learned a lot last year. I was really pleased with the way he was capable of playing, for a young defenseman. He has one year under his belt this year and that’s part of the process with our young players. You have to be patient with young players and make sure you take the right decision and move them up at the right time because that’s a process with those young kids.”
Sure, there's going to be some real competition in camp; you can bet on it. Goglioski had the discomforting nomination last season during the finals when Letang took a bereavement leave to attend a funeral. Coincidentally, his absence from the WBS squad's Calder Cup run became more apparent when they wound up losing as well.
I'd like to see Letang shoot more. I'd like to see him on the top line, the top power play and lighting the lamp next to Gonchar. But these are all things I'd like to see, and perhaps Therrien is the best judge of what we can actually expect.
Random thought, but does Whitney's injury potentially put the Pens on the market for a defenseman? Granted Daryl Sydor is still with the squad, but it's more than apparent that he wants nothing to do with Pitt. For some reason I can see Sydor getting dropped to waivers around November...