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Pens Points: Kapanen Back to Finland?

Final roster cuts coming today. Pens were more defensively sound last year than many give them credit for. Harrington impresses coaching staff.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning one and all,

NHL roster deadline is 5 pm today and teams are required to trim their rosters down to 23 players. There are bound to be some surprises for the Penguins, who still have 28 players, some injured, still nominally on the roster. Here is a post from Highland Park Hockey on some of the remaining NHL/AHL roster battles.

We start with Kasperi Kapanen, who makes an appearance at #50 of Hockey Future's list of Top 50 NHL Prospects. If someone has a good grasp of Finnish (where is Taavi?), we could use some help confirming this report indicating Kapanen is already back in Finland.

Marc-Andre Fleury and Thomas Greiss have new pads and masks. Flower's are throwbacks paying homage to Tom Barrasso.

While we're on Fleury, the Pensblog has a piece that compares him the league average and indicates he needs to improve his numbers for the Pens to get back to where they need to be.

Pens defense wasn't all that bad last year. Here's Justin Bourne's excellent take in the Unique Team Traits series on that topic - if you're short on time, this is the one thing to read today.

On this year's defense, a more mature Kris Letang hopes to put his health in the rear view mirror. In his own words "I don't want people to be scared to touch me because they think I'm going to die the next shift. I want to be treated the same way [as other players]."

With Bortuzzo injured, is the Pens defense physical enough? Scott Harrington has impressed the coaching staff, and will likely get a chance to open the season in Pittsburgh.

Brian Gibbons has suffered an undisclosed injury and was placed on the IRPavel Datsyuk is still on the IR as the roster deadline nears. Jeff Skinner is out indefinitely after his head hit Niskanen's elbow. He's telling Brooks Orpik all about it, to his utter amazement.

One guy who will not be on the IR is Ryan Johansen, who smartly sat out the camp and preseason and has a brand new 3-year, $12M contract to show for it.

Ryan McDonagh has been named captain of the New York Rangers. Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, Marty St. Louis and Derek Stepan will serve as alternate captains.

The Islanders are bringing back the fishstick jerseys one last time.

The Rockford IceHogs released defenseman Cam Barker (2004 third overall pick behind 8/71) from a tryout agreement.

Steven Stamkos is ready to dominate the league. Planning on 50, dreaming about 60. If anyone can do it, he's the guy.