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Penguins invite 53 players to training camp

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Pittsburgh Penguins training camp kicks off on Thursday, September 17th. A look at the 53 players coming to camp, and the longer than normal preseason schedule.

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From the Pens:

The Pittsburgh Penguins have invited 53 players to their 2015 training camp, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Penguins’ players will report to the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex for physical testing on Thursday, September 17, then hit the ice the following morning for the first official practice of the 2015-16 season.

Coach Johnston’s club will practice and be available to the media for the first time on Friday, September 18 beginning at 9:15 a.m. at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. The team will be divided into two groups, with the second unit skating at 10:30 a.m.

Players will be available in the locker room at the conclusion of their respective practice session.

A complete training camp schedule, complete with game and practice times, and media availabilities, is attached.

Pittsburgh’s training camp roster includes 32 forwards, 17 defensemen and four goaltenders, and it is headlined by core mainstays Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury and Kris Letang.

This year the Penguins have added several newcomers, led by five-time 30-goal scorer Phil Kessel. Also joining the club during the offseason were forwards Eric Fehr, Nick Bonino, Sergei Plotnikov and Matt Cullen; and a pair of blueliners who came via trade in Adam Clendening and Tim Erixon.

Pittsburgh has invited two skaters – defenseman Sergei Gonchar and forward Tom Sestito – on professional tryout contracts. Gonchar helped the Penguins win the Stanley Cup in 2009 during his initial five-year run with the club that spanned 2005-10.

This year the Penguins will play eight preseason games, beginning with a visit to Columbus on Monday, September 21 at 7 p.m. The next night Pittsburgh hosts the Carolina Hurricanes at 7 p.m. at CONSOL Energy Center.

The preseason home opener against the Hurricanes on September 22 is the first of four Penguins’ exhibition games that will be televised, as that game can be seen on Pittsburgh’s CW (WPCW).

Pittsburgh will have its game on Thursday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Detroit broadcast on regional rightsholder ROOT SPORTS; and the fifth annual ‘Free Game for Kids’ against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, September 26 at 4 p.m. at CONSOL Energy Center will be shown by Pittsburgh’s CW (WPCW).

The Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning will meet in the Kraft Hockeyville USA contest in Johnstown, Pa. on Tuesday, September 29 at 7 p.m. That game will be nationally broadcast by NBC Sports Network.

All Penguins preseason games will be carried on radio by the team’s flagship station, 105.9 The X (WXDX-FM). Mike Lange and Phil Bourque will call the September 26 home game against Columbus, while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins play-by-play broadcaster Mike O’Brien and Bourque will call the other seven preseason games.

Below is the Penguins’ complete 2015 preseason schedule complete with television and radio information:

Date                Opponent   Time         TV                     Radio

Sept. 21 at Columbus                       7:00 p.m. 105.9 The X

Sept. 22 CAROLINA           7:00 p.m. WPCW               105.9 The X

Sept. 24 at Detroit                   7:30 p.m. ROOT SPORTS                        105.9 The X

Sept. 26 COLUMBUS           4:00 p.m. WPCW               105.9 The X

Sept. 28 at Montreal               7:00 p.m. 105.9 The X

(Quebec)

Sept. 29 Tampa Bay                7:00 p.m. NBCSN              105.9 The X

(at Johnstown)

Sept. 30 DETROIT            7:00 p.m. 105.9 The X

Oct. 2 at Carolina                7:00 p.m. 105.9 The X

(All Times Eastern)

And a look:

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No major surprises above, it will be interesting to see Daniel Sprong with the varsity group and a 53 man roster means plenty of bodies early for the different groups.

Oh yeah, and on top of all of that, Mike Johnston ran a pretty tough first training camp and has promised to "ramp it up" by making this year's camp even more challenging for the players. It won't be too difficult to see if anyone didn't come into camp in great shape, and though not too many jobs are on the line, tough competition will be made even tougher by what promises to be a demanding preseason.