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2018 Penguins breakdown day: everyone is injured and beardless!

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What we learned from the Penguins on the final day of the year for the players to speak to the media

Washington Capitals v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Three

Well, it’s here, the last day the Penguins players are in house before scattering around the world for the summer. Let’s get this over with, it’s your breakup day roundup.

Rutherford to stay

Not really news, but general manager Jim Rutherford isn’t going anywhere and might even outlast the Pittsburgh media. Let’s hope.

Phil Kessel update: hurt!

Rutherford also said surgery wasn’t necessary. It was believed Kessel was dealing with a wrist injury as well as a shoulder issue from earlier in the season.

Brassard update: hurt!

Derick Brassard didn’t look good in the playoffs, and surprise surprise, Derick Brassard wasn’t healthy

Brassard was said to have hurt his groin on 3/27 (never officially confirmed but believed by most). Groins don’t always heal in time for the 4/11 start of the playoffs.

Daniel Sprong update: gonna make waves next year!

—Rutherford on Daniel Sprong, “he should be a regular on our team next year.”

One on hand, yeah the Penguins did slow-play Sprong’s development and gave him plenty of AHL time. On the other hand, talking up prospects in the summer is a time-tested thing to do (see Pouliot, Derrick who was on the verge of being a regular from 2013-17). Time will tell but the words at least sound promising.

Justin Schultz update: feelin fine!

Patric Hornqvist and Matt Murray also both said they were healthy. Dominik Simon had his thumb wrapped and said that injury happened in the Capitals series He said it didn’t effect him, but he also wasn’t very good down the stretch.

Zach Aston-Reese update: still disfigured!

Letang looking forward to put difficult comeback year behind him

Sometimes people forget how tough it is to be an NHL defenseman. And then be a guy who plays 23-27 minutes a night against the other team’s best offensive players. And try to do that in a season that started just months after a major neck surgery.

Kris Letang himself owned messing up this year, he knows he has to be better. Who knows if he’ll ever get back to playoff 2016 form when he was arguably the best defenseman in the game. But if he can improve off this season it would be wonderful.

Mike Sullivan update: still not telling you anything!

From start to finish the coach isn’t giving any details. Gotta love it. Sullivan downplaying Kessel’s injury while Rutherford was more sympathetic that it “caught up with him” makes me want to believe the typically more open/honest GM more than the secretive coach. Sully doesn’t want the injury to be an excuse, so it makes sense. And the old fashioned eyeball test universally pointed to something bigger than just “bumps and bruises” like Sullivan would later say.

Probably only a little over 4 months until training camp starts again. It’ll be here before you know it, boys and girls.