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(A couple of) the boys are back in town!

A sign summer is almost over: pro hockey players are trickling back into Pittsburgh.

Our long national nightmare is almost over and another sure sign that the hot, hot summer will be done soon: Wednesday marked the first time a couple of professional players got on the ice at UPMC Lemieux for an informal workout.

It’s only three players for now: Jake Guentzel, Chad Ruhwedel, and Jack Johnson, led and organized by Jay Caufield, but at least they’re out there.

All the major media outlets have some water-carrying, positive, happy articles on Johnson. He’s happy to be here! He’s smiling! He’s ordering food and being nice to fans! He’s excited to play! Things will be great!

There isn’t much to get worked up about. Everything about Guentzel has been written, and Ruhwedel as a seventh defensemen isn’t exactly intriguing, so the scribes have to write about something, and the new, flashy guy in Johnson is about the only story in the Pittsburgh hockey world right now. No reason to get too triggered, internet friends.

Here’s six minutes of Johnson talking about the upcoming season if you’re into that sort of thing:

He didn’t offer that much ground-breaking stuff. Johnson’s comfortable playing in any situation and on either side of the ice. He’s happy to be teammates with Sidney Crosby. He’s played with Phil Kessel on Team USA over the years and is happy to be on the same side as him once again.

Slowly but surely, hockey is returning. Over the next few days, more Penguins will trickle into town and join their teammates. Rookies will be on the ice in official capacity soon, with their prospect challenge up in Buffalo starting in eight days (September 7). The first on-ice day for training camp is two weeks and on Friday, September 14.