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Pens Points: October has Arrived

October means hockey and October is here. Get all the latest team news in the run up to Thursday with today’s Pens Points.

NHL: SEP 25 Preseason - Red Wings at Penguins Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The weather forecast in Pittsburgh is calling for temperatures in the 90’s today, but don’t let that full you, the calendar very much reads October now. October means hockey and we are oh so close. Tomorrow night marks the official beginning of the season but we’ll have to wait an extra 24 hours for the Penguins to start on Thursday. It’s almost here, folks.

Get the latest team news starting now in today’s Pens Points...

Needing to be salary cap compliant before the new season, the Penguins announced goaltender Casey DeSmith has been placed on waivers, making Tristan Jarry the backup for the time being. [Pensburgh]

Throughout the summer and coming into camp, it looked like DeSmith was the sure backup and Jarry was set to be trade bait. After Monday’s move to make Jarry the backup, Jim Rutherford is taking a risk going with a more unproven option behind Murray. [Pensburgh]

Third line play is a major key for any team who hopes to win a Stanley Cup, and the Penguins will be hoping they found the right pieces to create another dominant third line like they have in years past. [Pensburgh]

Better play from Evgeni Malkin, a healthy Kris Letang, and a more consistent Matt Murray are just a handful of factors that will play a vital role in how successful the Penguins are this coming season. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

One of the biggest stories coming from training camp was the emergence of defenseman John Marino. With rosters due to be submitted on Tuesday, it looks like Marino’s strong play may have landed him a NHL roster spot to open the season. [Trib Live]

There is no question the Penguins still have the star power to remain among the NHL elite this season, but the bigger issue lies in whether or not they have the depth pieces to make up for what was lost in the offseason. [ESPN]

Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang were already listed among the NHL’s Top 100 Players by NHL Network, and we knew Sidney Crosby was also going to make the list, it was just a waiting to see where. With the Top 10 now revealed, Crosby slides home at No. 3. [NHL]

Marcus Pettersson was the most hit player in the NHL last season, and over half of the eleven most hit guys in the league played for the Penguins. This stat is not lost on the Penguins coaching staff, who hope to fix this issue this season. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

After suffering an injury early in the season, 2018-19 quickly became a wash for defenseman Justin Schultz who missed significant time rehabbing. Now entering a contract year, Schultz is hoping to wipe away the memories and start anew. [Penguins]

Every team designs their offense in different ways, so it will be interesting to see how teams utilize the new faceoff rules implemented over the offseason. Count the Penguins as one team who may have something up their sleeve when the new rules go into effect. [Trib Live]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Sixteen teams made the playoffs last season and sixteen will qualify again this season. Only difference, not all sixteen sides will be the same. While some sides should easily make it once again, a few others may back a step back this season. [NBC Sports]

Pieces continue to fall into place for the NHL’s newest franchise coming to Seattle. Still without a name but a front office in place, the franchise was awarded an AHL farm team that will play in Palm Springs, California. [KING 5]

Fittingly announced on the final day of September, the NHL announced an exclusive deal with the band ‘Green Day’ to produce the league’s official anthem for the next two years and to perform at the 2020 All-Star Game in St. Louis. [Rolling Stone]