Hockey season can’t get any closer than it is now with the Penguins set to begin training camp at UPMC Lemieux tomorrow. Players have been back in town for a few days already and seem to eager to get on the ice. With all the changes this offseason, there are no shortage of headlines surrounding the Penguins as they get ready for the 2019-20 season.
And now, your first Pens Points of the 2019-20 season...
Starting with some news that is slightly old at this point, Rob Rossi of The Athletic penned a tell all from Evgeni Malkin that was published on Tuesday. In the story, we learn a few interesting details about Malkin’s possible role in the trade of Phil Kessel. [Pensburgh]
Staying with Rossi’s Malkin exposee, there was a lot of good information about Malkin’s past season and his mentality coming into the new season. Malkin admits that last year was subpar for his standards, and how he bounces back this season will be one the major headlines in Pittsburgh. [Pensburgh]
One of the key factors in Malkin’s resurgence will be how he meshes with newcomer Alex Galchenyuk. The two spent some time together in Russia this summer, and their chemistry building will resume once camp open on Friday. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
Losing a scorer like Kessel on his wing will not be easy to replace, but Malkin does seem to be energized and focused coming into the new season. Now 33 years old and entering his 14th NHL season, what can the Penguins realistically expect from their Russian bear? [NBC Sports]
Another player looking for a clean slate is goaltender Matt Murray who got married to his longtime girlfriend over the summer. After ending his first two seasons with a Stanley Cup championship, Murray is excited to be back in camp ready to be the man in between the pipes for the Penguins. [Trib Live]
Although nothing ever manifested from the noise, there were plenty of trade rumors surrounding Kris Letang this offseason. Still wearing the black and gold, Letang comes into camp ready to anchor the Penguins blue line and push for another Stanley Cup. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
With camp on the horizon, players are back in town taking care of any last minute duties before the new season arrives. Some of those duties sent the Penguins across the area handing out season tickets or meeting up with the fans at the annual ‘Summer Sticks’ golf event. [Penguins/Penguins]
When the Penguins drafted Zachary Lauzon in the second round of the 2017 NHL Draft, it seemed like the young prospect had his entire career ahead of him. Sadly, due to a string of concussion issues, Lauzon announced his retirement from hockey at the age of 20 on Wednesday. [Pensburgh]
In a crossover between Penguins news and local college hockey news, 2017 third round pick Clayton Phillips has transferred from the University of Minnesota to Penn State where he will continue his hockey career. Phillips attended the Penguins prospect camp this summer and will be eligible to play for the Nittany Lions immediately. [College Hockey News]
News and notes from around the NHL...
Camps are beginning to open across the league, but several teams will be without their full complement of players when they take the ice. Due to ongoing contract disputes, several big names will be missing from practice until they can come to terms on a new contract. [ESPN]
With the ever growing trend of restricted free agents holding out for the best contract possible, the NHL is facing a new reality that it must adapt to or be left in the dust. The incredibly long list of stars currently without a contract shows the NHL still has a long way to go. [The Hockey News]
Less than four months after leading the Bruins in the Stanley Cup Final, the franchise rewarded head coach Bruce Cassidy with a multi-year extension that will keep him behind the B’s bench for seasons to come. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]