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Pens Points: One Week Countdown

There’s just one more week until the 2019-20 season begins, and Penguins news is starting to pile up as the countdown begins.

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

Sidney Crosby scored in his preseason debut and Evgeni Malkin added a tally of his own as the Penguins defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 in their preseason fifth preseason game. The preseason will wrap up on Saturday when the Penguins welcome the Buffalo Sabres to town.

All the latest Pens news can be found below in Pens Points...

Some Pittsburgh trade rumblings happened late Wednesday night, as NHL Insider Darren Dreger mentioned on TSN that the Penguins are definitely looking to trade away a defenseman in the near future. Could our long national Jack Johnson nightmare finally be over? [Pensburgh]

As often the case with blockbuster trades in the NHL, there will be ripple effects around the league. With the Carolina Hurricanes sending Justin Faulk to the St. Louis Blues, it could play a major factor into Justin Schultz future with the Penguins. [Pensburgh]

One way or another, Justin Schultz will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. You don’t have to remind Schultz just how important it is for him to put together a strong season that could lead to a massive pay day. [Trib Live]

Bryan Rust may be American, but he is very much the Swiss Army Knife of the Penguins roster. Whether it’s on the first line or the third line, Rust is plenty used to playing wherever the Penguins need him in the moment. [Trib Live]

As the NHL allows more plays to be challenged by coaches, the league is also upping the penalties for incorrectly challenging a call. Now instead of losing a timeout, a team will be assessed a minor penalty for the first infraction and a double minor for a second. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

With the season now just a week away, the Penguins face a reality we all knew was coming. They still need to become salary cap compliant, meaning moves need to be made before they can drop the puck next Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

One area it seems the Penguins are dead set on making a move is in between the pipes. We know Matt Murray will be the No. 1, but questions remain who will slot in as the backup. Whether they go with Casey DeSmith or Tristan Jarry, the odd one out could be shipped away. [TSN]

It’s turning into a 1991-1992 Stanley Cup reunion in Seattle with the NHL’s newest franchise. Former Penguins defenseman Ulf Samuelsson has signed on with former Penguins forward Ron Francis as a professional scout for the yet-to-named side. Former Penguins forward Stu Barnes has also joined the club in the same role. [Trib Live]

With a week left before the regular season begins, NHL team previews are being published in full force ahead of puck drop. On Wednesday, NBC Sports dropped their 2019-20 Penguins preview and they have the team in the thick of the playoff race. [NBC Sports]

News and notes from around the NHL...

Still two years away from playing their first game in the NHL, the Seattle franchise is loading up its front office with plenty of off-ice talent. Cammi Granato joins the franchise as a pro scout, the first female to hold that title in NHL history. [Yahoo! Sports]

With a new season come plenty of rules changes for players and fans to learn. One of the biggest changes for 2019-20 will be teams in the offensive zone deciding which side of the ice a face-off will take place in certain situations. [Toronto Star]

There’s a lot of talent in the NHL today, but a few players stand out among the rest. Guys like Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, and Erik Karlsson are just a few of the names who you will be hearing a lot of this season. [ESPN]

Another restricted free agent strikes it rich and agrees to a deal, ending his holdout. This time it’s Matthew Tkachuk who came to terms with the Calgary Flames on a year year contract that will see him get $7 million annually. [NHL]