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Weekend Pens Points: COVID-19 Edition

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It’s been nearly two months and things are very slowly and cautiously progressing towards the next steps.

NHL Winter Classic: Pittsburgh Penguins v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

As the calendar changes to May, the world is still reeling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a few links to feel a slight semblance of normal on your Saturday morning, even if the news isn’t that great.

Several states in the U.S. have taken their first steps towards re-opening. Unfortunately for Allegheny County and most of Southwestern PA, where the majority of Pittsburgh athlete’s live, the return of organized team functions are still weeks away as they remain in the “Red Phase” of Governor Mike Wolf’s re-opening plans. [Trib Live]

To take your mind off of COVID for a second (until the last question at least), Mike DeFabo from the PPG did a Penguins mailbag recently. And once again, all signs point to the Penguins bringing back the “Snoop Dogg” jersey one day. [Post-Gazette]

Former Penguins player Georges Laraque announced Thursday that he tested positive for COVID-19. He recently participated in “Give Protection in Laval” to acquire more PPE for front-line medical members in his home province in Quebec. That effort may pay dividends as he’s on the other end of that treatment, but like most things that come across Laraque, he’s not going down without a fight. [NHL.com]

There was some actual hockey news yesterday as the Boston Bruins signed goalie Jaroslav Halak to one more year at a modest $2.75 million. There is over a million dollar incentive if he plays more than 10 games with Boston as well. He was splitting time with Tuukka Rask and the duo was one of the best in the league this year. It was a good move for both he and the Bruins as this year’s free agent goalie class will be one of the best in some time. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]

There have been rumors aplenty of the NHL possibly resuming a regular season in four different locations before partaking in a Stanley Cup Playoff at some point. But there has also been several players who have been pushing back on that idea. [NBC Sports Chicago]

Former Penguins player Nick Bonino was critical of the behavior of people in Nashville before the stay-at-home orders went into effect in Tennessee and as much as he and the rest of professional sports players want to play, they know they are the ones who are facing the far reaching risks of resuming play during this unprecedented time. [USA Today]

With the possibility of the playoffs lasting well into the summertime, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has been flirting with the idea of a December start for the league as opposed to the normal start time in October. [Yahoo!]

I’ll leave you with this opinion piece from the USA Today that sums up today’s Pens Points: Take everything newsworthy with a grain of salt. Uncertainty is the only thing we’re sure of in the COVID-19 world. [USA Today]

Thanks for stopping by today. I sincerely hope each and every one of you carpe some diem today. As much as you can at least. Be safe. Be nice. Have fun. And wash your hands.