After a day of media and medical work off the ice, the Pittsburgh Penguins laced up their skates and took the ice at UPMC Lemieux in Cranberry for the first official practice of training camp on Thursday morning. Missing were Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, but there were still plenty of big names in action for the first time since May.
Catch up on the latest from training camp with Pens Points...
For the first time since May, the Penguins were back on the ice for the first practice of training camp. Here’s how the players were broken up for the opening practice session and what it could mean for the opening night roster. [Pensburgh]
One player who was not on the ice and will not be for quite a while was Evgeni Malkin. Still recovering from offseason knee surgery, Malkin will miss at least the first two months of the season according to general manager Ron Hextall. [Pensburgh]
As for Sidney Crosby, Hextall stated that the Penguins captain is still on track with his six week recovery timeline after undergoing wrist surgery. Crosby has been skating on his own and was on the ice prior to full team practice on Thursday. [The Athletic $$]
As for when we will get to see some real hockey that comes on Monday when the Penguins are scheduled to host the Columbus Blue Jackets at PPG Paints Arena. This will be the first of seven preseason games the Penguins will play. [Penguins]
For fans planning on attending Monday’s game, or any other preseason game at PPG Paints Arena, face masks will not be required. Instead, the Penguins are simply issuing a recommendation that fans wear masks while in the arena. [Trib Live]
Training camp gives fans an opportunity to see players who are more a part of the franchise’s future rather than its present. There are a handful of prospects joining the Penguins you will want to watch develop this season. [Hockey Writers]
Now at the age of 34, Kris Letang is well into the latter portion of his career but has shown no signs of slowing down. While often a lightning rod with the Penguins fan base it’s best to appreciate Letang now before it’s too late. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
News and notes from around the NHL...
There will be a lot of difference between this season and last season, but one of the most significant changes will be the number of fans in attendance at games. When the puck drops next month, the NHL expects full stadiums in all but two arenas. [Sportsnet]
There is no better soap opera in professional sports at the moment than what is going on between the Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel. After an offseason of turmoil and trade rumors, Eichel was stripped up his captaincy by the Sabres on Thursday. [NHL]
We’re still a few months out from the 2022 Winter Olympics, but we do know the NHL will be sending its players to Beijing in February. On Thursday, the IIHF announced the schedule for both the men’s and women’s tournaments. [TSN]