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Pens Points: Preseason Puck Drop

Penguins begin preseason tonight against Columbus. Catch up on all the weekend news here in Pens Points.

NHL: DEC 12 Blue Jackets at Penguins Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s been a long, long summer but the wait is over tonight when the Pittsburgh Penguins return to hockey action for the first time since playoff elimination back in May. On the docket is their first of seven preseason games, with the Columbus Blue Jackets in town for the first meeting between the two teams in over 18 months.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM.

A new week is ushered in with a new Pens Points...

For a handful of players on the Penguins training camp roster, their time with the big club has already come to a close for the time being. Ten players were cut from the team on Sunday, most heading to the minors with a few going back to juniors. [Pensburgh]

There is a lot of pressure riding on the shoulders of Sam Poulin as one of the top prospects in a rather barren Penguins farm system. Coming off a strong QMJHL season, expectations are only rising for Poulin to make the next step. [Pensburgh]

There is a bevy of talented defensemen in the Metropolitan division and Kris Letang is right near the top. Along with Letang, the Metro also includes the reigning Norris Trophy winner and some old faces in new places for this season. [Pensburgh]

With injuries mounting last season, Radim Zohorna was called on to fill in some of gaps and he made an immediate impression. In eight games played, Zohorna recorded four points and is hoping to build on that success this coming season. [Pensburgh]

For Penguins prospect Ryan McCleary, any time he’s on the ice he knows to make the most of his opportunity. After his father suffered a traumatic career ending injury, McCleary knows every shift is a blessing to be enjoyed. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

Penguins fans should be plenty familiar with Brian Boyle given how much of his career has been spent on rival teams. Now he’s trying to continue his career with the Penguins on a PTO, just another challenge in a career of challenges to this point. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

No one was happy with how Jason Zucker performed last season and Zucker himself was perhaps his own biggest critic. After an offseason of rumors that he might leave Pittsburgh, Zucker is back and hoping for a big bounce back this season. [Penguins]

After making his NHL debut last season and showing some of the skill that has expectations set high, defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph returns with those expectations still high. This season the Penguins could rely on him even more than last. [Trib Live]

For the past few seasons, the Penguins checking line of Teddy Blueger, Zach Aston-Reese, and Brandon Tanev has been a force. Now with Tanev gone and Blueger looking at a larger role, that checking line is in for some changes this season. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

News and notes from around the NHL...

One of the early season Calder Trophy favorites may be sidelined for a bit. Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield left the team’s intrasquad scrimmage on Sunday with an undisclosed injury. He is listed as day-to-day. [Sportsnet]