CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. – The Pittsburgh Penguins began training camp Friday minus a few players.
Center Riley Sheahan has what coach Mike Sullivan described as a lower body injury that has been a nagging problem for a couple weeks.
“We’re trying to get him out there,” Sullivan said. “We’re trying to take a cautious approach at this point, at this particular time of the season.
That would seem to indicate it is not long term.
Center Derick Brassard sat out the first day on the ice because he was ill, and Sullivan expects him back soon.
Defenseman Kevin Czuczman, however, is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery and will be out long term, perhaps until December.
Center Evgeni Malkin was a full participant in practice and a scrimmage after leaving an informal scrimmage Tuesday.
Malkin got clipped somewhere in the facial area Tuesday. It’s not clear exactly what happened – Malkin declined to meet with reporters Friday – but it apparently won’t hinder him during camp.
Maybe it’s because the Penguins didn’t win the Cup last season after two championships in a row. Maybe it’s the few spots that are open with lots of candidates to fill them.
Whatever it is, Sullivan expects
“I think it’s going to be a very competitive camp,” he said. “That’s what I said to the players (Thursday). This is as competitive a camp as we’ve had here, at least in my tenure.”