CRANBERRY — The Pittsburgh Penguins do not officially begin training camp for a couple of weeks. The rookie tournament is 10 days away. Yet 16 skaters and a goalie were on the ice Tuesday at the Penguins’ UPMC Lemieux practice facility.
Sometimes referred to as “Captain’s practices,” the unofficial workouts were a mix of veterans, prospects, and hopefuls, but no, the Penguins captain, Sidney Crosby, was not on the ice.
Bryan Rust, Rickard Rakell, Marcus Pettersson, Drew O’Connor, Chad Ruhwedel, Mark Friedman, and Jeff Carter were the Penguins veterans present and accounted for. New Backup goalie Alex Nedeljkovic was in one of the nets.
A few of the Penguin’s new arrivals who will play a large role in the success or failure of the coming season were also on the ice. Left wing Reilly Smith, who was acquired via trade from the Vegas Golden Knights, debuted. Longtime Penguins nemesis turned Penguins third-line center Lars Eller, who signed as a free agent, was also on the ice for the hour-long workout.
And a few NHL hopefuls, notably defenseman Ty Smith, took part.
And to satisfy some of your hockey cravings, here is the end-to-end drill. It’s not exactly playoff hockey, but it’s certainly another reminder that the season is just around the corner.