Training camp for all NHL teams begins in just a few days, which is bad news for players relegated to looking for PTOs. However, It could be good news for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Their roster holes remain, including the paperclip and bubble gum solutions at center while Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin mend from offseason surgeries and no proven NHL commodity at third-pair right-side defenseman.
Unlike their football brethren, the Penguins do not squirrel-away at a remote camp facility for weeks under the controlling eye of the coach. Hockey training camps are a few days and right into preseason games.
The Penguins will have three days of practice before their first preseason game. So, getting agreements this weekend is probably the “now or never” moment for PTOs.
In addition to “soft” spots on the roster, the Penguins GM Ron Hextall couldn’t add additional “truculence” beyond Brock McGinn replacing Brandon Tanev. Brian Boyle may be the Penguins temporary fourth-line center, but the 6-foot-6 player is 36-years-old and in Penguins camp on a tryout agreement. He didn’t play last season, so his status is a mystery worthy of a few Scooby snacks.
PHN penciled him into the Penguins lineup, but we’re a long way from using pen on that crossword puzzle.
There is some truculence still looking for work as camps approach.