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Penguins Notebook: Beaulieu’s Fit; An Impressive Streak

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Pittsburgh Penguins defeneman Nathan Beaulieu
Nathan Beaulieu

Penguins defenseman Nathan Beaulieu might have jumped the gun a bit Tuesday when he joined his new teammates for practice for the first time.

Beaulieu, acquired from Winnipeg at the trade deadline for a conditional draft pick, first skated onto the ice at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in a yellow jersey like many of his teammates. But before the session started in earnest, he switched to a white jersey to signify he is not yet cleared for contact.

The Penguins knew he was hurt when they traded for him – he already was on LTIR – and he had been skating separately from the team before Tuesday.

“We don’t have a definitive timeline for him, but the fact that we get on the ice in a non-contact capacity, obviously that’s a big step,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “I thought he did fine for the first practice.”

Beaulieu, 29, who has played in 419 NHL games with 12 goals, 82 points, was added primarily for depth, but he likes his fit with the Penguins.

“I feel like I’ve been around long enough now that I feel like I can kind of fit in and kind of do it all,” he said. “I’m a more rugged guy. … Whatever the coaching staff asks, I feel comfortable doing a lot of things.”

Move Over, Dodgers, Chiefs

The Penguins are struggling with results some down the final stretch of the regular season, but making the playoffs for the 16th straight season is still impressive.

Even to them.

It is not only the longest active streak in the NHL, but the longest active streak in major North American pro sports leagues. The others include NFL, Kansas City, seven years; MLB, Los Angeles Dodgers, nine years; NBA, Boston Celtics, eight years.

“It says a lot,” Penguins winger Bryan Rust said. “It’s pretty cool to be able to say that. It is a testament to this organization and how things are run and how well we’re taken care of from the staff to the players to everyone who helps and supports.

“I think it also speaks volumes (about) the guys who have been there every single time. There’s a few of them. You guys know who they are. Those guys are world-class players, and they’ve obviously been through it all. They’re guys who know how to win.”

Perhaps he referred to the merry trio of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang?

Jerseys To Get New Patch

You’ve seen the Bold Penguin logos on the helmets. Now comes the first advertising patch on team game jerseys.

The Penguins announced plans to add a squarish Highmark patch to their black game jerseys starting next season.

Here is the full news release:

The Penguins and Highmark announced a multi-year agreement today, beginning with the 2022-23 NHL season, introducing the addition of the Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield patch on the Penguins’ black home game jerseys.

To celebrate the new jersey patch, all fans in attendance at the April 21st game versus the Boston Bruins will receive a replica black jersey t-shirt featuring the new logo compliments of Highmark.

Highmark will be the first-ever partner to have its logo featured on a Penguins game jersey in the NHL’s first season of its jersey advertising program. The Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield logo will be worn for all pre-season, regular-season and postseason home games in which the team wears its black home jerseys.

“The Pittsburgh Penguins are a key part of the fabric of this community.  Their victories occur on and off the ice as they are also champions of education, wellness, and public service.  Highmark is proud to team up with the Penguins and believe this partnership is as an investment for the community.  We are looking forward to seeing the Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield logo on the front of the Penguins home jerseys,” said Tom Doran, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Highmark Inc.

The 3 x 3.5-inch patch will be located in the upper right chest area of the jersey and includes the Highmark name with the Blue Cross Blue Shield logos. Images are attached.

“As a founding partner of the Penguins, Highmark has been a part of our success both on the ice and in the community,” said David Morehouse, president and CEO of the team. “Stitching the Highmark logo to our home jerseys is a testament to our long-term partnership and an opportunity to showcase this Pittsburgh brand to millions of viewers and social media followers across the world – and especially our fans in attendance at home games at PPG Paints Arena.”

The NHL’s jersey advertising program permits up to two jersey sponsors per team when separate sponsors appear on home and away jerseys, beginning with the ’22-23 season. The Penguins will announce an away jersey partner at a later date.

 

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Shelly is a columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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PensPatty
PensPatty
28 days ago

Yet all the team doctors are UPMC….RIGHT????

Chris R
Chris R
28 days ago

Regardless of whether they generate much-needed revenue (hi Arizona), jersey patches are hideous and totally ruin the look.

Jason. C
Jason. C
27 days ago

Way to ruin the sweaters! Before long nhl will look like the European hockey leagues decorated with patches head to knee, the team will be walking advertisements! BOO 👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻

Kris
Kris
27 days ago

Amazing how Beaulieu can participate in practice already but we know for a fact he will not be physically able to play in a game until at least May 2nd. Wink, Wink.

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