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Penguins Wrap: Can Karlsson, Letang Figure it Out? Crosby Heads Home



Erik Karlsson Sidney Crosby

October has arrived, which means the start of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ regular season can’t be far behind. (For anyone who hasn’t noticed, the opener is Oct. 10 against Chicago at PPG Paints Arena.)

The Penguins are currently on a business trip to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where they will face Ottawa in a preseason game Monday night before returning to the U.S. for their final two exhibition games, Wednesday at home against Detroit and Friday in Buffalo.

They’re still carrying nearly 50 healthy players, so there are plenty of demotions (and perhaps a trade or two) to look for in coming days.

Here’s a look at what was a pretty busy week for the Pittsburgh Penguins as they prepare to start playing the game that count in the standings:


Radim Zohorna and Drew O’Connor turned in strong performance during the Penguins’ 4-3 shootout victory against Columbus in the exhibition opener at PPG Paints Arena.

The Blue Jackets dressed an experienced, talented lineup for the nightcap of the preseason doubleheader, but the Penguins’ outmanned contingent — led by a strong showing by Sam Poulin — got the game to overtime before losing, 4-3.


Radim Zohorna believes this is a make-or-break season for his NHL career.

Colin White, who is in camp on a professional tryout, has roots in the South Hills and is trying to overcome some steep odds to earn a contract with the Penguins.

Evgeni Malkin approves of the roster additions Kyle Dubas made during the off-season.

The Penguins pare their roster to 47, with the only surprise being that defenseman Mark Pysyk was placed on the injured list.


Decisions by former GM Ron Hextall have hamstrung the Penguins when it comes to making personnel moves involving their younger players.

Defenseman Mark Pysyk, who is in camp on a professional tryout after missing all of 2022-23 because of an injury, gets hurt again, suffering what Mike Sullivan describes as a “longer term” issue.

Backup goalie Alex Nedeljkovic has a solid outing as an outmanned Penguins squad falls to Detroit, 4-3, in a preseason game.


Assessing developments through the first few days of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ training camp.

A few players who had been expected to contend for jobs with the Penguins are conspicuously absent from the main practice group when the squad in split in two.

The Penguins return first-round draft choice Brayden Yager to his junior team in Moose Jaw.

The Penguins’ lineup for their exhibition game against Buffalo Thursday will look a lot like the one they’ll dress for the regular-season opener Oct. 10.


Not surprisingly, Alex Nylander says he likes playing on a line with Evgeni Malkin. (+)

The Penguins’ third line and goaltender Tristan Jarry stand out during their 3-1 exhibition victory over the Sabres at PPG Paints Arena.

Erik Karlsson and Kris Letang have some things to figure out after appearing in a game together for the first time.

The Penguins put five players on waivers, including defenseman Ty Smith and winger Rem Pitlick.


Jake Guentzel, recovering from ankle surgery, takes another major step toward returning, as he participates in a team practice for the first time since his operation.

Lars Eller and Drew O’Connor figure to play key supporting roles for the Pittsburgh Penguins this season.

Nova Scotia natives Sidney Crosby and Ryan Graves are delighted to be spending a few days in their home province. (+)

Ty Smith, Rem Pitlick and the other three players put on waivers Thursday made it through unclaimed and were assigned to the Penguins’ farm team in Wilkes-Barre.


The Pittsburgh Penguins’ penalty-kill was ordinary, at best, last season, but they seem confident that the unit will be able to rebound in 2023-24.

The Penguins still have quite a few cuts to make. Here’s a look at who might be involved in them.

The Penguins hire former Ottawa assistant GM Trevor Mann as a player-development and scouting advisor.