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Penguins Wrap: Sidney Crosby’s Homecoming; Setting the Roster



Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby

Exhibition games tend to be forgettable, but Sidney Crosby is likely to remember the Pittsburgh Penguins’ fifth preseason game in 2023 for a long time.

That’s because they played it in his home province, Nova Scotia, before an adoring crowd after a three-day visit to the area.

And while they lost that game, things picked up for the Penguins as the week went along and they began preparing for the regular-season opener against Chicago and super-prospect Connor Bedard Tuesday night at PPG Paints Arena.

Here’s a look at what transpired during the final full week before the NHL regular season begins.


Sidney Crosby acknowledges a regret from his rookie season, and offers some advice to celebrated rookie Connor Bedard.

A capacity crowd turns out to watch the Penguins practice at Sidney Crosby’s childhood rink in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.

Sidney Crosby’s teammates immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of his home province. (+)


The Pittsburgh Penguins’ power play, long on potential but short on production during this preseason, fizzles during a 3-0 loss to Ottawa in Halifax.

The Penguins claim winger Jansen Harkins off waivers from Winnipeg, furthering bolstering their bottom-six depth.


First-line left winger Jake Guentzel, who is recovering from ankle surgery, is a full participant in practice for the first time.

Former Jets winger Jansen Harkins gets on the ice with his new teammates for the first time.

The Penguins recall four players, including Rem Pitlick and Ty Smith, from their farm team in Wilkes-Barre after assigning them there a few days earlier.


Which players helped themselves — and which didn’t — with their performance during the Penguins’ 2-1 exhibition loss to Detroit?

Regardless of what personnel moves are made over the next few days, the Penguins’ organizational depth is decidedly better than it was a few months ago.

Before the game against Detroit, Mike Sullivan declined to specify the number of spots on the NHL roster that were still up for grabs. (+)


Forward Austin Wagner, in camp on a professional tryout deal, has made a strong, favorable impression on Mike Sullivan.

Mike Sullivan has a simple plan, but one with multiple facets, for what he wants the Penguins to accomplish in their preseason finale Friday night in Buffalo. (+)

Alex Nylander is one of three players placed on waivers, while Sam Poulin headlines a group of six sent to the Penguins’ farm team in Wilkes-Barre.

The Pittsburgh Penguins spent much of the past couple of weeks auditioning players for NHL roster spots and specific roles, but their lineup for the final exhibition game looks a lot like the one they’ll dress for the regular-season opener.


Drew O’Connor, whose career has been on an upward trajectory since late last season, closes out the preseason with two goals in a 7-4 victory at Buffalo.

Think Sidney Crosby doesn’t take that leadership thing seriously? Check out the video of him fighting the Sabres Peyton Krebs after Krebs hit Kris Letang.

Some behind-the-scenes observations as the Penguins’ training camp enters its final days. (+)

You asked, he answered. A video Q&A.

Three players, including Alex Nylander, clear waivers and are assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.


Jansen Harkins has been with the Penguins for less than a week, but has shown enough to make himself one of the favorites to earn a job among the bottom-six forwards.

It’s been longer than people might realize since the Pittsburgh Penguins faced a playoff team. Plus. some long-ago insights from Petr Nedved on importance of team-bonding. Or something like that.

Veteran NHL center Colin White, in camp on a professional tryout agreement, earns a one-year contract worth $775,000.