Well, that took long enough.
Nonetheless, hockey is finally back, as the Pittsburgh Penguins kicked off training-camp workouts Thursday and will get into their seven-game preseason schedule with a home-and-away double-header against Columbus today.
(The Blue Jackets will get a good look at a lot of Penguins personnel they’ll never see during the regular season in both games, but Columbus plans to deploy a lineup loaded with prominent regulars like Patrik Laine, Johnny Gaudreau, Boone Jenner and Zach Werenski in the nightcap at Nationwide Arena.)
Here’s a look back at what proved to be a fairly eventful week for the Penguins:
Corey Andonovski is entering his second full pro season and plans to be a regular in the NHL, but understands it isn’t likely to happen soon.
Sidney Crosby believes it is imperative that the Penguins be more consistent during the season ahead.
Sam Poulin has a strong showing at the Prospects Challenge in Buffalo, and seems primed to compete for a spot on the NHL roster.
It’s a very different tale for two prospects in the wake of the Prospects Challenge tournament. (+)
The expected become official, as the Penguins announce that former TV play-by-play man Steve Mears will now handle those duties on radio broadcasts.
Although there’s a lot of optimism about the Pittsburgh Penguins as they begin to prepare for the 2023-24 season, there are at least five variables that could sabotage their chances.
Some young players made a good impression with their performance at the Prospects Challenge. A few others did not. (+)
Fifty-eight players have been invited to Penguins’ training camp.
Some of the best competition during training camp figures to be for spots on the Pittsburgh Penguins’ third and fourth lines.
It’s a safe bet that the Penguins’ top two defense pairings will feature Erik Karlsson, Kris Letang, Marcus Pettersson and Ryan Graves, but P.O Joseph and Chad Ruhwedel might be challenged for their spots on the third unit.
Phil Bourque and Colby Armstrong are among the Penguins alums who will have a place on telecasts this season.
The most important development of the preseason might have taken place even before the first drill, as Jake Guentzel, who is recovering from ankle surgery, went through a 45-minute, on-ice workout.
Mike Sullivan offers some perspective on personnel combinations that will be used during training camp.
Evgeni Malkin’s team picked up the victory in the initial training-camp scrimmage.
The defense pairing of Kris Letang and Ryan Graves got off to a good start on the first day of training camp. (+)
Defenseman Mark Pysyk, who is competing for a spot on the No. 3 pairing, explains how he came to accept a professional tryout offer from the Penguins.
Rem Pitlick wasn’t the major piece in the NHL’s biggest trade of the offseason, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be a significant addition for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Tristan Jarry has broken out some new pads and equipment, but it turns out that the decision to switch to white gear wasn’t his.
The first three days of the Penguins’ training camp are history. Who’s up and who’s down heading into the preseason games?
Brayden Yager, the Penguins’ first-round draft choice in June, makes no secret of his respect and admiration for Sidney Crosby. And he thinks enough of Crosby’s faceoff prowess to ask him for some individual instruction after Friday’s practice.
Mike Sullivan lays out the factors that go into his personnel decisions.
While the job won’t be open for long, Mike Sullivan suggested Vinnie Hinostroza could be a capable fill-in for Jake Guentzel on the No. 1 line until Guentzel returns from ankle surgery.
The Penguins released their lineups for both ends of their exhibition doubleheader with Columbus Sunday. There won’t be any stars shining in either.