PITTSBURGH — Injured Pittsburgh Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist joined team practice for the first time since he suffered a lower body injury on Nov. 2 against the Edmonton Oilers. Hornqvist joined the Penguins early AM practice on Sunday in a gray sweater, which is the sign of non-contact, something at which the crash-bang Swedish winger is not very good.
Hornqvist was off to a strong start to the 2019-20 season. After a down second half to last season, Hornqvist had 10 points (5g, 5a) in his first 14 games this season. The Penguins power play especially slumped without Hornqvist and recently broke an 0-for-29 slump.
Hornqvist, 32, is in the second year of a five-year, $26.5 million deal. The Penguins have missed his net-front presence not only on the power play but at even strength, too. The Penguins have recently dominated puck possession but failed to score enough goals, until their six-goal outburst against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
Including the Edmonton game which Hornqvist left, the Penguins are 3-3-1 in his absence.
The Penguins practice Sunday morning despite playing Friday and Saturday nights, presumably so the team can join General Manager Jim Rutherford in Toronto on Monday night as Rutherford will be inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame in the Builders Category. The Penguins 70-year-old GM has built three Stanley Cup champions, including two for the Penguins. Hornqvist was Rutherford’s first trade after being named the Penguins GM in June 2014.
The story will be updated following practice, including comments if Patric Hornqvist is available.
Injured winger Patric Hornqvist doing a little stickhandling as he skates before Penguins practice. pic.twitter.com/skNh8VvoWl
— Shelly Anderson (@_ShellyAnderson) November 17, 2019