(Soon . . .)
It's almost here. The leaves are turning red, orange, and yellow and pumpkin everything is being advertised everywhere. Time to pull out your sweaters and find closed-toe shoes, people. Autumn is coming and in another week or two it'll be here. Wait another month and the NHL season will be upon us like whipped cream on a cup of hot coco. So without further ado . . . Pittsburgh Penguins report to training Wednesday and begin practice Thursday. You can start celebrating Pens fans (and after that Steeler game Sunday, Pittsburgh needs something to celebrate).
Pens general manager Ray Shero announced Monday that the team has invited 54 players to training camp this year. There will be thirty forwards, six goalies, and eighteen blue-liners skating at CONSOL Energy Center. Obviously franchise cornerstones like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will there, but this training camp welcomes two old faces back to the Steel City. Rob Scuderi returns after a four year stint with the Los Angeles Kings, being signed to a four-year deal this offseason. But everyone's aware of Scuds's return. The other prodigal son donning the black and Vegas gold again is Chris Conner. The Westland, Michigan native returns to the Penguins after two minor associations with the Detroit Red Wings (eight games in 2011-2012) and Phoenix Coyotes (twelve games in 2012-2013). Fans may remember Conner as a spark-plug player that is custom built for the fourth line. He's speed and nastiness will mix well with Joe Vitale's.
And there's the glory of this time of year. Chris Conner may not even get a roster spot, but fans can speculate this and personal decisions in a wonderful game of armchair GM. That's what makes training camp, for any sport, so exciting. Should Brian Domoulin be in the NHL or AHL? Fleury or Vokoun to start in net? Who's going to be on that third line? Questions every Pens fan has answers too. And there's the promise that soon the regular season will begin. The offseason, and its torturous length, will have ceased. Certain Wednesday and Tuesday nights will anticipated, not dreaded. The sounds of vulcanized rubber smacking tape and ice being shredded by steel will fill living rooms . . . well, living rooms with very nice Bose sound systems (plug!). Meandering aside, the point is this: hockey's almost back, consarnit!
So in review, the Penguins players report to the 'Burgh Wednesday and actual practices start Thursday, September 12th. The practice session and team scrimmage on Saturday, September 14th are accessible to the public with doors opening at 8:30am. That, of course, is free. Smell the air, Pittsburgh. Hockey is coming.
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- Pittsburgh Penguins Prospects Report, the Netminders
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- Pittsburgh Penguins Prospects Report – Forwards
- Pittsburgh Penguins Prospects Report – the Blue-Liners
- Pittsburgh Penguins Prospects Lose to Toronto’s, 4-3 in Shootout
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