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Training camp notes and more

September 21, 2023, 5:48 PM ET [177 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
It is day one of camp which means we are a day closer to figuring out who is going to play with who in the top six, who will fill the bottom pairing, and how players like Erik Karlsson and Reilly Smith will fit in.

One positive development so far was Jake Guentzel skating prior to the team’s practice. Guentzel is expected to miss 5ish games so being on the ice now keeps him in line to not miss any more time than the original estimate.

Kris Letang seems pretty excited for Erik Karlsson being on the team even though throughout the process people would imply how much he would be upset about his potential role changing. No evidence has shown up to validate those concerns to this point

We’ve got a long way to go before the lines are set. Here’s a first look at a potential bottom six configuration

I’m more passing information along with this. I am going to let things play out in camp and into the preseason schedule before having any strong opinions on this kind of stuff. Training camp is the time to do weird stuff and learn things you otherwise wouldn’t do.

There was some Penguins content in Elliotte Friedman’s 32 Thoughts

17. Not exactly sure what it’s going to look like, but both the NHL and NHLPA are intent on a February 2025 international hockey event. The lack of high-level international hockey hurts, and everyone sees it. There’s a desire to play some games overseas, but not sure it’s going to be possible. There’s also a desire to find a fresh way of presenting or doing the competition.
Sidney Crosby, asked who will play wing on a line with Connor McDavid, said, “I’ll go there.” When told he was supposed to say McDavid will move, Crosby replied, “I’ve skated with him, I’ve played both. I think I’m good either way. He can carry the mail.” Two years ago, Crosby skated on a line with McDavid at the BioSteel camp so the two could get to know each other prior to the aborted 2022 Olympic participation.

Sid ain’t stupid, he’s 36 years old and Connor McDavid is literally in the middle of his prime. If they were to play together, and how awesome would that be, Sid would be the winger and that scenario and it would be just fine.

18. One Penguin said he’d never seen Crosby as pissed off as he was at the end of last season. “It was such a struggle for us to find consistency,” the captain said, when asked about it. “I’ve been in a situation where we’ve been first all year and you just ride that into the playoffs. (When) we won in 2016, we were out of the playoffs and went on a great run, had momentum going in, just caught fire. This was a new situation for us. We were chasing it from early on, but we had put ourselves in a spot to get in. It wasn’t a miracle we needed. We needed to win our last two games. To go through all that, all the ups and downs, and to be in a position to get in and not be able to find a way — that’s something we had done in the past, and we didn’t do it this time.” Pittsburgh suffered a pair of stunning losses in their 81st and 82nd games, 5-2 at home to Chicago and 3-2 in Columbus.

Yeah, Ron Hextall was beyond inept. I can’t imagine how upset Crosby was given how well both him and Geno were playing only to be undercut by management. I will say in hindsight those losses were the best thing to happen to the franchise. If the Penguins make the playoffs is Kyle Dubas running things? Is Erik Karlsson a Penguin? Not likely.

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