Player News - Penguins

Date: Team: Pos:

Coach Mike Johnston intends to take some pressure off Sidney Crosby this season.

"Do we have to lessen the load? Yes," said the new Penguins bench boss. "We have to ensure that other players on our team take some of the responsibility off his shoulders — both in leadership and also in performance. He is a captain, and he is a leader, but it doesn't all rest on Sid." GM Jim Rutherford feels the team added some off-season depth with the arrivals of Patric Hornqvist, Nick Spalling and Steve Downie.
Aug 27 - 11:00 AM

Penguins GM Jim Rutherford isn't in a hurry to re-sign Marc-Andre Fleury, but he still holds him in high regard.

"I think he's one of the most talented goalies in the league," Rutherford said. "From my point of view, he's our goalie. There's no reason why he can't be our goalie for a long time." Fleury can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2014-15 campaign. His agent, Allan Walsh, said he is on the same page as Rutherford and not having something worked out before the season starts is "of no consequence at all." Pittsburgh retained goaltender coach Mike Bales, who has been working hard to bring some consistency to Fleury's game, even though they cleaned house during the off-season. Fleury wants to remain loyal to the Pens as well and his preference is to be part of the organization for the "rest of his career."
Aug 26 - 2:07 PM

According to team officials, Derrick Pouliot is recovering on schedule from off-season shoulder surgery.

Olli Maatta is also on the mend from an off-season shoulder procedure and it's believed that he'll be back sooner than Pouliot, but it is still unclear when that will happen. Pouliot's initial prognosis indicated that he could be ready to return in late September at the earliest or miss most of November.
Aug 26 - 1:50 PM

Olli Maatta (shoulder) is recovering on schedule, according to Pittsburgh team officials.

However, it remains uncertain when he will be cleared to practice and/or play. Maatta underwent off-season shoulder surgery and he could miss the start of the 2014-15 campaign.
Aug 26 - 1:40 PM

Coach Mike Johnston has high hopes for Beau Bennett this season.

"[Beau] Bennett, he's going to be a key guy, now that he's healthy," said Johnston. "How he starts the year [is important], because I think he's got enough skill to be a real key component on some of those lines." Johnston sees Bennett playing somewhere in the team's top-9 forward group. If he can land a spot alongside Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby then that would obviously increase his fantasy value dramatically.
Aug 26 - 1:35 PM

Pascal Dupuis may be tried out alongside Evgeni Malkin at training camp.

"He can play anywhere in the lineup," said coach Mike Johnston. "He certainly has played well with Sid before. Can he play well with [Malkin]? That's what we've got to see." Johnston wants to find the right combinations and new linemates for Malkin is high on the agenda.
Aug 26 - 1:29 PM

Pittsburgh coach Mike Johnston has been prepping for training camp by watching video of the Penguins from the 2013-14 season.

"As far as player personnel for me and the style we want to play -- the up-tempo style, the puck-moving style, good decisions with the puck, play with pace, play with speed -- I like the personnel," he said. "I like it from the defensive point of view, where we've got defensemen who can escape the zone really quick. Make good decisions. Good skaters who can jump up into the play and create on the attack. From a forward's perspective, I think right now that ... we have some real quality players returning. Then we have some more depth than maybe they had at the end of last year through[out] the lineup." He's already thinking about potential line tinkering and he's looking forward to trying out different combinations during camp. Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/sports/penguins/2014/08/26/Penguins-coach-Mike-Johnston-takes-a-closer-look/stories/201408260113#ixzz3BWHq34K4
Aug 26 - 1:23 PM

Aleksey Morozov announced his retirement from hockey on Monday.

The former Pittsburgh Penguins winger has been playing in Russia since the NHL lost the 2004-05 campaign to a lockout. "I took the decision for myself some time ago on vacation. I already had the decision in my head and can now announce it: I decided to end my career as a hockey player," Morozov told R-Sport on Sunday. "It's a deliberate decision. I don't want to move from club to club, running and looking for something. I have never done that in my career and don't want to do that now. Therefore I decided that it would be better for me to end my career." He registered 219 points in 451 career regular-season games with the Penguins prior to becoming a star player back home.
Source: Ottawa Sun
Aug 26 - 9:56 AM

Dan Bylsma plans to work as a hockey analyst this season on television, a role he dabbled into during the Stanley Cup Final for the NHL Network.

Bylsma feels no rush to find another NHL coaching job, after all, he's only 43 and the Pens will be paying him around $4 million for the next two years. The 2011 Jack Adams award winner hasn't left coaching entirely, as he currently serves as an assistant coach for the Penguins U-15 youth team where his son plays. Once Bylsma is ready to re-enter the NHL coaching ranks, he says stability will be an important factor in determining his choice.
Source: Rob Rossi
Aug 24 - 5:36 PM

Sidney Crosby said on Friday that he is pleased with the recovery of his injured right wrist after testing it in ramped up on ice workouts in Florida last week.

Crosby injured his right wrist at some point during last season. Several doctors recommended arthroscopic surgery this summer, however, Crosby and his agent opted to seek a more conservative sort of treatment. Crosby has been receiving injections to help heal the wrist throughout the summer, which have avoided the need for an operation. Results so far are good, and we expect the star to be producing at full capacity at the start of training camp.
Source: NHL.com
Aug 16 - 10:10 AM

Rob Scuderi will be looking to rebound from a disappointing year in 2014-15.

"I feel like I need to have a bounce-back year," he said. "I struggled after my injury." He missed 29 games from Oct. 26 to Dec. 29 due to a fractured ankle that required surgery and said he didn't feel the same for the rest of the season. Scuderi picked up four assists and a minus-8 rating in 53 games last year.
Aug 15 - 7:51 PM

Jeff Zatkoff will have to contend with free agent signing Thomas Greiss for Pittsburgh's backup goalie job.

Zatkoff posted a 12-6-2 record with a 2.61 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage last year as Marc-Andre Fleury's understudy. He earned a two-year, one-way contract worth $1.2 million, but that came long before GM Jim Rutherford took over and Greiss was brought on board. Greiss has appeared in 69 NHL contests, which eclipses Zatkoff's total of 20 from a year ago. Zatkoff is ready to battle for his spot, but the odds don't appear to be in his favor.
Aug 15 - 11:49 AM

Beau Bennett (wrist) is back on the ice and feeling healthier, but he isn't sure if he'll be ready for training camp.

"Playing it by ear right now," said Bennett, who took part in drills and a scrimmage. "Every day it's feeling a little better, and we're increasing a little bit, the weight training and on-ice stuff. It's still early, and I'm glad I'm here early enough where I can really see where I'm at." He underwent surgery May 22, which marked his third serious wrist operation. Bennett's chances of sticking in the Penguins' top-six forward group this season increased when the team lost James Neal and Jussi Jokinen. Pittsburgh's new coach, Mike Johnston, is someone he's known for five or six years as his neighbor and Bennett was very good friends with Johnston's son.
Aug 14 - 10:31 AM

After the serious injury suffered by NBA player Paul George, Pittsburgh GM Jim Rutherford expressed fear that something similar could happen to a member of the Penguins.

Rutherford confirmed that most GMs feel some trepidation when their star players are selected to play in international competitions."No general manager is overly excited when he hears one of his players is picked to play," he said. The former GM of the Hurricanes has experienced this scenario first-hand when star player Eric Staal suffered a knee injury during the 2013 World Championships and certainly recalls the blow dealt to the Islanders last season when John Tavares was hurt during the Sochi Olympics. Despite his concerns, Rutherford understands why these events are important to players and believes their wishes are important to consider. "It’s the players’ game. They want to play. They’re playing for their country. Everybody loves that."
Aug 10 - 10:20 AM

There hasn't been an update on the status of Beau Bennett (wrist) yet.

He's hoping to be ready for the start of the year after he underwent off-season wrist surgery. Bennett may not be set to go when training camp opens. He is one of 12 forwards on the Penguins who has a one-way NHL contract.
Aug 7 - 10:20 AM


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