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Penguins notebook: Bylsma: Pens roster jockeying still ongoing

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Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013, 5:24 p.m.
 

The Penguins re-assigned two players Tuesday but are not likely to trim their training-camp roster again until after playing a final exhibition game at Detroit on Wednesday.

Forward Tom Kuhnhackl and defenseman Harrison Ruopp were sent to AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, leaving the camp roster at 32 players.

Coach Dan Bylsma said that he expected 15 forwards, eight defensemen and two goalies to accompany the club on a bonding trip at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. That trip starts Friday.

Bylsma also acknowledged that salary-cap implications will impact decisions made for the roster the Penguins will submit to the NHL on Monday, when all clubs must be cap compliant. The Penguins need to shave about $1 million in cap space.

Center Joe Vitale worked with the Penguins' Group 2 players in a second practice Tuesday.

Winger Chuck Kobasew, in camp on a tryout contract, worked with the Penguins' third liners because of an injury (lower body) to winger Matt D'Agostini.

Kobasew has impressed coaches during camp, and management has not dismissed the possibility of him making the squad despite the Penguins' current cap overage.

“There's jockeying for position on the (third line), and for the 12th and 13th forward there is jockeying as well,” Bylsma said. “It's not the same group of people. It's two different opportunities, two different spots.”

Tomas Vokoun will not be ready for the Penguins' regular-season opener Oct. 3, Bylsma said. Vokoun, the No. 2 goalie behind starter Marc-Andre Fleury, underwent surgery to dissolve a blood clot. The Penguins consider him officially out indefinitely.

• A recent AHL transaction — the signing to a tryout contract of goalie Jeff Deslauriers — was not made with Vokoun's status in mind, Penguins assistant general manager Jason Botterill said. The AHL does not have roster restrictions, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is splitting practices at the start of its camp, so the AHL Penguins have a need for bodies in goal in addition to internal competition.

• Bylsma did not believe D'Agostini's lower-body injury was long term. D'Agostini remains officially day-to-day.

• Defenseman Paul Martin did not practice Tuesday, but not because of injury. He returned to his native Minnesota to deal with a family matter, Bylsma said.

— Rob Rossi

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