Penguins notebook: Letang resumes skating
Kris Letang skated on his own Saturday.
For a defenseman with Norris Trophy aspirations, that might not seem like much, but it is progress.
Letang had not skated since Sept. 27, when he practiced with Penguins teammates in West Point, N.Y.
He remains out indefinitely with an undisclosed lower-body injury, although coach Dan Bylsma seemed to be encouraged by where Letang is with his recovery.
“I don't have an exact timetable on when he will return to practice for sure, but he's progressing real well,” Bylsma said.
Letang is eligible to be removed from the injured reserve list Tuesday.
Letang's absence has opened a spot on the roster — and playing time — for Olli Maatta, the 22nd pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Maatta again was paired with Robert Bortuzzo for the Penguins' game against Buffalo at Consol Energy Center on Saturday.
Because he still is eligible for junior hockey, Maatta, 19, must play with the Penguins or his junior club (London). He can play nine NHL games before this season would count as the first on his entry-level deal.
Although a permanent stay for Maatta remains unlikely because of contractual reasons, Bylsma has not ruled out that possibility.
“There are hypothetical (situations, such as injuries and/or trades) that could happen,” he said.
Injuries Part 2
Winger Matt D'Agostini also is out with a lower-body injury, although there is a clearer picture for his return. He could practice Oct. 16 or 18, Bylsma said. The Penguins play at Philadelphia in between.
Right winger James Neal (upper body) is out indefinitely. He has not practiced since Monday, although he played sparingly Thursday against New Jersey at home.
Goalie Tomas Vokoun (blood clot) is out until at least January.
A sellout crowd provided a standing ovation to members of the Pirates, led by Andrew McCutchen in an Evgeni Malkin jersey, who watched the Penguins-Sabres game from a luxury suite.
The players were shown on the video board late in the first period. An “MVP” chant followed the ovation as McCutchen made a face at the camera. A jolly roger flag hangs from the ceiling inside the Penguins' home dressing room.
Anaheim, which is in the market for a defenseman, had a scout at Consol. Philadelphia, Phoenix and Minnesota also had scouts in attendance.
View from atop
Three assistant coaches are one too many for behind the bench.
The plan remains for one of the Penguins' assistants — Tony Granato, Todd Reirden and Jacques Martin — to work from the media level during games. That coach communicates with another assistant via a headset. Former goalie coach Gilles Meloche used to hold that responsibility.
Granato, not behind the bench Thursday, replaced Martin there Saturday.
Around the boards
Cassidy Wolf, the reigning Miss Teen USA, said on Twitter that she attended Saturday's game and that it was her first NHL contest. … The Mario Lemieux Foundation's Penguins 6.6K Run/Walk starts at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, with registration at 7 a.m. Many members of the Penguins organization are expected to be on hand for the inaugural event.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sabres hire Bylsma as coach; Penguins receive 3rd-round pick
- Penguins GM Rutherford ‘wouldn’t make’ Despres trade today
- Analysis: Where do the Penguins, Wilkes-Barre club go from here?
- AHL wing prospect Sheary an intriguing option for Penguins
- Penguins’ Adams not returning to team
- Penguins GM: Team not disciplined enough, buyouts possible, Bennett handled incorrectly