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Insider: Can Miroslav Satan replace Marian Hossa

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Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008
 

Burning question: Can right wing Miroslav Satan replace Marian Hossa as center Sidney Crosby's favorite playmate?

Breakdown: Satan, who signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract in the offseason, opened training camp Wednesday in Hossa's old spot - to Crosby's right on a Penguins' scoring line.

PuckSpeak: "It was only my first practice with (Crosby). I have to play with him more to see how he operates, how fast he's moving and how fast he makes decisions." -- Satan

Looking ahead: Before a subpar 16-goal season with the New York Islanders last year, Satan scored at least 25 goals in eight consecutive seasons. The Penguins are confident his production last season with a weak offensive club was an aberration, not the beginning of Satan's end as a top goal-scorer.

Crosby, whose 0.92 assists-per-game average is tops in the NHL since 2005, suggested Satan should complement him well. "He's a shooter, a goal scorer," Crosby said. "There's no secret that he knows where to go. I'm usually the one passing."

Crosby said he did not really click with Hossa last season until the second round of the playoffs. He stressed "there's no time frame" to develop similar chemistry with Satan, but added, "He's a goal scorer, and it's my job to find him."

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