Botterill promoted to assistant GM with Pens
The Penguins on Friday named Jason Botterill assistant general manager to replace Chuck Fletcher, who was named general manager of the Minnesota Wild.
Botterill, 33, spent the past two seasons as the Penguins' director of hockey administration, where he was responsible for salary cap management, pro and amateur scouting and overseeing the organization's prospects.
A former first-round draft choice who played six NHL seasons, Botterill played at the University of Michigan, where he also earned his MBA.
Living up to his name
Penguins right wing Miroslav Satan's willingness to fight Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason, which drew four players each a five-minute major late in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final, was the talk of the Pens' dressing room yesterday morning.
Defenseman Kris Letang said he appreciated the support from Satan, who came to his defense after he took a shot to the teeth: "When you see that from a guy like Miro, you see that everyone is ready to go."
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma was pleased to see that side to Satan.
"Miro did something uncharacteristic," Bylsma said, "but I know he gained a bit of respect in our locker room for the way he handled himself."
Watch that stick
Penguins center Sidney Crosby did a double-take when a member of the team's video crew slid a hockey stick with a microphone attached under his chin during an interview, then joked that he nearly took another high stick.
The Penguins' captain was on the receiving end of a shot of Carolina center Matt Cullen's high-sticking penalty at 10:02 of the second period of Game 2.
"It was a close miss there," Crosby said. "You don't expect it. I'm just happy he kind of missed me. He got mostly my visor. That happens, but it was a pretty good whack."
Crosby was surprised to learn that he has matched a Stanley Cup playoffs record for first goals in a game (six) set by Chicago's Bobby Hull in 1962 and tied by Edmonton's Fernando Pisani in 2006.
"I had no idea it was even kept track of, but everyone's got crazy stats now," Crosby said. "I'll take it. You always want to start well and set the tone."
The Penguins had 13 skaters and three goalies take the ice at Mellon Arena during an optional practice yesterday before flying to Raleigh, N.C. Among the regulars who participated were forwards Craig Adams, Tyler Kennedy and Chris Kunitz and defenseman Hal Gill.
SAVE THE DATE
The NHL announced Friday that the Stanley Cup final will begin Thursday, May 28, if both conference final series are decided by Tuesday. Otherwise, Game 1 of the Cup final will be played Friday, June 5.
"It's a great atmosphere down there. Even in the regular season, we played them down there late. It was a loud building. I've watched games there in the playoffs, and everyone's standing up for the third period. They get a lot of energy from playing at home. It's going to be a good test." — Penguins center and captain Sidney Crosby, on playing Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference final at Carolina's RBC Center.
44 — Most points recorded by a Penguins' player in a single postseason — Mario Lemieux in 1991. Lemieux's 34 points in 1992 are the second-most by a Penguins' player in a single playoff season.