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Penguins sign first-round draft pick Depres

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By Josh Yohe
Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009

The Penguins have signed first-round draft pick Simon Depres to a three-year, entry-level contract. An 18-year-old defenseman, Depres will continue to play with the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The Penguins were pleased with his performance during training camp, but Depres is considered around three years away from joining the Penguins.

• The Penguins don't need to worry about selling tickets. They have not, however, parted ways with a tradition that dates to a time when every ticket sold was important. Student Rush tickets were put on sale for Wednesday night's game against Phoenix and attracted a massive line outside Mellon Arena three hours before faceoff. The fans who waited in line received an extra treat. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and forwards Max Talbot, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, Eric Godard and Chris Bourque handed out 50 pizzas to the cheering crowd. Also, 400 American Eagle Student Rush hoodies were distributed to the first 400 students in line. Student Rush tickets will also be made available before games Oct. 20, Nov. 16, Jan. 28 and March 2.

• Sporting News has named Pittsburgh the No. 1 sports city in America in this week's edition, which features Sidney Crosby and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the cover. The magazine also ranked the best players in the NHL according to a poll of 121 experts. Crosby was ranked the league's top player, barely edging Washington's Alex Ovechkin. Penguins center Evgeni Malkin finished third in the voting, while Fleury was ranked No. 24.

• Goaltender Brent Johnson made his first start of the season last night. He had played the previous four seasons with Washington and played a portion of one campaign with Phoenix. Johnson went 1-6-1 for the Coyotes during the 2003-04 season. Last year, he went 12-6-2 with the Capitals.

• The Penguins have moved the 2008-09 Stanley Cup Champions banner to the north end of Mellon Arena, where it hangs with the 1991 and 1992 banners.

• Former Penguins forward Paul Bissonnette, recently claimed on waivers by Phoenix, was a healthy scratch.

• Former Penguins forward Gary Roberts watched last night's game from Mario Lemieux's box and received a standing ovation when shown on the scoreboard during the first period.

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