Penguins' Bennett aiming for camp after wrist surgery

Wednesday, 08.13.2014 / 7:59 PM

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Beau Bennett resumed skating this week following offseason wrist surgery and said he is not certain he will be ready for the start of training camp in September.

"It's almost three months post-surgery next week Wednesday, and I'm just getting on the ice this week," Bennett said in remarks published on the Penguins website Wednesday. "It feels a lot better."

Bennett had his second wrist surgery in six months on May 22, with a four-month recovery expected, which would take him to late September.

"Playing it by ear right now," he said. "Every day it's feeling a little bit better and we're increasing a little bit in the weight training and on-ice stuff. It's still early and I'm glad that I'm here (in Pittsburgh) early enough where I can really see where I'm at."

His first surgery was Nov. 25, with an 8-10 week recovery. He returned to play nine regular-season games and 12 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"So far, it's been a lot better," Bennett said of this recovery. "I was only in the cast for two weeks as opposed to six weeks the last time. It's a work in progress."

In 33 total games last season, Bennett had four goals and eight assists. The 22-year-old wing could be given a more prominent role this season, perhaps with center Evgeni Malkin, after the Penguins traded James Neal to the Nashville Predators and Jussi Jokinen signed with the Florida Panthers as a free agent.

"I think I could totally be in that role, for sure," Bennett said. "It's tough because I didn't have a real full season last year. It's hard to gauge where I'll be at coming into this year. But I'm excited for the opportunity to play top-six.

"Even if you play top-nine, we have [Brandon] Sutter as the third-line center and he's an unbelievable guy to play with. Then you have [Marcel] Goc, who I played with a lot in the playoffs and we were familiar with each other. It's kind of an embarrassment of riches down the middle (including Sidney Crosby) and we're pretty lucky as wingers to play with any of the guys."

The report by Penguins writer Michelle Crechiolo said Bennett, the 20th pick of the 2010 NHL Draft, has been dealing with wrist issues for three years, since his time at the University of Denver.

"It's something I want to put behind me," he said. "I'm trying to put my body in the best shape possible so I can be injury-free and play 82 games and into the playoffs without any hindrances."

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