Here are the 3 biggest takeaways from the Pens' Wednesday afternoon practice at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex…
1. Crosby being evaluated
Captain Sidney Crosby missed the practice session, and head coach Mike Sullivan said that he is currently being evaluated for an upper-body injury. He offered no further details on the extent of the injury.
Crosby played the entirety of Tuesday's 4-2 loss at New Jersey, finishing with two assists in 21:32 minutes of ice time. He has played in all 16 of Pittsburgh's games to this point, collecting eight goals and 19 points.
Forward Derick Brassard, who has missed the last eight games with a lower-body injury, was also absent from the skate.
2. Pens looking at personnel
Before practice, the team announced that they had acquired Tanner Pearson from Los Angeles in exchange for Carl Hagelin. Sullivan said he anticipates the newest Pens forward being available for Thursday's game against Tampa Bay at PPG Paints Arena.
"We'll see where we slot him here over the next little while," Sullivan said of Pearson. "We'll try to put him in a position where he can play to his strengths, where he can be his best and help our team win."
This was the workflow the Pens used today:
Recchi filled in for Crosby between Rust and Simon
"We obviously, had to juggle a few people today because of the numbers we had on the ice, or lack thereof, for that matter," Sullivan said. "We're going to revisit the line combinations with this trade being part of it. We've got to look at our personnel and see what we can put together that gives us the best chance to win."
3. Players say goodbye to Hagelin
Sometimes trades happen so quickly that the players don't get a chance to say goodbye to whomever is leaving. That wasn't the case with Hagelin, who was at the rink before the guys got onto the ice and was still there after practice finished. But that didn't make it any easier for the guys to part ways.
"It's hard to see a guy like Haggy go," Kris Letang said. "He's such a good teammate, a good player on the ice, works every day. It's hard to see him go."
"He's been a huge part of the success that this team has enjoyed over the last couple of seasons," Sullivan added. "He was a big part of both Stanley Cups, he's a great teammate, he's a terrific person. This is a hard part of the business. He's a guy that has really been a big contributor here over the last couple of years."
As Jim Rutherford said, Hagelin was a popular guy in the dressing room and his teammates all adored him. He was particularly close with Patric Hornqvist, as the fellow Swedes became best friends, and their wives were also close.
"This is a tough day for me and my family," Hornqvist said. "I lose a friend. He's been here for a long time and we like each other a lot, we hang out a lot. But this is part of the business. If you don't play well there's going to be changes and that's exactly what happened. For me personally, too bad it was him."
What made Hagelin such a good guy to have in the locker room was his upbeat personality, and the guys all said he'll be tough to replace.
"He was the same kind of guy like 'Flower' (Marc-Andre Fleury) was, you know?" Letang said. "He brings so much joy to the dressing room. He's always happy, always comes in with a good attitude, always giving his 100 percent out there, working hard. It's fun to have a guy in your dressing room like that. It's hard to see him go."