The Penguins are in Denver for the next few days as they prepare for their 9 p.m. Eastern Time contest Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche. And this afternoon, they practiced at University of Denver's Magness Arena -- home of the Pioneers and 2010 Penguins first-round pick Beau Bennett
Bennett came to watch the Penguins skate in his team's barn and was kind enough to take some time to catch up with the Pittsburgh media while he was there.
Unfortunately, the 20-year-old sophomore forward has been sidelined for the past few months after undergoing surgery on his right wrist on Dec. 8. Bennett addressed his injury and the repercussions in his Q&A.
ROOT SPORTS Pittsburgh will be airing a feature on Bennett and fellow Pioneer Ty Loney, son of former Penguin Troy Loney, during Saturday's broadcast of the Pens-Avalanche game).
On his wrist injury:
The injury initially happened in practice in October. I had surgery Dec. 8. It’s been a long road so far. I’ve never really had an injury that’s kept me out of hockey this long, so it’s been tough.On if he could be ready for the playoffs:
I don’t really know right now. I'm just kind of taking it as it is and meeting with the doctors when I’m supposed to.On the psychological toll his injury is taking:
It’s the worst. I’m the type of guy who gets on the ice as soon as possible after the year is over. I like being out there. This is the first year I was off for two months, actually, and didn’t put my gear on. So it was very tough.
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On how his injury plays into his plans for the future with Pittsburgh:
I’m not too sure yet. But (now that we're) at the end of the season, I just want to focus on supporting my teammates right now. We’re still in the playoff hunt. So supporting everyone now and when the season ends, then I'll kind of come back to that.On if he is working out/skating with his teammates:
I skate like three times a week. I’ve been keeping up with my fitness and stuff. I feel pretty good.On life off the ice dealing with his injury:
When I had the cast on, it was the worst, because my elbow was like this so it was hard to sleep at first. Just doing little things, I’ve actually gotten really good with my left hand. I can type and text with my left hand. So it’s been good so far.On the physical activity he is able to do:
I actually stayed off cardio for the whole eight weeks I had my cast on because I didn’t want to sweat in that. But I’ve been doing a lot of lower body and core work. I’ve actually gained weight since I’ve been out, so I’ve been feeling pretty good.On how surgery wasn’t the way he wanted to gain weight:
No, I definitely wanted to be out there with my teammates. But you’ve got to look at the positives. It kind of gives me an extended offseason to focus on my studies and support my teammates as they’re going down the stretch here.On if he follows the Penguins:
Yeah, we actually have the NHL package at my house and we watch as much hockey as we possibly can. It’s fun to watch. They had a big win last night and it’s definitely a goal in the future. Right now, I'm focused on Denver. And even though I can’t play, I want to be here and support my teammates.On who he looked up to in the NHL growing up:
When I was young, the player I actually looked up to was Ray Ferraro. Just because I grew up down the street from the Forum when he was playing for the Kings. For some reason, I just always liked him. As a young kid, he was my favorite player.