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Monday's Game To Be Homecoming Event for Despres

by Tom Mast / Pittsburgh Penguins
Monday’s game against the Montreal Canadians will be a homecoming event for Penguins’ 2009 first-round pick Simon Despres. This will be the defenseman’s first professional game in his native land.

“I think going back home and playing in my hometown in front of all the fans is kind of a dream of mine,” Despres said. “It’s going to be a great experience.”

Despres, who was born in Laval, Quebec, hopes that his experience in Montreal can help further his progress in training camp.

“Every opportunity I get to play a game in the pre-season I’m going to learn a lot from it and just enjoy each moment of it,” Despres said.

Another Montreal native, Marc-Andre Fleury, knows what the 18-year-old Despres is going through.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Fleury said. “To be on the ice and skating there is always pretty special.”

“I still get a little nervous before a game (in Montreal),” Fleury admitted.

Monday’s game will be Despres’ second of the pre-season. He has been impressive during training camp and one of his rewards for his work is playing in tonight’s game against Montreal.

“Right now he earned this game,” head coach Dan Bylsma said. “This is a game that was not going to be given to him. He’s still earning things with his play.”

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