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Penguins Report: Development Camp Opens

by Katie Foglia / Pittsburgh Penguins


Mike Johnston

Kasperi Kapenen

Derrick Pouliot

Tristan Jarry

--Sam Kasan

The prospects and head coach talk camp and other developments...

--Michelle Crechiolo

On Wednesday, July 9, Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford released this statement:

“Sidney Crosby has been undergoing treatment on a right wrist injury that he suffered during the season. Sid is continuing to get medical advice to determine the best path moving forward, including the possibility of arthroscopic surgery. No final decision has been made on surgery at this point. We expect to have a decision by early next week.”

That decision came today, when Rutherford said, “After seeking additional medical advice, doctors have decided not to perform surgery on Sidney Crosby’s wrist. Sid will continue treatments and be evaluated regularly while he prepares for training camp in September.”

When Penguins head coach Mike Johnston met with reporters following the first day of prospect development camp here at CONSOL Energy Center on Tuesday, he was asked whether he’s been in any contact with Crosby and if he had any details about his injury.

“I came down on Friday and we had a chance to spend Saturday together,” Johnston replied. “It was good. He was in here for a workout; I met him in here prior to the workout. We went for lunch, had some time in the afternoon. Didn’t talk a lot about the injury; we talked more about how he’s feeling, sort of the situation with the team, how the team was, just different dynamics. Just a chance to interact with him and get a feel for where he’s at. I knew him a little bit before, but I never really sat down and talked to him extensively like that.”

Johnston was also asked if he was concerned that down the road, Crosby may eventually need surgery on his wrist.

“Those are some of the questions we asked with our trainers and the doctors, and they feel fairly confident that the step they’re making right now with no surgery is the right step,” Johnston said. “Whether something happens down the road, I guess you never know. But we’ve got a good core. I’ve met several of the doctors here today. I’ve met with our training staff a couple times, so I have a lot of confidence in them. They know what they’re doing.  We trust what they’re doing.”

Johnston said the house he grew up in — where his parents still live — was in the back part of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia — which eventually became Cole Harbour, where Crosby was also born and raised. That connection was something they talked about during their time together on Saturday.

“Just get to know him a little bit. It’s interesting because we have similar backgrounds,” Johnston said. “Both being from Nova Scotia growing up, probably about a mile apart. We have similar friends, some of my friends actually coached Sid as he was growing up, so it’s nice that we have some things in common. It was good just to sit down and talk to him and get to know him. That’s what I really want to do with our players over the course of the summer, as many as I can. Get the chance to meet with them personally. It’s a matter of getting to know their personality, getting to know a little bit about their background. When it comes to training camp, you’re involved with so many people at that time you don’t have a chance to spend 1-on-1 time with these guys, and everything goes really quick. I want to make sure that before training camp, I get a chance to connect with all the guys.”

--Michelle Crechiolo

The second group of guys took the ice and got to work as soon as Penguins head coach Mike Johnston skated back out.

Team Black roster: Ryan Segalla, Dane Birks, Sam Lafferty, Conor Sheary, Anton Zlobin, Kasperi Kapanen, Jean-Sebastien Dea, Brian Dumoulin, Scott Wilson, Brad McClure, Dominik Uher, Nick Lappin, Tristan Jarry, Jake Hildebrand, Clark Seymour, Harrison Ruopp, Daniel Renouf and Teddy Blueger.

Forward Kasperi Kapanen skated with the second group of guys today.

Jean-Sebastien Dea kept his concentration while handling the puck.

It's important to have good communication between the goaltender and his defenseman.

Waiting for the next shot.

Kasperi Kapanen showing his puck handling skills while gliding down the ice.

Harrison Ruopp working on his defensive skills.

Here's the Kasperi Kapanen close-up you wanted.

Great form.

Pens coach Mike Johnston telling the guys what to do for the next drill.

Hey, wait, where are you going?

Coach Mike Johnston gets by with a little help from his friends.

Kasperi Kapanen, whatcha lookin' at?

Attention campers: Don't forget to drink plenty of water.

Let's both stand, hold our sticks and look off into the distance.

I'm ready.

The prospects take a knee to listen to the most important man on the ice: coach Mike Johnston.

The prospects split into two groups this afternoon and Team White took the ice first. Penguins head coach Mike Johnston led the group practice.

Team White roster: Stephen Mastalerz, Reid McNeill, Alex Boak, Nick D'Agostino, Jeff Taylor, Scott Harrington, Jake Guentzel, Anthony Angello, Matia Marcantuoni, Tom Kuhnackl, Bryan Rust, Blaine Byron, Josh Archibald, Adam Payerl, Troy Josephs, Matt Murray and Oskar Sundqvist. 

Penguins coach Mike Johnston led today's practice.

The guys gathered to hear what drills they would do doing.

Adam Payerl is no stranger to the Pens sweater and laced his skates for another practice at CONSOL Energy Center.

Matia Marcantuoni waits for the puck as his teammates get the drill going.

Jeff Taylor completes a pass before skating behind the net.

The players take a knee as Mike Johnston explains the next drill.

I'm ready for my closeup.

Troy Josephs passes the puck and skates down the ice.

Why so serious?

The prospects are learning to play together and adjusting to their new teammates.

Mike Johnston didn't want to miss out on the action.

The prospects arrived at CONSOL Energy Center early this morning and kicked off camp with medical and fitness testing.

It's all fun and games until the clipboards come out.

How long am I supposed to hang here?

Goaltending prospect Tristan Jarry doing his best impression of a puffer fish.

Some of the prospects outside of the training room between tests.

Wait, what do I do with the ball now?

Defenseman Brian Dumoulin does his best "Blue Steel" model pose for the camera. 

How many guys need to watch me do this?

Standing at 6-foot-1 and weighing 201 pounds, 18-year-old Jaden Lindo makes the exercises look easy.

Forward Brad McClure magestically poses before his push-ups.

Forward Jake Guentzel giving the machine a go.

It's just like the monkey bars, right?

Hey man, I'll fist bump you after the exercise, OK?

I can fly!

This is the part of the camp where each prospect learns how to "twerk" against the wall.

Wow. Look at this artsy framed photo of left winger Scott Wilson taken by our very own Sam Kasan.

So that's where my feet went.

Kasperi Kapanen proving that although he's one of the youngest at camp, he can pull his own weight (pun intended).


Today is the first official day of camp, but all of the guys got here yesterday and showed their excitement on Twitter.

Hello from CONSOL Energy Center! It’s Day 1 of the Penguins’ 2014 development camp, and the guys will hit the ground running (literally) with medical and fitness testing in the morning, followed by on-ice practice in the afternoon.

This year’s roster includes 21 forwards, 12 defensemen and four goaltenders. New draft picks, including 2014 first-rounder Kasperi Kapanen, will join returning campgoers and guys like defenseman Brian Dumoulin and forward Adam Payerl, who saw NHL playing time in 2013-14.

In addition, two local players, forward Sam Lafferty and goaltender Jake Hildebrand, played youth hockey in the region and will sport the Penguins sweater as players for the first time. Maybe they will even show the other guys around the Steel City. How about those Primanti Bros. sandwiches, am I right?

In addition to on-ice drills, practices and scrimmages, the players will get a taste of the city at events outside of the arena. The guys will be participating in a community project, taking a cooking class, playing in a wiffleball tournament and going to a Pirates game at PNC Park. Mmmm, the sweet smell of the Monongahela River in the summertime.

For one week, the future of the Penguins’ organization will call CONSOL Energy Center home. But, before they get too comfortable, they have to pass a few tests. Keep up with the players here and be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
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