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Pens Report: 02.27.17

by Sam Kasan @PensInsideScoop / Pittsburgh Penguins

With the NHL's annual trade deadline coming on Wednesday, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and general manager Jim Rutherford had discussions pertaining to his future with the franchise. 

Rutherford has stated his preference is to keep Fleury on the team for the rest of the season. However, it would have to be a mutually agreed-upon situation.

"We've been talking and we'll keep talking through Wednesday," said Fleury, who has a limited-trade clause built into his contract. "We'll see what happens."

One piece that did move in the NHL was between Tampa Bay and Los Angeles. Yesterday the Lightning traded goalie Ben Bishop and a 5th-round pick to LA for netminder Peter Budaj, Eric Cernak, a 7th-round pick and a conditional pick.

"Maybe not the team I was expecting to pick (Bishop) up," Fleury said. "It's tough to follow what's going on and what's happening. There are a lot of talks and a lot doesn't happen or (the rumors) are wrong."

Fleury is opting to stay away from social media during this time, though he can't help but take the occasional look.

"You peek once in a while," Fleury said. "I don't go look every hour of the day trying to see what's going on."

TRADE DEADLINE

While rumors have been surrounding Fleury's situation all season, realistically any player could be on the trading block at this time of year. It's something that they try not to focus on, but have no choice but to be cognizant.

"I know our guys are human and they understand it," head coach Mike Sullivan said. "This time of year is always a time of anxiety for players for obvious reasons. Part of our responsibility is to manage our emotions the right way so that we can be at our best when the puck drops."

The prevalence of social media in the lives of players has changed the landscape of this time of year. Even if a player tries to tune out the rumors it can be almost impossible to avoid.

"That's part of today's game and today's environment," Sullivan said. "Technology is such that there is all kinds of social media, people will throw their opinions around, rumors are going to fly. Our advice has always been the same with this group. We can't be focused or concerned about all those things around us that we can't control. We have to ignore the noise and focus on the game itself."

PRACTICE INFO

The Pens held practice on Monday afternoon in front of a packed house of school children from grades 1-8 for the annual Open Practice at PPG Paints Arena.

The team had full attendance of healthy players, as well as injured forward Conor Sheary (upper-body) and defenseman Kris Letang (undisclosed). Both players wore yellow 'no-contact' jerseys.

Letang left the practice session early because the latter part consisted of contact, for which he has yet to be cleared. Sheary stayed and underwent limited contact after practice.

"I'm feeling pretty good for where I'm supposed to be at," Sheary said following practice. "Getting into some contact in practice and seeing how it feels. It's going well so far.

"I'm trying to mix (contact) in as much as I can and build up to full contact."

There is no timetable set for his return to the lineup and he's handling the injury on a day-by-day basis.

"The hardest part is I might be sore tomorrow. I don't feel it right now," Sheary said. "Tomorrow if (soreness) comes back I know I'll have to step back a little bit. So it's a day-to-day thing."

The Pens used the following workflow at practice…

Kunitz-Crosby-Guentzel

Wilson-Bonino-Kessel

Hagelin-Malkin-Hornqvist

Kuhnhackl-Cullen-Fehr

Cole-Schultz

Dumoulin-Hainsey

Gaunce/Oleksy-Ruhwedel

 

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