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Pittsburgh Penguins 2013 Offseason Guide

by Michelle Crechiolo / Pittsburgh Penguins
This will be a short and busy offseason for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Here’s a breakdown of what Penguins fans can look forward to during the summer months before the 2013-14 season begins.

Click on a specific link for a detailed explanation:


This year, all seven rounds of the NHL Draft are being conducted on the same day for the first time since 2006.

It will take place on Sunday, June 30 at Prudential Center in New Jersey (the first-ever draft to be held in the New York City metropolitan area) starting at 3 p.m. Eastern time. There will be a total of 211 selections in the seven rounds.

As the result of trades, the Penguins do not have a first-, second- or a fifth-round pick in this draft. They will not draft their first player until the third round, starting with the 77th overall selection. Last year, the Penguins had two first-round picks – Derrick Pouliot (No. 8) and Olli Maatta (No. 22). The only other time Pittsburgh had more than one selection in the first round was 1984, where they drafted Mario Lemieux (No. 1 overall), Doug Bodger (No. 9) and Roger Belanger (No. 16).

Once 12:00 p.m. ET hits on Friday, July 5, an unrestricted free agent is free to negotiate and sign a contract with any team. Please note that this is a change from the usual start date of July 1. It was pushed back because of the work stoppage. It will only be in effect for this season. The start date will return to July 1 starting in 2014.

Jarome Iginla, Brenden Morrow, Matt Cooke, Pascal Dupuis, Craig Adams, Douglas Murray and Mark Eaton are the players currently within the Penguins organization that are set to become unrestricted free agents if they do not re-sign with the team by that date.

Tyler Kennedy, Dustin Jeffrey and Robert Bortuzzo are the organization’s restricted free agents since they are no longer considered entry-level, but do not qualify as an unrestricted free agent.

The Penguins must extend a qualifying offer to any of these players in order to retain their negotiating rights. If a qualifying offer is made and the player rejects it, he or the team can file for salary arbitration to settle any contract disputes. A team can take a player to arbitration once in his career and cannot ask for a salary reduction greater than 15 percent.

NOTE: The Penguins have a number of players whose contracts will expire at the end of next season. Chris Kunitz, Jussi Jokinen, Tanner Glass, Steve MacIntyre, Joe Vitale, Brooks Orpik, Kris Letang, Matt Niskanen, Deryk Engelland and Tomas Vokoun could be unrestricted free agents, while Brandon Sutter and Simon Despres would be restricted free agents. The Penguins can sign any player with one calendar year remaining on their contract starting July 5.

Penguins prospects will have the opportunity to spend a few days in Pittsburgh learning what it means to represent the organization during the 2013 development camp.

The prospects will take part in on-ice practice and scrimmage sessions as well as workouts, meetings and seminars. They will also have team-bonding experiences like bowling, paintball and group dinners. Medical and fitness testing will take place at the beginning of camp here at CONSOL Energy Center.

The camp is a chance for the franchise's top prospects and recent draft picks to learn all of the on- and off-ice aspects that come with being a professional hockey player in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization in a more relaxed atmosphere than say, for example, training camp.

It is also a chance for the Penguins staff to see the organization’s prospects all together, teach them the habits and mindset they want their players to have and get an idea of where they are at in their strength and conditioning.

And finally, it is a chance for Penguins fans to see the players in the pipeline, as the final scrimmage will be free and open to the public. Details will be released at a later date.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach John Hynes will run the camp, with WBS assistant coach Alain Nasreddine, Penguins assistant to the general manager Tom Fitzgerald, Penguins player development coach Bill Guerin, Penguins goalie development coach Mike Bales, Penguins strength and conditioning coach Mike Kadar and WBS strength and conditioning coach Joe Lorincz all serving as instructors as well.

The Penguins are participating in the 2013 Rookie Tournament in London, Ontario. It will take place at Budweiser Gardens, home of the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights.

In addition to practices and meetings, some of Pittsburgh’s brightest prospects will partake in exhibition games against the best prospects from three other National Hockey League teams. The camp is an opportunity for Pittsburgh’s staff to continue implementing the same culture the players learned at development camp in July to help them prepare for training camp around the corner. It is also an opportunity for the players to leave a final impression on the staff before reporting to NHL training camp later in the month.

The Penguins last participated in this tournament in 2011. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach John Hynes directed the camp with the help of assistant coach Alain Nasreddine.

Pittsburgh’s full roster will be announced at a later date.

Thursday, Sept. 5, 2:00 p.m. – Pittsburgh vs. Ottawa
Friday, Sept. 6, TBA – Practice
Saturday, Sept. 7, 7:00 p.m. – Pittsburgh vs. Toronto
Sunday, Sept. 8, 2:00 p.m. – Pittsburgh vs. Chicago

After a lockout-shortened season, the Penguins will begin preparation for a full 82-game season when they converge on Pittsburgh in early September to report to training camp. The attendees will be locked in a fierce competition for a spot in Pittsburgh’s lineup, as the Penguins will have their 2013-14 opening-night roster set soon after the approximately two-and-a-half week process concludes.

In addition to practices – some of which will be open to the public – the Penguins will play a number of preseason games and the schedule for those will be announced at a later date.
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