Anyone who believes talk that Craig Adams roster spot is in jeopardy going into training camp, don’t get your hopes up.
Talk over the past couple weeks has been that new head coach Mike Johnston strongly believes Adams has a regular role on this team and Johnston has talked Adams up to the two local papers this week.
In an interview with the Post-Gazette, Johnston specifically named Adams among four to five players on the roster who can move around the lineup. “There are lots of guys — not a lot, but there’s four or five guys — who could go into any of those spots up top,” Johnston said. “You’ve got [Steve] Downie, you’ve got [Marcel Goc. [Craig] Adams can move around.”
In an interview with the Tribune-Review about the need to lessen Sidney Crosby’s workload, Johnston also specifically named Adams among the existing group of leaders in helping lessen the workload from Crosby.
The Penguins have made a primary focus of upgrading the third and fourth lines and a big talking point has been becoming a better possession team in the bottom-6. The Penguins third and fourth lines last year each had a CF% of under 43%.
Adams and Tanner Glass were big problems towards the Penguins being a terrible possession team in the bottom-6, and Pittsburgh had a winger problem in the bottom-6 last year and nothing against Adams personally, but he just can’t play 5 on 5 anymore.
If Johnston is going to dress Adams on a regular basis, the Penguins would be better suited to move Marcel Goc to wing on the third line as his ability offensively will be minimized playing with Adams and Blake Comeau.