USA Hockey is at least 14 months away from naming their Olympic roster but there are a few Penguins that are getting serious consideration.
According to a league source Ryan Whitney and Brooks Orpik are on team USA‚Äôs early short list as contenders to make the squad. Whitney is an obvious choice due to his offensive ability but Orpik is a surprise name to many. Executives of team USA are looking to add a physical defenseman and Orpik tops the list of physical defenseman because of his skating ability.
Petr Sykora has expressed a desire to play in Pittsburgh longterm and is interested in working out an extension prior to the season.
The Penguins are very intrigued in seeing how Ryan Stone performs in camp. The team feels that Stone has the ability to add some toughness on the fourth line but he must have a solid camp to earn a roster spot. Stone was a major disappointment last season in training camp.
Erik Godard will be a frequent scratch for the Penguins. That is where Ryan Stone could come in to play. I would expect Godard to dress in about 44-47 games this season.
The Penguins front office believes Janne Pesonen has the skill to see some time with the big club this season but they are just like all of us and have no clue how he is going to perform in camp. Word is Pesonen, Beech, Stone, Taffe, Bill Thomas, Jonathan Filewich, and Connor James will see plenty of playing time in preseason games. The Penguins are going to have some good battles for the 12th/13th forward spots.