Inside Pittsburgh Sports

Penguins Day 1 Camp Buzz


Kessel looked strong in first on-ice workout

kesselPhil Kessel who had off-season hand surgery, showed no restrictions in the Penguins first on-ice workout. Kessel participated fully in contact drills and looked strong shooting the puck.

All anyone afterwards wanted to talk about was his Team USA comment.

“Obviously I meant no disrespect to any of the players,” Kessel said. “I have a ton of respect for all those guys there. I played with a lot of those guys. They’re great players and great guys. I know this game is hard. I know it’s not an easy one to play.”

Mike Sullivan’s best friend John Tortorella earlier in the week said Kessel’s comment was self serving and made Kessel look bad.

Sullivan on Friday had no interest in discussing Kessel’s comments.

“I really have no comment on the circumstance surrounding that whole experience,” Sullivan said. “What I can comment on is that we were disappointed obviously with the results and the performance of our team and we’re all responsible for that.”

Penguins divide teams to bring out competition

The first couple days of camp will focus on competition as the staff looked to try to divide the three teams up evenly.

“I think we have competitive guys by nature,” Sullivan said. “I think they like to compete. It’s our job as coaches to put them in an environment where they’re allowed to compete. It took a lot of players for us to go through the playoff run that we did.”


Line Combinations from Team 1 – Team 2 Scrimmage

Team 1 
Sheary – Bonino – Di Pauli
Wilson – Guentzel – Kostopulos
Sesisto – Gill Gardiner

Pouliot – Daley
McNeill – Prow
Erixon – Bengtsson

Team 2

Kuhnhackl – Dea – Archibald
Quinney – Blueger – Krause
Burton – Porter – Haggerty

Dumoulin – Oleksy
Gaunce – Schultz
Crawley – Goers

Thomas Di Pauli a player the Penguins are pretty intrigued about got an opportunity to play with Conor Sheary and Nick Bonino. Di Pauli made quite the impression scoring on his first shift 38 seconds in.

Ethan Prow stood out with his vision and ability to create offensive from the backend. Had a great setup to Scott Wilson for a goal.

— Just one day but Scott Wilson is showing already why he’s going to be tough to keep out of the lineup. The skating looks improved.

Derrick Pouliot showing up to camp like a professional athlete should gives him the honor of being the early media darling. Everyone was buzzing about him on Day 1.

“He looks terrific,” Sullivan said. “He’s obviously a determined guy and that’s great for us. We have high expectations for Derrick. We said that all along. I think the experience that he went through last year, being around this team and being part of that playoff run. Playing in some games. That’s an invaluable experience for a young player.”

— For all of the talk about Pouliot, Penguin coaches are giddy about working with Justin Schultz for a full camp. They see potential for Schultz to play more than just a third pairing role and potentially push Olli Maatta out of the top-4.

— The Penguins have not started contract talks yet with Trevor Daley’s agent Rich Curran. Penguins GM Jim Rutherford has told close associates he would like to retain Daley but there is no sense of urgency at this point.