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USA Today power poll with some PGH love


Quick in-game note, dear readers. I’ll post some stuff after this exhibition tilt:

• I’m honored to have been asked to contribute to USA Today’s weekly rankings for this season. Some respected scribes are part of the group, led by PHWA president Kevin Allen. Anyway, take a look:


Award predictions:

• I’m writing about D SIMON DESPRES for Wednesday’s print edition. Fans might be surprised to find the team hasn’t ruled out him playing some games in the NHL. A preview from GM RAY SHERO: “He’s earned this second game, basically. He’s practiced well. Coaches like what they see. It’s another step for him.”

I can’t get anybody to tell me Despres definitely is going back to his junior team in the QMJHL. I also can’t get anybody to say that somebody has firmly gripped control of the Nos. 6 of 7 defense spots. I’d be shocked if Despres played all seaosn in the NHL, but as I wrote over the summer, seeing him wear a skating penguin crest at some point this season wouldn’t shock me in the least.

He can play nine games without this season counting against his arbitration status.





Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

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