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Rare closed practice at Southpointe

The Penguins will return to practice Thursday. Some quick hits to tide over dear readers:

PRACTICE WILL BE CLOSED. Though standing-room-only crowds have become the norm for Southpointe sessions, this practice will be closed to the public because of a promotional shoot for HBO’s “24/7″ special. All I ask is that disappointed dear readers don’t slay the messenger.

• C JORDAN STAALwill speak publicly after practice for the first time since his second surgery for an infected right foot. Staal is expected to miss at least the first two weeks of the regular season, which opens next Thursday at home against the Flyers. I’m told he has been rehabbing the foot. It’s worth noting that I’ve yet to see him moving about without the assist of crutches and wearing a protective boot/cast on the foot. Trib Total Media No. 2 hockey reporter Josh Yohe will have all the Staal details tomorrow.

• In case you missed it, the club made cuts today:

No real surprises. Club is at 30 players on the roster, including top prospects LW ERIC TANGRADI and D SIMON DESPRES.

• Some overdue celebratory shout outs to two friends of the blog: Jim Kolovos welcomed his first daughter, Elena Demetria, and Stephen Finerty welcomed his first baby girl, Adelyn Sara.  Neither Baby Beauty has a favorite Penguin of yet, but I’m hoping they’ve already pegged somebody as the preferred beat reporter.



Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi has covered the Penguins for parts of every season that Sidney Crosby has played in Pittsburgh. So, since 2005. He has led the Trib's NHL coverage since 2007, when he became the primary Penguins beat reporter. He joined the Tribune-Review in November 2002. Rossi, 35, is local chapter president of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association. He also dabbles in radio, as ClearChannel's "Penguins Insider," and TV, as "NHL Insider" for Root Sports Pittsburgh, and as a semi-regular contributor to The Final Word, a Sunday sports show that airs on WPXI. In 2012, Rossi was recognized nationally by Penn State's John Curley Center for Sports Journalism for his coverage of youth sports for a Trib series that investigated concussion protocol. In 2013, he teamed with Carl Prine for an investigative piece about athletes' charities what was honored regionally. A graduate of West Virginia University and Keystone Oaks High School, Rossi was raised in Crafton and Green Tree and currently resides in Brookline. He is currently working on the authorized biography of Evgeni Malkin. Follow him on Twitter: @RobRossi_Trib


  1. Francis Sneler says:

    As competitive as the NHL is, how can any team afford to carry a forward who can’t score on its roster? Craig Adams had no goals and was minus 5 in 82 games last year. It would seem that even Eric Godard (one goal,plus 2 in 45 games) would be more useful, because he is the required enforcer.

    There is talk of Tyler Kennedy being “on the Bubble,” and Eric Tangradi being returned to WBS. Ryan Craig seems to be a player who is similar to Adams and who might score a few goals. However, Adams is never mentioned in comments concerning possible roster cuts. Why wouldn’t any of these players be more valuable to the team than Adams?

  2. Joe T says:

    I agree about Adams as well. He’s a good guy and works hard, but production is definitely becoming more important.

    Speaking of production, and referring to the point about Goddard, above, does anyone agree that it’s about time we stop this whole ‘enforcer’ charade? Pens have a few tougher more skilled players now (Cooke, Rupp, Asham) – why keep a dead-weight heavyweight with nearly no playing ability on the roster? Think about having Tangradi AND Letestu AND Jeffrey all on the roster. Don’t you think that would help their development?

    Heavies need to go…

  3. John N says:

    Adams: Preventing goals is just as important as scoring them, yet everyone’s focus tends to only be on how many points a player puts up. We also know that +/- can be incredibly deceiving, especially in small sample sizes. Bottom line is that Adams is a far superior defensive player than TK. If Kennedy isn’t scoring, what else does he give you on the ice? That’s why he’s on the bubble instead of Adams. Adams is better suited to a 4th line/limited minute role and on the PK.

    Godard: Not sure why everyone wants to get rid of him. He’s not taking a job from anyone. Most games he’ll just be a healthy scratch. Teams dress 20 a game but the actual roster size can be up to 23. Having him around is simply an insurance policy against thuggery; by all accounts Sid himself has stated that Godard’s (potential) presense is reassuring to the team.

  4. RussJT says:

    Not everyone is asked to be a scorer. Adams is great on the penalty kill, is a good 4th liner with some toughness, and for some reason can score in the playoffs.

    Last year Bylsma said someone would have to fight him to get Adams out of the line-up. He will/should make this team.

  5. Frank says:

    When it comes to why we have Godard…

    During the offseason the Rangers went out and grabbed Derek Boogaard, easily one of the most feared fighters in the entire league. The Flyers already have Shelley on their roster. The Capitals went out and traded for D.J. King and the Islanders have Trevor Gillies. As long as teams like the Flyers, Capitals, Rangers and Islanders have enforcers, we will also need one. I’m fairly sure players like Crosby, Malkin and Staal would agree.

    People can bring up Cooke, Rupp and Asham, but they are not on the same level as a guy like Boogaard when it comes to throwing down. There is a huge difference between being a nagging pest like Cooke or Asham than a straight up enforcer like Godard. Watch the Evander Kane vs Matt Cooke fight from last season if you want further proof. The three names mentioned are simply not on the same level or are completely different types of players.

    Recently, Rupp said it best when confronted with the question on why Godard is on this roster…

    “He’s one of the more well-respected guys in the room. There’s a lot that goes into it besides what you see. At certain times, there are guys who will act differently when he’s on the ice. Guys aren’t going to yap. Guys are going to play more and not try to take liberties. It speaks volumes when a guy on the other team acts real courageous and then when you confront him he shows that body language — slumping shoulders, looks at his laces, doesn’t want to pursue anything. I think that guy’s team doesn’t feel very comfortable.” – Mike Rupp

    That’s why Godard is and should be on this roster.

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