A quick update about an hour before the Penguins hit the ice for an AM practice prior to their game tonight at CEC against Carolina:
= C JORDAN STAAL skated briefly this morning, wrapping his session at 9:31 a.m. He was on the ice with strength and conditioning coach MIKE KADAR, and Staal was wearing a track suit. His surgically-repaired right hand, which was broken about a month ago as he was set to make his season debut, was heavily wrapped. He was not wearing a glove. Basic light drills for Staal (no puck work), who is expected to return in mid- to late-December.
= Fans are encourage to give themselves extra time to arrive tonight becuase of the city’s holiday-season launch activities, which includes the annual “Light Up Night.” Rare is the Penguins’ home game that coincides with these traditional festivities, so this is going to be something that feels very new to everybody.
= Speaking of launches, I had a chance to attend the one for C MAX TALBOT’Sfoundation on Thursday night. It was just a wonderful event, and one I’ll detail more Sunday in my “Rossi’s Road” column for the Trib’s “Hockey Day in Pittsburgh” page. I’m pretty sure Talbot was smiling as much Thursday night as he was while holding the Stanley Cup on June 12, 2009. All proceeds for the event went to help the Haitian orphan project with which Talbot and C MIKE RUPP are involved. Check it out: http://www.maxtalbotfoundation.org/