Well, dear readers, it is finally over.
After 119 days and too many stupid things to count, the NHL lockout has ended, and the world’s finest pucks league is back.
Your Penguins open camp Sunday with physicals, followed by an OPEN TO THE PUBLIC 3:10 p.m. practice at Southpointe. (Cue the #ShriekingGirls)
Camp heads to Consol Energy Center on Monday, where it will run through Friday. Full details for camp, including the roster, will be released Sunday. Same goes for the club’s promotional schedule and, presumably, the Root Sports Pittsburgh broadcast schedule.
♦ A look at the labor contract’s summary of terms (yeah, the summary is 25 pages): http://blog.triblive.com/chipped-ice/2013/01/12/nhlnhlpa-labor-contract-summary-of-terms/
♦ Wishing dear friend Steve Mears the best on his new adventure. “Mearsy” is leaving the Penguins Radio Network for the big-city lights of New York, where he will be a main man on for NHL Network, co-hosting “NHL Live!” and doing other cool stuff.
Steve is one of the best guys anybody can hope to know, and here is hoping the Pittsburgh in him rubs off on New York more than well… let’s just say here is wishing Steve the best. “Penguins Live” will not be the same. (Neither will Smokin’ Joe’s Saloon.)
♦ Speaking of personal notes…
This blog author is, officially, back to where he once belonged, working his beast of burden, trying to recapture his glory days, and – goodness, how many lyrical references can a guy cram into once poorly constructed sentence?
Well, you will have many opportunities to find out.
After a year away (kind of), I am back covering the Penguins, a bit thinner, certainly more refreshed, and, at this point anyway, getting along with everybody. That won’t last, by hopefully the tag-team partnership with Josh Yohe will.
Along with what we suspect will be consistent help from Trib columnist Dejan Kovacevic, Josh and I pledge to try and bring you all the Penguins/NHL news we can uncover in a 24-hour day. We will not be perfect, but we will be aggressive.
(We also may cut some very suspicious radio spots. Forgive us.)
It’s sweater vest and scarf times, kids.
So, remember this for your Twitter fancy: #TribHKY
It’s time to get going.
♦ Sunday’s links, right and proper:
= Here layeth the NHL lockout. 9/15/12-1/12/13. “Nobody liked him. Everybody hated him.” http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/3282489-74/players-penguins-sunday#axzz2HpDukvok
= Daily Penguins notes, starting with Eric Tangradi’s thinking entering camp: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/3267397-74/tangradi-penguins-malkin#axzz2HpDukvok
= Columnist Joe Starkey’s usual brilliance: http://triblive.com/sports/joestarkey/3267385-74/crosby-games-game#axzz2HpDukvok
= Yohe considers a variety of Penguins-related topics with camp set to open: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/3267400-74/series-bylsma-season#axzz2HpDukvok
= “PuckSpeak” with James Neal: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/3267396-74/puck-lot-likes#axzz2HpDukvok
= Master of the AHL University, Jonathan Bombulie, and his weekly notes package, this one focusing on Dylan Reese: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/3267399-74/games-nhl-barre#axzz2HpDukvok
= GM Ray Shero should not be laughed at when he talks about re-signing Evgeni Malkin AND Kris Letang. Not quietly, but perhaps sneakily, he has reshaped the Penguins nucleus. An analysis, plus a PDF chart with loads of info: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/3267393-74/cap-salary-signed#axzz2HpDukvok