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Skate log: A break for the beat boys, and trade talk (Despres).

Greetings, dear readers.

A quick update on this soon-to-be snow capped Friday.

First, neither this blog author or Josh Yohe is with the club this weekend. Columnist Dejan Kovacevic – he of immense love for Winnipeg, and a whole lotta like for Ottawa – has given us a welcome breather. (Thanks, Dejan.) So check out his stuff and follow him on Twitter: @Dejan_Kovacevic

And now for some bits n’at:

= Hearing a lot of rumblings about the Penguins looking for a winger. Nothing close yet, but know that D Simon Despres can be had for the right price. Question becomes is that price a veteran winger with a short-term future or if the scouting staff has identified the next James Neal and now GM Ray Shero is set on trying to bring said player to Pittsburgh.

Keep in mind:

Shero has twice (Ryan Whitney, 2009; Alex Goligoski, 2011) traded young defensemen for long-term fit wingers (Chris Kunitz, Neal). Each time he has made that move before the trade deadline, and in February.

= The club is at Winnipeg tonight, and it will mark only the fourth game in Canada for C Sidney Crosby since he scored the Olympics winner in 2010. Kind of shocking to think about, no?

A great piece by our great friend Chris Johnston of Sportsnet on the new old normal for Crosby:

= Dejan really does love Winnipeg, and though we kid him about it, there is a personal connection:

= I will be doing the Root Sports Pittsburgh pregame show Friday and Sunday. There is game college students might want to start playing every time I tip my glasses, not that we encourage such games around these parts.




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

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