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Rossi: Pens ass’t GM not approached (yet) for opens Sabres gig. Also, AM skate stuff.

Greetings from Fifth Avenue, where the Penguins and Flyers will bring the Commonwealth Cold War to Pittsburgh for the first time this NHL season on Wednesday night. Remember, it is an 8 p.m. start (rivalries and such).

The latest from the AM practice…

 

DEVELOPING SITUATION

The Buffalo Sabres have had a house cleaning. Details here from the Buffalo News: http://blogs.buffalonews.com/sabres/2013/11/sabres-announce-ted-nolan-as-head-coach-pat-lafontaine-as-president-of-hockey-operations.html

Also, this from Buffalo Hockey Beat: http://www.buffalohockeybeat.com/reeling-sabres-fire-darcy-regier-and-ron-rolston-hire-fan-favorites-pat-lafontaine-and-ted-nolan/

Why should this interest Penguins fans?

Well, any search for a new general manager should ­– but is not guaranteed to –include Penguins assistant general manager Jason Botterill. In his fifth year in this role, Botterill has crafted a reputation as a salary-cap specialist and a sharp talent evaluator. His duties with the Penguins including managing their cap and AHL affiliate (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton), in addition to assisting on prospect development.

Botterill had not been contacted by the Sabres to interview as of Wednesday morning, though that could change given his and the Penguins ties to the Buffalo organization.

Ken Sawyer, Buffalo’s alternate governor and senior advisor, oversaw the hiring process of general manager Ray Shero with the Penguins. Ted Black, the Sabres president, worked on the Penguins’ business side during much of Sawyer’s tenure as CEO.

Also, Botterill once played for the Sabres.

That history, though, is no reason for the Sabres to look at Botterill. His readiness for the rebuild the Sabres are undertaking is the reason.

If he were to leave the Penguins, candidates to replace him as Shero’s top assistant are: Tom Fitzgerald, assistant to the general manager; Dan MacKinnon, director of player personnel; and Randy Sexton, co-director of amateur scouting.

If Botterill were to leave, his loss would be significant as he has few equals in terms of understanding the salary cap.

 

 

LINES N’PAIRINGS

Forwards and defense from the Penguins’ AM skate…

Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis

Jokinen-Malkin-Neal

D’Agostini-Sutter-Bennett

Glass-Vitale-Adams

Niskanen-Letang

Orpik-Engelland

Maatta-Bortuzzo

Notable: Letang and Maatta did work together during the AM practice. (See: The Read.)

 

 

INJURIES UPDATE

  • Defenseman Paul Martin skated before the AM practice, but he will miss a second straight game. He is day-to-day (lower body).
  • Winger Tanner Glass (lower body) skated and will play against Philadelphia.
  • Defenseman Rob Scuderi (broken ankle), winger Chuck Kobasew (broken foot) and goalie Tomas Vokoun (blood clot) are all on injured reserve

 

 

DO NOT FORGET

The Penguins are taking cash and canned food donations through the first period on Wednesday night. All proceeds go to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Give a little to help a lot.

 

 

THE READ

Morning headlines from the Trib…

 

 

HEAR HERE

TV/radio appearances for Team #TribHKY…

Rossi: The David Todd Show (4:30 p.m., 970-AM); Penguins Live with Brian Metzer (5:20 p.m.; http://sportstalk.triblive.com)

 

 

Be EXCELLENT to each other,

Rossi

 

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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