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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 is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

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