On-ice practice began this morning at Mellon Arena for the Pittsburgh Penguins 2009/10 Training Camp. The most notable news from today is that Tyler Kennedy was the first player to be paired up with Evgeni Malkin and Ruslan Fedotenko. I am sure that this is just one of many pairings that will be evaluated on that line over the next few weeks after the departure of Petr Sykora/Miroslav Satan and the absence of Max Talbot while he is recovering from off-season surgery. Coach Dan Bylsma noted that he is looking for a tenacious player that can add a “forechecking and puck-pursuit presence” to the Malkin line. Based on what we saw from Tyler Kennedy last season, he would seem to be a natural fit. He certainly brought those skills to the Staal line last season, where his development was quite noteworthy. Pascal Dupuis back-filled Kennedy’s normal spot on the Staal line.
New acquisition Mike Rupp played on a potential fourth line with Craig Adams and Eric Godard. Eric Tangradi played on a line with Wyatt Smith and Chris Connor, while Luca Caputi was on a line with Mark Letestu and Nick Johnson. Free Agent Left Wing Ryan Bayda (formerly of the Carolina Hurricanes) was invited to camp/practice as a tryout. Also at camp on a tryout is former UND goaltender Jordan Parise, Zach Parise’s older brother.
As far as top defensive pairings, it was Mark Eaton – Kris Letang, Brooks Orpik – Sergei Gonchar, and Jay McKee – Alex Goligoski. Ben Lovejoy was paired with Brian Strait.
Here are the full training camp team lineups as reported by Sam Kasan on the 2009 Training Camp Blog (click name for player profile):