Thursday, July 10, 2014

Busy day at the rink

February 17. 2013 12:19AM
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What does it mean when a Hall-of-Famer who happens to be the vice president of hockey operations for an NHL club call to let you know that you've been traded.
To me, it means that you are well thought of by the organization.
That's how Brian Dumoulin learned he was traded to Pittsburgh by Carolina as part of the Jordan Staal trade this summer. Ron Francis called him at home. Not bad for a rookie fresh out of college.
I talked to Dumoulin about the experience today after he and 14 other Penguins practiced at Coal Street with Bill Guerin and other coaches in the organization. In the days leading up to training camp I'll have a story with Dumoulin, along with a few other players who were in town.
Keven Veilleux spoke about his recovery from knee surgery that wiped out his season last year. He's back on the ice, but still doesn't know when he'll be ready.
I also spoke to first round pick (2010) Beau Bennett and rookie Jayson Megna. They have something in common - both left college early to turn pro. It wasn't an easy decision to make such a life-altering change at an early age. Both players told me how they dealt with it, who they consulted with and the one thing that makes the choice easier to deal with now.
Others on the ice today included Brian Gibbons, Patrick Killeen, Tom Kuhnhackl, Reid McNeill, Joe Morrow, Adam Payerl, Philip Samuelsson, Dave Schultz (not the former tough guy), Carl Sneep, Paul Thompson and Dominik Uher.
The guys are tight-lipped about the pending NHL lockout, leaving those comments up to the Pittsburgh organization. Pittsburgh head coach Dan Bylsma was also at the rink, but he was tied up in meetings all day and didn't have a chance to talk to the media.

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