Despite the looming NHL player lockout, 14 members of the Pittsburgh Penguins resumed optional on-ice workouts Friday at the team’s practice facility at Southpointe.
The participants included forwards Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, Tanner Glass, Dustin Jeffrey, Brandon Sutter, James Neal, Matt Cooke, Eric Tangradi and Joe Vitale plus defensemen Matt Niskanen, Ben Lovejoy, Deryk Engelland and Dylan Reese.
Meanwhile in Russia, Evgeni Malkin and former Penguin Sergei Gonchar practiced with the KHL’s Magnitogorsk. Their first game with the club is scheduled for Thursday, September 20.
The league’s current collective bargaining agreement officially expires Saturday night at 11:59 PM. At that point, players are no longer allowed to use team facilities or contact team employees, “though most of the Penguins that worked out Friday said they would remain in Pittsburgh and continue on-ice sessions at least through next week,” according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi.
NHL teams are allowed to waive players with two-way and entry-level contracts until the CBA actually expires, and the Penguins did that with seven players today.
Placed on waivers today were: Reese, Benn Ferreiro, Trevor Smith, Riley Holzapfel, Alex Grant, Philippe Dupuis and Warren Peters.
Other teams will have until noon Saturday to claim any of the players. Any player who passes through waivers unclaimed will be eligible to play for the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins during the lockout.
The Penguins are currently scheduled to open the regular season Friday, October 12 against the New York Islanders, though that seems highly unlikely at this point.
Follow Troy on Twitter @TroyPfaff for more NHL and Pittsburgh Penguins content