The Penguins and Lightning each released their rosters for tonight's preseason opener.
The Penguins will dress forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Pascal Dupuis, Jordan Staal, Janne Pesonen, Ryan Stone, Kris Beech, Jeff Taffe, Miroslav Satan, Petr Sykora, Bill Thomas, Eric Godard, defensemen Sergei Gonchar, Ben Lovejoy, Alex Goligoski, Brooks Orpik, Mark Eaton, Darryl Sydor, goaltenders Marc-Andre Fleury and Dany Sabourin.
The Lightning will dress a very young, inexperienced, "AHL-y" lineup with few of their big names, including former Penguins Adam Hall, Ryan Malone, Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts. Only one ex-Penguin, Michel Ouellet (oh boy...) will dress. He will be joined by Goaltenders Mike Smith, Karri Ramo, forwards Jussi Jokinen, Radek Smolenak, Evgeny Artyukhin, David Koci, Steven Stamkos, Zenon Konopka, Wyatt Smith, Ryan Craig, Brandon Bochenski, Jason Ward, Chris Lawrence, defensemen Andy Rogers, Janne Niskala, Matt Smaby, Jamie Heward, Vladimir Mihalik and Andrew Hutchinson. Koci and Heward were each Penguins prospects at one time in their careers. Apparently Recchi and Roberts weren't allowed to bring their walkers on the team's airplane. (Amazing how Roberts seems so much more older and decrepit now that he's wearing another team's uniform these days huh?)
While Stamkos, the first overall pick in this year's draft, is easily the biggest and most intriguing name to watch out for on Tampa Bay's roster tonight, Koci could provide the most entertainment. He's a fighter and he's battling for a roster spot on a team with a ton of NHL-caliber forwards. Plus, he's the guy who bloodied the knuckles of Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara last season with... well... uh... his own blood.
(Jack Edwards' hyperbole is the best.)
So should Koci cross paths with Godard, a guy who's not afraid to tangle with anyone, things could get interesting.
But given that the game isn't being televised in any fashion we're aware of, you can listen to the team's broadcast through the radio or their Web site and you can read along with us. We'll be conducting a live blog of the game starting at about 7 p.m. (Assuming we can figure out a way from the east suburbs with the Parkway East being shut down for all of eternity.)
EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS
-Hopefully you didn't draft Eric Godard for your fantasy team with the expectations of him carrying the scoring load. If you did, e-mail us. We want you in our fantasy league.
-The Penguins reduced their roster to 42 players. Forwards Luca Caputi, Joe Haddad, Dustin Jeffrey, Nick Johnson, Mark Letestu and defenseman Jonathan D'Aversa were assigned to Wilke-Barre/Scranton. Casey Pierro-Zabotel Keven Veilleux and defenseman Alex Grant were assigned to their junior teams. Caputi was seen by some as an outside favorite to make the NHL roster out of camp. The Penguins decided to send Pierro Zabotel to juniors because Michel Therrien was too lazy to write that long name into the lineup on a regular basis. We think.
-Faceoff-Factor has a rundown on the third day of training camp.
-Single-game tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m. at Mellon Arena and through Ticketmaster.
-Today's morning skate is open to the public free of charge.
-The Penguins released a really scaled back promotion schedule for this season. Granted, the Penguins aren't exactly the Pirates in terms of relevance. They don't need to give away bobbleheads and other stuff to get people to come out. But the fact there aren't any bobbleheads this season is kind of disappointing.
-Evgeni Malkin. Rocking the mullet.
-A look at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's training camp roster.
-In case you need a refresher on Penguins fan protocol, here you go:
-Derian Hatcher was officially put on injured reserve with a potentially career-threatening knee injury. We'd make a crack, but you never want to see anyone, regardless of their affiliations, leave the ice under circumstances such as these. We'd much rather see Derian Hatcher end his career getting burnt by quicker, younger forwards while perfectly healthy.
-With the Philadelphia Phantoms seeking a new home in the near future, could they relocate to the Lehigh Valley?
-Devils coach Brent Sutter has made nice with captain Jamie Langenbrunner.
-The Canadiens will wear their 100th anniversary patches on their shoulders.
-Montreal captain Saku Koivu thinks this season's version of the Habs is the best he's ever been a part of.
-Montreal goaltender Carey Price claims he caught two 200 lb. fish this offseason.
-The country club is gone in Toronto.
-The Maple Leafs need a new captain.
-Defenseman Brian Lee is trying to stick with the Senators.
-Panther forward Nathan Horton is moving from right winger to center.
-Capitals forward Alexander Semin cares not for the media's "crap."
-Could Gary Roberts be huge for Tampa Bay this season?
-Apparently new Lightning coach Barry Melrose is trying to shape his roster by seeing who can bleed the most.
-Blue Jackets forward Mike Peca is dealing with bronchitis.
-Nikolai Khabibulin didn't get the memo about Cristobal Huet being the Blackhawks' starting goaltender this season.
-Orland Kurtenblog scored "exclusive" footage of Blues defenseman Erik Johnson injuring himself with a golf cart. We think.
-The Red Wings' signing of former Penguins forward Marian Hossa has already backfired on them. HE COULDN'T PLAY GOLF THURSDAY DUE TO A TIGHT BACK! We bet Miroslav Satan would've played two rounds if he wanted to.
-In order to repeat history, the Red Wings need to beat it.
-Former Red Wings and Cornell coach Tom Harkness passed away.
-New Flames forward Todd Bertuzzi is already getting put on a line with Jarome Iginla and Daymond Langkow. That would be a nice line combination if it were still 2003 and Bertuzzi was still a good player.
-If the Oilers are going to reach the postseason, they need a lot of their young talent to grow up.
-The Canucks also need a new captain.
-The Ducks signed forward Teemu Selanne to a professional tryout contract. Basically, this is a way for them to have Selanne in camp without having him count against the salary cap. But once the season begins, the Ducks will need to have Selanne under a legit contract if he hopes to play in regular season games.
-The Ducks also signed forward Drew Miller to a two-year deal. He is a brother of Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller.
-The Stars are considering turning Mike Modano, a center by trade, into a winger.
-A peek at what the Sharks' lines will be to start the season. Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton will be put together with Ryane Clowe on the first line. Jonathan Cheechoo, the league's leading goal-scorer in 2005-06, will be on the second line with Milan Michalek and Joe Pavelski.
-The Kings have asked restricted free agent forward Patrick O'Sullivan to stay out of training camp.
-Jes Golbez, one of the true pioneers in hockey blogging, is sadly hanging up his keyboard.
-The NHL, always the face of relevance, is having Def Leppard kick off the season with a concert in Detroit. Apparently, Scott Joplin was booked.
-James Mirtle has rounded up training camp rosters for all 30 teams.