From July 11-16, the Penguins will host some of the players they hope will fill their rosters of tomorrow. For the first time, the Penguins annual camp will take place at the CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
According to the Penguins, there will be on-ice practice and scrimmages. Players will also undergo medical exams, participate in meetings and get to know one another.
An often overlooked aspect of such a gather is the ability to have guys that will spend time together in the minor leagues have fun and develop camaraderie.
Make no mistake though, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach John Hynes and his assistant Alain Nasreddine will not be looking for foolishness when they get the camp underway. Prepping these players for successful AHL, and hopefully NHL, careers is the main order of business.
While many of the 22 invited players will not have to worry about that any time soon, there are a handful that have tasted the NHL already or are on the cusp.
Also on hand from the NHL organization will be Tom Fitzgerald, Bill Guerin, Giles Meloche, and Mike Kadar. With former NHLers like defenseman Nasreddine, forwards Fitzgerald and Guerin and goalie Meloche, there will be plenty of NHL experience and advice to go around.
Whether or not these players eventually make it to the big show will largely depend on their work ethic, circumstance and a bit of luck. Each will be given the proper foundation to get that path started at the camp.
The team's scrimmage on Saturday, July 16 is open to the public. If you are not familiar with the top players at the camp, take a scroll through the slides for an introduction.