Here’s a breakdown of what Penguins fans can look forward to during the summer months before the 2014-15 season begins. Click on any of the links below to be taken to that specific section…
- NHL Awards: June 24
- NHL Draft: June 27-28
- Free Agency: July 1
- Development Camp: July, TBA
- Rookie Tournament: September, TBA
- Training Camp: September, TBA
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby will be looking to win a hat trick of trophies for the second time in his career (the last time was at the end of his rookie season in 2006-07) at this year’s NHL Awards, scheduled for June 24 at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. The event will be broadcast live nationally in the United States on NBC Sports Network.
Crosby was named as one of three finalists for the Hart Trophy along with Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf and Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux, which is awarded ‘to the player adjudged to be the most valuable to his team’ by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA).
Crosby is looking to become the second Penguins player in the past three years to win the Hart Trophy, joining Evgeni Malkin, who won in 2011-12. Crosby is hoping to give the Penguins the organization’s seventh Hart Trophy alongside titles already won by Mario Lemieux (three times), Jaromir Jagr, Malkin and himself.
Crosby – the reigning Ted Lindsay Award winner – was named a finalist for this year’s award as well (again with Getzlaf and Giroux). The Ted Lindsay Award is presently annually by the NHLPA to the league’s ‘most outstanding player’ as voted by all of the NHL players. Crosby is a two-time winner of the award, having also won in 2006-07 when the trophy was called the Lester B. Pearson Award.
The Penguins are looking to win the award for the third consecutive season, as Malkin preceded Crosby by winning in 2011-12. Pittsburgh players have won the Ted Lindsay Award nine times – the most of any NHL team. In addition to Crosby and Malkin, Lemieux (four times) and Jagr (two) both won multiple Ted Lindsay Awards.
Finally, Crosby will also be officially awarded the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorer at the ceremony in Vegas – giving the Penguins 15 NHL scoring titles in the past 26 seasons. Four players have combined for the Penguins’ 15 titles – Lemieux (six), Jagr (five), Malkin (two) and Crosby (two).
Crosby led the NHL with 104 points this season, 17 more than second-place Getzlaf. Crosby’s margin of victory was the largest since then-Penguins forward Jagr beat Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne by 20 points in 1998-99. This was Crosby’s first scoring title since he posted a career-high 120 points in 2006-07.
Crosby won all three of the awards he is up for this year at the 2007 NHL Awards (Getty Images).
This year’s NHL Draft will be held on the other side of the state, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa. The first round is scheduled for Friday, June 27 and rounds 2-7 will get underway on Saturday, June 28.
The Penguins did not have a first-round pick last year as a result of the Jarome Iginla trade, but will have one this summer. The order of selection for the first round is as follows:
a) The first 14 selections, as determined by a Draft Drawing – where the 14 teams that did not qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs (or clubs that acquired those teams’ first-round draft picks) participate to determine their order.
b) Clubs eliminated in the first two rounds of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs, regular-season division winners excluded (in inverse order of points).
c) Regular-season division-winning clubs eliminated in the first two rounds of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs (in inverse order of points).
d) Clubs eliminated in the 2012 Conference Finals (in inverse order of points).
e) Stanley Cup finalist.
f) Stanley Cup champion.
However, as of right now, the Penguins no longer have their second- and third-round picks because of trades – but they still have their fourth- and sixth-round picks, as well as two in the fifth round.
Once 12:00 p.m. ET hits on Tuesday, July 1, an unrestricted free agent is free to negotiate and sign a contract with any team. The Penguins have 14 NHL players that are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents if they do not re-sign with the team by that date: Jussi Jokinen, Lee Stempniak, Marcel Goc, Taylor Pyatt, Tanner Glass, Joe Vitale, Brian Gibbons, Brooks Orpik, Matt Niskanen, Deryk Engelland, and Tomas Vokoun.
Other players within the organization scheduled to be unrestricted free agents at that time are Spencer Machacek, Nick Drazenovic, Harry Zolnierczyk, Zach Sill, Chuck Kobasew, Brendan Mikkelson and Chris Conner.
Any player whose contract has expired can declare himself an unrestricted free agent if he is at least 27 years old and has accrued four seasons as an NHL player, or has accrued at least seven years of service as an NHL player. Brandon Sutter, Simon Despres, Jayson Megna, Philip Samuelsson and Bobby Farnham are the organization’s restricted free agents since they are no longer considered entry-level, but do not qualify as an unrestricted free agent.
The Penguins must extend a qualifying offer to any of these players in order to retain their negotiating rights. If a qualifying offer is made and the player rejects it, he or the team can file for salary arbitration to settle any contract disputes. The timetable for that is below.
NOTE: The Penguins have three NHL players whose contracts will expire at the end of next season: Marc-Andre Fleury, Paul Martin and Craig Adams could all become unrestricted free agents if they don’t re-sign by that time. The Penguins can sign any player with one calendar year remaining on their contract starting July 1, so all of those three guys would be eligible for that.
* DEADLINE FOR PLAYER-ELECTED SALARY ARBITRATION NOTIFICATION – JULY 5 (5 P.M. ET)
* DEADLINE FOR CLUB-ELECTED SALARY ARBITRATION NOTIFICATION – JULY 6 (5 P.M. ET)
* SALARY ARBITRATION HEARINGS HELD – JULY 20-AUGUST 6
* DEADLINE FOR SALARY ARBITRATION HEARINGS TO BE RENDERED – AUGUST 8
Brooks Orpik, who has played the most games of any defenseman in Penguins franchise history, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. (Getty Images)
Penguins prospects will have the opportunity to spend a few days in Pittsburgh in July learning what it means to represent the organization during this year’s development camp.
Development camp is a chance for the franchise’s prospects and recent draft picks to learn all of the on- and off-ice aspects that come with being a professional hockey player in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization, in a more relaxed atmosphere than training camp – though they will certainly be leaving an impression on the staff while there.
It is also a chance for the Penguins staff to see the organization’s prospects all together, teach them the habits and mindset they want their players to have and get an idea of where they are at in their strength and conditioning.
Medical and fitness testing will take place at the beginning of camp here at CONSOL Energy Center. The prospects will then take part in on-ice practice and scrimmage sessions as well as workouts, meetings and seminars. They will also have team-bonding experiences – in the past, those have included bowling, paintball and group dinners.
The schedule and details will be released at a later date.
Penguins 2013 second-round draft pick Tristan Jarry, who just led the Edmonton Oil Kings to the 2014 Memorial Cup championship, is one of the prospects expected to attend development camp this summer. (Getty Images)
The Penguins will attend a rookie tournament in the fall with the location, dates and other participating teams to be determined.
In addition to practices and meetings, the Penguins prospects will partake in exhibition games against their fellow prospects from other National Hockey League teams.
It’s a chance for the prospects to continue working on what they learned two months earlier at Penguins development camp, and one final opportunity for them to leave an impression on the staff before reporting to NHL training camp.
The Penguins will get back to business after a long summer when they return to Pittsburgh in September to report to training camp. The attendees will be locked in a fierce competition for a spot on Pittsburgh’s roster, as the Penguins will have their 2014-15 opening-night roster set after the roughly two-and-a-half week process concludes. Last season, the Penguins invited 54 players – 30 forwards, 18 defensemen and six goaltenders – and made cuts in bunches as training camp moved along.
In addition to practices – some of which will be open to the public – the Penguins will play a number of preseason games. The full training camp schedule will be announced at a later date.
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