Kris Letang

Kris Letang practiced this morning


While the Penguins are busy seeing if Sidney Crosby will be ready to go for tomorrow’s game against Boston, they had a surprise appearance at practice this morning.

Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that injured defenseman Kris Letang joined the team for practice for the first time since being put out of action on February 29 against Dallas. Letang was knocked out of that game thanks to a hit from Stars forward Eric Nystrom. While many suspect that Letang suffered a concussion on the play, the team hasn’t confirmed that.

Seeing Letang back out practicing with the team just a week and a half after getting hurt is a great sign for the Penguins. While the team would love to get Crosby back soon, going without Letang hurts them more.

With how well Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal have played, they haven’t fully missed Crosby’s production. Letang’s abilities on the blue line at both ends of the ice are missed greatly and something they’ll need to be able to win the Stanley Cup.

Glencross released from another PTO, this time by Avs

Washington Capitals v Ottawa Senators
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Curtis Glencross’ hard-luck preseason continued on Monday, as the Avalanche announced they released him from his training camp tryout.

Glencross had previously been cut from Toronto’s camp, which he described as “kind of a shock” move. Following that release, the 32-year-old quickly shifted to Colorado but arrived fairly late in the overall process, and only got a bit of exposure before being let go.

While some thought yesterday’s trade of Freddie Hamilton to Calgary may have opened up a spot for Glencross, the Avs now appear to be going in a different direction.

A two-time 20-goal scorer that netted 13 in 71 games last year, it’s unclear what lies ahead for Glencross.

Slepyshev earns final Oilers roster spot; Draisaitl to AHL

Anton Slepyshev, Anton Lander
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The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.

The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.

The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.

But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.

“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”

Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.