Help’s on the way: Letang, Bennett cleared for practices


The Pittsburgh Penguins had a weekend they’d rather forget after being swept by the Philadelphia Flyers in their home-and-home series, but the news is far from dire.

After the match, the Penguins revealed that forward Beau Bennett and defenseman Kris Letang have been given the green light to start fully participating in Penguins’ practices.

It wasn’t clear if Letang would be able to return this season after suffering a stroke on Jan. 29. Now it looks like he might rejoin the Penguins’ lineup in the near future, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe.

If he’s healthy enough to play, the Penguins could certainly use him. Pittsburgh has struggled to gain any traction in his absence as evidenced by its 7-5-2 record.

Bennett was regarded as a potential top-six forward going into this season, but he’s been limited to 12 games. The 22-year-old suffered a setback in late February in his efforts to return from a hand/wrist surgery.

Those are two of the prominent names on the Penguins’ lengthy injury list. They are also missing Paul Martin, Chris Kunitz, James Neal, Pascal Dupuis, and Tomas Vokoun.

Avs unveil new third jerseys

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The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.

Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.

(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)

While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.

The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.

Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out

Report: Escrow set at 16 percent

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Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?

Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.

That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.

Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.

Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith