There used to be a thought that NHL prospects attending July development camps should have limited time on the ice since most are not in game shape.
The Penguins, who opened their development camp Tuesday with a 45-minute practice for each of two groups of young players at Consol Energy Center, have moved away from that.
"We've actually picked up the on-ice portion," said organizer Tom Fitzgerald, assistant to the general manager for the Penguins.
They have gone from three days on the ice several years ago to four days with an off day mixed in to five days on the ice this year. The 2013 camp ends Saturday with a 3 p.m. scrimmage that is open to the public.
Bortuzzo's arbitration set
Penguins defenseman Robert Bortuzzo's salary arbitration hearing has been set for the morning of Aug. 1. Bortuzzo is a restricted free agent who received a qualifying offer from the team but opted for arbitration.
The sides can avoid arbitration if they can come to terms before the hearing.
The eyes have it
Goaltender Tristan Jarry, the Penguins' second-round pick in the recent NHL draft, had big eyes after his first practice.
He ran into general manager Ray Shero and asked a question that Shero felt compelled to repeat to Fitzgerald.
"Tristan asked him, 'Are the pucks smaller here?' " Fitzgerald said, with a chuckle.
"Guys are shooting the pucks quicker than he's used to. The maturation process for a goaltender is longer.
"You have to be patient with young goalies."
Among the missing ...
Winger Anton Zlobin (shoulder surgery), impressive at this camp a year ago, is not in attendance. He was a sixth-round draft pick in 2012.
Two other prospects who gained some attention at previous camps also are not here. Winger Josh Archibald, entering his junior season at Nebraska-Omaha, bowed out to attend summer classes and serve as a mentor to incoming freshmen, said Fitzgerald, who supported Archibald's decision. Defenseman Alex Velischek finished his career at Providence College but is expected to negotiate a contract with Wheeling (ECHL).
Center Oskar Sundqvist, a third-round draft pick last year, is big at 6 feet 3, 182 pounds, and is coming off of a strong season, with 18 goals, 34 points in 52 games split between the junior level and Skelleftea in the Swedish Elite League. While he might be seen as a strong candidate to move to Wilkes-Barre this season, he said he signed a three-year contract with Skelleftea.
"I will see what Pittsburgh wants after this week, and we'll go from there," he said. "I can break [the contract] when I go to Pittsburgh. I maybe think one or two years back in Sweden and see what happens."
Another Shero shows up
Chris Shero, Ray Shero's son, practiced with the first group at development camp in an informal capacity. He got the experience of going through drills with the prospects and tune up for an upcoming tournament.mobilehome - penguins
For much more on the Penguins, read the Pens Plus blog with Dave Molinari and Shelly Anderson at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Shelly Anderson: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1721 and Twitter @pgshelly.