Penguins general manager Ray Shero has been busy hiring people, perhaps most notably the man who will spearhead the team's draft preparation.
Penguins camp fan alert
There will be five days when fans can watch the Penguins practice at Mellon Arena during training camp.
The public can watch workouts Sept. 9-10 that are part of the team's rookie camp, which could include Russian prospect Evgeni Malkin. Those players report Sept. 7.
The rest of the club reports Sept. 14, and fans can watch practice Sept. 15-17.
Times and other details will be announced later.
The Penguins' two home preseason games are Sept. 22 against Washington and Sept. 29 against Buffalo, both at 7:30 p.m.
Jay Heinbuck yesterday was named director of amateur scouting.
"I've known Jay for 20 years, and the thing to me is he's a very passionate hockey guy," Shero said yesterday. "He's got really good training -- he was a real good player and has an understanding of the coaching role -- and I think he's at the right stage of his career to take on this role."
Heinbuck, whose duties will encompass North America and Europe, essentially replaces Greg Malone, the head scout who left to take a job with Phoenix.
Heinbuck spent the past four years as United States head amateur scout for the New York Islanders. He also scouted in Canada and Europe.
He spent 10 years as an assistant coach and primary recruiter at St. Lawrence University, which in that time won two ECAC championships and made three NCAA tournament appearances.
Heinbuck began his coaching career at his alma mater, Northeastern, where he holds the single-season records for points (70) and assists (40) from 1985-86.
In addition to hiring Heinbuck, Shero added four scouts and hired or reassigned people in other parts of the organization.
The announcements came about a month after six people were fired or left.
The other hires in the scouting ranks are European scout Patrik Allvin, who held a similar job with Montreal the past four seasons; pro scout Dan MacKinnon, formerly a pro scout and scouting coordinator with the Nashville Predators; pro scout Bill O'Flaherty, who had been director of player personnel for the Los Angeles Kings since 1997 and previously was athletic director and coach at Clarkson University; and amateur scout Jim Madigan, who spent the past 13 years with the New York Islanders and will be responsible for covering New England.
Pro scout Kevin Stevens and amateur scouts Chuck Grillo and Matt Recchi were retained.
Three new members of the hockey department have ties to Johnstown, something Shero called a coincidence.
Chris Stewart, a native of Johnstown who was the associate athletic trainer for the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes, is the Penguins' new head trainer. Stewart, a graduate of IUP, was a trainer for the minor-league Johnstown Chiefs before joining the Hurricanes' Lowell, Mass., minor-league team two years ago.
Stewart's assistant is Scott Adams, who was head trainer for the Johnstown Chiefs for one season and for the Windsor Spitfires for one season.
The Penguins' new equipment manager, Dana Heinze, is a Johnstown native who was Tampa Bay's assistant equipment manager the past six years.
Among his previous stops were two stints as head trainer for the Johnstown Chiefs and one season as equipment manager for the New Jersey Devils.
Paul DeFazio remains as assistant equipment manager.
In other off-ice support staff changes, Mark Mortland, the Penguins' head trainer the past 11 seasons, has become the team's physical therapist; Frank Buonomo is the new director of team services; and Buffalo, N.Y., native Travis Ramsey, son of Tampa Bay associate coach Craig Ramsey, was named video coordinator.
Buonomo has worked as a communications assistant with the New York Rangers, as media relations manager and director of team services for the Nashville Predators, director of communications for the St. Louis Blues and general manager of the minor-league Missouri River Otters.
The Penguins also named Dan Bylsma, 35, as an assistant coach for their Wilkes-Barre/Scranton farm team. Bylsma, a former right winger who played in 429 NHL games with Los Angeles and Anaheim, was an assistant with the minor-league Cincinnati Mighty Ducks in 2004-05 and with the New York Islanders last season.
Shero also called it a coincidence that he has brought in several former Islanders staffers. That club has had some turmoil and turnover at the general manager position, and several of the team's employees' contracts expired earlier this summer.
NOTES -- Shero had no update on Russian prospect Evgeni Malkin, who is working out in Los Angeles. ... Shero seems content with his roster for now. "It's been real quiet," he said. "This coming week, I'll make a few calls, but probably we'll wait and see how things go in training camp."
Shelly Anderson can be reached at email@example.com or 412-263-1721.