Penguins forward Max Talbot, the goal-scoring hero of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final, is expected to have surgery this week to correct a dislocated shoulder and could miss the start of next season as the team begins defense of its championship.
"He played hurt this year, even though it didn't look like it in Game 7," Talbot's agent, Pat Brisson, said yesterday. "It shows how much character he has. That shoulder was popping in and out."
The Penguins confirmed Talbot needs the surgery, but team officials declined to offer further details. Brisson said the recovery time will be determined after the surgery but "it looks like he's going to have to miss part of [training] camp."
It's not known which shoulder is injured, but Brisson characterized it as an ongoing problem.
"It hasn't been 100 percent for a long time," he said.
Talbot, 25, who spent most of the playoffs on the right wing with center Evgeni Malkin, scored both Penguins goals in their Cup-clinching, 2-1 victory over Detroit in Game 7.
In the first round, he initiated and lost a lopsided fight against Philadelphia bruiser Daniel Carcillo, a bout that sparked the Penguins' 5-3 comeback win in Game 6 that eliminated the Flyers.
He had 12 goals, 22 points during the regular season, then ramped things up with eight goals -- two of them winners -- and 13 points in 24 playoff games. He also is one of the club's regular penalty-killers. In December he signed a two-year, $2.1 million contract extension that takes him through the 2010-11 season.
Friday, Talbot attended but did not participate in a golf tournament he holds in Montreal with good friend Bruno Gervais of the New York Islanders. They raised about $70,000 for local Montreal charities. Talbot is scheduled to have his day with the Cup at the end of the month.
Kris Letang and Tyler Kennedy will make appearances today to celebrate the release of the Stanley Cup champion's DVD.
Letang will autograph copies of the DVD from noon to 2 p.m. at the Giant Eagle in McMurray, while Kennedy will do the same from 6 to 8 p.m. at Dick's Sporting Goods at the Mall at Robinson. To receive an autograph from the players, fans must purchase a DVD for $24.98.
Fan response is no doubt affected by a team's success, and the Penguins have some proof in a recent survey of followers of 122 NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball and NHL teams conducted by ESPN The Magazine.
The Penguins finished No. 3 among the major pro teams in fan relations, No. 4 in ownership and No. 8 overall. Their only blemish was a No. 103 finish in stadium experience. Mellon Arena is the oldest venue in the NHL, and the team is scheduled to move across the street into the new Consol Energy Center for the 2010-11 season.
Shelly Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1721.