Penguins notebook: Young winger needs more surgery

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When Penguins winger Beau Bennett’s recovery from November surgery on a broken left wrist stretched weeks longer than originally predicted, the team acknowledged he had had a setback.

“Unfortunately, that setback I had was a back-to-square-one setback,” Bennett said Thursday as the players cleaned out their lockers for the season.

“I’ll be having surgery again next week. They gave me the option of either playing with it or get [surgery] done in February. I was kind of sick of watching. I was taping it and hoping for the best. That limited me.”

Bennett expects to be healed and ready for training camp.

He returned in late March and had two goals, two assists in nine games of the stretch run. In the playoffs, he had a goal and four assists in 12 games, but no points over his last five games before being scratched from the lineup Tuesday for the season-ending, Game 7 loss against the New York Rangers.

“The Rangers games, I was useless out there,” he said. “To be honest, I was just trying to get the puck deep. I couldn’t make plays, couldn’t push on guys.”

The operation he had in November ultimately wasn’t successful.

“The surgery was supposed to do a job,” he said. “It’s no one’s fault. It didn’t work out the way we wanted it to.”

Bennett said this time, he will have a different surgical procedure.

“It will make my wrist stronger,” he said. “I’ll be able to work out and shoot.”

Bennett, 22, was a first-round draft pick in 2010, but, because of injuries and an NHL lockout, he has played in just 47 games over the past two seasons.

More medical news

Winger Pascal Dupuis, injured in late December and recovering from February surgery for torn ligaments in his right knee, was emphatic that he will be ready for training camp. “It feels great. I’m right on schedule,” he said.

• Winger Jussi Jokinen, who led the Penguins with seven playoff goals and was second on the team with 10 postseason points, was playing with a right wrist injury severe enough that he used his left hand in the handshake line at the end of the team’s two series. Jokinen is a left-handed shot.

• Defenseman Kris Letang, who had a stroke in late January but returned to play in early April, has no restrictions for the offseason. “I’m just going to continue to take my medication. I’m going to go into the routine I do every summer,” said Letang, who is known for having an intensely rigorous summer workout regimen. Letang also broke his left hand blocking a shot Tuesday, but he won’t need surgery and it is not expected to be a long-term problem.

• Center Marcel Goc confirmed it was an ankle injury he got March 27 when he went into the end boards and his left ankle bent in a gruesome-looking way. He returned for Game 5 against Columbus in the first round. Asked if he watched replays, Goc said, “I saw it once, the day it happened. It hurt again, so I didn’t watch it anymore.”

On the agenda

Penguins center Evgeni Malkin will join Team Russia at the IIHF world championships in Minsk, Belarus. The tournament is in the preliminary round.

• Defenseman Olli Maatta was contacted by Team Finland about playing, but he declined after a tiring rookie season that included playing in the Sochi Olympics.

• Center Sidney Crosby said he had not heard from Team Canada and did not have plans to go to Minsk.

Looking back and ahead

Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent in July. He said he would like to re-sign, but no matter what happens, he always will have the experience this season of playing at times as a rugged winger on the fourth line.

“It was a new chapter in my book, I guess,” Engelland said. “It was fun at times, and not so fun at others. I guess it just adds to my game.”


Shelly Anderson: shanderson@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1721 and Twitter @pgshelly.

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