Adams, Orpik tackle new job for Penguins
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Defenseman Brooks Orpik and forward Craig Adams each have taken a new role with the Penguins, and it centers on their ears and mouths. They are the new representatives for the NHL Players Association, replacing Max Talbot, now with Philadelphia.
"My role is to take what I hear -- whether it be at meetings or on calls or things like that -- and make sure that it's communicated to the rest of the team and make sure everybody understands what's going on and to be there to answer questions if I can and, if not, to, hopefully, be able to direct them to the right people," said Adams, who previously was a union rep with Carolina.
The Penguins, who played Dallas on Friday, met with NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr and others from the union last week in San Jose before electing Orpik and Adams.
Theirs could be a particularly important appointment. The NHL collective bargaining agreement, struck after a work stoppage wiped out the 2004-05 season, expires in September. The NFL went through a work stoppage before reaching an agreement on the eve of this season. The NBA is missing games now because of a lockout.
Fehr stressed increased communication and dialogue.
"They want everybody involved, to keep everybody informed," Orpik said. "That's the biggest thing. You've seen in the past with our league and other leagues, it's usually the guys that are opening their mouths and saying stuff who are misinformed or don't have the right information to be making comments.
"They want bigger [discussion] groups. They don't just want player reps filtering information down. They want a diverse group -- older guys, younger guys. Everybody has to be involved because it impacts everybody."
Adams said the role appeals to him on a couple of levels.
"I find the business side very interesting," the Harvard graduate said, "but, at the same time, I think everybody should feel a little responsibility to do their part -- to be informed and then make educated decisions. Not everyone's going to have the same opinions, but, to make a responsible decision, you just have to know the facts."
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said choosing left winger Eric Tangradi for a promotion from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton wasn't a slam dunk; the American Hockey League team is winning, and several forwards are playing well.
Tangradi, 22, in the lineup against Dallas because Tyler Kennedy (concussion) remained out, didn't have a great training camp but felt ready for his fourth trip to the NHL after logging seven goals, 12 points in 12 AHL games.
"I'm playing a lot more relaxed, not uptight," he said. "I'm really playing a power game. I've talked all along about trying to be a power forward. I think now, with extra effort fighting for pucks, I feel like I rounded it out."
Also out were center Sidney Crosby (concussion) and defensemen Zbynek Michalek (broken finger) and Ben Lovejoy (broken wrist).
Familiarity was likely to breed some barbs early in the game Friday night, said Dallas defenseman Alex Goligoski. It was his first game against the Penguins, who traded him to the Stars in February.
Goligoski helped the Stars scout the Penguins, but only a little information was needed.
"I think the Penguins play pretty straightforward," he said. "You've got to outwork them to beat them."
For a full Q&A with Goligoski, visit Penguins Plus at www.post-gazette.com/plus.
A few Penguins said the Consol Energy Center ice, taken down for the circus last weekend, improved noticeably from practice Wednesday to Friday. ... For Veterans Day, the Penguins played host to several wounded vets at the morning skate and the game. The players wore camouflage jerseys in the pregame warm-up that will be autographed and auctioned.
First Published November 12, 2011 12:00 am