Lockout reduces period of adjustment for Penguins' Glass
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So far, there have been enough bodies at informal practices to hold four-on-four scrimmages. That's plenty to keep the players involved and in shape, but it's not the indoctrination that Tanner Glass also needs.
He is the only newcomer to the franchise in the group -- numbered at 13 Thursday -- that is skating at Southpointe four days a week.
Glass, a 28-year-old rugged winger, signed with the Penguins July 1 at the start of free agency. Usually, he would have had plenty of time in training camp and preseason games to get into a rhythm with the way the team plays.
Not this year. A lockout that began Sept. 15 when the previous collective bargaining agreement expired has wiped out the first week of training camp, and the NHL has canceled all preseason games.
So Glass waits to learn how to be a Penguin.
"It's definitely something I've thought about," he said. "It's not ideal by any means. That's part of this life. Sometimes you get traded to a team [in midseason] and you don't have much time to get acclimated to your surroundings or your teammates. You've got to be flexible."
Glass spoke with general manager Ray Shero and the coaches around the time he signed. They talked about his role -- which is essentially as a replacement for Arron Asham, who signed with the New York Rangers -- and the team's playing style.
"It's an uptempo pace. I think I fit in quite well for that," Glass said.
But that's not the same as getting on the ice with his full new team, getting instruction, playing in games.
Glass turned pro five years ago after playing at Dartmouth. He already is with his fourth NHL team. In his first full season (2009-10), he had a career-high 115 penalty minutes with Vancouver. Last season with Winnipeg, he had five goals, 11 assists, 16 points, all career bests.
It's possible Glass could wind up on a line with Craig Adams, who also has been skating at Southpointe.
"We haven't really talked about systems stuff," Adams said. "Some of the drills are what we do in [team] practices.
"Even that can help the first few days [of camp]. Who knows what structure training camp will be, but it will be at least somewhat abbreviated. Less time to learn the systems."
Still, Glass is confident he will adjust in whatever time he gets once the lockout ends. He's glad he was in the Eastern Conference last season with a chance to see the Penguins four times. He has an opponent's level of working knowledge of how the Penguins play, particularly their special teams."
Adams, a Harvard graduate, couldn't resist a little Ivy League rivalry jab.
"Even though he went to Dartmouth, I think he's a decently intelligent guy," Adams said of Glass. "Hopefully, he'll be able to pick it up quickly."
NOTES -- Adams, the team's union rep, will be in New York today when talks resume between the NHL and its players association. The agenda for now is limited to non-core economic issues, but Adams is hopeful the talks could get the ball rolling toward more negotiations and a new collective bargaining agreement. ... Penguins center Evgeni Malkin scored on a power play, his first goal since joining hometown team Metallurg Magnitogorsk, and added two assists in a 6-1 win against Lev Prague in the Kontinental Hockey League. Malkin has seven points in four games.
First Published September 28, 2012 12:00 am