Penguins Notebook: Engelland's hearing on hit against Kruger set for today
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No one can accuse the NHL of rushing to judgment on Penguins defenseman Deryk Engelland .
Brendan Shanahan , who handles supplemental discipline for the league, did not conduct a hearing with Engelland Wednesday, but will do so by telephone today.
Engelland faces the possibility of a fine or suspension for a hit on Chicago center Marcus Kruger in the Penguins' 3-2 victory Tuesday night against the Blackhawks at Consol Energy Center.
Replays seemed to show Engelland leaving his feet before making contact with Kruger and perhaps hitting Kruger in the head with a forearm.
Kruger skated several shifts after being hit, but did not play in the second or third period. Reports out of Chicago suggest that he appears to have a concussion.
A Penguins team official said Wednesday after practice that Engelland would not speak with reporters. It is not known if that will be the case today, too.
The delay in scheduling a hearing appears to be rooted, at least in part, in difficulty finding a time that worked for all the parties. They are Engelland, general manager Ray Shero , the NHL Players' Association and Shanahan.
League regulations require only that any suspension Engelland might receive be handed down before the Penguins' next game, which is Friday at Winnipeg.
Centers Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal were given "maintenance days" Wednesday and did not participate in practice at Consol Energy Center.
Defenseman Paul Martin , who has missed the past two games because of an unspecified injury, also sat out the workout and continues to be listed as "day-to-day." He has not been placed on injured-reserve.
Although Staal is believed to be nursing a groin injury, Malkin appears to be quite healthy, especially based on the eight points he has recorded in the past two games.
For the season, Malkin, who has been playing on a line with James Neal and Chris Kunitz , has 15 goals and 24 assists in 27 games, good for a first-place tie in the NHL scoring race Wednesday before games were played.
"There's a lot to what [Malkin] is doing this year that's more than just who he's playing with," coach Dan Bylsma said.
"His determination coming into camp, his mindset, the confidence and focus with which he's playing.
"We're talking about a guy who didn't want to really take a faceoff last year and went out in a tough game [Tuesday] and won 16 faceoffs. To me, that's an indicator of him wanting to raise his level, of him wanting to be in that spot, and him having another ... gear to his game."
The Penguins returned left winger Eric Tangradi to their minor league team in Wilkes-Barre.
Tangradi does not have a point in four NHL appearances this season, but has 10 goals and 10 assists in 24 games in the American Hockey League.
First Published December 22, 2011 12:00 am