We drove to Wheeling today to attend a Nailers practice for a story we'll bring you in the coming days. Lo and behold, a few familiar faces were on the ice with the Penguins' ECHL affiliate -- coach Dan Bylsma, assistant Todd Reirden and develpment coach Bill Guerin.
Here's a sneak peek at a story that will be in the Wednesday Post-Gazette:
After a restless day in the Penguins offices Monday, Bylsma decided to jump aboard Tuesday when Reirden and Guerin made an hour's drive to attend Nailers practice.
No word on whether Bylsma called shotgun, but he certainly was enthused about getting on the ice with a hockey team during the NHL lockout.
"I've been stagnant a little bit, so to come down and be around hockey, be around the coaches here, the players here is something I wanted to do," Bylsma said after what stretched to a 2-1/2-hour practice during which he, Rierden and Guerin helped with drills and offered a lot of one-on-one instruction.
"I'm not very good at not working," Bylsma, a high-energy sort, said. "The summertime is too long. You want to get back then. Without work, you get antsy."
With no practices or games – or even contact -- with the Penguins on the NHL roster, Bylsma and others in management have done what they can to be prepared for a shortened season should there be a deal struck between the league and the NHL Players' Association.
They have gone over some things more than once. They have looked every which way at how a training camp might play out.
"The past told us that it might be maybe 11 days from the time a deal was done until the first game," Bylsma said. "In the past there were four days of getting people back to a city, then six days of practice. We've done [plans for] a seven-day camp, we've done a six-day camp, we've done a five-day camp. We did that a while ago. We've done one that comes back Friday through Friday, one that comes back Monday through Friday – different days depending on the ice [availability], the American Hockey League [schedule], lots of different things."
Now all he needs is an NHL season.
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