Friday Insider: Rev up Penguins’ cycle


A weekly feature aimed at rounding up a whole lot of odds and ends from a whole lot of time spent around our local teams …

• Hints have been scarce about what the Penguins' new system will look like under Mike Johnston, but I was able to cull this much from the staff, based on another hint that was dropped several months ago: They're about to get back on the cycle.

My meeting this week with Johnston and assistants Rick Tocchet and Gary Agnew confirmed that one of the reasons they -- and Jim Rutherford and management -- are making such a priority of mobile defensemen is that they'll attack the opponent more by wearing them down than by simply out-rushing them up ice. All three forwards will be expected to be proficient at the cycle, center included, and a defenseman will be involved, as well.

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