Penguins to start camp with Kessel next to Crosby

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Penguins aren’t wasting any time with Phil Kessel.

General manager Jim Rutherford said Tuesday the team plans to place the speedy forward alongside star center Sidney Crosby when the Penguins open training camp next month.

The Penguins acquired the three-time All Star from Toronto in July to give the franchise a needed boost after a first-round playoff exit.

Rutherford said he believes coach Mike Johnston will have a chance to ”open it up” after injuries forced the Penguins to take a more defensive approach to the 2014-15 season.

Johnston added he will experiment with different combinations and pointed to the return of forward Pascal Dupuis and defenseman Olli Maatta from injury as important steps for Pittsburgh as it tries to re-establish itself in the Metropolitan Division.

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