NHL lockout: Despite cancelations, Penguins players keep preparing

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

The Pittsburgh Penguins' lockout workouts are attracting more players and going at a higher intensity than they have at any point during the lockout, perhaps meaning that the players feel an end is near to the work stoppage.

The NHL season may be even further away from starting after the league canceled games through Dec. 30, but the Pittsburgh Penguins' offseason training is gearing up as if a season is approaching, reports Josh Yohe of the Tribune-Review.

Eleven players worked out Monday at the team's training facility in Southpointe, the most in about two months. That group included Brooks Orpik, the veteran defender who has spent his whole career with Pittsburgh but made his first appearance of the lockout at the workouts. Yohe reported that the workout was the "most physical" of any the players have put themselves through, perhaps an indicator that they're prepping for a season sooner rather than later.

Thirty-six of 82 Pens games have now been canceled, although that could possibly change if and when the league actually puts together a schedule for a shortened season. Meetings between the league and the NHLPA have not yet resumed after an abrupt break on Thursday, although the sides do plan on meeting again soon.

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