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Five PTOs that could be coming to a NHL city near you

Sep 2, 2014, 2:22 PM EDT

dustinpennergetty Getty Images

We already know that Simon Gagne will be attending Bruins training camp on a professional try out, while Sheldon Brookbank and Scott Gomez will do the same in Calgary and New Jersey, respectively.

So who else might get their shot at a PTO?

Dustin Penner: Solid resume (four-time 20-goal scorer, two Stanley Cups), less than solid reputation — the latter is probably the main reason Penner, 31, remains unsigned. There are questions about his fitness and conditioning and, in light of that, he could be a prime candidate for a tryout to essentially show his worth and fight for a job. Penner was already linked to a PTO in Philly, a rumor GM Ron Hextall later shot down.

Jamie McBain: There aren’t many 26-year-old defensemen with nearly 300 games of NHL experience out there, which should play into McBain’s favor. The former University of Wisconsin standout has shown good offensive ability in the past — he had a career-high 30 points in 76 games with Carolina three years ago — and played a fair bit in Buffalo last year (69 games, scoring 17 points).

Shane O’Brien: The well-traveled veteran has plenty of experience (528 regular season and 40 playoff games) and only just turned 31 last month. While he’s earned himself a reputation as party guy — most notably during his time in Vancouver — he’s still a physical specimen (6-foot-3, 230 pounds) that can provide a big-bodied presence on the blueline. Per a report from Sportsnet producer Josh Rimer, O’Brien could be on his way to Florida for a tryout.

Ryan Malone: A six-time 20-goal scorer and former U.S. Olympian, Malone is hoping to catch on somewhere and revive a career that’s in tatters. He was bought out of his contract in Tampa Bay following an April arrest for DUI and cocaine possession; prior to the arrest, Malone was already being faded out of the picture in Tampa as injuries and a lack of foot speed often saw him banished to the press box as a healthy scratch. That said, there are reports that teams have expressed an interest — the Rangers were apparently speaking to Malone, while agent Mike Liut said a couple clubs were inquiring about his client’s services.

Andrei Loktionov: Only 24 years old, the Russian center has already garnered the attention of  a few NHL clubs (per his agent.) Loktionov is a skilled guy and did show some promise with New Jersey during the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign — scoring eight goals and 12 points in 28 games — but he’s also still recovering from surgery for a shoulder injury, suffered while playing for Russia at the Worlds.

  1. shanekelleytx - Sep 2, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    Why doesn’t McBain have a job? I never saw him play, but he has a ton of experience, he’s young, and he played big minutes last year if I remember right. Is he really that bad at defense?

    • isithockeyseasonyet - Sep 2, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      In short, yeah he is…I love his name tho, Simpsons version of Arnold swartzenegger (not even trying to spell that)

      • ntvd7 - Sep 2, 2014 at 4:46 PM

        “ICE to see you!” -McBain

    • cantescapekarma - Sep 2, 2014 at 7:26 PM

      He has a good offensive upside, it’s the defensive end that he had trouble in. He also injured Buffalo’s goalie (actually 2 different goalies for Buffalo in 1 season, if I remember right).
      I could see him catching on somewhere though. I think that if he hooked on with the right coach (who could improve his defensive play) he could be a decent NHL defenseman. He’d be great in the AHL, but I’d marine that he may sign overseas before playing in the AHL.

      • thesportsjudge - Sep 2, 2014 at 8:06 PM

        Took out a goalie(or 2?) How come the obvious Montreal or NY Ranger jokes are not here?

  2. bsaures - Sep 2, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    A few groups have reported that penner will be going to mtl on a pto

    • elrock7 - Sep 3, 2014 at 6:55 PM

      You know you are near the end if you start considering Mtl as a possible destination,, No top tier free agent ever considers the habs.

  3. djshnooks - Sep 3, 2014 at 12:51 AM

    McBain is atrocious. He’s a right handed shot, offensive defenseman with some decent size, speed and shot.

    Do you honestly think Buffalo would just let him walk while they are trying to rebuild?

    He’s bad. Probably an AHL’er from now on.

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