At the end of each practice session on the first day of training camp Friday, Penguins players were put through the paces of a Mike Sullivan conditioning skate.
They skated lap after lap, with a coach in the center of the ice reading times off a stopwatch.
As is the case every year, defenseman Brian Dumoulin was a standout performer.
The 27-year-old defenseman was three strides ahead of the other players in his group before they were a full lap into the routine.
“That guy, I’ve been seeing it since the Wilkes days with (coach John Hynes),” said winger Bryan Rust, himself no slouch in the speed department. “He’s just built that way. He trains that way, to be able to skate like that for a long time. That’s why he can eat up big minutes and still be OK.”
Another standout was forward Matt Cullen, who was the swiftest skater in his group less than two months shy of his 42nd birthday.
“That’s always been my focus, especially the last half of my career, my skating and making sure I can skate, because if you can’t skate, you’re not going to stick around in the league,” Cullen said. “It’s fun. It’s always a challenge to keep up with some of those guys.”
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at [email protected] or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.