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Stanley Cup hero Hornqvist unlikely to be ready for Penguins season opener

Pittsburgh Penguins v Buffalo Sabres

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 21: Patric Hornqvist #72 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the KeyBank Center on March 21, 2017 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***Patric Hornqvist

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Patric Hornqvist, the hero for the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final, may have to miss the season (and home) opener versus the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.

Hornqvist had surgery on his right hand during the offseason. When training camps opened last month, the expectation from general manager Jim Rutherford was that the veteran forward would be ready for the start of the regular season, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

However, on Monday, head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters that, “We don’t think he’ll be ready for Wednesday.” Sullivan also mentioned that he would like Hornqvist to begin practicing with the team prior to getting in the lineup.

The 30-year-old Hornqvist has been a consistent contributor to a Penguins team that has gone on to win two consecutive Stanley Cup titles, surpassing the 20-goal mark in each of his three seasons in Pittsburgh -- and seven seasons now during his NHL career, which began in Nashville.

Hornqvist enters the final year of his five-year, $21.25 million contract, and is a pending unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.