DECISION LOOM ON CARCILLO, SUNDQVIST
With Beau Bennett set to be sidelined for another 5-6 weeks and expected to start season on LTIR, and Evgeni Malkin, who is still not cleared to work out, possibly starting the season on injured reserved, the Penguins will dress a lineup tonight that will be very close to what will be on the ice next Thursday night vs the Anaheim Ducks.
The biggest question marks playing tonight are Daniel Carcillo (PTO) and Oskar Sundqvist. After not initially being on the lineup roster for tonight, the Penguins added Carcillo earlier this morning, who gets his last audition. He is likely to replace Zach Sill in the lineup.
The picture for Carcillo remains murky. Going into camp the vibe coming from the organization is Carcillo was likely to be offered a contract, but his lingering foot problem (that he is playing through) has been somewhat concerning and the Penguins cap situation is problematic as they plan to start the season with just 21 players, likely 12 forwards, 7 defensemen and 2 goaltenders.
Might be tough to commit a one-way contract to Carcillo. Bobby Farnham who plays a similar game and is on a two-way contract, has turned some heads and could always be an option for that type of role if needed to jump from Wilkes Barre and Pittsburgh.
One interesting situation developing is 2012 3rd round pick Oskar Sundqvist. He’s not eligible for a nine-game tryout but the Penguins feel he is a lot closer to the NHL than they believed three to four months ago. The Penguins love his size, wingspan and hockey IQ as he’s a player they feel will be able to bounce up and down a lineup.
Like Carcillo, Sundqvist is also in the lineup tonight, it will mark the 5th game for Sundqvist.
Because the Penguins feel Sunqvist is closer to being NHL ready than first anticipated, the discussion now is centering around potentially keeping him in North America, Wilkes Barre or Pittsburgh, where even if he plays most of the season in Wilkes Barre, it won’t be a bad thing as he still needs to adjust to smaller rinks.
The discussions are different with top pick Kasperi Kapanen. The Penguins discussions are centering around — he either plays in the NHL or goes back to Europe, play in the World Championships and so on.
PENGUINS LINEUP TONIGHT VS RED WINGS
Chris Kunitz – Sidney Crosby – Patric Hornqvist
Steve Downie – Brandon Sutter – Pascal Dupuis
Nick Spaling – Marcel Goc – Blake Comeau
Daniel Carcillo – Oskar Sundqvist – Craig Adams
Christian Ehrhoff – Kris Letang
Scott Harrington – Paul Martin
Rob Scuderi – Simon Despres
Marc Andre Fleury