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Insider Only NHL: Pens concerned about Vitale clearing waivers?

Forward Joe Vitale is proving that he’s an NHL player and other GM are likely taking notice.

Vitale’s who’s eligible for waivers for the first time in his career, according to agent Allain Roy, could be playing in another NHL city come October.
The Penguins sources say believe that it’s very possible they could lose a player or two on waivers and Vitale is among them.
Even with indications that the Penguins are leaning towards starting season with 14 forwards, due to available cap space unlike previous years, the Penguns just don’t know if they will be able to find a spot for him and could very well have to risk him through waivers.
For all of the buzz about Richard Park as the team’s possible 4th line center, (if Sidney Crosby doesn’t open the season with the team), Joe Vitale has been even better and is arguably the Penguins best option.
One tremendous asset of Vitale’s is his ability in the face-off circle.
“It’s an area we have tried to get better at, both in personnel and in technique, ” head coach Dan Bylsma said on Thursday. We haven’t been as effective as we’d like to be. You can do that by getting better or personnel.
“Joey {Vitale} last year won 63 percent of his draws. He’s been very good in Wilkes-Barre on his draws and percentage there. It’s something he can come in and do and be a factor. It’s something he can make a statement with. Joey {Vitale} did a great job last night. He showed his speed and physicality. Being good in the circle, especially on the PK, is something that we need to get a lot better at. We were 38 percent on Penalty Kill faceoffs last year. A guy who can Penalty Kill and win draws on the right side will be a big factor.”

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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