Following today’s practice the Penguins have placed forward Ryan Craig and defenseman Andrew Hutchinson on waivers.
Hutchinson was the odd-man out in today’s practice and Craig has been sidelined for several days with a groin injury. Craig is close to getting back to full health, head coach Dan Bylsma said earlier today.
The Penguins fully expect both players to clear waivers.
Defenseman Deryk Engelland appears safe for now and has survived today’s cuts.
Although the team has not ruled out exploring the waiver wire for a veteran defenseman, the Penguins final roster decision will center around winger Eric Tangradi who told me today after practice that he hasn’t received any word from Penguins management yet.
It is believed internally that the Penguins have made a decision on Simon Despres and the word from sources is that the team will send him back to juniors before Thursday’s opener.
Dan Bylsma said today that if Despres would open up the season in Pittsburgh, they would want him to play and not just stick around here for the experience and be the 7th defenseman
“Want to play him, Bylsma said. “You know you want to have him in situation where he’s playing meaning minutes.
“It’s concievable that you could have him as a 7th guy and keep around for the experience of being here, maybe getting into a game, not getting into a game, but best case situation I think would Simon be playing, getting out there having mistakes, playing well and having that experience to see to grow and see how he can play in those nine games. That would be “A” situation if it were to happen.”
Based on today’s rotation, Despres was the 8th defenseman, working with the 4th pairing.
Ben Lovejoy worked extensively with Alex Goligoski as the third pairing for the second straight day.
Notes: The Mario Lemieux Foundation and the Pittsburgh Penguins unveiled the “Mario Mosaic” – a unique 20’ x 8’ tribute to the career of Penguins hockey legend and Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux, featuring images of Penguins fans and cancer survivors – during a ceremony today.