The Pittsburgh Penguins announced late Wednesday night that the team would have the day off on Thursday and not practice. However, a few players skated this morning, including winger Chris Kunitz who is hopeful to play Saturday afternoon against the Montreal Canadiens.
Max Talbot will be held out of Saturday’s game and likely longer as remains bothered by a nagging groin injury. Other players nursing injuries include Bill Guerin (nagging upper body injury) and Sergei Gonchar (foot), who according to a source is playing at about 60%. Gonchar and Brooks Orpik are two players who could really use the Olympic break to rest but that won’t be the case as both players will play a key role for their respective Olympic teams.
*With strong indications that Jordan Staal and Evgeni Malkin will remain together for at least the short-term, center Mark Letestu will be recalled for Saturday’s game I’m told.
However, the callup likely won’t happen until after 4:00 p.m. on Friday, due to cap reasons.
*It is expected that a number of veterans will be hitting the waiver wire prior to the trade deadline.
Martin Skoula will at sometime as Pittsburgh is looking to clear a little bit of salary, but with Gonchar, Orpik and McKee banged up a bit, remains to be seen if that will be this week but he was not placed on waivers today. On Tuesday morning, it appeared it was going to happen this week.
Ryan Whitney named to USA Olympic Team
Former Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Ryan Whitney has been named to the USA Olympic Team. Whitney will replace Devils defenseman Paul Martin. Whitney was informed by Brian Burke that he was a first alternate when he wasn’t selected to the team on Janauary 1st.
While there has been talk around the league that Alex Goligoski was under consideration to replace Martin, I have not been given any indication that was the case.
Team USA also announced that Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason will replace Mike Komisarek per press release.