Following today’s morning skate, head coach Dan Bylsma gave no real explanation regarding Eric Tangradi being sent down to Wheeling and there are strong indications that Tangradi’s stay in Pittsburgh will be short-term.
“Arron Asham under further examination, wanted to play, hoping to play but he’s going to be placed on IR, ” Bylsma said. “As a result, we recalled Eric Tangradi. Those of you who were concerned about Eric….. we hoped Arron could play but possibly knew that he wouldn’t be able to play, so we sent Eric to Wheeling in case this was the possibility, ” Bylsma said.
Wednesday was a confusing day for Eric as he said after the morning skate that he did go to Wheeling and intended to practice with them today.
Bylsma bypassed a question from the Trib’s Rob Rossi about Eric being sent down when over a dozen family members were coming to town after he was informed that he made the team.
“I think the things will be bouncing off his head regardless of the situation, ” Bylsma said.
What has become known this morning is that Tangradi’s stay appears to be short-term and as things stand right now, he is only up here because of the Asham injury.
“It’s a great question, ” Bylsma said when asked if Tangradi will be sent down when Asham returns. “I think that will play itself out a little bit, considering how our team plays, everyone plays and Eric plays and where he fits when Arron Asham is healthy.”
Asham’s shoulder injury is not serious and is only expected to miss a week at the most. One team source expects him to skate this weekend. Asham is eligible to play Saturday night against Montreal.
Meanwhile, defenseman Kris Letang is ill and is a game time decision.
“Kris is under the weather and is a game time decision, ” Bylsma said.
Bylsma’s explanation for the recall of Patrick Killeen was for Killeen to work with Meloche today. Still don’t understand that one but here’s with what Bylsma had to say.
“Patrick has been sent down to East Coast Hockey League, and Gilles Meloche works with all of our goalies, ……and considering Patrick to be a prospect, this was his opportunity for Gilles to be able to work with him today, ” Bylsma said.
Regarding tonight’s D-pairings, if Letang is unable to go, Alex Goligoski and Deryk Engelland will start out together but Bylsma said today he will look to get Goligoski, Martin together depending on the circumstances.
If Letang plays, Ben Lovejoy is expected to sit. I spoke with Ben after practice and he made it sound like his status is dictated by Letang’s availability.