The Pittsburgh Penguins have claimed 32 year old winger Taylor Pyatt off waivers from the New York Rangers. Pyatt has struggled mightily this season with just 1 assist and a minus-9 rating in 22 games. Pyatt, 32, is in the final year of a two year, $3.1 million contract and carries a $1.55 million cap hit.
Pyatt has appeared in 825 career NHL games with the New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, Phoenix and the Rangers, collecting 136 goals, 140 assists and 276 points. Pyatt has 24 points in 69 career playoff games.
Pyatt has seven double-digit goal seasons in his career, including a career high 23 goals in 2006-2007. From 2006-2007 through 2010-2011, Pyatt averaged 10 goals or more per season.
After an 18 goal, 31 point season with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2010-2011, Pyatt’s play has begun to slip the last couple seasons. He posted 6 goals and 5 assists in 48 games during the lockout shortened 2013 season but the transition to Alain Vigneaut’s more uptempo system was a nightmare fit for Pyatt, something that could be a concern in how he fits with the Penguins under Dan Bylsma.
The Penguins, though, have liked Pyatt in the past and there has been a big need to add size in the bottom-6.
Pyatt brings that to the table at 6-foot-4, 235-pounds and the Penguins could be banking on a change of scenery. Pyatt has some playoff experience and was a solid contributor for the Coyotes in the 2012 post-season when they made it to the Eastern Conference Finals. He has 10 career playoff goals.
There are some things attractive about Pyatt as a player but he’s clearly looked like a player on the downside of his career the past two seasons and how he struggled to fit in AV’s system is somewhat alarming as the Penguins play a similar push the pace style.
That said, I don’t have any problem with the waiver claim. Worth a look.
The expectation is Pyatt will get an opportunity on the third line with Brandon Sutter. The Penguins face the Rangers Friday night.
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