Chirps from Center Ice

A fan blog about the AHL's Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins

Don’t Get Your Britches in a Tiffel…

Coupla things to share on this Thursday….

Pittsburgh signed forward Freddie Tiffels to an entry level contract Thursday and last week signed goaltender Filip Gustavsson. Tiffels should be in the organization next year and Gustavsson will stay and play in Sweden again next season.

Press releases on Gustavsson here and Tiffels here.

Tiffels is a good skater with speed that finished his junior season at Western Michigan. He tied a career high 21 points. I’d project him starting on a third or fourth line in WIlkes-Barre and maybe even see some Wheeling time next season to start.

Pittsburgh also re-signed Chad Ruhwedel to a two year contract Thursday as well. Ruhwedel helped Wilkes-Barre get out ahead of the Atlantic Division and then earned the trust of Mike Sullivan in Pittsburgh enough for a permanent NHL spot as a seventh defenseman. I really don’t see an option where Ruhwedel makes it back to Wilkes-Barre again next season.

The Penguins lost Marc-Andre Fleury to the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft Wednesday. Fleury was a cornerstone piece in Pittsburgh’s turnaround as an organization and you can make an argument that the Penguins don’t win three Stanley Cups in the past decade if it weren’t for Fleury. But it’s a business, and with the stellar play of Matt Murray, Fleury became expendable.

NHL Draft this weekend and the fine folks at 40 Coal Street have a great primer of what to expect this weekend here.

I need two more teams, the San Jose Sharks and the Vancouver Canucks, before all the free agent names I am going to be working on next week for the AHL Big Board are ready for their capsules. The plan is to put out a Top 30 of each teams best free agent then work on capsules on each player and a Top 100 ranking before the best of the rest. Once word gets out of which restricted free agent was tendered a qualifying offer thereby cutting down the list, will I then be able to push towards completion of the Big Board.

If you want to volunteer a team or two, please let me know. The sooner this comes together the sooner it gets out there for all to see.

I’ll probably have a draft recap this weekend then the Big Board next weekend.

Stay cool and remember to hydrate.

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