It was a pretty quiet first day of NHL Free Agency for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Before the market opened at noon, the Penguins announced that they re-signed Garrett Wilson to a two year deal.
Then fans on Coal Street waited.
And waited some more.
Then around 6 p.m., the floodgates opened.
All four guys I did not have ranked in my Top 100 on my AHL Big Board.
Chris Summers: Played on a bad Hartford team last year. Slowly rounding into form as a pro. I always liked what I saw from his play.
Jarred Tinordi: 102 PIMs with Tucson last year, second on the team.
Zach Trotman: Veteran of 67 NHL games, only played 9 games with AHL Ontario last season. You may remember him playing with the Providence Bruins.
Greg McKegg: 46 NHL games split between the Florida Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Had some success with the Portland Pirates and scored 22 goals with the Toronto Marlies in 2014-15. I always liked his play too.
In all, a nice crop of players picked up by the Pittsburgh Penguins, setting up the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins for success come the Fall.
But they weren’t done.
Biggest name in the group will end up being the steal of the day, Casey DeSmith. I had him number 10 on my board, knew he was going to play his way into an NHL contract, did not think for a second that the team to sign him would be the Penguins.
So now the Penguins have Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith ready to tend the nets on Coal Street again for another run, with a reloaded defensive corps dynamic forwards in Zach Aston-Reese and Daniel Sprong most likely starting in Wilkes-Barre with veterans like Tom Kostopoulos and Garrett Wilson. The signings today weren’t as explosive like in Buffalo for Rochester and Minnesota for Iowa, but they didn’t need to be because the Amerks and Wild were literal AHL doormats. The Penguins have been a good team for years and it helps that your parent team just won back to back Stanley Cups.
There are always moves made on Day 2. I don’t know for certain if there will be any more made from Pittsburgh for Wilkes-Barre, but if there is, I’ll have a blog about it here.
My AHL Big Board has now been pinned to the top of the site and will update for as long as it needs to be. Link here.