Chirps from Center Ice

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

So Long and Thanks For All of the Fish, Colin

With the Penguins upcoming three games in three days looming on the schedule for this weekend, a decision needed to be made as to what to do at the backup goaltending position. Casey DeSmith had started every game in the month of November (probably a Wilkes-Barre record of some sort) so the backup needed to see a game in one of the three games this upcoming weekend against either Milwaukee Friday at home, Rochester Saturday at home and Hershey on the road Sunday.

Well, it isn’t going to be Colin Stevens. The Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins released Stevens from his professional tryout agreement Monday afternoon and recalled Sean Maguire from the Wheeling Nailers.

It’s a bit of a raw deal for Stevens, who never saw a minute of game action for the Penguins in the entire month, but such is the business.

Apparently the plan all along since Pittsburgh lost Antti Niemi to waivers in Wilkes-Barre and Wheeling was to keep having Maguire eat starts in the ECHL while DeSmith handled the workload here in Wilkes-Barre. The Nailers went out and got themselves a quality ECHL goaltender a few weeks ago in Adam Morrison in a deal with Rapid City, so they should be OK at the goaltending position. Wilkes-Barre plays fourteen games in the month of December which includes two Sunday and three Wednesday games. DeSmith would have simply gotten worn out had he continued to eat starts.

For Maguire, I don’t want to call it a fish or cut bait situation for him, he’s been sparingly used by Wilkes-Barre as he has continued his development in the ECHL. He’s 8-3 with a .910 and a 3.28 GAA with Wheeling this year. Nailers are second in the North Division, tied with the Manchester Monarchs with 24 points so far. I think it’s fair enough to say that the next step in his development is to backup at the AHL level. I’ll be interested to see when he gets a start this weekend, and how he does.

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