Today was the deadline for NHL teams to send qualifying offers to Restricted Free Agents. The Pittsburgh Penguins sent qualifying offers to everyone familiar with Wilkes-Barre in the past few seasons, except for Frank Corrado.
Corrado was acquired from Toronto as a piece in the Eric Fehr and Steve Oleksy trade back in March 2017. He never lived up to they hype that came with him in the Toronto media. He only appeared in a handful of NHL games for Pittsburgh, didn’t really do anything memorable in his time with the AHL club and was injured in the blowout loss in Rochester earlier this year and never returned.
Pittsburgh also did not qualify Tom Kuhnhackl and Vincent Dunn, which was a throw in piece in the Derrick Brassard trade earlier in the season.
Pittsburgh re-signed Kevin Czuczman for another season as well as Daniel Sprong and Dominik Simon. I expect Sprong and Simon to challenge each other for playing time in the NHL and will be surprised if either play another game in the AHL. For Czuczman, its a big signing in that he was a key piece here in Wilkes-Barre. He will of course be looking to break through and stay in Pittsburgh come the fall but if not, it will be nice to have him here in Wilkes-Barre. I had Czuczman as the top player available in the PIT / WBS organization for my AHL Big Board, coming later this week.
Pittsburgh also announced their roster for their development camp. Interesting in this roster group is that there is not a single player invited to that camp that played in Wilkes-Barre last season.
Troy Mann was fired as the coach of the Hershey Bears. A good coach that coached a team that played thin but tough last year as Hershey finished dead last in the Atlantic Division. Unacceptable if you are a fan of the Chocolate and White, but since you can’t fire the players, Mann was the one that got the ax at the end of the season. Well, he was hired today by the Belleville Senators, the AHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators who also played at or near the bottom of the North Division. Mann will have his work cut out for him in 2018-19, but he is the right man for the job, no pun intended.
Now, if you will excuse me, I have to finish up the AHL Big Board. Look for it, barring any last minute hangups, Wednesday. I will have a blog post announcing a date and time as sort of an advisory.