Chirps from Center Ice

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

A Little More Off the Top

Cuts continued Monday as the Pittsburgh Penguins trimmed their roster to 27, sending 15 players to Wilkes-Barre and two, Nathan Legare and Sam Poulin, to their junior teams.

The players sent to Wilkes-Barre are Andrew Agozzino, Justin Almeida, Anthony Angello, Kasper Bjorkqvist, Joseph Blandisi, Joseph Cramarossa, Thomas Di Pauli, Ryan Haggerty, Sam Lafferty, Jake Lucchini, Sam Miletic and Oula Palve; defensemen Niclas Almari, Kevin Czuczman, Pierre-Olivier Joseph and David Warsofsky and goaltender Emil Larmi.

Agozzino, Blandisi, Cramarossa, Czuczman, Di Pauli, Haggerty and Warsofsky all must clear waivers. I don’t expect them to get claimed by another team.

Updated roster from Pittsburgh here.

10 defensemen, 14 forwards and three goalies remain. Pittsburgh needs to trim four more players to get to the roster limit of 23 and also become cap compliant.

John Marino, Juuso Riikola and Zach Trotman are three names who are possibly battling for the final spot if Pittsburgh wants to go into the season carrying eight defenders with Chad Ruhwedel as the seventh defender.

In the other positions, it really depends on what to do with Matt Murray’s backup. One of Tristan Jarry or Casey DeSmith is hitting the waiver wire later this week. DeSmith would probably be the more cap friendly choice if you believe it.

Forward wise, it’s a tough call. Adam Johnson is the only name that sticks out as a name that could be odd man out due to roster size and pushing maximum cap limits. If the Pens needed to clear three more players, a case could be made that you send some combination of defenders and DeSmith down and keep Johnson up. But that isn’t the case, they need to shed four more bodies to  get to 23 and save cap space. It’s essentially two defenseman, one forward and a goaltender.

Tough calls.

In other news, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton area was named in the top ten of the minor league markets by the Sports Business Journal. Our area ranked eighth. Not bad, overall.

Camp opens Tuesday on Coal Street. Preseason game Wednesday at home against Lehigh Valley. More then, if not sooner.

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