Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Pittsburgh

Mike Condon Claimed, Rosters Shaken Up

NHL rosters are due today, so the Pittsburgh Penguins assigned forward Kevin Porter, defenseman David Warsofsky and goaltender Tristan Jarry to the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins today.

Wait. Tristan Jarry?

Yes. Tristan Jarry was assigned to Wilkes-Barre. The reason for this is because the Pittsburgh Penguins claimed goaltender Mike Condon off of waivers from the Montreal Canadiens at noon Tuesday.

While yes, this transaction makes zero sense, the brain trust wants Jarry to get reps at the AHL level rather than sit and hold a clipboard and blow bubbles backing up Marc-Andre Fleury while Matt Murray continues his recover from his hand fracture. As soon as Murray is good to go, Pittsburgh waives Condon. The Canadiens would get the right of first refusal, can re-claim Condon and assign him to their AHL affiliate in St. John’s. Condon is nothing more than a pure rental while their star recovers.

It sucks for Jarry because there is nothing more he could have done or been asked of in camp. He will be in the NHL someday, today just isn’t his time. They want him to continue to develop his game in the AHL.

It also sucks for Casey DeSmith, who head coach Clark Donatelli dubbed dubbed on Sunday as his starter against Hartford on Saturday. DeSmith had a stellar camp. This business can be brutal sometimes.

In a later transaction, goalie Doug Carr was released and will report to the Wheeling Nailers.

Tom Sestito, who cleared waivers yesterday, was not re-assigned to Wilkes-Barre. You may not have heard but Sidney Crosby was diagnosed with a concussion suffered in practice last Friday, so Sestito is up for the time being as the 12th or 13th forward. As for Warsofsky, I think the brain trust thinks that keeping Derrick Pouliot around NHL players with NHL coaching will be better for his development vs. being sent back to the AHL where he has sort of hit a ceiling.

So the rosters appear set. Add in Warsofsky and Porter into these line combos from practice Tuesday…

… and you probably have a team ready to contend out of the gate again like prior years.

Don’t forget about the AHL Previews running on the blog. The Central Division Preview is up on the blog one post down. North goes tomorrow.

Cutting, Waiving

Pittsburgh trimmed their roster by four today.

Assigned to Wilkes-Barre straight up on Friday were Carter Rowney and Jake Guentzel. Placed on waivers were David Warsofsky and Kevin Porter.

Here’s what Pittsburgh’s roster looks like currently. Porter and Warsofsky are still with the team technically because they have not been officially assigned because of being on waivers.

One more roster cut is needed to get to the 23 man roster for opening night next week. Many options remain. Sestito? Wilson? Pouliot? Bengtsson?

If Coal Street makes cuts later today I’ll jump back in and edit this story. If not, look for the next blog piece Saturday night after the exhibition game with the Bears. If Warsofsky or Porter get claimed, I’ll have a brief reaction piece to that news here for the blog in the afternoon.

Here Comes the Calvary

Monday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Penguins trimmed their roster by 17 players. From their release…

Players assigned to WBS include: goaltenders Casey DeSmith and Leland Irving; defensemen Tim Erixon, Ethan Prow, Stuart Percy, Cameron Gaunce, Reid McNeill, Steve Oleksy and Chad Ruhwedel; and forwards Oskar Sundqvist, Adam Krause, Ryan Haggerty, Sahir Gill, Josh Archibald, Dominik Simon, Garrett Wilson and Jean-Sebastien Dea.

If you were wondering about waivers, the release mentioned the guys on now. They have noon Tuesday to be officially reassigned to Coal Street. They are…

Erixon, Percy, Gaunce, McNeill, Oleksy, Ruhwedel and Wilson all have to clear waivers on Tuesday at noon before they can join WBS.

In case you were wondering, yes, that is likely the entirety of the Wilkes-Barre blue line which is on waivers at this time. Hold your breath.

Among the names still up with Pittsburgh that could still be re-assigned here include defensemen Lukas Bengtsson, Derrick Pouliot and David Warsofsky. Forwards are Jake Guentzel, Carter Rowney, Tom Sestito. Teddy Blueger and Thomas Di Pauli are injured and cannot be re-assigned until healthy. Outlier guys like Kevin Porter and maybe Scott Wilson are more solid locks to make the roster than Guentzel, Rowney or Sestito in my opinion.

Tristan Jarry remains up. Given the fact that he has not allowed a single preseason goal in two appearances, the safe money is him getting the backup job to Marc-Andre Fleury while Matt Murray recovers from his hand fracture. It appears as if he has won that job for the time being.

The roster currently stands at 31 players. Take Murray, Di Pauli and Blueger out of the picture and that’s 28 guys. Rosters on opening night have to be at 23 so there are five more guys that have to get cut. No one on the roster presently can get sent back to juniors i.e. say a healthy Daniel Sprong, so it’s a combination of Bengtsson, Warsofsky / Pouliot on defense and Guentzel, Rowney, Sestito and one more presumably. Porter? Scott Wilson? Conor Sheary and Tom Kuhnhackl are too valuable. Tough decisions ahead for sure.

If anyone gets claimed at noon Tuesday I will be here to blog about it.

Camp Coming; Cuts Made*

* – questionable semicolon use by the author.

Wednesday the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins announced a training camp schedule. Camp opens Saturday on Coal Street. More about it here with a schedule. Practices held at 40 Coal Street in Wilkes-Barre are always open to the public.

Thursday, Pittsburgh sent defensemen Barry Goers, Michael Webster and Ryan Segalla and forwards Tom Kostopoulos, Milos Bubela, Gage Quinney, Jarrett Burton, Christian Hilbrich and Reid Gardiner to Wilkes-Barre. None of this first crop were on NHL contracts. There are 49 players left in Pittsburgh’s camp.

Tristan Jarry shined in his preseason start in Chicago Wednesday, shutting out the Blackhawks 2-0. Jarry will be gunning hard at the backup role behind Marc-Andre Fleury while Matt Murray recovers from his hand injury.

Elsewhere around the AHL…

— Binghamton is losing Ottawa as an NHL parent in 2017-18 it was announced this week. Pending AHL Board of Governors Approval, Ottawa will place their AHL prospects in Belleville, Ontario. Say hello to the Belleville Senators. They have a Twitter page and everything.

— Back in Binghamton, Executive VP of Operations Tom Mitchell emphatically states that the AHL is going nowhere when it comes to Binghamton. Video on that here. Mitchell didn’t mention anything about a potential NHL partner, so I don’t know if he is blowing smoke or if in fact there is an NHL team waiting in the wings once Ottawa uproots the Pens prospects at the end of this coming regular season.

I’ll say this. I love my trips to Binghamton. There are good people in Binghamton and it’s a great city for AHL hockey. I hope that Mitchell is in fact correct and that we all can rest easy and not worry about there not being hockey on the Southern Tier in 2017-18 and beyond.

— The Hershey Bears have a new voice. Meet Zack Fisch. Promoted from the Bears ECHL affiliate in South Carolina, he takes over for the job Scott Stuccio did for the Bears. They didn’t list his shoe size but he better have big feet because he has enormous shoes to fill.

Coal Street will probably publish a training camp roster some time Friday and when they do, I’ll jump back on here and blog about it.

One more thing. I don’t know if you noticed or not but the “WBS News” feed to the left of the blog is down. That’s cause I pull the RSS feed from but that domain is under construction. If you go to their website you are hit with a splash page that says that the new is coming soon. Hopefully the RSS doesn’t change.

It isn’t you. Or me. In case you were wondering, that’s why there hasn’t been any “WBS News” for the last month or month and a half.

More this weekend, presumably.

Hasn’t Even Started Yet But It’s Started


Color me shocked that Pittsburgh was pristinely specific about type of injury (hand fracture) and estimated length of disability (3-6 weeks) here. I applaud them and hope that the specifics as to injuries and disability length continue. “Upper / Lower” body injury and status day / week / month to whatever is a terrible and horribly archaic way of describing why your player is not on the ice. 

Seth with more here including the battle brewing now between Tristan Jarry and Leland Irving for the backup role to Marc-Andre Fluery. 

Remember that Casey DeSmith is on an AHL deal and isn’t in the mix. 

Pittsburgh preseason games start this week. 

Veterans Lurking — Pittsburgh Announces Training Camp Roster

The Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins announced Thursday their training camp roster. A robust 60 names. Of those names, there are two names invited at one position that jump out.

It’s in goal.

Beyond the standard names like Matt Murray, Marc-Andre Fleury, Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith, the Pittsburgh Penguins also extended invitations to goaltenders Doug Carr and Leland Irving.

Carr is already signed to an ECHL deal with the Wheeling Nailers. He was with Adirondack of the ECHL last year and played three games with Albany last year.

Leland Irving was a former first round draft pick with Calgary, had some success in Abbotsford, the AHL affiliate of the Flames at the time. Last year, he played for a terrible Iowa Wild team and only won 12 games in 41 games played. Those 12 wins led the Wild, so it speaks to how god awful the Wild were last year, finishing dead last in the AHL last season.

I would be perfectly fine with Jarry as the number one goaltender here in Wilkes-Barre with DeSmith taking some of the starts as well with Carr down in Wheeling working with Sean Maguire, who surprisingly was not invited to Penguins camp. But the braintrust doesn’t see it like that. If either Fleury or Murray go down with injury or a spot illness necessitating a call-up from Wilkes-Barre, they aren’t willing to take the risk of Tristan Jarry being that guy quite yet.

In other news, Coal Street announced a promo schedule you can check out here.

I’ll have my AHL Previews at the ready again this season. I am about halfway done and want to finish out the main build this weekend and start bringing stuff over to the blog within the next two weeks in time for Opening Week in the AHL.

Last Weekend of August

Couple things to touch on as we have our AHL schedule and are looking forward to September, kids going back to school, and hockey season getting going in about 50 days….

Pittsburgh announced rosters for the annual rookie tournament in London, Ontario in mid-September. Seth did a blog post highlighting players to watch. Jonathan offered a piece where he wrote capsules on all the players.

Ty Loney signed with Adirondack of the ECHL Thursday. I have updated the 2016 Offseason Moves list.

I took a look at that list. The unsigned players that remain are Harrison Ruopp and Dan O’Donoghue (who were RFA’s that were not tendered offers by the Penguins) and Tyler Biggs, Brian Foster and Ryan Parent.

The only other thing going on right now as a preview of sorts is the summertime Penguins Podcast with Nick Hart and Mike O’Brien. The duo are previewing the divisional opponents. They touched on how the Lehigh Valley Phantoms stack up. They give their predictions on if they see the Phantoms as a playoff team. The answers they give may surprise some, as it surprised me. The total podcast time is about 20 minutes, so it’s good to listen to at work, the gym or on the way home or maybe outside having a cigar or in the pool. They plan on rolling these out once a week to the start of the AHL season. Should make for some good listening.

Man, Labor Day weekend is next weekend. Where did this summer go?