Chirps from Center Ice

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

Category Archives: Pittsburgh

Thursday Transactions 1/12

A couple of transactions for the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins happened Thursday.

Goalie Doug Carr was released from his professional tryout agreement and has rejoined the Wheeling Nailers. Carr picked up a win Saturday against Binghamton, stopping 33 of 37 shots.

Defenseman Chad Ruhwedel was returned to Wilkes-Barre by Pittsburgh. It was Ruhwedel’s second recall of the season only this time he nevere appeared in any games. David Warsofsky it appears fro now has the dubious distinction of staying up on NHL recall while Brian Dumoulin recovers from his broken jaw.

I’m curious to wonder if Pittsburgh will send Warsofsky back at some point and recall another defenseman to avoid exposing him to waivers.

Out the door, you can watch the AHL All-Star Classic on TV again this year. The AHL announced details today. It will be on MyNetworkTV locally as well as other regional sports channels.

Pens are back on the ice Friday in Rochester. Gameday setup hits the blog Friday at 3.

Three Down on New Years

Announced at around 10:30 Sunday morning the following…


Have to assume with the health of Kris Letting and Trevor Daley that one if not both Ruhwedel and Warsofsky will remain in Wilkes-Barre. Brian Dumoulin is still out with his broken jaw. My guess is it will be Chad Ruhwedel, who played in last nights overtime win against the Montreal Canadiens.

As for Jarry, it is a bit of a risk re-assigning him to Wilkes-Barre being as though should he get hurt while back that leaves Pittsburgh with no NHL contracted goaltender as a back up. Yeah, you could say that Sean Maguire is under an NHL deal, but he is in Wheeling and too green to even consider as a viable option.

Wilkes-Barre plays Tuesday at home against Hartford, Friday at home against Hershey, Saturday at home against Binghamton and again Sunday in Hershey. Pittsburgh is off till next Sunday when they play Tampa Bay.

Assume Jarry gets the Tuesday game against the Wolf Pack, and is either called up or backing up Casey DeSmith Friday against Hershey and then either called back up Saturday or Sunday if not already called up by Friday.

As for Wheeling, the Nailers do not play again until Friday when they host the Toledo Walleye and then again Sunday when they host the Cincinnati Cyclones. My guess is depending on how the dominoes fall later in the week with whenever Pittsburgh recalls Jarry again will spell out Doug Carr’s status for the Penguins this coming weekend. You would have to assume, should Jarry go up before Friday, that Carr gets one of the three weekend games against either the Senators or Bears.

We will see. have a nice New Year holiday.

I’ve Seen This Fish Before

Well, it’s the end of December and if you have followed the Pittsburgh Penguins organization from top to bottom, you know that this is the season for injuries.

You already knew that Chad Ruhwedel and Derrick Pouliot were up in Pittsburgh, but on Tuesday night, Brian Dumoulin took a puck to the face which broke his jaw. He’s out 4-6 weeks. He’ll likely be on a liquid diet as his jaw heals which means he will lose weight and muscle mass. Once he’s okay to eat solid food again, he’ll need to regain all that weight he lost and gain back the muscle and get his wind back. Depending on how all that goes, it could be 6 weeks, it could be longer.

David Warsofsky was recalled Wednesday and was a scratch in Pittsburgh’s 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Matt Murray started that game and was mysteriously replaced in goal in the third period by Marc-Andre’ Fleury. Murray was on the bench for the third, but on Thursday it was revealed that he is week to week with a lower body injury.

There go those benign terms again. Hockey will always be a niche sport in America unless or until owners start disclosing what the injury is and the time frame for recovery (like Dumoulin’s injury) beyond that, any run of the mill sports fan has no time for body, “injury” and “day-to-day.” Aren’t we all?


Tristan Jarry was recalled from Wilkes-Barre Thursday evening. In the same release, and little bit of a silver lining for a Wilkes-Barre club that only has six defensemen on its roster, Pittsburgh sent Derrick Pouliot back to Coal Street.

Jarry is 13-5 with a 2.15 GAA and a .921 save percentage in the AHL and was second in the league in wins at the time of his recall.

It’s Casey DeSmith’s team for now here in Wilkes-Barre. The only question which remained was which goaltender was going to be recalled from ECHL Wheeling. The Nailers have Doug Carr and Sean Maguire. Maguire is on an NHL contract and should be a mainstay in Wilkes-Barre soon.

Well, it was Doug Carr that Wilkes-Barre signed to a professional tryout agreement and not Maguire, which the Penguins could have recalled.

This is a good thing. The reason why is because Maguire is at a key point in his development, just recently being cleared to play from his injury in the Fall. Calling him up to have him sit and hold a clipboard watching DeSmith play does nothing for his development when he can get reps and carry the load in Wheeling.

Carr is 8-7-1 in 17 games for the Nailers and has a 3.31 goals against average and a .889 save percentage. He recorded a shutout against the Kalamazoo Wings this season.

The Coal Street press release linked above has more, including the time he played two periods of preseason play for the Penguins against Hershey and didn’t allow a goal and his numbers with Albany last year in a similar situation that he is in now.

Personally, I think the Penguins will be fine, but I say that every year when the injuries start. By mid-March when Wilkes-Barre is mired in a four game losing streak because they are calling guys up from Wheeling every day and losing guys to Pittsburgh every hour, my tone may be different.

But we have seen this fish before.

DeSmith was likely getting the start Friday against Providence anyway, a team on a roll that Casey owns anyhow.

Gameday setup for tomorrow’s game against the aforementioned Bruins will be on the blog Friday at 3.

Wednesday Notes 12/7

Bunch of stuff to get to for a Wednesday so let’s dive in.

On Tuesday, the format for the AHL All-Star classic was revealed. 

Slight alterations from last year, which was 4-on-4 for 4:30 followed by 3-on-3. Now, its just straight up 3-on-3 for 10 minutes. That’s going to be madness.

Later Tuesday, the Wheeling Nailers received goaltender Sean Maguire and traded goaltender J.P. Anderson to the Adirondack Thunder. Maguire has been injured since the start of the season, so he finally can get to Wheeling and show the brass down there what he can do. The Nailers will go with Doug Carr and Maguire as their tandem in goal. Trading Anderson to a division rival, who happens to lead said division, doesn’t make any sense to me but there are roster limits in the ECHL so Wheeling needed to find a home for Anderson to make room for Maguire.

Pittsburgh confirmed the Maguire news this morning along with Teddy Blueger being “officially” re-assigned to Wilkes-Barre. Blueger had been practicing on Coal Street.

Seth with news on Carter Rowney’s status…

Things are looking bad, right? Wrong.

For Guentzel, after a blazing start, he disappeared from the lineup and has been a healthy scratch. His NHL time will come, but sitting in a press box watching, vs. on the ice playing, does nothing for his continued development.

For Pouliot, I see this as a crossroads for the defenseman. He hasn’t really lived up to the hype that came with him when he was drafted so far. He has had flashes of brilliance, but when it came down to making a decision on who to send back to the AHL between he and Steve Oleksy, the brass chose Pouliot. Is it necessarily a knock against Pouliot? No. I don’t believe so. How he takes another reassignment to the AHL this time will most likely define his remaining professional hockey career.

Head Coach Mike Sullivan’s thought process on today’s reassignments…

You are caught up for now. Short of a scoopful of beneficial information, the next blog update will come at 3 p.m. Friday for the Gameday setup for the matchup with the Hershey Bears.

Pens Acquire Kristo for McNeill

Saturday at around noon, the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins announced that the Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired Forward Danny Kristo for Reid McNeill. 

This is a big deal. 

The first place Penguins add more offense to a team which is loaded in goal and stacked on the blue line. 

Kristo played with Carter Rowney at the University of North Dakota and also won a gold medal with Dave Warsofsky in 2010 at the World Juniors. 

It’s not clear whether Kristo will be able to join the Penguins tonight in Hershey, but if not, then definitely when the Penguins and Bears rematch in Chocolatetown this Wednesday before Thanksgiving. 

Game day setup for tonight’s matchup with the Bears will hit the blog at 3 p.m.

Transactions 11/9

Just a quick piece on this rainy Wednesday to document a few transactions made this week by the Penguins.

First, Wilkes-Barre sent Adam Krause down to Wheeling on Monday. Krause appeared in just one game for the Penguins, against Syracuse back on October 22. He’ll go down to Wheeling and get his reps there.

Second, Pittsburgh re-assigned David Warsofsky back down to Coal Street. Warsofsky was approaching the threshold of being exposed back to waivers again, so they sent him back down without having him needing to pass through again.

Third, the Penguins recalled both Steve Oleksy and Chad Ruhwedel and re-assigned Tom Sestito. This was Tuesday. Neither Oleksy or Ruhwedel played in Tuesday’s win against the Oilers.

Today, Wednesday, Pittsburgh re-assigned Chad Ruhwedel and recalled Tom Sestito again.

So what’s it all mean?

Derrick Pouliot is still out with a longer term lower body injury. I believe he is the only injured player on Pittsburgh right now. With Pittsburgh home this week, they can afford to make these recalls from Wilkes-Barre, with the AHL affiliate not playing agin until Friday at home against Toronto. I also think that it may have something to do with the salary cap, which me being a math imbecile, is beyond my comprehension. Why call up two guys, return two, send one guy back and the other down? Likely has something to do with numbers.

So as it stands Wednesday, Wilkes-Barre has Steve Oleksy on recall with Chad Ruhwedel and David Warsofsky here. A lot can and may change between now and 7:05 Friday and likely will. Don’t be surprised to see Warsofsky go back up at 5:30 on Friday and Oleksy back down in time for the huge matchup against the Marlies.

I probably won’t drop in an old news blog post between now and Friday, so stay tuned to the Twitter side of me for all the latest in terms of the roster jockeying.

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.