The National Hockey League trade deadline has come and gone, and a handful of moves made by the Pittsburgh Penguins could pay dividends in Wilkes-Barre.
Pittsburgh made a pair of trades on Wednesday afternoon, acquiring Mark Street from the Tampa Bay Lightning for a fourth round draft pick in 2018, and sending Eric Fehr, Steve Oleksy and 2017 fourth round pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs for defenseman Fran Corrado.
Corrado, a 23-year old puck-moving blueliner, was immediately assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, giving the AHL Penguins another offensive threat.
Pittsburgh also reassigned defenseman Cameron Gaunce to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, who has 13 points and a plus-15 rating in 47 games with the AHL club this season.
Additionally, Pittsburgh made a series of ‘paper transactions’ at the deadline, reassigning Carter Rowney, Jake Guentzel, and Derrick Pouliot to Wilkes-Barre and quickly recalling them. Those moves make that trio eligible to suit up for the AHL Penguins during the remainder of the regular season and the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Those reinforcements could prove significant in the long run, as could the imminent returns of a pair of Penguins skaters.
Forward Thomas Di Pauli appeared in just eight games at the start of the season before suffering a long-term injury on November 26. the highly-touted scorer out of Notre Dame has been practicing with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this week, and could return to game action as soon as this weekend.
And Garrett Wilson was in the midst of a career-year when he suffered an upper body injury against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Valentine’s Day. His return seems to be a little further away, but add his double-digit goal scoring into an already formidable lineup, and the Penguins could receive a late-season infusion of offense.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Saturday, Mar. 4, and it will take on the Hershey Bears at Giant Center. Puck drop between the Penguins and Bears is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game is Wednesday, Mar. 8, and its opponent will be the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Individual game tickets for Mar. 8’s game and all Penguins home games are available at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, online at TicketMaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.