BY KENNY DURLING
The news of the day out of Coal Street was that Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward Harry Zolnierczyk was recalled by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday morning. Zolnierczyk could make his Pittsburgh debut as early as Tuesday night when the Penguins host the Edmonton Oilers at 7:00pm.
The decision to recall Zolnierczyk came about after rookie forward Beau Bennett was ruled out of action for Tuesday’s game with what is being described as a lower body injury.
“It was an interesting group of discussions that we had,” said coach Hynes on the decision to recall Zolnierczyk, “ because we had several [discussions] on multiple different guys, which is a nice thing to have in the organization, because you have guys playing real well down here and showing that they deserve the opportunity to get up.”
Zolnierczyk definitely proved he deserved the opportunity. In three games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Zolnierczyk is leading the team with three goals, including two tallies in his WBS debut on October 5 in Bridgeport.
Coach Hynes went on to say about the decision to recall Zolnierczyk over several other deserving players, “it just comes down to small things. It might be a shot, might be a wing versus center, might be a line where they see a particular player fitting. And that is what it wound up with here where Harry got the call, but it easily could have been five other guys.”
When asked about the role Zolnierczyk could play in Pittsburgh, Hynes responded “it wasn’t necessarily a fourth line role. It was anywhere between nine through twelve [in the forward rotation] and a little bit of versatility, so that was the decision that was made.”
With the call up of Zolnierczyk, it provides opportunities for other players who haven’t been able to crack the Penguins lineup on a consistent basis yet this season, with players such as Paul Thompson, Mike Carman and Bobby Farnham all vying to for ice time.
“It’s competitive and it’s always nice to have that, and a lot of times you have that early in the year just because there are not a lot of games, so there isn’t a ton of injuries,” said Coach Hynes. “But we like the group that we have, and even with the call up situation, they’re still three real good players that are looking to get in the lineup.”
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will take the ice again on Friday, October 18th, against the Adirondack Phantoms at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. For tickets contact the Penguins at 570-208-7367.
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