PITTSBURGH SENDS SUNDQVIST TO ST. LOUIS IN DRAFT DAY TRADE

Oskar Sundqvist recorded 63 points (25+38) in 108 games during his Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins career.

The Pittsburgh Penguins made waves on the draft floor at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft in Chicago by acquiring forward Ryan Reaves and a 2017 second-round draft pick (51st overall) from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for forward Oskar Sundqvist and a 2017 first-round draft pick (31st overall). The transactions was announced by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

“We’re very excited to add Ryan to our organization,” Rutherford said. “He will be a regular in our top-12, and he will add both size and a physical presence.”

Sundqvist had spent a majority of the past two seasons in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, earning 25 goals and 38 assists for 63 points in 108 AHL games. Last season, Sundqvist set pro career highs across the board in goals (20), assists (26), points (46), games played (63) and plus-minus (+12).

The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Reaves is coming off of his best NHL season, setting career highs in goals (7), assists (6) and points (13), in addition to collecting 104 penalty minutes in 80 games played with the Blues. He also skated in 11 postseason contests with St. Louis.

Reaves led the Blues, and finished 10th in the NHL, with 239 hits this past season. That marked the fourth-straight year that the Winnipeg, Manitoba native has surpassed the 200-hit plateau.

Reaves was originally chosen by the Blues in the fifth round (156th overall) in the 2005 NHL Draft. He has skated in 419 career NHL regular-season contests with St. Louis, netting 27 goals, 24 assists and 51 points with 695 penalty minutes. Reaves has added one goal in 36 playoff contests.

Before turning pro, Reaves skated for three seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Western Hockey League.

Season ticket packages for the 2017-18 season of Penguins hockey, including 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

NEW GM GUERIN SAYS IT’S “ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL” FOR WBS TO SUCCEED

Photo Credit : Lindsay A. Mogle/AHL

Bill Guerin isn’t holding anything back.

Pittsburgh’s assistant general manager had only officially held the title of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins GM for a little over four hours before he had his first press conference with the local media, but he’s not showing any signs of somebody who wanted to dip his toe in the water before getting in. Guerin’s comments were a full-fledged cannonball.

A lot of what he had to say revolved around his desire to ensure that the Penguins stay among the top of the American Hockey League standings.

“It’s absolutely critical that we have success in Wilkes-Barre,” the U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer said. “The culture in Wilkes-Barre, the winning attitude, the winning that’s done on the ice, being able to compete in the playoffs every year, and not just competing, but giving yourself a chance to win every year, that’s part of development, in my mind. Development is not just about going out and playing hockey, playing a lot of minutes. It’s about playing the right way. It’s about playing with a purpose, and that purpose is to win.”

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton has been a bastion of success in the AHL for quite some time now. The club has qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs for 16-consecutive years, the league’s active record. This last season, the Penguins finished with the best record in the AHL, earning the Macgregor Kilpatrick Trophy for the second time in team history.

Guerin isn’t trying to tamper expectations in his first season at the helm. He’s embracing them.

“There are high expectations [in Wilkes-Barre],” he said. “There’s a good history there, and I plan on following in those footsteps. Not much is going to change in terms of the expectation level. We’re still going to compete for the Calder Cup, we’re still going to develop players for Pittsburgh. I expect our team and our organization to continue to be one of the model organizations of the American Hockey League.”

Guerin’s responsibilities as general manager of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton encompass all hockey operations-related decisions, such as free agent player signings, trades, staffing, etc. Given the wrinkle that the NHL’s expansion to Las Vegas has presented the offseason, he acknowledges that it will probably be a while before he can really zero in on potential roster moves. The NHL and AHL’s roster landscape is still very much in flux with the pending expansion draft.

All of that considered, Guerin isn’t wasting any time when it comes to preparing for the beginning of the unrestricted free agency period on July 1.

“My first order of business is to go over our depth chart and start planning for next year,” he said. “I’m going to go up and down the lineup to see where we’re strong and see where we can improve. We definitely have to look down the middle. Strong teams are always built down the middle.”

Guerin has always been an affable personality and colorful personality dating back to his playing days. In fact, there’s a part of him that you can see that still feels like the same guy who racked up 429 career goals in the NHL. A suit and tie job hasn’t tampered his enjoyment of hockey. He loves being a “hands on” mentor, occasionally hitting the ice with Penguins players at practice in the past.

His front office role allowed him to explore the business from a different angle, too. Since he joined Pittsburgh’s staff as Player Development Coach in 2011, he’s learned how to interact with players from a position of authority, be a teacher and instructor, but still keep things light the way only Bill Guerin can.

The time he spent under the tutelage of Jim Rutherford has proven invaluable to Guerin, too. In the three years Rutherford has spent as Pittsburgh’s GM, the team has captured two Stanley Cups. Surely some of that wisdom has rubbed off on Guerin by now, which is part of what made him the ideal candidate to lead Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to the success that he considers to be so crucial.

“The things that I’ve learned from [Rutherford] is that you have to patient with players, you have to communicate well with your coaches, you have to be loyal and you have to be fair. I’ve learned a lot from Ray [Shero], too.

“I feel like I’m fully prepared for this.”

2017-18 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Season Ticket Information

BILL GUERIN NAMED WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS GENERAL MANAGER

Two-time Stanley Cup Champion and USA Hockey Hall of Famer
to take the reins for 19th season of Penguins hockey

 

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford announced today that Bill Guerin will be the new general manager of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. His duties as Wilkes-Barre/Scranton General Manager will entail day-to-day hockey operations decisions relating to the club.

Guerin has served as Pittsburgh’s assistant general manager for the past three seasons after joining the Penguins’ front office as Player Development Coach when his playing career ended in 2011. Pittsburgh has captured the Stanley Cup twice during his tenure as assistant general manager.

Born in Worcester, Mass., Guerin had an illustrious NHL career that included two Stanley Cup titles, an Olympic silver medal and World Cup gold medal. In 1,263 NHL games, he totaled 429 goals and 427 assists for 856 points. Guerin ranks seventh all-time among American-born NHL players in both games played and goals. He was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.

Guerin was selected in the first round (fifth overall) of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils and spent two years at Boston College.

Guerin’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will debut in their home opener for the 2017-18 season on Saturday, Oct. 7 at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.

Season ticket packages for the 2017-18 season of Penguins hockey, including 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.