DEADLINE DEALS, HEALTHY PLAYERS COULD HELP WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON

Frank Corrado was acquired from Toronto on March 1.

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.

Penguins ticket packages, including 12-game, and 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS ACQUIRE CORRADO FROM TORONTO


The Pittsburgh Penguins have acquired defenseman Frank Corrado from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Eric Fehr, Steve Oleksy and a 2017 fourth-round draft pick, it was announced today by Penguins executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Corrado will report to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

In a separate move, Pittsburgh has reassigned defenseman Cameron Gaunce to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Corrado, 23, has 12 points (1G-11A) and is plus-6 in 18 AHL games with the Toronto Marlies this year. He has also suited up for two NHL games with Toronto.

The 6-foot, 205-pound blueliner has eight points (3G-5A) in 69 career NHL games split between Toronto and the Vancouver Canucks.

A native of Toronto, Ontario, Corrado was chosen in the fifth round (150th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft by Vancouver. In parts of six AHL seasons, he has 51 points (14G-37A) in 126 games.

Gaunce has picked up two assists in six games with Pittsburgh this season.At the AHL level with WBS, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Gaunce has 13 points (2G-11A) and is plus-15 in 47 games.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is Saturday, Mar. 4, when they 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 against 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.

Penguins ticket packages, including 12-game and 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

PITTSBURGH RECALLS GAUNCE, OLEKSY

Steve Oleksy returns to Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled defensemen Cameron Gaunce and Steve Oleksy from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Gaunce, 26, returns to Pittsburgh for a second stint this year. In earlier action, Gaunce picked up two assists and was plus-3 in three games. He had helpers in each of his first two games in a Pittsburgh uniform.

At the AHL level with WBS, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound Gaunce has 13 points (2G-11A) and is plus-15 in 47 games.

Oleksy, 31, has split this year between the NHL and AHL, compiling one assist, a plus-2 and 22 penalty minutes in nine NHL appearances.

With WBS, the 6-foot, 190-pound Oleksy has five points (1G-4A) and a plus-4 in in 16 contests.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next game is tonight, Friday, Feb. 17, when they travel to upstate New York and take on the Albany Devils. Puck drop between the Penguins and Devils is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s next home game isn’t until 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.

Penguins ticket packages, including 12-game, and 10-voucher flex packs, are available directly through the Penguins offices by calling (570) 208-7367.

PENGUINS WEEKLY – 2/7/17

 

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton splits first weekend out of All-Star break

Penguins (34-10-3-0) coming off of impressive 7-1 victory over division rival

 

Weekly Rewind

Friday, Feb. 3 – PENGUINS 2 vs. St. John’s 5
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton got offensive contributions from two defensemen, but it wasn’t enough to beat the visiting St. John’s IceCaps. Ethan Prow scored his first pro goal, and Derrick Pouliot cashed in on the power play for the Penguins.

 

Saturday, Feb. 4 – PENGUINS 7 vs. Lehigh Valley 1
In the Phantoms’ first trip to Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza this season, the Penguins shut them down with a convincing 7-1 victory. Eleven different Penguins recorded a point, while Sahir Gill, Tom Kostopoulos, Kevin Porter, Garrett Wilson and Josh Archibald all had multi-point performances. Archibald tied a career-high with three points (2G-1A), and posted his team-leading third shorthanded goal.

 

The Week Ahead

Wednesday, Feb. 8 – PENGUINS vs. St. John’s
The IceCaps return to face the Penguins for the fourth time this season and final regular season meeting in franchise history. St. John’s leads the season series, 2-1-0-0, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is 17-5-1-0 all-time against the IceCaps.

 

Friday, Feb. 10 – PENGUINS vs. Hershey
The resurgent Hershey Bears come to Northeast PA to take on the Penguins. After starting the New Year 2-6-2-1, the Bears have now won four-straight. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton holds a big advantage in the season series, winning seven of nine meetings so far.

 

Saturday, Feb. 11 – PENGUINS vs. Binghamton
The Penguins have gone 4-1-0-0 against the Senators this season as the two teams prepare for their sixth and final meeting of the year. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton won the last head-to-head, 6-2 at Binghamton. Saturday’s game is also the Penguins’ Military Appreciation Night.

 

Ice Chips

– The Penguins are 10-2-1-0 when coming off of a loss this season.

– The Penguins are 15-1-1-0 in the second game of back-to-backs.

– Team captain Tom Kostopoulos played in his 600th game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday, becoming the 14th person in league history to appear in 600+ contests with one club.

– Friday’s game was Steve Oleksy’s 500th professional game. Oleksy has played in four different leagues over the course of his career (NHL, AHL, ECHL, IHL).

– Rookie Teddy Blueger has nine points (2G-7A) in his last  eight games.

– Josh Archibald is the first Penguin to have three shorthanded goals in a season since 2013-14 (Brian Gibbons, Dominik Uher).

– David Warsofsky leads the entire AHL with a plus-31 rating.

 

DIVISION STANDINGS

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS Pt%
1. PENGUINS 47 34 10 3 0 71 .755
2. Lehigh Valley 45 30 13 2 0 62 .689
3. Providence 46 26 12 5 3 60 .652
4. Hershey 47 24 13 7 3 58 .617
5. Bridgeport 44 26 16 1 1 54 .614
6. Springfield 45 17 20 6 2 42 .467
7. Hartford 47 17 25 3 2 39 .415

 

TEAM LEADERS

SKATERS GP G A PTS
Jake Guentzel*^ 33 21 21 42
Tom Kostopoulos 47 17 19 36
Oskar Sundqvist 41 14 19 33
David Warsofsky 32 9 24 33
Garrett Wilson 47 11 17 28

 

GOALIES GP W-L-OT GAA SV% Shutouts
Tristan Jarry 29 20-8-1 2.24 .920 1
Casey DeSmith* 17 13-2-2 2.26 .913 0

* = rookie

^ = currently with Pittsburgh

 

UPCOMING GAME SCHEDULE

DATE                 OPPONENT     LOCATION                         TIME      

Wed, Feb. 8      St. John’s           Mohegan Sun Arena         7:05 p.m.

Fri, Feb. 10        Hershey            Mohegan Sun Arena          7:05 p.m.

Sat, Feb. 11        Binghamton     Mohegan Sun Arena         7:05 p.m.

 

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

Mon, Jan. 30   (C)      Carter Rowney                      Recalled by PIT

Thu, Feb. 2      (D)      Brett Stern                     Released from PTO

PENGUINS ALUMNI REPORT

Pittsburgh Penguins forward CONOR SHEARY is on quite the hot streak lately, recording nine points over the past four games, and earning the NHL’s First Star of the Week award.

Sheary has picked up six goals and three assists during the Penguins’ current four-game winning streak.  He has three two-goal games and points in every contest, giving him his first four-game point streak at the NHL level.

The former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton skater has eight games during the month of January, tied for the most in the league, and currently ranks fourth on the Penguins with 34 points and third with 17 goals.

Sheary spent parts of three seasons playing in NEPA, recording 81 points (27+54) in 90 regular season games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.  As of Monday, the Winchester, MA native had totaled 44 points (24+20) in 83 games with Pittsburgh.

Here’s a look at WBS alumni currently on the Pittsburgh Penguins roster:

BRYAN RUST:  Currently skating on a line with Sheary and Sidney Crosby, Rust has put up 24 points (12+12) in 43 games with Pittsburgh.  The speedy winger is creeping up on 100 games with the NHL club (he currently sits at 98), and has produce 37 points (17+20) in parts of two seasons in the Burgh.

Rust totaled 33 points (16+17) in 63 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton over parts of three campaigns.

SCOTT WILSON:  Wilson has 13 points (5+8) in 43 games this season with Pittsburgh, and 19 points (10+9) in 68 career games with the big club.

In parts of three seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Wilson recorded 77 points (41+36). His 22 goals last season ranked third in the team, despite his appearing in only 34 games with WBS.

JAKE GUENTZEL:  The rookie forward has shown he’s ready for the bright lights of the NHL with seven points (4+3) in nine games with Pittsburgh.  He made an immediate impression, scoring on his first NHL shot during his debut on November 21 against the Rangers, and following that up with another tally later in the game.

Guentzel joined Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after his college schedule came to an end last year, and all he did was lead the Pens in playoff scoring (5+9=14 in 10 games).  He currently ranks second in the AHL with 21 goals and 42 points despite an extended stay with Pittsburgh.

TOM KUHNHACKL:  The German-born Kuhnhackl has found it difficult to crack the Pittsburgh lineup recently, appearing in just two games since December 16.  He has five points (2+3) in 25 games this season to go with 20 (7+13) in 67 games last year.

In parts of four seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Kuhnhackl picked up 59 points (29+30) in 154 games.

ON THE BLUELINE

STEVE OLEKSY has one assist in nine games with Pittsburgh this season, and has brought a physical edge to the blue line with 22 penalty minutes.  He has 23 points (3+20) in 73 career games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and led the club with 123 penalty minutes last year.

CHAD RUHWEDEL tallied his first NHL goal in his second game with Pittsburgh back on December 23, and has added two assists in nine games with the team.  His 16 points (4+12) in 28 games are second most among WBS defenders this season.

CAMERON GAUNCE picked up assists in his first two games after being recalled last week.  He had eight points (2+6) in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s first 39 games this season.

BETWEEN THE PIPES:

MATT MURRAY:  Since returning from a two week stint on the medical report, Murray has appeared in five of the Penguins past six games, including each of the past four contests.  He’s posted a 4-1-0-0 mark in that time while allowing 14 goals.  Half of those came in an 8-7 OT victory against the Washington Capitals, and he’s only let in one goal in each of his past three appearances.  For the season, Murray has posted a 17-4-0 mark in 22 games with a 2.32 GAA and .923 save percentage.

Murray rewrote the AHL record books while with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, recording 12 shutouts during the 2014-15 season, setting the league record for longest shutout streak (304:11) and earning the league’s top goaltender and rookie awards.  He posted a 45-20-4 mark in two-plus seasons.

MARC-ANDRE FLEURY:  The two-time Stanley Cup champion and former first overall draft pick has a 13-7-0 record this season, and holds a 370-213-67 mark with Pittsburgh all-time.

Fleury appeared in 71 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton during parts of three seasons, posting a 39-23-4 record and 2.32 goals against average.

ON THE INJURY REPORT:

KRIS LETANG:  One of the NHL’s top puck moving defensemen, Letang had 23 points (4+19) in 30 games before suffering a lower body injury on January 14 against Detroit.   Letting has scored more points for Pittsburgh (375) than any other Wilkes-Barre/Scranton graduate.  He suited up for 10 games with WBS at the start of the 2007-08 season, recording seven points (1+6).

BRIAN DUMOULIN:  A fractured jaw has kept Dumoulin on the sidelines since December 27.  He had seven assists in 35 games prior to that this season.  He appeared in 188 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton from 2012-15, posting 78 points (15+53).

OLEKSY, RUHWEDEL TO PITT; SESTITO TO WBS

oleksy_02_600

The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled defensemen Steve Oleksy and Chad Ruhwedel from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

Forward Tom Sestito has been assigned to WBS.

Oleksy, 30, and Ruhwedel, 26, have helped the WBS Penguins jump out of the gate to an 8-1-1 record that has the club at the top of the AHL standings.

The 6-foot, 190-pound Oleksy has suited up for all 10 games thus far for WBS, amassing four points (1G-3A), a plus-1 and 12 penalty minutes.

Last spring, Oleksy traveled with the Penguins during the final two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs following the injury to Trevor Daley, earning both a day with the Stanley Cup and a championship ring.

Oleksy has played in 62 career NHL games, all with the Washington Capitals, tallying 19 points (3G-16A) and a plus-15.

Ruhwedel, who stands 5-foot-11, 191 pounds, leads all WBS blueliners this year in goals (2), assists (5) and points (7) in 10 games. He has an active three-game assist streak (4 total).

A native of San Diego, California, Ruhwedel broke into the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres as an undrafted free agent, collecting two assists in 33 NHL contests over parts of four years.

During his three-year college career at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Ruhwedel was an NCAA First-Team All-American his final year, helped his school reach the 2013 Frozen Four held at PPG Paints Arena and was teammates with Scott Wilson for two seasons.

OLEKSY FIGHTS FOR SPOT IN PITTSBURGH

Cracking the roster of a Stanley Cup championship team isn’t an easy task.  When that team is the Pittsburgh Penguins (a club that is returning nearly the entire compliment of players from its 2015-16 Cup winning squad) it’s even more difficult.

Steve Oleksy knows that first hand, as he was among the players reassigned to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins by the NHL team this week.

A seventh-year pro, Oleksy was trying to break into a Penguins lineup that features six of its seven top defensemen returning for the 2016-17 season.  He was still sporting a black eye – the result of an altercation during the Penguins preseason contest against the Chicago Blackhawks on September 30 – when he met with the media following Tuesday morning’s practice at the Toyota SportsPlex.

He knows that a hard-nosed, physical game could be the key to his Pittsburgh return.

“It’s something I’ve tried to do throughout my career,” Oleksy said of his style of play.  “The inner squads and exhibitions were a good time to display that side.

“I’ve just got to keep doing what I do, and play the same way down here as I did up there.  Just continue to do that.  If you continue to do things the right way, over time things are going to pay off.”

One of the more experienced players in Wilkes-Barre’s camp, Oleksy knows that nothing is guaranteed in the world of pro hockey.  He doesn’t take his position with the organization for granted.

“It’s a hard business to stay in, especially as you move forward, and the older you get and the longer you go, more and more guys are coming in,” he said when asked about his motivations heading into the season.  “It’s our livelihood, so we’ve got to continue.  No matter what level or what team, wherever it is, you’ve got to continue to play your game and play the best you can every practice, every game.”

Oleksy was recalled by Pittsburgh three times last season, but didn’t see any game action with the NHL club.  He was, however, among the players who skated as members of the ‘Black Aces’ during the playoffs, and even took warm-ups for a Stanley Cup Finals game.  This week he’ll head back to Washington D.C. – the city where he plied his trade for parts of three seasons – to be with the Penguins as they are honored at the White House.

“It’s going to be exciting.  Obviously that’s something very, very, very few people get to experience,” Oleksy said.  “It’s something a lot of people would like to do, and with the circumstances it’s something people dream about.  For everybody to make me feel a part of that and to invite me to that, it’s definitely a day I’m looking forward to.”

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins take the ice for their first preseason game when they host the Albany Devils at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7:05 p.m. The Penguins will also battle the Hershey Bears in exhibition action at home on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7:05 p.m. before wrapping up their preseason schedule at Giant Center against the Bears on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Individual tickets for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton home games can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, through Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 2016-17 season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season, 22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PITTSBURGH ASSIGNS 17 TO WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON

Steve Oleksy
Defenseman Steve Oleksy is among the 17 players assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

The Pittsburgh Penguins have assigned 17 players to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Jim Rutherford.

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.

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

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins take the ice for their first preseason game when they host the Albany Devils at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7:05 p.m. The Penguins will also battle the Hershey Bears in exhibition action at home on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7:05 p.m. before wrapping up their preseason schedule at Giant Center against the Bears on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Individual tickets for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton home games can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, through Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 2016-17 season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season, 22-game12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.

PITTSBURGH vs COLUMBUS IN PRESEASON ACTION

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins are in Ohio to face off with the Columbus Blue Jackets in preseason action on Sunday at 4:00pm.  And once again, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins fans will see some names they know in the lineup.

Jake Guentzel, Josh Archibald, Dominik Simon, Jean-Sebastien Dea and Carter Rowney are all in the lineup once again, as each has been for the team’s first three preseason affairs.  One new insertion is forward Adam Krause, who appeared in 15 regular season games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton last season, posting four points (1+3) and 10 penalty minutes.  His first AHL goal came in spectacular fashion, scoring shorthanded against the Hershey Bears on March 20th of last season.

Fans can listen to today’s game via the Penguins mobile app, online at 105.9 the X, or can watch it on the NHL Network.  The Penguins roster for today’s game (subject to change):

Goaltenders
35 Tristan Jarry
36 Leland Irving

Defensemen
2 Chad Ruhwedel
4 Justin Schultz
10 Stuart Percy
24 Cameron Gaunce
42 Ethan Prow
51 Derrick Pouliot
61 Steve Oleksy

Forwards
11 Kevin Porter
13 Nick Bonino
19 Garrett Wilson
23 Scott Wilson
25 Tom Sestito
34 Tom Kuhnhackl
37 Carter Rowney
39 Jean-Sebastien Dea
45 Josh Archibald
49 Dominik Simon
59 Jake Guentzel
60 Adam Krause

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins take the ice for their first preseason game when they host the Albany Devils at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Thursday, Oct. 6 at 7:05 p.m. The Penguins will also battle the Hershey Bears in exhibition action at home on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7:05 p.m. before wrapping up their preseason schedule at Giant Center against the Bears on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 5:00 p.m.

Individual tickets for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton home games can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, through Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Season ticket packages for the 2016-17 season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including full season, 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by contacting the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.