Mark Eaton Stanley Cup

Veteran blueliner Eaton signs PTO with Pittsburgh’s AHL affiliate (Update: Kostopoulos too)


Mark Eaton is headed back to the organization he won a Stanley Cup with in 2009.

That’s the word out of Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday, as the Penguins — Pittsburgh’s AHL affiliate — announced they’ve signed the 35-year-old defenseman to a professional tryout agreement (PTO).

A veteran of over 600 regular-season contests, Eaton spent four years with the Penguins (2006-10), playing a vital role in their ’09 Cup victory. He tied for the team lead for goals by a defenseman (four) and finished third behind Sergei Gonchar and Kris Letang for d-man scoring (seven points).

Eaton also posted his finest NHL season in Pittsburgh, posting career-highs in games played (79), assists (13) and points (16) during the 2009-10 campaign.

He left Pittsburgh following the ’10 season, signing a two-year, $5 million deal with the Islanders. During his time in New York, Eaton posted one goal, six assists and 18 penalty minutes in 96 games.

Update: Wilkes-Barre also announced veteran forward Tom Kostopoulos has been signed to a PTO. Kostopoulos, 33, spent last year with the Calgary Flames, appearing in 81 games while scoring 4G-8A-12PTS.

Flames release Ryan Wilson from PTO

Ryan Wilson, Sidney Crosby
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The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.

The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.

Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.

The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.

He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.

The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.

The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.

The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.

‘Yotes return Dylan Strome to OHL

Dylan Strome, Nikita Nikitin

The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.

Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.

Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.

Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.

The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.

Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.

Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.