Pittsburgh added some grit to its lineup on Tuesday by recalling forward Harry Zolnierczyk from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
The Pens are hurting up front with wingers Beau Bennett and James Neal out with unspecified injuries. Bennett, 20, was skating in place of Neal, who has been out since hurting himself in the first game of the season and is now on injured reserve.
Zolnierczyk, 26, has shown a surprising offensive flair for WBS thus far, scoring three goals in three games. He split last season between the Ducks and Flyers, appearing in seven games with Philly and none with Anaheim — he was shipped immediately to the Ducks’ AHL affiliate in Norfolk, and played out the season there.
The former Brown University standout make his mark on the league last year with some reckless hits. He was tossed from a game against Washington for kneeing Caps forward Mathieu Perreault, then suspended four games for charging Ottawa’s Mike Lundin.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Don Cherry thinks Phil Kessel did the right thing by not fighting John Scott on Sunday. Grapes didn’t agree with Kessel’s second slash though. (Toronto Sun)
Meanwhile, Ottawa Senators forward Zack Smith was surprised by Scott’s actions. Or, as he put it, “That guy (Scott) is probably the worst player in the league and he goes after a guy like Kessel?” (Ottawa Citizen)
Edmonton Oilers coach Dallas Eakins’ first major challenge: Figuring out what to do up the middle while Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (shoulder) and now Sam Gagner (jaw) recover from their respective injuries. (Edmonton Journal)
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Harry Zolnierczyk entered training camp as something of a long shot to make the team, but he’s gotten coach Dan Bylsma’s attention. (McKeesport Daily News)
The Anaheim Ducks trimmed their training camp roster on Monday and sent Stefan Noesen to AHL Norfolk along with five other players. Noesen was selected in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and was one of the prospects acquired in the Bobby Ryan trade. (Ducks.nhl.com)
ESPN The Magazine ranked the Pittsburgh Penguins, Anaheim Ducks, and Ottawa Senators as the top three NHL franchises. (Ottawa Citizen)
The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired a little more grit with the acquisition of Harry Zolnierczyk this off-season, and now they’ve shown that with a new contract for the rugged forward.
The Penguins re-signed Zolnierczyk to a one-year, two-way contract that is worth $550,000 at the NHL level, the club announced on Friday.
In 44 career NHL games, Zolnierczyk has three goals and seven points, to go along with 71 penalty minutes. In this lockout-shortened season, he appeared in seven games with the Philadelphia Flyers, the Pennsylvania rival of the Penguins.
On March 2, against the Ottawa Senators, he was kicked out of the game after being given a major penalty for charging, with just 1:26 of ice time under his belt.
So, he’s not in the Penguins organization for his scoring abilities.
Zolnierczyk originally joined the Flyers as an undrafted free agent. Oddly enough, his last regular season game for Philadelphia in 2013 was against the Penguins.
The Penguins actually saw him twice this past season – both times in Pittsburgh.