Penguins send Sprong back to junior

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The Pittsburgh Penguins have assigned forward Daniel Sprong back to the Charlottetown Islanders of the QMJHL.

“Spending this time in the NHL has been a good development experience for Daniel,” General Manager Jim Rutherford said in a team release. “But it’s important for him to have more playing time.”

Rutherford and former coach Mike Johnston seemed to disagree on how to use the 18-year-old forward.

The GM wanted Sprong to play more while Johnston kept making him a healthy scratch.

The Penguins have burned the first year of Sprong’s contract because he suited up in more than nine regular season games in 2015-16.

That means he’ll have two years remaining on his three-year entry-level contract after this season.

He had two goals in 18 games during his stint with the Penguins.

He’ll be able to rejoin the team once his junior season comes to an end (not before Mar. 19).