Penguins Reduce Roster to 23

By: Nick Richter

Photo courtesy of Zimbio

With the season opener against the Vancouver Canucks only a few days away, general manager Ray Shero announced earlier this afternoon that the team reduced their active roster down to 23 players.

Alexandre Picard, Brian Strait and Jason Williams were all re-assigned to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins while Joe Morrow was was sent back to his junior team, the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL.

Picard and Williams will both have to clear waivers tomorrow at noon in order to officially return to WBS.

The Penguins made further roster moves when they placed Sidney Crosby, Dustin Jeffrey, Nick Peterson, Robert Bortuzzo and Boris Valabik on injured reserve.



-Multiple sources have confirmed that since Sidney Crosby’s injury is from last season, he is eligible to come off of IR at any time. No seven day wait period is necessary. I’ve yet to hear any indication about whether this applies to Dustin Jeffrey or not, but since his injury is also from the previous season and he was placed on IR last February, I would have to imagine that the same holds true for him.

-I know a number of Penguins fans wanted to see Joe Morrow start the year in the NHL because of how impressive he’s been in camp, but returning to the WHL would be the best thing for his development. It will be a great way for him to get top minutes, spend some time on the power play and/or penalty kill (which he certainly would not get a chance to do in at the NHL level) and build his confidence.

-Since defensemen Picard, Strait and Morrow were all demoted, this may be an indication that Brooks Orpik will be ready for the season opener. But it could also just mean that Matt Niskanen, Deryk Engelland and Ben Lovejoy will all be in the lineup Thursday night, instead of one of them sitting out as a healthy scratch. We’ll have to wait and see.

Forwards (14):

#27 Craig Adams
#45 Arron Asham
#24 Matt Cooke
#9 Pascal Dupuis
#48 Tyler Kennedy
#14 Chris Kunitz
#10 Mark Letestu
#33 Steve MacIntyre
#71 Evgeni Malkin
#18 James Neal
#12 Richard Park
#11 Jordan Staal
#26 Steve Sullivan
#46 Joe Vitale

Defensemen (7):

#5 Deryk Engelland
#58 Kris Letang
#6 Ben Lovejoy
#7 Paul Martin
#4 Zbynek Michalek
#2 Matt Niskanen
#44 Brooks Orpik

Goaltenders (2):

#29 Marc-Andre Fleury
#1 Brent Johnson