Pittsburgh Penguins Adjust Roster For Season Opener

By Larry Snyder

The Pittsburgh Penguins revealed Saturday afternoon that they have reduced their roster by six players in preparing for Thursday’s National Hockey League season opener against the Stars in Dallas.

A pair of forwards, right wing Bryan Rust and center Jean-Sebastien Dea, along with defenseman Derrick Pouliot were assigned to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League.

The Black and Gold added two more players on waivers in center Kevin Porter and defenseman David Warsofsky. If the two are unclaimed, they are both headed to WBS Sunday at noon.

The Pens released 41-year-old defenseman Sergei Gonchar from his professional tryout contract. His leadership and experience were not enough to justify keeping him on the roster.

The last move that was announced was the placement of right wing Tom Kuhnhackl and center Eric Fehr on injured reserved. It leaves 13 forwards, eight defensemen, and two goaltenders for head coach Mike Johnston and his staff to begin the season.

Six of the eight defensemen to open the campaign are 28 years old or younger. The two grey beards on the blue line are Ben Lovejoy at 31 and Rob Scuderi at 36.

Pittsburgh’s youngest forward coming out of the pre-season is 18-year-old Daniel Sprong. Can Sprong last longer than a nine-game tryout before being sent back to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League?

Jeff Zatkoff is going to be your back-up for Marc-Andre Fleury between the pipes for now.

Here is a quick break down of the Penguins roster:

DEFENSEMEN (8):

Adam Clendening – #2 – 6-0 – 190
Ian Cole – #28 – 6-1 – 219
Brian Dumoulin – #8 – 6-4 – 207
Tim Erixon -#44 – 6-2 – 200
Kris Letang – #58 – 6-0 – 201
Ben Lovejoy – #12 – 6-1 – 206
Olli Maatta – #3 – 6-2 – 206
Rob Scuderi – #4 – 6-1 – 212

FORWARDS (13):

Beau Bennett – #19 – RW – 6-2 – 195
Nick Bonino – #13 – C – 6-1 – 196
Sidney Crosby – #87 – C – 5-11 – 200
Matt Cullen – #7 – C – 6-1 – 200
Pascal Dupuis – #9 – RW – 6-1 – 205
Bobby Farnham – #24 – RW – 5-10 – 188
Patric Hornqvist – #72 – RW – 5-11 – 189
Phil Kessel – #81 – RW – 6-0 – 202
Chris Kunitz – #14 – LW – 6-0 – 195
Evgeni Malkin – #71 – C – 6-3 – 195
David Perron – #57 – LW – 6-0 – 200
Sergei Plotnikov – #61 – LW – 6-2 – 202
Daniel Sprong – #41 – RW – 6-0 – 180

GOALTENDERS (2):

Marc-Andre Fleury – #29 – 6-2 – 180
Jeff Zatkoff – #37 – 6-2 – 179