The Pittsburgh Penguins and general manager Ray Shero have reportedly sent four players down and recalled defenseman Harrison Ruopp from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, to meet the salary cap restrictions before the start of the season – according to the team’s website.
Forward Beau Bennett was designated to the Wheeling Nailers of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL), while forward Andrew Ebbett and defenseman Simon Despres were sent to WBS. Top prospect blueliner Derrick Pouliot was also re-assigned back to the Portland Winterhawks (junior team) of the Western Hockey League (WHL).
Although it might come as a shock to some people that Bennett and Despres were moved before the start of the season, understand that this was only to meet the opening day salary cap, and both – Bennett for sure – are expected to be back with the team shortly.
It’s also important to note that top defensive prospect Olli Maatta has not been moved, which could mean he’ll see some action in the NHL with Kris Letang out with a lower-body injury.
This is all depending on Despres’ situation of course.
Pittsburgh opens up against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday in the CONSOL Energy Center at 7 p.m.