Pittsburgh Penguins: Greg McKegg is a Great Addition to the System

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 6: Morgan Rielly
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 6: Morgan Rielly /

On July 1st, the Pittsburgh Penguins took a chance by signing centre Greg McKegg to a one-year, two-way $650,000 contract.

The Pittsburgh Penguins wanted to add some depth for their system this offseason and McKegg was one addition for this very purpose. He came in as one giant question mark. A low-risk signing who had a lot to prove to come anywhere near the Stanley Cup-winning roster the Pittsburgh Penguins were trying to assemble.

Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh Penguins /

Pittsburgh Penguins

And yet, after the conclusion of training camp, McKegg has been one of the Penguins most dominant centres and is now a leading candidate in the fight for an open roster spot.

After short stints with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning, McKegg is looking for a suitable spot for him to call him. Whether that’s Pittsburgh or Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the signing of Greg McKegg is certainly shaping out to be a great addition to our system’s depth.

Coach Loves Him

McKegg has already left an impression on the Penguins coaching staff, and Mike Sullivan has made that clear. Not to mention, McKegg has a great nickname now which is always a good sign!

“I’ve been really impressed with Kegger,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “I think he’s really made a positive impression on our coaching staff.”

Sullivan also has been taking notice of his play. McKegg was rewarded for his great play this week, by playing the most out of any Penguins forward on Friday against Columbus, registering 21:46 minutes of ice time.

“We’ve seen a lot from him, he’s been very impressive,” Sullivan said. “One of the reasons his minutes climbed is because we’re using him in a lot of situations. We’ve used him on power play, we’ve used him on the penalty kill, and we’ve put him with different people. He can skate, he’s got a maturity to his game, and he has some NHL experience. We’ve really liked what we’ve seen at this point, but it’s still the middle of training camp so we need to keep watching and we’ll evaluate as we go.”

Showing Up

Greg McKegg has been getting his chance with the big club during preseason, where he has already been showing up and playing effectively.

He scored a big goal in Wednesday night’s game against the Detroit Red Wings and has really been standing out with his speed and faceoff abilities.

He knows he’s among a handful of players eyeing a roster spot, but he also knows he is right up there with Carter Rowney for those vacant third and fourth line centre spots. He even uses the Penguins current need for a third-line centre as motivation.

“You can definitely use it for motivation, but you try not to look too much at it and put your best foot forward every time you’re out there,” McKegg said. “I think that’s the only thing you can think about.”

McKegg is a great signing and will only help our organizational depth in the long run.