GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 17: (L-R) Keith Yandle #3, Shane Doan #19, Cal O'Reilly #26 and Ray Whitney #13 of the Phoenix Coyotes celebrate after O'Reilly scored a second period power play goal against the New York Rangers during the NHL game at Jobing.com Arena on December 17, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Per Darren Dreger and Nick Kypreos on twitter, the Pittsburgh Penguins have gone out and claimed Cal O'Reilly off re-entry waivers.
O'Reilly, 25, has been well traveled this year. He started in the Nashville system, a 5th round draft pick of theirs in 2005. Not quite cracking the NHL roster full time, Nashville traded him early in the season to Phoenix for a 4th round pick. (The same return the Pens got for Mark Letestu to Columbus).
He didn't make it in Phoenix either, getting waived there and now they were trying to bring him back. Since it's a re-entry claim, Pittsburgh is only on the hook for half of his salary, about $500k pro-rated to the end of the season. O'Reilly is a restricted free agent at season's end.
In 27 NHL games this season (combined Phoenix and Nashville) O'Reilly has 2 goals, 3 assists and a -7 +/- rating. For his career he's got 40 points in 107 NHL games.
With Pittsburgh not finding much secondary scoring and injuries to Jordan Staal and Sidney Crosby, they could use a fresh forward or two, and it appears they're going to give O'Reilly a shot to prove himself. It's a very low risk and potentially medium sized reward move for Pittsburgh.
Update: From Carl Putnam, a writer at SB Nation Blog Five for Howling, a little scouting report:
"He's a bit of an enigma. Decent size, speed, skill, but for some reason it hasn't come together for him....He's been stuck playing mostly 4th line duty in PHX & NSH. Playing him with better skilled guys might help...Of course in that case playing w/ Pens wingers might not be the solution."