Today is the AHL trade deadline, which is generally a non-issue for the Pittsburgh Penguins, especially considering our general dearth of players playing under AHL contracts. However, they did manage to make a pretty big deal this morning.
Nesbitt has 26G and 21A in 66 games this season. So he joins the Baby Pens as the #2 goal scorer (both Power Play and Even Strength) behind Chad Kolarik and the #4 in total points (conveniently behind the top line of Kolarik, Trevor Smith, and Riley Holzapfel). He is expected to join the team after their road trip to St. John's, and considering his goal scoring ability he will probably take over Beau Bennett (#6 in points)'s spot on the 2nd line (with #5 and #7 point scorers Brian Gibbons and Paul Thompson) and on the top PP unit. Less important, but still interesting, Nesbitt also ranks as #3 in points per game, behind Kolarik and Bennett.
So this means the Baby Pens picked up an excellent replacement for Bennett, who is likely to remain in Pittsburgh for the remainder of the season. The Pens are looking for a long playoff push at both the NHL and AHL levels. Another interesting fact about Nebitt: he played for Ferris State University, and during his Freshman and Sophomore seasons (2001-03) skated with a familiar name to Pens fans, Chris Kunitz. He played on a line and the same PP unit with Kunitz (who coincidentally holds the career record for goals at Ferris State). Another Ferris State alumni in the Pens system is Wheeling Nailers/WBS Pens forward Cody Chupp, who was still in high school when Kunitz and Nesbitt played but fondly remembers watching them.
In other recent news, the Pens have officially decided not to add winger Keven Veilleux to the Baby Pens roster now that the Wheeling Nailers season has ended. There is a strong indication that this was due to his incident of shouting a racial slur at an opposing player during a Wheeling game, which resulted in a suspension and his falling out of favor with the Pens organization. He could be an excellent Bottom 6 forward in the NHL, or possibly a career Top 6 AHL guy. But his days in a Pens uniform are over, and it is extremely unlikely the Pens will choose to extend his contract this summer.