The Pittsburgh Penguins have claimed forward Taylor Pyatt off waivers, it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.
Pyatt, 32, has played the past two seasons with the New York Rangers, collecting 12 points (6G-6A) in 70 regular-season games. He had four points (2G-2A) in 12 playoff games with the Rangers last spring.
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Pyatt helped the Phoenix Coyotes reach the 2012 Western Conference Finals, scoring four goals, two assists and six points in 16 contests.
The Thunder Bay native has appeared in 825 career NHL games with the New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, Vancouver Canucks, Phoenix and the Rangers, notching 136 goals, 140 assists and 276 points. Pyatt has 24 points (10G-14A) in 69 career playoff contests.
Just from that you can see Pyatt will add size, age and experience to the lineup. The Pens are currently without forwards Evgeni Malkin*, Pascal Dupuis, Jayson Megna, Beau Bennett, Andrew Ebbett and Chris Conner.
When the depth players and call-ups are getting hurt, it becomes really tough to replace that and keep up, so adding Pyatt for free provides a little band-aid until guys like Megna and Bennett (who both briefly appeared today in their rehabs) can return.
Beyond that, the Pens probably gave Pyatt a chance just as a chance to shuffle things up, without having to spend anything. They've also had to use Zach Sill and Harry Zolnierczyk for 24 combined NHL games this season, getting just 1 goal and 0 assists between the two of them. Chuck Kobasew hasn't recorded a single point his last 23 games. Brian Gibbons hasn't had a point in his last seven. It'd be difficult for Pyatt to provide anything less tangible than that, plus he has some size and experience in the NHL, so why not give him a shot and see how it goes.
*Malkin, and Kris Letang did skate with the team though today, yay!