It's unfortunate when things like this happen. Forwards were called up with regularity during February and when two of them received concussions and were unable to play, rules dictated that they were not allowed to be reassigned to the AHL while they were injured. Well the AHL has a rule that in order to be on their clear day (playoff) roster, the player cannot have been on an NHL roster at the trade deadline to be eligible for the Calder Cup Playoffs.
WBS Penguins beat writer Jonathan Bombulie sums this up pretty well. He also added that Conner wasn't sent down so he can't be on their playoff roster either.
Nick Johnson, Eric Tangradi and Chris Conner were on the NHL roster as of 3 p.m. yesterday, so they will not be eligible for the Calder Cup playoffs.
Johnson and Tangradi are both out with concussions and the CBA states that an injured player cannot be sent down. When it comes to clear day rosters, there is no loophole or exception for injured players. If a player is on the NHL roster at the trade deadline, he can’t be on the AHL clear day roster. Period.
Although he was sent down and is on the WBS Pens clear day roster, Dustin Jeffrey is also likely lost from WBS to the NHL, as he was quickly recalled after being sent down for deadline day. That's three forwards and three of the team's top five scorers that won't be in the WBS Pens lineup come playoff time.
Both Tangradi and Johnson can play for WBS the rest of this season (if they are healthy) but can't play in the AHL during the playoffs.
The Pens have options though, as teams can still complete AHL trades/loans until Monday March 7th, when the AHL's clear day rosters are due. While I haven't seen or heard anything regarding WBS making a move for anyone in particular, if a move is made it will likely be for an impending free agent forward from an AHL team not in the playoff race. And with the Western Conference so tightly knit, there aren't many teams that would be considered "sellers" before Monday's AHL deadline.
The WBS Pens play on the road Friday night in Toronto to take on the Marlies and Sunday in Hershey against the division rival Bears.
I know you all are dying to see my February report on the WBS forwards but I will wait to post it tomorrow afternoon sometime so be sure to check it out. Check my Twitter page for the most frequent updates of chatter this week to find out if/when the AHL Pens make a move before Monday's deadline.