In order to do this, the Pens need more bodies. So they put in the call to the AHL and brought up the following players to participate, from the Pens twitter:
Forwards Holzapfel, Uher, Gibbons, Payerl, Trevor Smith, Peters, MacIntyre, Sill and Thompson...Defensemen Dumoulin, Morrow, Samuelsson, Grant and Reese. Goalie Killeen. Black and Gold Game players
A very interesting mix of players who will at least get a chance to show their skills in as close to an NHL game without actually being in the NHL.
And, as Dan Bylsma said they're not picking teams out of a playground, the club has very carefully selected which team is which to allow for them to work on powerplays, shorthanded situations, and also potential lines. It's believed that Eric Tangradi will start out with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal but at some point tonight Beau Bennett will get his chance to play on the big line. It's definitely a big night for those two young guys.
We're about to drop the puck tonight at 7:00, and it feels good. Root Sports will even have a television broadcast with full coverage, just like any normal Wednesday night game in January. It's finally time to play some hockey.