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Pens recall Pierre Letourneau-Leblond

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If this isn't rock bottom for injuries, it's gotta be close

Jim McIsaac

The parade of injuries and call-ups for the Pittsburgh Penguins continues. From the team:

The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled forward Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League (AHL), it was announced today by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.

Letourneau-Leblond, 28, is in his first season in the Pittsburgh organization. He has spent the entire campaign thus far with WBS, posting two points (1G-1A) and 137 penalty minutes.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound forward has played parts of four NHL seasons with the New Jersey Devils and Calgary Flames, notching three assists and 101 penalty minutes in 40 regular-season games. Letourneau-Leblond has also played in five career postseason contests.

That certainly is not encouraging, but considering that two defensemen (Simon Despres and Deryk Engelland) were skating on the 4th line in practice yesterday, Letourneau-Leblond at least gives them a forward body.

Whether or not PLL plays might depend on James Neal. Neal was said to suffer an injury against the Oilers last week, but he did play against Calgary after that. But, Neal did snap a four game point streak and only had 1 shot on goal versus the Flames, so perhaps he shouldn't be counted on to play through this injury.

Let's also not forgot that Neal said he felt good on opening day (after suffering a different injury in his oblique) and they dressed him that game. Neal couldn't finish the first period and was out of the lineup for five weeks, so hopefully the coaches are taking the doctors more into account than the player. The player is going to want to play, but that might not be the smartest decision for the short or long term.