The Pittsburgh Penguins announced that Beau Bennett is out for a couple of weeks with a knee injury. It sucks, and potentially could have happened to anyone, but it's really not worth dragging through Bennett's injury history any longer. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, he hasn't been able to stay in the lineup.
Coach Mike Johnston said that Jayson Megna, recently called up after scoring 7 goals in 8 games this month in Wilkes-Barre will get a look at filling Bennett's spot in the lineup. With Pascal Dupuis also on the shelf, this means that even with Megna, Zach Sill is in the lineup as a 7 minute a night player who's going to provide no offense, no penalty killing and basically nothing besides a few hits as he chases the other team with the puck all around the ice.
However, when one door closes, another one might have opened.
CGY puts Devin Setoguchi on waivers. WPG's T.J. Galiardi clears waivers.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) November 26, 2014
Devin Setoguchi has long been a player worth keeping an eye on. The former #8 overall pick in 2005 has been a very good point producer from 2008-2012 scoring an average of 23 goals and 21 assists between years with the Sharks and Wild. Also in the lockout shortened season he had 13 goals and 14 assists- which would project to 22 goals and 24 assists in a full season. Back in 2008-09, Setoguchi had a career year scoring 31 goals and 34 assists.
There's no doubt that Setoguchi has fallen off since then, he's got 0 goals and 0 assists in 12 games with the Flames this season and wasn't that good in Winnipeg either last year- though 11 goals and 16 assists aren't terrible either.
The Penguins past few waiver pickups haven't been great. Taylor Pyatt was one of the worst forwards in the NHL last year. Zach Boychuk and Chris Bourque have been younger players that got chances and bombed out of Pittsburgh almost immediately.
That shouldn't stop the interest in Setoguchi, though. Without Bennett and Dupuis, there is a need. Setoguchi's contract is only this season at $750,000 makes him a bargain. For a short-term chance, he can't be that worse than Megna in a top 9 role and Sill getting a jersey, can he?
As we've seen with Blake Comeau and Steve Downie, the Penguins have been able to give players who need a chance to get back from injuries into a bigger role. Setoguchi has also shown more production (and more recently) than either of Comeau or Downie, who are off to great season starts.
Even Jussi Jokinen was on the trash heap and unwanted before the Pens revived his career with a chance to play in a scoring role.
Devin Setoguchi may be the next Boychuk or Pyatt and simply have nothing to offer. However, he's also a player that has been very productive in the not-so-distant past, and for a Penguins team that really only has 4 options (Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz, Patric Hornqvist) in their top-6, this isn't a team that can afford to pass up on a free option to get a hold of a player with skill and potential. Even if they want to keep playing Comeau and Nick Spaling up on scoring lines, Setoguchi might not be a bad choice for Downie and Brandon Sutter on the 3rd line.
Any way you slice it, it's a no-risk chance for more depth and the potential to add a useful player. From this position, there's no reason not to take a chance on Devin Setoguchi.