With the defensive acquisitions made by the WBS Penguins during this offseason , such as Stuart Percy andChad Ruhwedel, in addition to returning veterans and young up-and-comers like Ethan Prow and Lukas Bengtsson, a logjam seemed inevitable on the blue line. That logjam was alleviated somewhat on Saturday, as the Penguins organization sent its long-tenured, bruising defender Reid McNeill to the St. Louis Blues organization in exchange for forward Danny Kristo.
Listed at 6'4" and 215 pounds, and playing like every single bit of that, McNeill has played for WBS since the 2012-13 season, tallying a total of 4 goals and 21 assists over 190 regular season games, as well as one goal and 4 assists in 31 postseason games over that time span. McNeill also posted 319 regular season penalty minutes and 37 postseason penalty minutes in his career for WBS.
He now departs for the Blues organization and, most likely, their AHL affiliate in Chicago. In return, WBS gets the services of Danny Kristo, a veteran of five AHL seasons himself with the Hamilton Bulldogs, the Hartford Wolf Pack, and most recently with Chicago, where he led the Wolves with 25 goals. He also posted 23 assists in 71 regular season games in 2015-16. In his career, Kristo has posted 20 goals in each of his first three full professional seasons - 25 for Hartford in 2013-14. 22 for Hartford in 2014-15, and 25 for Chicago in 2015-16. Kristo is off to a slow start this season, with only two assists in 8 games. Kristo also recorded one goal and two assists for Team USA in the World Junior Championships of 2013, helping USA to bronze.
The Atlantic Division-leading WBS Penguins close out a stretch of six games in nine days tonight, when they travel to Hershey for a date with the third-place Hershey Bears.