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WBS At the Deadline: Sheary Back, Jeffrey Returns

Lots of moving and shaking at the trade deadline, with some immediate and dynamic effects on the WBS Penguins.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL trade deadline doesn't just affect teams in the NHL.  All across North America, farm clubs of the NHL teams anxiously await the 3 pm EST deadline just as much as their NHL brethren.  Who's going where?  Who's coming in?  What does each team need to do?

The Penguins organization was no different.  Here's a quick look at how the NHL's Deadline Day affected the AHL Penguins.

  • Plotnikov Out, Plachta In - This trade was discussed earlier today on this website, so I won't go into the heavy details here, but to summarize:  Pittsburgh traded Sergei Plotnikov to Arizona to acquire forward Matthias Plachta and a conditional 7th round draft pick in 2017.  While playing for Arizona's affiliate in Springfield, Plachta appeared in 46 games, recording only two goals and five assists, a -9 rating, and 16 penalty minutes.  Pittsburgh announced that Plachta will join Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
  • Warsofsky Claimed - High noon brought the conclusion of the previous day's waiver period and the unfortunate news that defender David Warsofsky had been claimed off waivers by the New Jersey Devils.  Warsofsky had been assigned to WBS on February 21 for a long-term injury conditioning assignment, but was recalled from that assignment on February 28.  To return to WBS, he needed to clear waivers, which he did not.  Warsofsky dressed for 17 games for WBS this season, scoring two goals and assisting on four others.
  • Sheary Reassigned - WBS got a huge jolt for its forward lines shortly after the noon waiver time, when Pittsburgh announced the return of WBS's joint-top scorer, Conor Sheary, to WBS.  Sheary has been tied with Scott Wilson for the WBS lead in points with 36 since he was last recalled to Pittsburgh.  His former WBS teammates have now closed the gap, with Dominik Simon, Carter Rowney, and Will O'Neill having 35 points each, but they have each taken anywhere from 20 to 25 more games to record these points.  Sheary has his 36 points in only 30 contests.  No doubt Sheary's return will jump-start the WBS forwards.
  • Paper Transactions - In order to be eligible for the AHL playoffs, a player must be on the roster of its AHL franchise at the trade deadline, 3 pm today.  Pittsburgh did its very best to set WBS up for as strong a lineup as possible in the playoffs when it loaned Bryan Rust, Scott Wilson, Derrick Pouliot, and Matt Murray to WBS in time for the 3 pm deadline, then swiftly recalled them from such loans.  NHL teams are allowed 4 non-emergency callups following the trade deadline, and the subsequent recalls of these four serve to burn those four callups.  Any remaining callups from WBS to Pittsburgh for the remainder of the season must now be for emergency purposes.
  • Jeffrey Returns - The biggest hammer to drop for WBS today, though, came down after the official deadline passed, when it was announced that former Penguin and 2015-16 AHL All-Star Dustin Jeffrey, the WBS franchise's fifth all-time leading scorer, was acquired from the Arizona Coyotes organization, along with forward Dan O'Donoghue and defender James Melindy.  The Penguins sent Matia Marcantuoni to Arizona to acquire these pieces.  O'Donoghue and Melindy are destined for Wheeling to bolster the Nailers' roster, but the star acquisition here is Jeffrey, who spent parts of five seasons with the Penguins before being claimed off waivers by Dallas in November 2013.  As part of Dallas's affiliate in Texas, he won the Calder Cup in 2014 before spending time with the Vancouver, New York Islanders, and Arizona organizations.  This season for Arizona's affiliate in Springfield, Jeffrey has 13 goals and 33 assists for 46 points in 45 games, which leads the Falcons and ranks 10th among all AHL players.
In the immediate term, WBS gets one of its leading scorers back for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs (unless an "emergency" hits), plus the top scorer of one of its division rivals and a depth winger.  Folks, this could not have come at a better time for a WBS team searching desperately for a spark and now looking up at the Hershey Bears in the division standings.

The new acquisitions will jump right into the fire of division rivalries this weekend, as WBS goes to Lehigh Valley on Friday night, March 4, then to Hershey on March 5, then back home to play Hershey again on March 6.