Joseph Blandisi’s nickname is “the Blender” for his uptempo personality that mixes it up on the ice. It could also be like the “yo yo man” or something for this wild week where he bounced between the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins and the AHL Wilkes-Barre Penguins. Just look at this travel and game itinerary Blandisi went through this week:
- Wednesday 12/11: plays with Wilkes-Barre @ Rochester
- Thursday 12/12: Recalled to NHL, travels to Pittsburgh, plays with Pens at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets
- Friday 12/13: Sent back to AHL, travels from PGH to Cleveland, plays with AHL Penguins against Monsters
- Saturday 12/14: Recalled to NHL, travels from Cleveland back to Pittsburgh, play with Pens at home against the Los Angeles Kings
Overall in the last 16 days, Blandisi has been recalled from the AHL three times. He’s been waived once, clearing after every team in the league had a chance to claim him. And he’s been sent back to the AHL now three times after being on “emergency recall”.
Blandisi got interviewed by Dan Potash during the game at the first intermission on television and was keeping a positive attitude when asked about playing all these games lately.
“Whenever you can get out there you’re excited about it...At one point in my career a couple years ago, I didn’t know if I was going to play again. So I don’t think four games in four nights definitely isn’t something to complain about.”
Blandisi isn’t wrong, and that’s a positive way to look at it. Another way is that Evgeni Malkin being sick meant Blandisi had to make two round-trips from AHL to NHL this week, at a benefit of making about $2,500 more per day, since the NHL salary cap is calculated daily and Blandisi’s salary is at at $700,000 rate when with Pittsburgh, compared to a $200,000 rate when with Wilkes-Barre.
Not a bad gig if you can get it, and since the WB/S Pens were on the road this week Blandisi actually got a bit lucky to not have to make the longer Wilkes-Barre-to-Pittsburgh road trip. Not that it matters too much, these guys do have a car service a lot of times to make it pretty easy to ferry the players back and forth.
Either way, it always seems like there’s that one guy on the yo-yo form the AHL to NHL to make up for injuries. In the past it’s been Zach Aston-Reese or Teddy Blueger. Due to all the injuries this season it’s been Blandisi, and what a week he had with 4 games in 4 days. Luckily the NHL and AHL Pens are off on Sunday and Monday so Blandisi will get at least a couple days to rest up, no matter where the organization might ask him to play next.