Jake Guentzel’s injury left the Penguins with only 11 healthy forwards for last night’s game against Columbus, instead of the usual compliment of 12. With the Pens now venturing across the continent for the rest of the week, they will be dipping into the farm team to get some reinforcements.
Wilkes-Barre had a Sunday afternoon game in Providence, but neither Sam Poulin nor Drake Caggiula were in the lineup.
No Sam Poulin or Drake Caggiula for WBS today. Word is they are Pittsburgh bound— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) October 23, 2022
These impending recalls, which have not yet been officially announced, means that Pittsburgh must place one of Guentzel or Teddy Blueger on long-term injured reserve. That would allow the Pens to exceed the upper limit of the salary cap on a temporary basis, and the official website does show Blueger now on IR.
It also means the player that goes on LTIR must be out 10 games and 24 days. Blueger has missed all the games in the regular season, and could be retroactively placed on the IR dating back to the first day of the official season, October 11th. That timeline would mean Blueger would only be eligible to return to the lineup on Saturday November 5th (though he also needs to recover and be healthy enough to play, naturally).
Life as a salary cap limit team always is a delicate dance around the upper limit, with the Pens having to dress only 11 forwards in their last game. Now they add two of their most impressive players from the pre-season to get their numbers back to normal during this long road trip.
It could also mark the NHL regular season debut of 21-year old former first round pick Sam Poulin. Poulin has one assist in four games in the AHL, working again as a center. The Pens don’t currently need a replacement NHL center for the playing lineup, so it remains to be seen if Poulin will be the extra body around just for insurance or if the team plans to dress him as soon as tomorrow night in Edmonton.
Update: The Drake and Poulin are up, Blueger is officially on LTIR.
The Penguins have recalled forwards Sam Poulin and Drake Caggiula from the @WBSPenguins.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 23, 2022
Teddy Blueger has been placed on long-term injured reserve retroactive to October 11.
Details: https://t.co/UEZMMGQa3S pic.twitter.com/GQKbdoFJfH