Jansen Harkins has cleared waivers according to the daily update. Harkins, who came to Pittsburgh on waivers earlier this month, found no takers this time around.
With Harkins on waivers and leaving the Pens’ NHL roster one way (to another NHL team) or another (down to Wilkes-Barre to clear necessary salary cap space), Pittsburgh practiced with 11 forwards today, with Mike Sullivan expecting a roster move upcoming to fill out the team.
The Penguins are practicing one forward short with Harkins placed on waivers yesterday. Here are the lines and D-pairs:— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) October 20, 2023
However, that they had 11 forwards to practice was a good thing. Yesterday coach Mike Sullivan said that Noel Acciari, who missed Thursday’s practice, was being evaluated for injury following the Wednesday night game. Acciari was back in his normal spot today and has already been given the green light to play tomorrow night against St. Louis.
The other piece of good news is that Kris Letang had an almost identical path as Acciari - missing practice yesterday, back today and good to be in the lineup tomorrow. Letang has an undisclosed lower body injury that may limit what he can do on the ice (let’s remember Letang uncharateristically not just losing a foot race but getting beaten by a mile by Andrew Copp and being unable to stop without conceding a penalty shot as a most visible example).
Matt Nieto is now where Harkins used to be on the third line, as Nieto was for most of the third period on Wednesday. That would point to the yet-to-be-named player that’s getting called for tomorrow’s game starting out on the wing with Acciari and Jeff Carter.
There has been some speculation that player could be Radim Zohorna coming from Wilkes to re-join the Penguins in St. Louis.
UPDATE: it is indeed Zohorna getting the call:
The defense at the bottom was shaken up today, Chad Ruhwedel and P.O. Joseph saw their pairing split after a rough game last time out. Given line rushes and the scattered nature of practice, it remains to be seen exactly which pair might play and which will be the two scratches. Ryan Shea served as a placeholder for Letang yesterday in practice and seems to be favored by the coaches, so it could well be Joseph about to take a seat for a lineup change tomorrow night. If it’s not Joseph being scratched, John Ludvig will make his Pittsburgh and NHL debut if practice lines hold.