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Penguins injuries mounting, Marcus Pettersson to LTIR

We’ve reached the always troubling “Wilkes-Barre veteran captain up to Pittsburgh” portion of the season

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The injuries for the Pittsburgh Penguins are starting to mount. Marcus Pettersson suffered an undisclosed lower body injury on Saturday against New York and now has been moved to the long-term injured reserve. The Pens have brought up Wilkes-Barre captain Taylor Fedun.

The Pens’ blueline has turned into a MASH unit lately, first it was the recently acquired Dmitry Kulikov who was injured and also placed on LTIR to fit a replacement under the salary cap when Jeff Petry and Jan Rutta also got hurt last week. Add Pettersson to the mix, and now arguably the injured wing of Penguin defensemen is better than the players remaining healthy.

Pettersson’s LTIR stint almost ends his regular season, the rules state he must be on there for at least 24 days and 10 games. Based on the days portion, that means the soonest he could return (provided he is also healthy by then) would be for April 11th against Chicago, the second-to-last game of the season.

Fedun, 34, has not played in the NHL since the 2020 playoffs when he was with the Dallas Stars. He’s been in the AHL ever since, serving as Wilkes-Barre’s captain. Given that this is an emergency recall, it means that neither Rutta or Petry are currently healthy and Fedun will be one of six defenders to play for the NHL Pens tonight against Ottawa.

Joining Fedun will be Kris Letang, Brian Dumoulin, Chad Ruhwedel, P.O. Joseph and Mark Friedman in a rag-tag bunch as the team looks to cobble together before embarking on four games in the next six days, starting with the Senators tonight. That journey looks even more difficult given the mounting injuries to the blueline.