Fresh off back-to-back shootout losses, the Pittsburgh Penguins are looking to tighten up their defense ahead of games against the New York Rangers and Chicago Blackhawks this week. One step they’re taking to achieve that goal is the promotion of David Warsofsky from the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. In a corresponding move, fellow defenseman Frank Corrado has been sent down the minors to make room.
Warsofsky has skated in six games with Pittsburgh this season, but is no stranger to the system having played in 12 contests with the team last year as well. At just 5’9″, 170 lbs., the former Boston University blue liner does not exactly strike fear into the hearts of his opponents with his physicality. His career -9 rating doesn’t instill much confidence in his defense play either. However, Warsofsky is actually a very dependable puck-moving defenseman, who plays responsibly with the puck and can be leaned upon for minutes without risking a lapse in defensive play. While his Wilkes-Barre/Scranton compatriots like Cameron Gaunce, Chad Ruhwedel, and more were back and forth from Pittsburgh over much of the past few months, Warsofsky has excelled as the #1 defenseman for the AHL squad. As solid as he can be in his own end, where Warsofsky really shines is on the offensive, where he has posted AHL career highs this season. The AHL All-Star is currently ranked fifth among minor league defensemen in scoring. As hockey fans have seen for close to a decade now, the Pittsburgh Penguins are certainly not above the mantra of the “the best defense is a good offense”.
Meanwhile, the recently acquired Corrado will take a trip across Pennsylvania to join the Jr. Penguins for a while. Corrado wanted out of Toronto at the Trade Deadline due to a perceived lack of opportunity, and the Maple Leafs granted his wish by sending him to Pittsburgh in a deal that saw veteran forward Eric Fehr go the other way. However, despite multiple injuries on the Penguins’ blue line, opportunity has not knocked much for Corrado in Pittsburgh either. Corrado has skated in just two games for Pittsburgh thus far, the same number he played in with Toronto before being moved, and has been held without a point and has failed to make much of a difference in any matter. In the Penguins’ 2-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, Corrado was on the ice for just under six minutes. Pittsburgh will get the young defenseman some play time now, and hope that he can rediscover his game in the minors and return to the NHL level and make more of an impact if called upon.
Is Letang ever coming back or is he done? Really starting to wonder!