After battling an undisclosed injury for several weeks, but being unable to return to the lineup, the Pittsburgh Penguins have placed forward Teddy Blueger on LTIR retroactive to October 11th, the team announced. The veteran is eligible to come off of LTIR on November 5th. In a corresponding move, the team has recalled forwards, Samuel Poulin and Drake Caggiula from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Matt Vensel was first to report the transaction.
The injury bothering Blueger has been an issue for nearly a month now, despite being listed as day-to-day initially, however the team had yet to put him on IR until now. That was no problem, as the team had had 12 healthy forwards to spare, but with Jake Guentzel recently going down with an injury, the team was under-manned, not having the full complement of healthy scratches available due to cap-concerns. Placing Blueger and his $2.2MM cap hit on LTIR should give the Penguins some breathing room cap-wise, at least for the time being.
Blueger, a second-round pick of the Penguins in 2012, has yet to play this season, but has made a career as a quality two-way depth forward in the Penguins lineup. Last season, the Latvia native contributed nine goals and 19 assists in 65 games with Pittsburgh. By recalling Caggiula, Pittsburgh is able to get a similar player in the lineup, one who can provide depth scoring and play an all-around solid game. Caggiula has yet to play in the NHL this season, but his return would mark an impressive comeback after dealing with a herniated disc last season, one he said had impacted not only his on-ice presence, but his overall quality of life too.
One of the top prospects in the Penguins’ system, Poulin has yet to make his NHL debut, but could see that come soon. The 21-year-old was the 21st overall pick in the 2019 draft by Pittsburgh having been a standout player in the QMJHL. Poulin made his pro debut last year with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, recording 37 points in 72 games.