Dec. 27: As expected, the Penguins have recalled Friedman from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton today.
Dec. 23: While the roster freeze is in effect, limiting the number of transactions a team can make, it doesn’t apply to players recalled after December 11. That’s why the Pittsburgh Penguins can return Mark Friedman to the minor leagues over Christmas, now that they are off until next week.
Friedman, 26, was last recalled on December 14, but still hasn’t played an NHL game this season. The depth defenseman saw plenty of action a year ago, appearing in 26 games for the Penguins and recording a career-high five points.
With just six other defensemen on the roster, it’s likely that the Penguins bring Friedman right back up after the season resumes and keep him until Jeff Petry is able to return. Sending him down now doesn’t actually save any money, given he is on a one-way $775K deal, but will help prevent his waiver clock from expiring.
Remember, it is not just games played that resets that clock. If a player stays on an active roster for 30 days (cumulative), they will also need to pass through waivers again to be sent down.