The Pittsburgh Penguins are getting both Jeff Petry and Tristan Jarry back, activating the pair from injured reserve today. To make cap and roster room for their return, Kris Letang has been moved to long-term injured reserve, Jan Rutta has been moved to regular injured reserve, and Dustin Tokarski and Taylor Fedun have been reassigned to the AHL.
It’s been more than a month since Petry appeared in a Penguins lineup, last playing on December 10 against the Buffalo Sabres. The 35-year-old defenseman had been seeing a ton of ice time for the club, averaging over 26 minutes in the five games previous to his injury. While that kind of usage may not immediately come into play, Petry’s return is an important one for the Penguins, who have struggled to get much consistent offense from their blueline this season.
Despite missing a month, Petry is still just one point behind Marcus Pettersson for second among Penguins defenders and sits ahead of Pierre-Olivier Joseph, Brian Dumoulin, and Rutta, who have all played at least 40 games. The veteran was practicing with the first powerplay unit today, as they await the return of Letang.
Jarry, meanwhile, hasn’t played since being pulled from the Winter Classic after just 15 minutes of action against the Boston Bruins. The 27-year-old netminder had been struggling for a few games before that outdoor action, and now hopefully will get his game back on track after spending the last few weeks on the sideline.
Through 25 appearances, Jarry has posted a .918 save percentage, almost exactly in line with last season’s performance that earned him some down-ballot Vezina consideration. Given his status as a pending unrestricted free agent, Jarry is essentially playing for his next contract and can’t be missing huge chunks of the season if he can help it.
Letang and Rutta have both been moved to injured reserve retroactively, meaning they can return much sooner. Letang’s LTIR stint is backdated to December 28, meaning his 24-day window is almost up. Rutta’s is backdated to January 14, meaning his seven-day minimum is also about to expire.