Having already scored nine goals in his first 18 games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, many wonder why Pittsburgh Penguins prospect Daniel Sprong still remains in the AHL when he could be helping out the Penguins at the NHL level.
Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette writes calling up Sprong is not in the plans for Pittsburgh’s general manager Jim Rutherford. The GM says that the team has historically not called up players before they thought they were ready, instead opting to allow them to develop. Bryan Rust, Jake Guentzel, Brian Dumoulin, Conor Sheary and Tom Kuhnhackl are the recent examples of players who were not rushed to the NHL.
“The important thing is, when you put a young player into this league, is he is as prepared as he can be for all aspects of the game,” Rutherford said. “If he’s not, you risk setting the player way back. That group of five, those guys were ready before they got called up, but we made sure it was at a time where they had their confidence and they could deal with setbacks.”
The team believes that Sprong still has work to do on his play without the puck, according to Rutherford. The team wants to see Sprong improve his defense as well as work on his stick/wall play. Of course, with a four-game winning streak and improved play of late, there may not be much need for him anyway.
- The New York Islanders announced earlier today they have placed Casey Cizikas on injured reserve with a lower-body injury, retroactive to Nov. 25, which means he could be activated at any time. Cizikas was injured in a game against the Ottawa Senators. The fourth-line and penalty killing center has four goals and four assists in 23 games for the Islanders. So far, the team hasn’t made any corresponding moves.
- Philly.com’s Sam Carchidi tweeted that Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall is accompanying the team on their Western Canada trip, which could play an instrumental role on the status of head coach Dave Hakstol. The Flyers have lost 10 straight games. Carchidi adds that if a coaching change is made, a likely choice to take over would be Lehigh Valley Phantoms coach Scott Gordon in the interim.
- Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washigton Post tweets that after suffering an injury in Saturday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Washington Capitals wing Chandler Stephenson is day-to-day. However, the team recalled Travis Boyd this afternoon from the Hershey Bears of the AHL, which suggests that Stephenson might miss some time. Stephenson, a bottom-line center, has two goals and six points in 18 games this season. Boyd has never played in the NHL before. He has three goals and 17 assists in 23 games for the Bears.