The Pittsburgh Penguins, who seem to be dominating the headlines lately, have grabbed another one by making several transactions ahead of their game against the Boston Bruins. Kevin Czuczman has been recalled under emergency conditions, while Sam Lafferty is up under a regular recall. Drew O’Connor, who had previously been up under emergency conditions, is now on a regular recall. Zach Aston-Reese, Juuso Riikola, and Evan Rodrigues have all been placed on long-term injured reserve retroactive to their last game played, while Marcus Pettersson has been moved to injured reserve.
Czuczman is expected to be in the Penguins lineup for the first time tonight, returning to the NHL after nearly seven years. The last time he suited up at that level was April 13, 2014 with the New York Islanders, but the 30-year-old defenseman at least knows the Penguins’ system from spending the last three seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Perhaps the most interesting addition of all is Reilly, who joins the taxi squad before ever playing a professional game. The 23-year-old defenseman was a seventh-round pick of the Penguins in 2017 and signed his entry-level contract last spring after finishing his senior season at R.P.I. While Weber is going to meet the team in New York this weekend, Reilly is really just an injury or two from being forced into the NHL lineup for the Penguins. He was a strong performer in college, recording 22 points in 34 games last season, but there’s little reason to believe he should be jumping onto the roster at this point.