The Pittsburgh Penguins had a roster spot open after a trade Monday, and they filled it Tuesday by recalling forward Teddy Blueger.
Blueger has done pretty much everything he could with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League to earn a shot at the NHL. His 21 goals and 39 points lead WBS through 45 games, and his plus-minus of plus-20 also is a team-high. His goal total matches his career high. He has a five-game point streak with four goals, four assists.
That has led to speculation he would be promoted at some point, and even curiosity when he has been passed over at points this season.
A second-round draft pick in 2012, Blueger, 24, has yet to make his NHL debut. That could come as soon as Wednesday when the Tampa Bay Lightning visits PPG Paints Arena.
Jamie Oleksiak, a defenseman, was traded Monday to Dallas, and defenseman Jack Johnson, who left Monday’s loss to New Jersey, practiced and appears to be fine. So with seven healthy defensemen, the Penguins’ recall of a forward seemed logical.
However, Blueger plays primarily center, which could make things interesting if he dresses Tuesday – assuming the team does not make another trade before then. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Derick Brassard and Riley Sheahan or Matt Cullen man the center spot on the Penguins’ four lines. It’s no secret that Brassard hasn’t played up to the club’s expectations, although he did pick up his ninth goal Monday.