Connect with us

Penguins

Penguins Lose Zohorna to Calgary on Waivers

Published

on

Radim Zohorna, Pittsburgh Penguins

When the Pittsburgh Penguins completed their game-day skate Monday, Radim Zohorna was a leading candidate to be in uniform for an exhibition game in Detroit this evening.

A couple of hours later, he was out of their lineup — and out of the organization, as Calgary claimed Zohorna off waivers.

Mike Sullivan, who confirmed after the game-day skate that Zohorna would have been eligible to play against the Red Wings if he had gone unclaimed, said that putting him on waivers Sunday had been a “hockey decision,” but praised his performance during training camp.

“I think (Zohorna) has played extremely well over the course of this training camp,” Sullivan said. “That’s one of the reasons he continues to play here.”

At the game-day skate, Zohorna worked between wingers Brock McGinn and Kasperi Kapanen, a spot expected to be filled by Jeff Carter when he returns from injury.

The Penguins signed Zohorna, 26, as a free agent out of Czechia in 2020. He spent most of the past two seasons with their American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre, but got into 25 NHL games, putting up four goals and six assists.

He had a total of 15 goals and 17 assists in 51 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The Penguins have not announced who will fill the opening Zohorna’s departure created in their lineup tonight, but Sam Poulin is expected to get that assignment.

Poulin not only has been moved to center, but is believed to be the only healthy forward on the major-league roster who is available for duty, since Jeff Carter, Teddy Blueger and Jonathan Gruden are injured.

Poulin took part in the Penguins’ game-day skate, then stayed on the ice for extra work, an indication that he wasn’t scheduled to play against the Red Wings.

Exposing Zohorna to waivers was a calculated risk — a guy who is 6 foot 6, 220 pounds and has flashed decent skills is going to get attention — and the Pittsburgh Penguins certainly would have preferred to keep him on the payroll, but have a surplus on NHL-caliber forwards on their depth chart.

There’s just one fewer than they had when the day began.

Subscribe to PHN+
27 Comments
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

27 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
AWA
AWA
1 month ago

One of the most stupid moves of the Hextall era

Pepper
Pepper
1 month ago
Reply to  AWA

One of the oldest and smallest teams just got older and smaller. I’d still rank Kapanen’s contract as his stupidest move. At this point I just hope he doesn’t leave the Pens in the same mess he left the flyers. Even the moves he made that looked okay in 2018 have turned out poorly for them.

Bachinga
Bachinga
1 month ago
Reply to  AWA

Just add it to the rather loong list for his very short tenure…

Pens' Igloo
Pens' Igloo
1 month ago
Reply to  Bachinga

Sullivan just got a giant extension, and you really think he got told by Hextall which players to waive?

Pens' Igloo
Pens' Igloo
1 month ago
Reply to  AWA

Why is it assumed that Hextall pushed this move? Hextall may have signed him, but I guarantee he had Sullivan’s input. And choosing to keep a guy like Archibald over Zohorna is Sullivan’s decision. Sullivan just got a huge extension. I really like Sullivan and think he’s one of the best coaches, but this decision (good or bad) was almost definitely made by Sullivan.

Vince Gori
Vince Gori
1 month ago

Shame, he finally showed them what we were looking for from him. Now off to the logjam on defense

Moe Ali
Moe Ali
1 month ago

Bad decision to bring in Poling and Archibald when you have young talent in the system

Pens' Igloo
Pens' Igloo
1 month ago
Reply to  Moe Ali

There’s nothing wrong with bringing in guys like Poehling or Archibald. Their acquisition price was pretty low and you want competition and depth in TC. You never know who’s going to impress in camp, or what injuries will happen. But keeping them over internal guys that outplayed them (by all accounts that I read) is the bad decision to me. It really looks like these decisions were made back in July and the other guys didn’t have much of a chance, which is disappointing.

Ted Vantroba
Ted Vantroba
1 month ago

I knew Zohorna wouldn’t make it through waivers,watch how he excels with the flames.We will regret!!

charmaine dawso
charmaine dawso
1 month ago
Reply to  Ted Vantroba

i agree……i don’t understand why they did this..

cacastine
cacastine
1 month ago
Reply to  Ted Vantroba

Hes going to go be a 13th forward there too. He doesnt have a specialty – hes not a PK guy. If you arent going to score like a top 9 forward you have to be a PKer and he isnt.

Wasnt
1 month ago
Reply to  cacastine

Are you talking about Kapanen????

cacastine
cacastine
1 month ago
Reply to  Wasnt

Quite clearly talking about the guy with 4 NHL goals that doesnt kill penalties

Wasnt
1 month ago
Reply to  cacastine

And how many games did Kapanen play, now how many goals?? Ok…..now how many games Z play?? Even better….how much does Kapanen get paid vs Z? Now is it still quite clear?

charmaine dawso
charmaine dawso
1 month ago

i was worried this was going to happen when they put him on waivers…..i think this is a loss..

Chris R
Chris R
1 month ago

Would have been shocked if he made it through wavers.

Keith
Keith
1 month ago

Wow.

They picked Josh Archibald over Radim Zohorna, when they could have kept both.

This is up there with losing Tanev and McCann in the expansion draft and giving Jeff Carter a 2 year deal worth $6.3 million.

Ted Vantroba
Ted Vantroba
1 month ago
Reply to  Keith

That’s why Hextall gave his buddy Jeff Carter 6.3 million,sorry Father Time has hit and another bad sign.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

In two years the NHL will be asking “what ever happened to that “Z” guy?” Just a big guy that played small. He will be back in Europe playing with the Czech team in no time.

Jeff Young
Jeff Young
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

It sounds like we lost Simon Depres again!

Vince Gori
Vince Gori
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Bingo

Pens' Igloo
Pens' Igloo
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Him not becoming anything special is certainly a possibility. No rational fan will say otherwise. He’s not the most physical, but he’s a 6’6 guy that can skate well. That’s pretty rare. While he hasn’t lit up the scoresheet (pretty hard task as a 4th liner), his advanced stats have been really good during his time in the NHL thus far. It definitely came in a limited sample size, but he’s earned the right to some more playing time, especially after an impressive TC. And he’s going to get that somewhere else. We know what Archibald is, and that’s a… Read more »

Troy Garrah
Troy Garrah
1 month ago

Zohorna in two years would have been an affordable solid second or third line winger. Terrible decision to keep Archibald, Peohling among others over him. He was never given PP opportunity either. Hope he does well in Calgary, but comes back to Pittsburgh next year….

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

If i am not mistaken there is a possibility they can get him back if he doesn’t make it on the Flames and they have to put him on waivers. He wasn’t going to have a spot on the penguins if everyone was healthy anyway. Not as big a deal as some are making it out to be. He’s a fringe nhl player at best. I wish him luck though!

Pens' Igloo
Pens' Igloo
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

He’s a fringe player “right now”, but that’s a short-sighted view. Would anyone really be that surprised if he became a solid 3rd liner within a year? It may or may not happen, but he actually has that potential, unlike Archibald.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

So can’t the Pens pick up somebody on waivers or is the same old story with the cap preventing this?

Pens' Igloo
Pens' Igloo
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

Honestly, it depends on how much the player makes. They could certainly claim a guy making the league minimum and waive a different guy making league minimum (to essentially swap the salaries).