The roster flux that has dogged the Pittsburgh Penguins — and, frankly, all of sports — led to more moves Wednesday, including forward Drew O’Connor being recalled to the active squad.
The Penguins also recalled forward Filip Hallander to the taxi squad. Both players were on the ice Wednesday when the team practiced at Crypto.com Arena (yeah, that’s what Staples Center is called now) in Los Angeles.
Forward Jeff Carter, fresh off two goals Tuesday, did not practice. He was given what the team termed a maintenance day.
O’Connor on Monday was activated from COVID-19 protocol and re-assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. At the same time, forwards Anthony Angello and Radim Zohorna joined the taxi squad, then were activated and played Tuesday in the Penguins’ 4-1 win against the Ducks in Anaheim.
O’Connor has three goals, five points in 20 games with the NHL squad. Those are all career highs.
Hallander, 21, has yet to make his NHL debut.
The Penguins are juggling their forwards, thanks heavily to COVID-19 protocol. Currently in the protocol are Bryan Rust, Zach Aston-Reese, Danton Heinen, Brock McGinn and backup goaltender Casey DeSmith. Coach Mike Sullivan said Heinen and Rust are experiencing symptoms of the virus, Aston-Reese and McGinn are not. It’s not clear whether DeSmith has symptoms.
None of the players in the protocol were on the ice Wednesday for practice.
Winger Jason Zucker, who is out because of an undisclosed injury, continues to skate and was on the ice before practice.
Gratitude to Josh Getzoff for this peek at practice alignments.
#Pens practice underway. Jeff Carter isn’t skating but is watching from the bench.
— Josh Getzoff (@PensJG) January 12, 2022