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Bjorkqvist Gets Emergency Recall With Malkin Iffy

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Kasper Bjorkqvist
Kasper Bjorkqvist

The Pittsburgh Penguins, who played with just 11 true forwards Friday, on Saturday afternoon recalled Kasper Bjorkqvist on an emergency basis from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.

The move presumably is related to the status of center Evgeni Malkin. He missed Friday’s 5-1 loss against the Rangers in New York as a late scratch because of a non-COVID illness and did not practice Saturday. Coach Mike Sullivan said Malkin was still feeling ill Saturday and that he is expected to be a game-time decision for Sunday’s home game against Detroit depending on how he feels.

The Penguins, while having to to with 11 forwards Friday, dressed defenseman Mark Friedman, who played limited minutes.

Here is the full news release from the Penguins:

The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled forward Kasper Bjorkqvist on an emergency basis from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins of the American Hockey League, it was announced today by general manager Ron Hextall.

Bjorkqvist, 24, has played in six games with Pittsburgh this season from Jan. 2-13. He scored his first NHL goal in his NHL debut on Jan. 2 against San Jose becoming the sixth current Penguin to score in his first career game, joining Brian Boyle, Jake Guentzel, Evgeni Malkin, Brock McGinn and Radim Zohorna.

The 6-foot-1, 198-pound forward has also appeared in 41 games for the WBS Penguins this season, recording six goals, two assists and eight points. The native of Espoo, Finland has played parts of the last three seasons with WBS, suiting up for 52 career AHL games and recording 10 points (8G-2A).

Bjorkqvist spent the majority of last season on a loan with KooKoo of Liiga, Finland’s top professional league, recording 11 goals, 15 assists, 26 points with a plus-14 in 44 games. His 26 points ranked fourth (tied) on the team and the most among all league rookies, earning him Rookie of the Year honors.

The Penguins return home to PPG Paints Arena tomorrow, March 27 for a matchup against the Detroit Red Wings at 5:00 PM.

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Shelly is a columnist and reporter for Pittsburgh Hockey Now. She was a Penguins beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and remains a contributor to The Hockey News. Catch her on Twitter @_shellyanderson

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Dan N
Dan N
1 month ago

Why not OConner ? They can’t play Zohorna and Boyle together against fast teams.. This kid is so much the best at WBS it isn’t funny..but once again he’s not Sally’s guy !!

Ethan
Ethan
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan N

What are you talking about? Sully loves all things New England. Dartmouth counts right–not sure about New Jersey? The Chathams sounds swanky to my westy ears though. I hope you are actually religiously watching WBS–which I am not–to make that grammatically cacophonous “so much the best” statement because on stat-sheet Puustinen is so much the best (last time I checked anyway). Oh I know it is the intangibles, blah blah blah There also was that whole collapsed lung thing–which I can’t speak from experience and I’m fine with that–but if that happened to me!!! Weesh. I’d be questioning the source… Read more »

Dan N
Dan N
1 month ago
Reply to  Ethan

Hilarious Ethan just hilarious…My best friend works as a lead AHL scout and tells me OConner by far is the best forward there…so with a grain of salt..there it is !!

Dan N
Dan N
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan N

Sorry my buddy works for the Devils

Ethan
Ethan
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan N

“My buddy works for the Devil(s)” sounds like a country song but fine. Hope to see Drew as a depth option come playoff time. Maybe he deserves more as your friend says. Pens brass seems to prefer Bjorkvist. Jury still out in my opinion. Let’s just hope whoever is in lineup tomorrow plays with more pulse than the last couple!

Kurt
Kurt
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan N

Who is Sally?

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