It’s not good news for Pittsburgh Penguins winger Bryan Rust. On Sunday, the Penguins placed their top-line winger on injured reserve retroactive to Friday, Nov. 26.
Rust briefly participated in warmups Friday, but left the ice and did not play in the Penguins 1-0 win over the New York Islanders. Head coach Mike Sullivan said Rust was injured in warmups and suffered a lower-body injury. On Saturday, Sullivan was unable to say if Rust would travel with the team on the coming road trip.
It is Rust’s second lower-body injury this season.
In response, the Pittsburgh Penguins recalled forward Drew O’Connor. In 12 NHL games this season, O’Connor has five points (3-2-5) and was a plus-2. He was assigned to the WBS Penguins as Rust and others returned to the Penguins lineup.
In five AHL games, O’Connor also has five points (3-2-5). The 6-foot-3, 200-pound forward has played in 22 career NHL games and has six points (3-3-6). He has 24 points (10-14-24) in 25 career AHL games. He was signed as an undrafted college free agent in March 2020.
Rust is in the final year of his four-year, $14 million contract which carries a $3.5 million AAV. Last season, he scored 42 points (22-20-42) in 56 games. He also had three points (2-1-3) in six playoff games.
Players on IR may not play for at least seven days, so the earliest Rust can return to the Penguins lineup is Saturday, Dec. 4 in Vancouver. The Pittsburgh Penguins begin their five-game road trip through western Canada on Monday in Calgary.