In his last official act as the Pittsburgh Penguins general manager, Jim Rutherford signed free agent depth defenseman Yannick Weber to a one-year, two-way contract on Wednesday morning. According to interim GM Patrik Allvin, the Penguins recalled Weber from the taxi squad on Saturday morning.
Weber is 5-foot-11, 200 pounds. He has 497 games of NHL experience with the Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, and most recently, the Nashville Predators. Weber was in the Nashville lineup during the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, which the Penguins won.
Last season in Nashville, he had one goal, two assists, and three points in 41 games.
In his career, the 32-year-old defenseman has 28 goals, 66 assists, and 94 points, including 12 power-play goals and five game-winning goals. Weber set a career-high with 11 goals and 21 points in 2014-15 with Vancouver.
Also on Saturday morning, the Penguins changed the recall status of P-O Joseph and Kevin Czuczman from emergency recalls to regular recalls.
Joseph has played three NHL games mostly to rave reviews. His first NHL assist was earned in his first NHL game and sparked a Penguins third period comeback win. Joseph, 21, was the centerpiece of the Penguins’ return in the Phil Kessel trade during the summer of 2019.
The Penguins defensive corps has been rocked by injuries. Four left-handed defensemen are on IR or LTIR. Top-pairing defenseman Brian Dumoulin is the most recent injury, and he is out week-to-week. Marcus Pettersson, Mike Matheson, and Juuso Riikola are also unavailable due to longer-term injuries.
Weber is right-handed but may be pressed into service on the left side.
Czuczman played his first NHL game since 2013 on Thursday night against the Boston Bruins. According to the Pittsburgh Penguins press release, the taxi squad is down to five players. It as follows:
F – Anthony Angello
F – Frederick Gaudreau
D – Will Reilly
G – Alex D’Orio
G – Maxime Lagace