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Penguins Make Major Cuts; Demoted Include O’Connor, Caggiula

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Drew O'Connor

The Pittsburgh Penguins have made the first significant cuts of this preseason, and a couple of the demotions were at least mildly surprising.

Forwards Drew O’Connor and Drake Caggiula, both of whom were seriously contending for spots on the Opening Night roster, are among the 15 players assigned to their American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre, while defensemen Owen Pickering (Swift Current) and Nolan Collins (Sudbury) were sent back to their junior teams.

UPDATE: The Penguins further trimmed their roster by also putting Radim Zohorna on waivers for the purpose of going to the WBS Penguins camp, too. GM Ron Hextall confirmed the news to PHN. The Penguins have 27 players in camp.

The other players trimmed from the major-league roster were forwards Alex Nylander, Nathan Legare, Corey Andonovski, Valtteri Puustinen, Filip Hallander, Jamie Devane, Kyle Olson and Raivis Ansons, defensemen Jack St. Ivany, Xavier Ouellet and Colin Swoyer and goalies Dustin Tokarski and Filip Lindberg.

Legare entered camp as a longshot, at best, to start the season with the major-league team, but earned a lot of positive attention with his feisty, and generally effective, play. Andonovski also showed well during his first training camp as a pro.

Caggiula, Tokarski, Nylander and Ouellet will have to clear waivers. Caggiula could attract interest from a team looking for a capable bottom-six forward.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will visit Detroit for their fifth preseason game Monday at 7:38 p.m.

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Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Interesting that Gruden and Fedun are still on the roster. Still need to cut 3 forwards (depending on Carter) and 3 defenseman.

Jay95
Jay95
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

Yeah. I like Gruden, but I’d much rather not lose Zahorna to waivers. He’s shown smooth hands and is using his size in a unique way. Not to be physical, but to be a playmaker. Fedun? You have to think that they want to see if he’s going to be capable of some dirty this season. Maybe acknowledging that PO Joseph, Friedman, or both, might be exposed to waivers. To me Friedman has won the 6th D job. Obviously Ruhwedel should be #7. Smith will get in-game work in Wilkes Barre just to help his defensive game become adequate. I… Read more »

DanielE
DanielE
1 month ago

I actually think our bottom 6 is looking pretty good this year. Between Blueger, McGinn, Archibald, (and I’d like to see more of Caggiula) we have a pretty good amount of “glue” guys who can also pitch in a bit. Kapanen throws a wrench in the identity of the group. If he isn’t playing decisively better by Mid-November we can’t keep using a roster spot on him. 

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielE

I’m going to be mildly upset if Cagguila is claimed by another team.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  James

I was thinking the same. Hope someone claims him. Looked darn good to be sent back.

Jay95
Jay95
1 month ago
Reply to  James

I won’t be upset if he’s claimed, but I would rather see him in the lineup over Archibald. But, honestly, guys like O’Connor, Poulin, Zahorna if he passes through waivers, are all better options.

Bachinga
Bachinga
1 month ago
Reply to  DanielE

What ever you’re smoking it’s time to share…

Also…any chance this site can be updated so that the login screen takes you back to the page you linked from?

Last edited 1 month ago by Bachinga
Jay95
Jay95
1 month ago
Reply to  Bachinga

Lol. Mine does. Are you using the mobile site or the actual web site. On Android and chrome I never have any issues

Bachinga
Bachinga
1 month ago
Reply to  Jay95

Firefox OS

Alan Smith
1 month ago

Poehling not mentioned! Enjoyed him and O’Conner in the Buffalo game!

Jay95
Jay95
1 month ago
Reply to  Alan Smith

He’s still on the roster, right? I think he’ll stick because of position flexibility and NHL experience. I know that the chances are low, but I really hope he starts using that size better. His hands are very good. His skating is good. I just c want to see him become more aggressive somehow.

James
James
1 month ago

I wonder if these cuts are a way for Hextall to claim players from other teams off the waiver wire? Namely the Flyers players who need to clear waivers. They will probably lose a D man for nothing. So I could see them claiming one or two wingers before the season starts.
Otherwise I just can’t understand why O’Conner and Cagguila wouldn’t make this cut. They just seemed to have been THE players who stood out in preseason. I expected one of the two to make the roster.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Agree 100%

William Maloni
William Maloni
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

I agree with James and Bob!!!

Dan Kingerski
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  James

The Flyers players have already cleared, and the Penguins still have 27 players in camp. They must part with at least four more

Pens' Igloo
Pens' Igloo
1 month ago

I just don’t get the love affair this staff has with Archibald. He’s shown very little in his NHL career to date, he has a very limited ceiling, and during TC/Preseaons he’s been outplayed by numerous other guys that just got sent down. Yet he’s still on the roster and signs point to him playing opening night. What am I (and so many people outside the organization) missing?