Tristan Jarry inferred that he has won the Pittsburgh Penguins backup goaltending job over Casey DeSmith – they both required waivers to be sent to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, but only DeSmith went through that process – but he was fairly low-key after practice Tuesday.
Jarry said he had not had any sort of direct conversation about his status with any coaches or members of management, but being on the roster and in practice on the final cut-down day buoyed him.
“Pretty happy. It’s my first time ever making the team out of camp, so it’s pretty exciting for me,” Jarry said.
Jarry, 24, was a second-round draft pick by the Penguins in 2013 but was beat out last season by undrafted Casey DeSmith. Jarry played in just two NHL games last season, giving him 29 in his career, but spent most of the season at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League. In 29 NHL games, he is 14-8-3 with a 2.66 goals-against average and a .906 save percentage.
The Penguins were happy enough with DeSmith’s role as Matt Murray’s backup last season that they signed him to a three-year contract extension with a $1.25 million cap hit.
Jarry, meanwhile, makes $675,000 this season at the NHL level. That was key in the Jarry-DeSmith quandary this preseason.
“I think it’s obvious that the business of the game is part of the decision-making process,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “It’s just the reality of the situation that we’re in right now. We have three really, really good goalies. These are very, very difficult decisions. None of us take them lightly. The business of the game for sure weighs into that type of a decision.”
Still, Tristan Jarry had to have a strong enough camp for management to let the salary cap implications perhaps be a tiebreaker.
“I think just kept improving every year and I think that was the big thing they wanted me to do, is just improve and improve my game. I felt going down to Wilkes every year and being able to do those things and then just kept improving and kept developing, That helped me.”