The Penguins risked losing defenseman Brian Strait -- a gamble they lost -- in favor of keeping 2009 first-round draft pick Simon Despres on the 23-man roster. The team could make changes up until 5 p.m. today, but it doesn't sound as if Despres is headed anywhere anytime soom.
Coach Dan Bylsma made it clear that despits some thoughts that Despres' play was a little subpar in the first half of the season in the American Hockey League, the Penguins think he's ready to be in the NHL.
"It's not to take a look at him," Bylsma said of keeping Despres on the roster. "It's not to give it a try. He's played 18 games in the National Hockey League. We've taken a look at Simon in those games."
In those games, he has a goal and three assists, is plus-10 and has spent some time on the point on the power play.
Despres gives the Penguins eight defensemen, one more than teams generally like to keep.
"I don't necessarily think that's the most ideal situation, carrying eight guys and thinking that we're going to rotate guys in and out of the lineup through that eight," Bylsma said. "It's mostly a situation of waivers and we think the eight defensemen are going to play and are NHL defensemen and are going to give us the best chance to win."
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