The Pittsburgh Penguins very quietly placed Dustin Jeffrey on waivers yesterday and almost as quietly the Dallas Stars picked him up. It's like no one wants to take create for having him on their roster. But Jeffrey's exit from the Pens organization is something Ray Shero should have pulled the trigger on a long time ago. Jeffrey squandered every opportunity the Penguins gave him to showcase that offensive firepower he displayed in the minors. They place him on lines with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and still Jeffrey could not find the stats-sheet. In 100 NHL games, Dustin Jeffrey has only 28 points (15 goals, 13 assists). After ten games of sporting a single assist and a minus-2 rating, the Penguins finally had enough. The patience they showed with him ran drier than the ink on the Declaration of Independence. Just like with Eric Tangradi, the promise of productive did not merit the roster spot.
Good bye, Dustin Jeffrey. It's been swell. We'll miss seeing your name in the healthy scratches.
Now what do the Penguins do with the bottom six forwards? Deryk Engelland might see a return to the fourth line as Robert Bortuzzo is too darn good to sit. Plus, Engelland brings a edge to the forward units with his physicalness and net crashing (something desperately needed right now). Deryk may not want to admit it, but he better serves the team up front than at the blueline. Dumping Jeffrey's salary means the Pens can keep both Matt D'Agostini (one assist in six games) and Chuck Kobasew (two goals in twelve games). When Kobasew's ready to come back, he'll stabilize the third or fourth line. His numbers are small, but he plays a role for the Pens as a grinder with hockey smarts. D'Agostini's stats are little more disappointing and if someone from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton comes up and turns it on, he can easily replace Jeffrey on the inactive list.
Speaking of those AHL guys, the Penguins did call up Brian Gibbons. He's another in a strong looking group of young American forwards the Pens are developing (i.e. Jayson Megna and Beau Bennett). Tonight against the Anaheim Ducks might be Gibbons's NHL debut. The 25-year old native of Massachusetts has twenty-two points in fifteen games with the Baby Penguins and leads the squad with fifteen assists. His plus-thirteen rating is tied with Simon Despres (remember him?) for the team lead in that category. In 155 AHL games he has respectable career totals of 26 goals and 56 assists. Hopefully, Gibbons will spark something for the current offensively lacking Penguins.
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