WBS Sign Eaton, Kostopoulos to PTO's

Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Busy day for the Penguins. Per the AHL's transactions page this morning, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins signed former Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton to a professional tryout contract (PTO). Eaton spent four seasons playing with the NHL Penguins from 2006-2010.

Then late this afternoon, the WBS Penguins brought back back their all-time leader in games played (318), goals (97), assists (149) and points (246) in forward Tom Kostopoulos. 

Eaton, 35, brings 627 games of NHL experience to a young and raw WBS defensive core. He spent the last two seasons with the New York Islanders after being with the NHL Penguins the previous four.

Kostopoulos, 33, brings 615 games of NHL experience to Wilkes-Barre.  He appeared in 81 games for the Calgary Flames (NHL) last season, tallying four goals and eight assists while adding 57 penalty minutes.

Here's the team's press release on Eaton.

The team's press release for Kostopoulos.

Good moves by the Penguins, and I'll tell you why both could pay off.

In all, Eaton has 15 years of professional hockey under his belt and hasn't played in the AHL since the 2004-05 season. Kostopoulos is entering his 14th year as a pro. At 35 and 33 years old, respectively, both are put in a position where they need to prove that they can compete at a high level and be successful.

Eaton's experience and defensive responsibility could dramatically help the Penguins down the stretch. The veteran power forward presence that Kostopoulos brings, in addition to the grit and willingness to drop the gloves, definitely adds a kind of guy that head coach John Hynes is going to like.

If nothing else, it generates a buzz amongst the fan base bringing back a familiar face to some and a fan favorite for some fans who were at games since day one.


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