AHL Penguins Prepare For Preseason Opener, Samuelsson/Leblond Clear Waivers

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Philip Samuelsson will start the 2014-15 season in the American Hockey League (AHL).
Everyone who was placed on waivers in the NHL yesterday made it through unclaimed by noon, which for the Pittsburgh Penguins means forward Pierre-Luc Leblond and defenseman Philip Samuelsson are being re-assigned to the Pens' AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Samuelsson, entering his 4th season of pro hockey, went from being in Pittsburgh's lineup for last night's preseason game against Minnesota to waived by the Pens and on his way to Wilkes-Barre, along with Leblond.

The news that Samuelsson will start the season with the AHL Penguins makes tomorrow night's preseason opener even more important for the defensemen who suit up for the Pens.

Here's what the pairings looked like in practice today at the Toyota SportsPlex:

Goers - Ryan
D'Agostino - Ruopp
Seymour - Boak
McNeill - Narbonne

The pairings look even. A prime example would be with tryout Jonathan Narbonne - a more offensively minded defenseman - paired with a stay-at-home type in Reid McNeill. Derrick Pouliot has skated the last two days with the AHL Penguins, but has not participated in any contact drills. He did participate in the team shootout to conclude practice.

Here's a look at some line combinations you might see in the preseason opener tomorrow night against Utica:

Zlobin - Sheary - Rust
Kuhnhackl - Megna - Rowney
Wilson - Dea - Archibald
Murovich - Marcantuoni - Payerl
Uher - Drazenovic - TK

Of those, please note that Nick Drazenovic is still day-to-day and was a limited participant in practice. His timetable for a return seems more towards being ready for the start of the regular season vs. that of playing tomorrow night.

Patrick McGrath - who didn't practice yesterday - skated on his own before the main practice. He took part in a few drills but left the practice session early. I'm not sure what that says about his availability for tomorrow night's game, but it's very likely he will get in a home game as a local product (Shavertown, Pa. native) who is also on a tryout at the Pens' AHL camp.

I won't be at the Mohegan Sun Arena tomorrow night for the Penguins preseason opener, but will chime in with some in-game notes/updates on Twitter (@H_P_Hockey) on the left hand side of this online column. I'll probably have some post-game thoughts on here later tomorrow night.

That being said, I will be covering live preseason hockey tomorrow at the brand new PPL Center in Allentown, Pa. as the Lehigh Valley Phantoms - AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers - are hosting their first ever preseason game as a franchise against the Hershey Bears at 7:05 p.m. ET.

I'll have a full recap of the Phantoms/Bears preseason game here, as well as in-game updates on a newly made Twitter account (@TonyAndrock_TCG) which you can see on the right hand side of this website from your computer.


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