Published on February 14th, 2013 | by James Conley0
Penguins Recall LW Beau Bennett; Cooke Cleared on Karlsson Hit
Thursday, the Pittsburgh Penguins officially announced the recall of LW Beau Bennett from AHL Wilkes-Barre.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have recalled forward Beau Bennett from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, it was announced by executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.
Bennett, 21, will be looking to make his NHL debut on Friday night at Winnipeg. The rookie forward placed second on WBS with 18 assists and fourth with 25 points in 35 games this season. Last month, he was chosen to represent the Penguins at the AHL All-Star Classic, although he didn’t play in the game due to injury.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound forward attended NHL training camp with the Penguins in January, but was returned to WBS just prior to the start of the season.
Bennett, 21, is the top forward prospect in the Penguins system. Friday figures to be his first NHL experience after spending 35 games in WBS in his first season as a pro.
Bennett had scored 25 points in 35 games with WBS (7G, 18A) before being injured several weeks ago. Bennett had been in Pittsburgh for several days, undergoing physicals with Penguins team doctors that were correctly presumed to coincide with his possible recall.
With Evgeni Malkin and Brandon Sutter receiving maintenance days Thursday, it was impossible to get a look at where Bennett might land in the line-up, and Bylsma was equally non-committal in a media session following the practice.
Given his scoring prowess and the need for another winger in the team’s top-six, Bennett should slot in with Malkin or Sidney Crosby right away.
Elsewhere, Matt Cooke was cleared of any punitive measure by the league following a hit on Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson which left Karlsson with a partially severed Achilles’ tendon. The play into the boards looked rather routine, but Cooke’s skate caught the back of Karlsson’s leg and led to the injury.
That said, Brendan Shanahan and the NHL’s player safety department got it right when they determined Matt Cooke should not face discipline for his skate cutting Karlsson.
Karlsson is done for the season and, predictably, there are plenty who want Matt Cooke’s head based simply on the nameplate above his numbers. But the league was swift in calling the play a legal one, if unfortunate.
The biggest question surrounding Cooke now is not whether he will be suspended, but whether he can stick on Malkin’s left wing. Cooke spent the second and third periods playing with Malkin and James Neal at even strength and with an assist became the first player to score with Malkin and Neal at even strength this season, immediately impacting a line-up vacuum where Zach Boychuk, Eric Tangradi and Tyler Kennedy had previously failed to produce.