The Pittsburgh Penguins recently made a puzzling move by recalling forward Steve MacIntyre from their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barre / Scranton earlier today.
Could this be a sign of things to come or are they just getting ready for the playoffs? Either way, it’s still something that doesn’t fully make much sense.
If I recall correctly, MacIntyre originally made the Penguins roster back in the 2011-2012 season when Sidney Crosby was expected to return from lingering effects of his concussion (the second time). At that time, the media was a buzz about how he would be patrolling the ice to protect Crosby; however, other than a few articles and a handful of meaningless minutes on the ice in a few games, MacIntyre was re-assigned to the Baby Pens that season.
Could this mean that MacIntyre may be patrolling the ice for Crosby’s return from a broken jaw? It’s a possibility, but unlikely since head coach Dan Bylsma has reported that he has no intentions of rushing injured players back to the lineup although Crosby may want to get some games in before the playoffs and trump that line of thought.
Another possibility is that the Penguins are getting geared up and recalling AHL players to take advantage of the expanded roster for the playoffs. But why MacIntyre? It is well known that he is a physical presence on the ice; however, it is also unspoken that playoff hockey, just as in Olympic hockey, does not typically include dropping the gloves.
The other possibility could simply be that the Penguins expect a physical game against the Boston Bruins on Friday and recalled MacIntyre in case that should happen, but couldn’t defensemen Deryk Engelland and Robert Bortuzzo or even forwards Tanner Glass or Brenden Morrow take care of that?
Regardless of the reason, the Penguins are on the right track to the Stanley Cup and we can’t really question their decisions up to this point, but we’ll find out their intentions soon enough.