Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

O'reilly Will Add Needed Center Depth

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

O'reilly Will Add Needed Center Depth

Article excerpt


Center is, on paper, the Penguins' deepest position.

Fact is, they have the finest collection of centers in the NHL.

When it is intact, anyway.

It has not been very often over the past two seasons, however, which is why the Penguins claimed Cal O'Reilly from Phoenix on re- entry waivers Wednesday.

He is not a threat to knock Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby or Jordan Staal out of a job, but, with the latter two still recovering from long-term injuries, the Penguins hope O'Reilly will provide an infusion of talent and finesse down the middle.

"He's got skill, playmaking ability at, really, a high level," coach Dan Bylsma said Wednesday evening. "He can make plays, make great passes, sees the ice really well. That's some of the attraction of getting a guy through the middle, where we're not very strong or deep right now."

Bylsma said O'Reilly is "going to be joining us here shortly."

Asked when he expects to get O'Reilly into a game, Bylsma responded, "I think sooner than later."

The Penguins, who played Toronto at the Air Canada Centre Wednesday night, will be off until they visit Boston Saturday.

O'Reilly had two goals and four assists in 27 games this season with Nashville and Phoenix, which acquired him from the Predators for a fourth-round draft choice Oct. 28.

He was Nashville's fifth-round draft choice in 2005, when Penguins general manager Ray Shero was assistant general manager there, and has a salary (and salary-cap hit) of $1,050,000 this season. Because O'Reilly was picked up on re-entry waivers, the Penguins will be responsible for just 50 percent of what is left on his contract.

O'Reilly, 25, is 5 feet 11, 188 pounds and is scheduled to be a restricted free agent after this season.


Nearly four years have passed since the Penguins traded Colby Armstrong to Atlanta as part of the package that brought back Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis.

He has changed teams again since, going from the Thrashers to Toronto as a free agent in '10, and many of the guys he played with on the Penguins have moved on as well. …

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