We've been waiting for about a week, but the Penguins finally officially recalled their "Black Aces" from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL.
Forwards Dustin Jeffrey, Nick Johnson, Mark Letestu (right), Eric Tangradi, Tim Wallace, defenseman Steve Wagner and goaltender John Curry were all summoned from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL. They join forward Chris Conner, defensemen Deryk Engelland and Ben Lovejoy and goaltender Brad Thiessen who were each recalled from the AHL earlier in the playoffs.
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach Todd Reirden and assistant coach John Hynes were also "recalled" and will manage the squad.
"Black Aces" are players who are summoned from an NHL team's primary affiliate once that affiliate's season has finished. The intention is to expose those players, all of whom presumably have NHL prospects, to an NHL playoff atmospher in order to aid in their development.
The AHL Penguins were swept in their first round Calder Cup playoff series earlier this month.
-Jeffrey, a sixth-round pick in 2007, led the AHL Penguins in scoring this season with 77 points (24 goals, 47 assists). In one NHL game, he failed to score a point.
-Johnson, a third-round pick in 2004, had 43 points (16 goals, 27 asssts) in 61 AHL games. In six NHL games, he had two points (one goal, one assist).
-Letestu, in 63 AHL games, had 55 points (21 goals, 34 assists). In 10 NHL games, he had one assist.
-Tangradi, acquired last season along with Chris Kunitz in a deal which sent Ryan Whitney to the Ducks, had 39 points (17 goals, 22 assists) in 65 AHL games. In one NHL game, he failed to record a point. He is considered the Penguins' top prospect.
-Wallace (right), in 78 AHL games, had 41 points (27 goals, 14 assists). In one NHL game, he failed to record a point.
-Wagner, acquired in February, in a deal which sent Nate Guenin to the Blues, appeared in 20 games for the AHL Penguins and recorded seven points (one goal, six assists). He has never played for the NHL Penguns.
-Curry was the AHL Penguins' starting goaltender for the bulk of the season. In 45 AHL games, he 23-19-2 with a 2.87 goals against average and .891 save percentage. In one NHL game this season, a 6-2 loss at Vancouver, Jan. 16, Curry gave up five goals on 14 shots and was credited with the loss.
EN Says: Outside of Conner and potentially Lovejoy or Engelland, don't expect any of these guys to get a sniff of playing time. Unless injuries just ravage the lineup or there's an outbreak of Fedotenkoitis, these guys are just here to clean up pucks at morning skates.
(Photos: Letestu-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images; Wallace-Wilkes/Barre/Scranton Penguins)