The Penguins got their roster down to 23 players today by demoting defensemen Alexandre Picard, Brian Strait and forward Jason Williams to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL, assigning defenseman Joe Morrow (above) to Portland of the WHL anding placing forwards Sidney Crosby (concussion), Dustin Jeffrey (knee), Nick Petersen (concussion), Robert Bortuzzo (knee) and Boris Valabik (knee) on injured reserve.
Williams and Picard much clear waivers.
EN Says: The only surprise here is that neither Strait or Morrow were not kept on the NHL roster. That's a move that would suggest Brooks Orpik is close to returning to the lineup after recovering from offseason abdominal surgery.
Both Strait and Morrow made convincing cases in training camp to fill in for Orpik if necessary.
Williams never really got a chance to show what he could offer the Penguins due to an injury.
Picard was pretty underwhelming during his preseason appearances.
As far as who made the roster, Mark Letestu, Richard Park and Joe Vitale all stuck. The three were seen as being in a battle for the final handful of spots availble among forwards. Injuries to Crosby and Jeffrey clearly provided them some opportunities.
All three can play center and can handle faceoffs.
Additionally, Steve MacIntyre made the team to fill the role of enforcer.
(Photos: Don Wright/Associated Press)