Making change - 04-08-13

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

On April 24, 2012, two days after his team flamed out in a first-round postseason match up against the rival Flyers, Ray Shero said, "It's going to take some time to sort through this."

Nearly one year later, Shero has done quite a bit of sorting as he has changed roughly a third of his roster. Of the 26 players who were on the roster for a season-ending 5-1 loss in Game 6 of an Eastern Conference semifinal series in Philadelphia, April 22, Shero has shuffled out nine players and brought in 10 replacements on the current roster.

Here's a player-by-player look at massive changes to this team's roster one year later:

Who left
of departure
he’s gone.
Arron Asham,
July 1 After two solid but injury-filled seasons as the
team’s enforcer, the team opted turned to other
options and allowed him to walk as a free agent.
Brent Johnson,
NA Injuries and other factors led to a poor season
for Johnson. The Penguins opted not to re-sign
him and instead sought a trade for Tomas Vokoun.
Johnson remains a free agent.
Ben Lovejoy,
Feb. 6 Struggling to find a spot in the lineup for him and
hoping to create a chance for Simon Despres and
Mark Eaton, the team traded Lovejoy to the Ducks as a
courtesy early in the season.
Zbynek Michalek,
June 22 After floundering in his second season on a
shutdown pairing, Shero dealt Michalek to his
former team, the Coyotes, during the NHL Draft.
Richard Park,
Aug. 7 The Penguins opted not to re-sign the serviceable
fourth-liner. Failing to attract a multi-year deal as
an NHL free agent, he joined HC Ambri Piotta of
Switerland’s NLA on a two-year contract.
Jordan Staal,
June 22 Scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in
the 2013 offseason, Staal declined to sign a 10-year
contract extension offered by the team in June due
to concerns about his role and family. He was traded
to the Hurricanes at the draft.
Brian Strait,
Jan. 18 Coming out of the lockout, the Penguins had nine
defensemen in training camp including several who
were eligible for waivers. Opting to keep Robert
Bortuzzo and Ben Lovejoy, the Penguins exposed
Strait to waivers in order to get their season-opening
roster to 23. He was claimed by the Islanders.
Steve Sullivan,
July 4 The Penguins focused on big-name free agent winger
Zach Parise and put Sullivan on the back burner.
As Parise’s decision dragged out, Sullivan took action
and accepted a one-year deal with the Coyotes.
Eric Tangradi,
Feb. 13 Long herald as a top-six power forward prospect,
Tangradi failed to nail down regular work on the
team’s top two lines despite ample opportunity
on Evgeni Malkin’s wing. He was dealt to the
Jets for a seventh-round pick.
Who came
Player, Position Date of
he’s here.
Beau Bennett,
NA A first-round pick in 2010 in his first professional
season, Bennett finally broke through to the NHL
after other options didn't work on the second line's
left wing. After some moderate success, Bennett
was returned to the AHL following several
high-profile additions at the trade deadline. He
was recalled from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the
aftermath of an injury to James Neal.
Robert Bortuzzo,
NA A third-round pick in 2007, Bortuzzo primarily spent
the previous two seasons with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
As a waiver-eligible player, the team has opted to hang
on him as an eighth defenseman instead of risking him
through waivers. Has played two games since February.
Mark Eaton,
Feb. 25 After two forgettable seasons with the Islanders,
Eaton was out of work for seven months before the
Penguins gave him a tryout at the AHL level in January.
Following a handful of games, Eaton was signed by the
NHL club. Reunited with former defensive partner
Kris Letang, Eaton played a big role in the team’s
revamped defense throughout March.
Jarome Iginla,
March 28 The face of the Flames for over a decade, Iginla was
bound to miss the postseason for the third consecutive
season. Controlling his fate with a no-trade clause, he
accepted a deal to join the Penguins in hopes of winning
his first Stanley Cup championship. Has played primarily
with Malkin and James Neal thus far.
Tanner Glass,
July 1 Signed to replace Asham, he’s been healthier than his
predecessor and has been part of the team’s penalty kill.
Has been far less productive than Asham however having
failed to record a point.
Jussi Jokinen,
April 3 With Sidney Crosby suffering facial injuries just prior to
the trade deadline, Jokinen was acquired with hopes of
being a short-term replacement on the team’s first line,
particularly as it pertains to faceoffs.
Brenden Morrow,
March 24 Similar to Igina, Morrow was the face of his franchise,
the Stars, most of the past decade. He too had a no-trade
clause which he waived in order to join the Penguins in
order to win his first championship. Has been used
primarily on the third line thus far.
Douglas Murray,
March 25 Seeking a physical element on the blue line, the
Penguins traded two second-round draft picks to
San Jose in exchange for Murray. Primarily teamed
with Matt Niskanen on the third defensive pairing, he
has shown a willingness to mix it up physically while
also being liberal with his shot selection.
Brandon Sutter,
June 22 The primary return in the trade which sent Staal to
Carolina, Sutter has stepped into the center position
on the third line and has produced ample amounts of
clutch offense. He has four-game winning goals thus
far this season. Has been a big part of a penalty killing
unit which has been streaky.
Tomas Vokoun,
June 4 Seeking a stronger option as the No. 2 goaltender,
the Penguins acquired Vokoun’s signing rights from
the Capitals via trade before the start of free agency.
With the hopes he could spell Marc-Andre Fleury from
some of the workload, Vokoun has appeared in nearly
half of the team’s games. Following a rough stretch of
play in February, Vokoun rebounded and set several
team shutout records in March.

(Photo: Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)

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