The Penguins made three final transactions before their first game of the 2015-16 on Thursday.
They reversed their salary cap-related transaction from earlier in the week, recalling defenseman Olli Maatta from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League and returning Swedish rookie Oskar Sundqvist to the AHL.
Maatta is expected to start and feature prominently on the Penguins blue line in his first action since December 6 of last year. He was only able to play 20 games while dealing with cancer, the mumps and a season-ending shoulder surgery.
The Penguins also recalled veteran center Kevin Porter from Wilkes-Barre. Porter, 29, was signed as a free agent from the Detroit Red Wings during the offseason. He’s a two-way player that has split time between the AHL and NHL over the last few seasons.
Porter’s presence will give the Penguins an extra forward as they start the season on a two-game Western road trip to Dallas and Phoenix. Injuries to Eric Fehr (elbow) and Pascal Dupuis (lower-body) left the team shorthanded.
Last season, Porter scored 16 goals and 23 assists in 76 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins. He also had a goal and three assists in 16 Calder Cup playoff games. Before his time in the Red Wings organization, he played with Buffalo, Colorado and Phoenix. He is a Michigan alum and a Detroit native.
Porter has already cleared waivers, and will not have to clear waivers again to be sent back down unless he remains on the team’s roster for 30 days or plays in 10 games.
The Penguins season begins with an 8:30 p.m. faceoff tonight in Dallas against the Stars. Stay with the Pittsburgh Sporting News all season for comprehensive Penguins coverage.
Photo credit: Colorado Avalanche