Penguins Notebook: Former Penguin Boguniecki finds another home
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Eric Boguniecki spent part of the 2005-06 season with the Penguins and now, two teams later, played his eighth game with the New York Islanders last night at Mellon Arena.
Boguniecki, 31, isn't a superstar. At times, he hasn't even been a regular in the lineup. He's one of a plethora of NHL players through the years whose story is one of patience and perseverance.
Boguniecki has played with five teams. He started last season with St. Louis, was traded to the Penguins and played in 38 games, signed with Columbus during the offseason, then orchestrated a trade to the Islanders Oct. 25.
"It was a situation where I had control over the trade, and this is where I chose," said Boguniecki, who talked to Islanders general manager Garth Snow when the Blue Jackets agreed to help trade him.
"When I signed with Columbus, my initial agreement was if I didn't want to be in Syracuse [in the minor leagues], I could head to Europe," said Boguniecki, who was nevertheless assigned to Syracuse but never reported and asked for a trade.
"When Garth and I talked before the trade even happened, he talked about what my situation would be, my role. I've been promised a lot of things before in my career -- like in Columbus -- but Snowy held true to his word."
Boguniecki started out with the Islanders' minor-league affiliate in Bridgeport, playing with several young players, before he got called up and made his Islanders debut Nov. 28 against the Penguins.
He has no points with the Islanders, but he's happy to still be in the NHL.
"I just wanted a chance, and they're giving me an opportunity," Boguniecki said.
Not quite like Mario
Rookie Jordan Staal's short-handed goal that punctuated the Penguins' 8-4 victory against Philadelphia Monday gave him four on the season -- an impressive number for the middle of December, but not quite on the pace of the team record of 13 in a season set by Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux.
"That's Mario Lemieux for you," Staal said. "I'm just taking my opportunities."
Staal said he uses several criteria for deciding when it's appropriate to go on the offensive when killing penalties.
"It depends on the score of the game and the way the momentum is going," he said. "You're obviously out there to kill penalties first, but if there's a little opportunity there and the situation is right, I'll take it."
DuPont goes back to minors
Defenseman Micki DuPont was returned to the Penguins' Wilkes-Barre/Scranton affiliate in the AHL after a three-game stint. He had one assist and a minus-3 rating.
The move left the Penguins without a spare defenseman and, once again, with none who are right-handed.
With Nils Ekman back in the lineup after a stomach virus, the Penguins scratched Erik Christensen. Coach Michel Therrien has been reluctant to break up his fourth line of Chris Thorburn, Maxime Talbot and Jarkko Ruutu. ... New York Islanders captain Alexei Yashin missed his eighth game with a knee injury despite having practiced Wednesday and Thursday and taking part in the morning skate yesterday. ... The Tickets For Kids Foundation Power Play Program, a partnership among the Penguins, the Highmark and Tickets for Kids Foundation, is donating 11,000 tickets valued at more than $900,000 to deserving children throughout the season.
First Published December 16, 2006 12:00 am