Penguins Notebook: Satan plays after being put on waivers earlier
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TAMPA, Fla. -- With the NHL trade deadline set for 3 p.m. today and the stretch drive to a possible playoff spot upon them, the Penguins have begun maneuvering.
For the second day in a row, they placed a player on waivers yesterday. This time, it was winger Miroslav Satan, a two-time All-Star who signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract as a free agent last summer.
Teams have until noon today to claim Satan, who was in the lineup last night against Tampa Bay at the St. Pete Times Forum.
If he goes unclaimed, he could be assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, where he would not count against the Penguins' salary cap -- opening space should the Penguins' payroll rise with a trade -- but the team would still be obligated to pay his NHL salary.
Satan never successfully filled the role of center Sidney Crosby's linemate as had been hoped, although he had scored a goal in each of his past two games before last night and three over the team's first seven games under interim coach Dan Bylsma.
Forward Bill Thomas, a Fox Chapel native, cleared waivers yesterday and remained with the team. He was a healthy scratch for the sixth time in the past seven games.
"We're not 100 percent healthy right now, and it's toward the deadline, so we need that flexibility," Bylsma said.
Crosby missed his fourth game in a row after sustaining a left groin injury Feb. 22 at Washington.
"Now I think it's just weak," Crosby said after participating in the morning skate. "I don't feel anything doing normal skating. If I start leaning on guys and things like that, that's when I start feeling it a little bit more. It's frustrating being that close, but, at the same time, it's important that it's strong when I go back."
It was a year ago today that Crosby came back from a 21-game layoff because of a high ankle sprain at the St. Pete Times Forum, although he played three games, then had to pull himself out for another seven. He pondered that sitting in the same locker room stall he was in here last year.
"I've just got to make sure that it's strong enough that I don't come back and then miss more time," he said. "I've tried to learn from [last season]."
Defenseman Brooks Orpik has been serving as an alternate captain in the absence of Crosby, the team captain. ... Some of the Pirates players and staff attended the game after traveling from their Bradenton spring-training headquarters. ... Tampa Bay scratched former Penguins wingers Mark Recchi, a candidate to be traded, and Gary Roberts, who was placed on waivers, and defenseman Marek Malik (lower body injury).
First Published March 4, 2009 12:00 am