Plenty of news regarding the New Jersey Devils roster ahead of their back-to-back set with Pittsburgh and Washington in the next two days. Might as well put it all together.
There's a new name on the roster. According to the official Twitter account of the Devils' PR department, the team has brought up Blake Pietila on an emergency recall. Pietila was a fifth round draft pick in the 2011 draft, he represented for the United States at the 2013 World Junior Championship tournament where he won gold, he was a leader at Michigan Tech for four years, and this is his first season as a professional player. He's been with Albany this season, where he's made 54 appearances with nine goals and seven assists. My limited understanding of the A-Devils from Brian's posts (which you should read every Tuesday) is that Pietila has recently been a left winger on the third line. The word on him even while in college was that he projected to be a more defensive forward than an attacker. We'll see if that bears out, but becoming a regular in the bottom six isn't a bad start to a professional career. Getting a call up to play in the NHL makes it even better.
Why is Pietila called up? It's because of Tyler Kennedy. Kennedy left Sunday's 2-1 win against Columbus early with an apparent lower body injury. Tom Gulitti at Fire & Ice reported that he didn't appear in Wednesday's practice and he Tweeted that John Hynes says he won't be traveling with the team to Pittsburgh. This means Pietila needed to be called up for the Devils to have twelve forwards and he should play tonight. Based on Gulitti's report from practice, expect him to skate on a line with Sergey Kalinin and Mike Sislo.
The Kennedy injury comes at a time where the Devils are rather banged up. Michael Cammalleri is done for the season; he joins Jiri Tlusty as Devils who won't return this season. Patrik Elias' status regarding whether he'll play at all this season remains unknown until the end of this week. Cory Schneider will return, but he's out for these two games and now Sunday's game as well according to Gulitti. On defense, John Moore will be a gametime decision but David Schlemko's status is unknown and Jon Merrill will be out for a while according Gulitti's Tweets this morning. The 2015-16 season is a lost one for New Jersey, but that's not why they've been going deep into Albany's lineup. It's because they simply need the players to fill out their roster.
In lighter news, the NHL, the NHLPA and GoPro have had a partnership resulting in an eleven-episode series called NHL After Dark. It shows off the players using GoPro cameras to do things on the ice. The latest episode, Episode Nine, features Cory Schneider. Yes, a Devil is being marketed by the NHL and the NHLPA. Yes, a current and rather excellent player who does and will play for the New Jersey Devils is featured in a promotion. The complaints of how the league hates/ignores the Devils take a hit as Schneider does some drills involving two nets with a GoPro camera. Clearly, this was done well before his MCL sprain; it looks like it was done in Toronto, in fact. I spied a Marlies logo at 0:26. Anyway, here's the episode:
I think it's neat enough. And it's always worth highlighting a Devil being put up in a league and union associated marketing event since they've been so seemingly rare - as far as I can remember - in the past.
Anyway, Pietila will get a debut and the Devils will try to get through these next two games with as little damage to the roster as they can. If only for Albany's sake. What do you expect out of Pietila for tomorrow's game? Will the Devils recover from this rash of injuries soon? Did you like Cory Schneider on NHL After Dark? Please let me know your answers and thoughts about this news in the comments. Thank you for reading.