2 Surprising Cuts Penguins Made In Training Camp

The Pittsburgh Penguins are much healthier to begin this season, which means there are a couple of players who were cut but should have been able to stay with the team. Both will be the first called upon at their position, but it was tough to predict.

Ty Smith

Ty Smith, a former 17th overall pick by the New Jersey Devils, was traded to the Penguins this offseason. The team was trying to switch things up in order to find more success this season. They saw his potential as a point producer in his first two seasons in the NHL and got a third round pick in the process.

Considering the Penguins gave up John Marino in that trade, it was very likely that Smith would make the team as a third pairing defenceman. That wasn't the case as he was sent down. The main reason had to be because another 23-year-old defenceman, Pierre-Olivier Joseph, is now eligible for waivers. The team is working on trading him, but since Smith is exempt from waivers, he will at least start the season in the AHL. As soon as Joseph is traded, Smith will be recalled. But it was a shock that after two offensively productive seasons by the young defenceman, he wasn't kept around as at least the seventh defenceman in the meantime.

Drew O'Connor

Drew O'Connor was among an earlier group of cuts made from the Penguins training camp. This is surprising considering he suited up for 22 games with them last season. He scored three goals and recorded five points which isn't bad in a fourth line role.

The expectation is that the 24-year-old would be able to build off of the trial he got with the Penguins and turn that into a full-time role on the fourth line this season. He has more potential than Josh Archibald and could even be used as an extra on the team. Instead, he will start the season in the AHL. He will likely be one of the very first call-ups to the Penguins.

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