Despres and forwards Nick Drazenovic and Pierre-Luc Letorneau-LeBlond are being sent back to WBS. Bylsma's reasoning for Despres is that Martin is returning to practice and will possibly see game time next week. He feels that keeping Despres as an 8th defensemen won't get him enough practice time to develop. I guess the coaches were also displeased that he was "pouting" when being scratched, whereas Maata had a completely different reaction after he was scratched for a game (was the first person at practice the next day and was graded as the best defenseman in the next game).
I'd love to see Despres stay on, as I think he'd be a great talent for the future, but there's a good chance he gets traded by March.
Maatta is the player about whom Shero expects to field the most offers in upcoming trade talks, but Despres has become the defenseman he is believed to be most willing to part before the March 5 deadline.
Shero has moved a young defenseman — either a prospect of a player from the roster — at or just before the deadline in four of his seven previous seasons.
Shero is seeking to upgrade the third line, which Bylsma said has lacked an identity, and to possibly replace injured Pascal Dupuis (torn ACL), a top-line right winger likely out for the season.
The Penguins currently are holding their amateur scouting meetings in Las Vegas.
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