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A Monday trade left a 6-foot-7, 255-pound gap in the UPMC Lemieux Sports activities Sophisticated locker home. Not because the Pittsburgh Penguins really don’t have the staff to substitute Jamie Oleksiak but because the “Big Rig” will be missed.
“He’s a great close friend. I cherished having him listed here,” explained defenseman Brian Dumoulin, who had a locker stall future to Oleksiak. “He’s a excellent dude, and I feel he’s only receiving greater, a excellent player and a excellent teammate and just a enjoyable dude to be all over. Of course, it’s rough to see a teammate go, but I hope for the very best for him.”
Oleksiak was transported back again to the Dallas Stars for a fourth-round draft pick 13 months following the Penguins had acquired him for a fourth-round pick. He had eight goals and 25 factors in 83 frequent-period online games for the Penguins.
He was a sound part of their protection corps down the extend and into the postseason very last calendar year, more than enough so he gained a three-calendar year, $6.4 million agreement over the summer season. But Oleksiak had fallen to No. 8 on the Penguins’ defenseman depth chart, and his departure assists clear income-cap place for common supervisor Jim Rutherford to make an addition.
“It’s in no way effortless seeing teammates go, but it’s part of the company,” defenseman Jack Johnson explained. “I’ve witnessed a great deal of great teammates and friends appear and go, and (I) would like the very best for him. A excellent teammate and great player.
“He undoubtedly brought a physical existence to our workforce, but we are all hockey players so there is no reason why we cannot all stage up in that department and convey some physicality to our activity.”
The most physical of Oleksiak’s roles, fighter, figures to be loaded by fourth-line wing Garrett Wilson. The 6-3, 206-pound Wilson has 44 expert battling majors, together with 5 in the NHL.
“I will do nearly anything I can to stick all over listed here,” Wilson explained, “and if I have to struggle, I will.”
Wilson indicated he was seeking to bait New Jersey players into a struggle throughout Devils’ rout Monday in an try to spark the workforce.
“I didn’t have any takers,” he explained. “That’s the way it is. The activity is altering a very little bit. But bringing a physical existence, normally, when you do get a massive strike you have to reply the bell. And I will be all set for that when the challenge arises.
“I know what my role is listed here. I have usually played a physical activity, and possibly the very last 5 to six yrs in Wilkes-Barre or when I was in the (ECHL) I have usually had to struggle a very little bit. It’s anything I really don’t brain in the heat of the instant. No just one really likes battling, but when I get into battle and it comes about, I really don’t brain it all. I have enjoyable with it. I feel I can be profitable when I do struggle, so … if I have to get the previous flippers off, I really don’t brain executing that at all.”
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Critique staff members author. You can speak to Chris at email@example.com or by means of Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.