News:Simon Despres is expected to replace Mark Eaton in the Pens' lineup Thursday.
Analysis:Simon Despres got a rude introduction to the playoffs in Game 3, playing poorly in just over six minutes of ice time while registering a minus-2 rating. His vision, skating and passing ability are weapons the team looks to utilize Thursday against a youthful New York squad.
News: The Penguins recalled Simon Despres from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday.
Analysis:Simon Despres will likely continue to slide in and out of Pittsburgh's lineup, depending on matchups as decided by coach Dan Bylsma. The young blueliner has seven points (2 G, 5 A) and a plus-10 rating in 24 games with the Pens in 2013.
News:Simon Despres has been sent to AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton by the Penguins.
Analysis:Simon Despres, who has appeared in 24 games this season for Pittsburgh, notching seven points in that span, heads down to the AHL for now to make room for the activation of Kris Letang.
News: After sitting out as healthy scratch since Feb. 15, Simon Despres is expected to play against Florida on Friday.
Analysis: Teams looking for a blueliner in daily leagues might do well to consider adding Simon Despres. He has two goals and five points in 13 games and will be looking to impress the coaching staff. He's expected to pair with Deryk Engelland. Robert Bortuzzo will likely sit as a healthy scratch.
News:Simon Despres will again serve as a healthy scratch Wednesday against the Flyers.
Analysis:Simon Despres and Robert Bortuzzo continue to rotate as the team's sixth defenseman. Despres gets the nod when a skilled blueliner is needed and Bortuzzo plays when muscle is the topic. The Penguins host Philadelphia, hence Bortuzzo's presence in the lineup.
News:Simon Despres served as a healthy scratch Sunday against Buffalo.
Analysis: So long as the Pens' defensive corps is healthy, either Simon Despres or Robert Bortuzzo will sit out on most nights. Despres is still green behind the ears, but has two goals and five points in 13 games.
News:Simon Despres scored his second goal Tuesday, giving him four points in eight games for Pittsburgh.
Analysis: He took two more minor penalties, giving him seven for the season. Simon Despres's overall play, however, has been a pleasant surprise in recent games after an early-season benching.
News:Simon Despres went pointless Saturday, but registered a plus-3 rating against the Devils.
Analysis: It's an encouraging sign to see the young blueliner put up such a strong plus-minus rating. Simon Despres seems to be gaining confidence and turning some of his potential into reality.
News:Simon Despres assisted on Evgeni Malkin's first-period tally and scored a third-period breakaway goal in Thursday's 3-0 win over the Rangers.
Analysis: Despite getting just 12:47 of ice time due to a minor injury that knocked him out for part of the second period, Simon Despres had a great game, building on Tuesday's impressive outing against the Isles. In addition to the points, he laid three hits and went plus-2 on the evening.
News:Simon Despres is expected to play alongside Kris Letang against the Islanders on Tuesday.
Analysis: If he plays well, he could be in line for considerable action with Matt Niskanen expected to be out 3-4 weeks (and perhaps even longer). Simon Despres hasn't played to the organization's liking thus far, however, serving as a healthy scratch in the last two games. Niskanen's injury opens the door for Despres, but he'll need to produce to keep the gig.
News:Simon Despres played a strong game Tuesday, taking three shots and doling out a team-high four hits against the Islanders.
Analysis: He skated 22 shifts and more than 19 minutes (19:12), creating opportunities on a mostly moribund Penguins team. Simon Despres likely earned himself another start Thursday night in Madison Square Garden.
News:Simon Despres, who will serve as a healthy scratch Friday, may be on the trading block, Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
Analysis: Rossi reports that he has heard "rumblings" the Penguins are looking for a winger and Simon Despres could be had for "the right price." The blueliner has one assist and a minus-1 rating in three games. He's averaging 9:57 minutes of ice, the lowest total among Pittsburgh defenders.
News:Simon Despres will be a healthy scratch Friday, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. Coach Dan Bylsma said Despres needs "more consistency in his play and his demeanor."
Analysis: It sounds like Simon Despres is in the doghouse, as he will be replaced on defense by Ben Lovejoy. The 21-year-old Despres has one assist and a minus-1 rating through three games this season.
News: Paired with Deryk Engelland, Simon Despres skated just over 10 minutes (10:26) in Saturday's opener, going pointless with a minor penalty.
Analysis: He looked shaky in the first period, but played more confidently with the puck as the game wore on. The interference penalty he took was somewhat questionable -- four of the game's seven penalties were of the interference variety.
News:Simon Despres will pair with Deryk Engelland on Saturday in Philadelphia, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Analysis:Simon Despres paired with Kris Letang for Wednesday's intrasquad scrimmage, but Matt Niskanen will get the nod against the Flyers.
Pens' Despres Paired With Engelland On Third Line Friday
News:Simon Despres practice with Deryk Engelland as part of a third pair Friday in practice, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Analysis: While Simon Despres made the Opening Night roster, his role will likely continue to change on a game-by-game basis. It's possible the team wants to protect him in the opener against Philadelphia. Matt Niskanen will pair with Kris Letang on Saturday. Despres and Niskanen are set to battle for a top-four role in Pittsburgh.
News:Simon Despres has made the Pens' final roster and will open the season paired with Kris Letang, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
Analysis: Working with Letang could boost Simon Despres's fantasy value. Coach Dan Bylsma has supported the pairing strongly since the summer. Still, he has all of 21 games of NHL experience and hasn't played particularly well for Wilkes-Barre or in the Pens' scrimmage Wednesday. There's plenty of risk with Despres but he has more upside than most other blueliners available at the end of drafts.
Pens' Despres Battles Through Uneven Play Wednesday
News:Simon Despres was paired with Kris Letang during Wednesday's scrimmage game but did little to secure a roster spot.
Analysis: The potential is there, but the speed of the game seemed to overwhelm him at times. He still has a chance to make the team, but since he's the lone defender (out of nine NHL blueliners) who doesn't need to pass through waivers, there's a good chance he gets sent back to Wilkes-Barre -- at least for the start of the season.
News: The Penguins are pairing Simon Despres with Kris Letang during practice in hopes that the two can play together, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Analysis: A spot next to Letang would boost Simon Despres's fantasy value, but Matt Niskanen is also expected to see time with Letang. With his inexperience, Despres remains a question mark on the blue line. The Pens are looking for someone to step up as a top-four blueliner, however, and the former No. 1 pick could help fill the void.
Penguins' Despres Likely To Begin Season In Minors
News:Simon Despres will likely begin the season in the minors, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
Analysis: The shortened training camp probably won't provide enough time for Simon Despres to convince coach Dan Bylsma he's ready for NHL play, making it likely that the team uses Ben Lovejoy and Deryk Engelland in its third pairing. Despres recorded a mere seven points during AHL play prior to the lockout, evidence that he likely requires further development before he gets a chance with the Penguins.
News:Simon Despres has just seven points (3G, 4A) in 25 AHL games, serving as a healthy scratch in recent games.
Analysis: His disappointing play in Wilkes-Barre likely means that he won't start the season in the NHL. Pittsburgh has an abundance of young defensemen and Simon Despres could find himself slipping down the organization's prospect list.
News:Simon Despres scored a goal and assisted on another one in AHL action Saturday night.
Analysis: He has goals in both of his last two games after starting the season with no goals in 15 contests. The young defenseman still has a shot to crack Pittsburgh's roster but his up-and-down AHL play could lead the club to keep him in Wilkes-Barre a bit longer.
News:Simon Despres has been sent to the Penguins' AHL affiliate, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, for the remainder of that team's playoff run, the Penguins' Official Website reports.
Analysis:Simon Despres showed signs of potential in his time in the NHL this season. He recorded four points in 18 contests with the Penguins.
News:Simon Despres is expected to take Paul Martin's spot in the lineup Friday night, the Penguins' Web site reports.
Analysis:Simon Despres is expected to see time on the point with the team's no. 2 power-play unit. For that reason, he's worth a flyer (pun intended) in deep leagues.
News: The Penguins have recalled Simon Despres from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Penguins' Twitter Feed reports.
Analysis:Simon Despres will give the Penguins some added blue-line depth, with Paul Martin unavailable for Wednesday's Game 4 against the Flyers.
News: The Penguins have returned Depres to Wilkes-Barre of the AHL, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports.
Analysis: Depres appeared in 18 games for the Penguins this season, recording just four points. He was added to bolster a depleted blue line, but with the team getting healthy as the playoffs near, he became somewhat expendable.
News:Simon Despres will play alongside Deryk Engelland on Tuesday, the Penguins' Twitter Feed reports.
Analysis: The young defender had some success earlier in the year with Pittsburgh. His fantasy impact might rely upon how long Kris Letang is out with a lower-body injury. Simon Despres has scored one goal and four points in 16 games with the Pens, and had four goals and 12 points in 37 AHL contests.
News:Simon Despres has been recalled by the Pens, the team's official Twitter feed reports.
Analysis: It's not clear if he will immediately join the lineup Tuesday, but the 20-year-old has a very bright future ahead and remains an intriguing player to track in keeper leagues.
News:Simon Despres was recalled Friday, the Penguins' official Twitter page reports.
Analysis:Simon Despres appeared in 14 NHL games this season, recording four points (1G, 3A) and a plus-four rating before spraining his knee in January. In 31 AHL contests this year, he has nine points (4G, 5A) and a minus-one rating. It will interesting to see what the 20-year-old can do with more NHL time, but you can't expect much here in terms of production.
News: The Penguins have activated Simon Despres (knee) from IR and re-assigned him to AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Penguins.NHL.com reports.
Analysis:Simon Despres, who has been sidelined since Jan. 10, has played in 14 NHL games this season, recording four points. Once he's back up to speed, he figures to be back with the big club at some point down the road.
News:Simon Despres (knee) is expected to play in 5-to-10 days, Penguins.NHL.com reports.
Analysis:Simon Despres could be available as soon as Saturday for Pittsburgh, though he could be out as late as the Penguins' Feb. 18 game against Philadelphia.
News:Simon Despres (knee) could come off IR within the next week, according to the Penguins' Web site.
Analysis: The health of Pittsburgh's other defenders will likely determine whether Simon Despres sticks with the NHL squad when the organization activates him.
News:Simon Despres (knee) skated with Jordan Staal and Sidney Crosby prior to practice Monday, according to the Penguins' Web site.
Analysis:Simon Despres is the closest of the three players to returning to action. Whether the Penguins keep him on the NHL roster or return him to Wilkes-Barre depends on several factors, including the health of the team's other defenders.
News:Simon Despres will miss at least two weeks with a sprained knee, according to the Penguins' Web site.
Analysis:Simon Despres has a Grade 1 MCL sprain. Depending upon the team's injury situation, the defenseman could play for the Pens or be sent to the AHL when he comes back.
News: The Penguins placed Simon Despres on IR due to a leg injury suffered Tuesday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Analysis: The team has yet to release details of his injury, but the fact they placed him on IR does not bode well for his immediate future. Simon Despres impressed the organization with his on-ice maturity and an aptitude for incorporating new ideas into his game.
News:Simon Despres left Tuesday's game with a leg injury and didn't return.
Analysis: This is a tough break for both Simon Despres and the Pens, who had just called him up to fill in for the injured Paul Martin. Coach Dan Bylsma said in a post-game press conference that he had no update on Despres and further evaluation is needed. It appears the rookie defenseman may have suffered a significant injury.
News:Simon Despres was recalled by Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Penguins.NHL.com reports.
Analysis:Simon Despres has been fairly promising for Pittsburgh, posting four points (one goal) and a plus-4 rating in 13 games so far this year, but his lack of a consistent role probably limits his fantasy utility to deeper leagues.
News:Simon Despres has been sent to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AHL), the Pens' official site reports.
Analysis: The 20-year-old has four points in 13 games with the Pens this season since making his debut against the Caps on December 1. He should be back with the big club at some point in the near future when another opening arises on the blue line.
News:Simon Despres collected his first career NHL goal Saturday, finishing plus-2 in an 8-3 win over the Sabres.
Analysis: The rookie blueliner saw more than 20 minutes of ice (20:07) and led all Pittsburgh skaters with 26 shifts. Even though Simon Despres is playing so much because of injuries, it's promising that he hasn't embarrassed himself. His stock in fantasy leagues, especially those of the keeper variety, is on the rise after a rough training camp.
News:Simon Despres netted an assist and finished plus-2 in his debut Thursday.
Analysis: The rookie defender acquitted himself nicely, considering he saw time against the opponent's top line at times. He only played a little over 10 minutes, but his overall solid play boosted his short term stock. Simon Despres' ice time is still determined by Kris Letang's and Zbynek Michalek's health status. Both vets are doubtful for Saturday, making it likely Despres suits up again in Carolina.
News:Simon Despres will pair with Robert Bortuzzo and see time on the Pens' second power-play unit Thursday, Sam Kasan of the Penguins' Web site reports.
Analysis:Simon Despres is a surefire commodity in keeper leagues and is worthwhile taking a chance on in leagues with deep benches. He could find himself quickly back in the minors depending upon Kris Letang and Zbynek Michalek's health, making it a risk to cut a reliable player for him in non-keeper leagues.
News: The Penguins recalled Simon Despres as expected Thursday, according to the team's official website.
Analysis:Simon Despres will fill out the Penguins' blue line with several other defenders nursing injuries. The rookie picked up seven points in 22 games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and was taken in the first round in 2009, so he's worth keeping an eye on in deeper formats.
News: The Penguins are expected to recall Simon Despres on Thursday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Analysis:Simon Despres has three goals and seven points in 22 AHL games. He's on a short list of top offensive defensemen prospects within the Pittsburgh organization. How long he sticks depends upon the health of Kris Letang and Zbynek Michalek, not to mention his own play.
News:Simon Despres has two goals and five points in 15 games for the Baby Penguins in 2011-12.
Analysis:Simon Despres was sent to the AHL early in training camp and didn't even play in one preseason game. If the Penguins were sending a message to their no. 1 pick, then the defenseman seems to have gotten that point. Coach Dan Bylsma even mentioned him as a possible callup at some point, based upon his strong two-way play.
News: Despres made Team Canada's entry into the upcoming World Junior Championships, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Analysis: Despres reportedly had a bad camp, so it remains to be seen how much he plays. The offensive defenseman has nine goals, 26 points, and a plus-19 rating in 22 games with St. John of the QMJHL. He nearly got a 10-game tryout with the Pens at the beginning of the 2010-11 campaign, but Deryk Engelland and Ben Lovejoy beat him out.
News: Pittsburgh has sent Despres back to Saint John of the QMJHL, according to Jeff Marek of CBC Sports.
Analysis: The promising 2009 first-rounder has a bright future, but a few rough preseason games cost him a chance at sticking with the big boys this season. With another franchise, maybe, but this team has its sights set on a deep playoff run this year and they don't feel comfortable counting on the 19-year-old yet.
News: Despres had a poor game against Chicago on Friday, going minus-1 with two shots on goal.
Analysis: Despres' chances of making the Opening Night roster took a hit because of his rough night. Despres got turned inside out by Marian Hossa, who then went on to beat goalie Brent Johnson for a score.
News: Despres will either open the season with Pittsburgh or back in juniors, according to coach Dan Bylsma, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Analysis: "Simon is either sticking with us or going back to juniors," Bylsma noted. Despres, who has a plus-3 rating and no points in two games, could play up to nine games with Pittsburgh before being sent back to juniors. Barring injury to a number of blueliners ahead of him, Despres won't have much fantasy value in 2010-11. However, he is making a name for himself in the years to come.
News: The Pittsburgh Penguins have signed first-round draft pick Simon Despres to a three-year entry level contract. Despres, 18, was in training camp with the Penguins until being returned to Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior league, where the defenseman played the last two seasons.
Analysis: Despres, the 30th overall NHL draft pick in June, was an alternate captain for Team Canada in the world under-18 championships earlier this year. He had two goals and 30 assists in 66 games for Saint John last season and was a plus-18 in 64 games as a 16-year-old player in 2007. Despres remains pretty much a long-term Fantasy keeper.