Pittsburgh Penguins Add Mark Arcobello; Where Might He Fit In The Lineup?


Dec 12, 2014; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Mark Arcobello (26) dumps the puck into the Anaheim Ducks zone during the second period at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Penguins had to give up a depth forward in their recent trade for David Perron, as Rob Klinkhammer was shipped to Edmonton along with a first-round draft pick.

While Klinkhammer never had an opportunity to settle in with the Penguins, perhaps the newly-acquired Mark Arcobello could play a consistent role in the bottom six.

Arcobello, a 26-year-old former Yale star, was claimed off waivers from Nashville on Wednesday by Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford. In 82 career NHL games, the Connecticut native has 12 goals and 19 assists.

The 5-foot-8 right-handed-shooting Arcobello can play both center and wing, and is known as an intelligent player. If I were Craig Adams or Zach Sill, I would take this acquisition as a challenge – both for playing time and even a spot on the Pens roster.

Especially in the case of Adams, who clashed with Evgeni Malkin during a recent practice and whose usefulness is waning at age 37, Arcobello’s arrival could be the death knell for an NHL career.

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But no matter how Rutherford arranges the roster to fit Arcobello in, the Penguins now have a bit more competence on the team.

Yes, Arcobello split last season between the sad-sack Oilers and their AHL team in Oklahoma City, but he brings more jump than someone like Adams and more offensive creativity than Sill, Bryan Rust or any other young forward the Pens have stashed in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

(Although the Penguins sent Rust down to the AHL after Wednesday’s practice, that doesn’t mean Sill or Adams should feel good about their standing on the club long-term.)

Head coach Mike Johnston has shown a willingness to experiment this season, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Arcobello get penalty-killing duty or even some time on the third line if Johnston feels the need to really mix things up.

It’s not the most exciting move in the world, but after the Perron trade, Penguins fans might have to be content with minor adjustments like this the rest of the way. With 20-year-old blueline prodigy Olli Maatta out for the season, the team is less likely to deal from its vaunted defensive depth.

However, there’s nothing wrong with some dumpster diving on the waiver wire. We’re about to find out if the Predators’ trash can be anything near treasure for the Pens.

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