The Pittsburgh Penguins have sent defensemen Ben Lovejoy to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. The club announced the move Wednesday evening.
Lovejoy, 28, was a healthy scratch for a significant portion of this season, appearing in only three games. His struggles on the ice were apparent—a minus-2 ranking with no points and multiple errors. The blue liner has 4 goals and 21 assists in 98 career games.
Lovejoy’s struggles came at the least opportune time and fueled comments citing ineptness, poor puck management, and multiple sins of omission. Rumors about his future with the Penguins organization crystallized at the beginning of training camp, which saw tremendous efforts by Simon Despres and Robert Bortuzzo from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Improvements from defensemen Matt Niskanen and Paul Martin served to augment Lovejoy’s woes—further eclipsing him.
Pittsburgh native Dylan Reese will assume Lovejoy’s responsibilities on the Penguins’ back end, making his debut Thursday night at the Consol Energy Center. Reese was drafted 209th overall by the New York Rangers in 2003. This season with Wilkes-Barre, Reese recorded 15 points (3G, 12A) in 39 contests, leading the club’s defensemen.
Ray Shero, general manager of the Penguins, was unavailable for comment.