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Destination: Coal Street

The Wilkes/Barre Scranton Penguins, AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, inked four new deals last week. Peter Merth, Dustin Stevenson, Christiaan Minella, and Denver Manderson are ready for the challenges ahead—ultimately hoping to augment the team’s chances of snagging the Calder Cup.

Prior to joining the Penguins’ playoff run, Merth spent the better part of last season with the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers. In Wheeling, the blueliner tallied a goal and 16 helpers in 48 regular season games. A native of New Westminster, BC, Merth spent three seasons with the Nailers, posting 5 goals, 36 assists, and 219 penalty minutes in 167 games played. The 2011-12 campaign saw Merth’s highest numbers—leading the Nailers’ roster with a +20 rating. Appearing in eight playoff games with the Penguins following a PTO (professional tryout agreement), Merth contributed two helpers and collected 27 penalty minutes. The Penguins were 9-2-0-0 with Merth in the lineup.

Merth has played in four leagues—the AHL, ECHL, BCHL, and ECAC-Division 1—bringing experience to Coal Street.

Stevenson calls Coal Street home after a thrilling Kelly Cup championship victory with the Reading Royals of the ECHL. In 200 career ECHL appearances, the former South Carolina Stingray posted 3 goals, 29 points, and 260 penalty minutes. At 6’5” and 220 lbs, the blueliner will need to increase his size and strength if he hopes to become a permanent fixture of the Penguins’ lineup.

Coal Street
Winger Christiaan Minella returns to the Wilkes/Barre Scranton Penguins after agreeing to an American Hockey League (AHL) contract last week.
(AFC Media)

Minella, 28, signed a PTO with the Penguins in February following an impressive 2-12-13 regular season campaign in Wheeling. He failed to register a point in eight regular season appearances with the Penguins. However, in the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs, the right-winger recorded one goal and one helper in six games played, earning a -1 rating. The twenty-eight year old has appeared in 106 career ECHL games, accumulating 19 goals, 25 assists, and 84 penalty minutes. Minella won the Nailers’ Player Award for his efforts during the 2011-12 campaign.

Manderson is a young forward with plenty to prove after sitting out last season with a shoulder injury. The 24-year-old center notched 18 goals and 22 assists in 52 games played in Wheeling during the 2011-12 campaign. His energy, passion, and commitment to the game will translate into on-ice heroics for the new Penguin.

Sofia Rizzo

Sofia Rizzo

Proud fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins and everything hockey. Hockey is my first love and never fails to inspire, motivate, and uplift me.
Sofia Rizzo

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