Simon Despres D PIT 4 Days

Despres served as a healthy scratch for the first time in 2014-15 on Friday.

After the game, coach Mike Johnston said that he had to sit one of his seven healthy defenders and didn't want Robert Bortuzzo -- who sat out the team's last game -- to grow cold. Bortuzzo didn't play particularly well against the Islanders, so there's a good chance Despres returns to the lineup Saturday.

Simon Despres D PIT 4 Days

Despres is not in Friday's lineup against the Islanders, according to Root Sports in Pittsburgh.

Robert Bortuzzo will take Despres' spot in the lineup. There was no immediate word as to whether Despres is injured or is simply serving as a healthy scratch.

Simon Despres D PIT 19 Days

Despres scored his first goal since February of 2013 on Thursday and added nine PIM against the Jets.

He blocked three shots and compiled a plus-1 rating. Despres earned high marks for squaring off against Evander Kane but showed his penchant for taking costly penalties -- he was called for tripping with a minute remaining in regulation.

Simon Despres D PIT 28 Days

Despres tallied two helpers and finished with a plus-3 rating in Tuesday's 8-3 victory over the Devils.

The defenseman also contributed with three hits, two blocks, two shots and two penalty minutes Tuesday. With Olli Maatta expected to miss about a month's worth of action beginning in Week 5, Despres could see steady time. While his point production figures to remain inconsistent, he could help fantasy teams in hits, blocks and penalty minutes.

Simon Despres D PIT 1 Month

Despres rotated with Robert Bortuzzo as the Pens' sixth defenseman during Saturday's game-day skate.

Despite a tendency to take unnecessary penalties, Despres has played pretty well in limited minutes. With veteran Rob Scuderi and his ability to serve as an effective penalty killer, Despres and Bortuzzo may have to battle one another for the final spot on the blue line. It's possible that both Despres and Bortuzzo could eventually become a pairing while Scuderi sits, but for now it appears that either Despres or Bortuzzo will serve as the odd man out.

Simon Despres D PIT 1 Month

Despres collected his first point of the season in Thursday's loss to the Red Wings, notching the lone helper on Chris Kunitz's second-period goal. He also dished out a season-high six hits and finished plus-1.

Limited minutes -- he played just 12:26 Thursday -- have limited Despres' productivity, but he has played very physically, with 18 PIM and 21 hits on the year. Fantasy owners would surely like to see more points, but that's not ikely to happen in the near term unless another Penguins blueliner gets hurt.

Simon Despres D PIT 2 Months

Despres currently slots into Pittsburgh's defensive unit as part of a third-pairing with Rob Scuderi.

Despres may only have a two-week window or so with Robert Bortuzzo on the mend from an undisclosed injury. The former first-round draft pick has shown flashes of skill in the AHL -- he had 23 points in 36 games last year -- but that offense hasn't translated into production at the NHL level. Pittsburgh has a number of blue line prospects behind Despres, making October a very important month for the defender.

Simon Despres D PIT 2 Months

Despres chipped in with a pair of assists and a fighting major Thursday against the Wild.

He's finally away from Dan Bylsma and could be given a better chance to show what he can do in 2014-15. Despres is slated to serve as the team's sixth or seventh defenseman, but more nights like Thursday figure to boost his stock with a new head coach and general manager.

Simon Despres D PIT 4 Months

Simon Despres has inked a two-year, $1.8 million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It appears Despres' deal is one-way and if that's the case then he's a safe bet to make the team's opening game roster. He had five assists and 26 penalty minutes in 34 games with Pittsburgh in 2013-14.

Simon Despres D PIT 5 Months

Simon Despres will get a chance to crack the Pittsburgh lineup for the 2014-15 season.

Despres was not a favorite of the recently-fired head coach Dan Bylsma and with Matt Niskanen, Deryk Engelland and Brooks Orpik unlikely to return to the Pittsburgh lineup, the former first round pick will be given every opportunity to win a job on the Penguins blueline. "Without a doubt," associate GM Jason Botterill said. "You saw how he played in the playoffs in Wilkes-Barre. It was a great step in the right direction. He went down there with a better attitude. He was very physical. I think he enjoyed playing. It's been a difficult situation for our defensemen because of the depth that we have."