Casey Pierro-Zabotel Loaned to Cincinnati of ECHL
UPDATE 3: Okay, so here is the final clarification, which was reported by Jon Bombulie of the Citizen’s Voice:
“He was loaned to Cincinnati of the ECHL, but Wilkes-Barre/Scranton retains his AHL rights and Pittsburgh retains his NHL rights. In return, the Wheeling Nailers get two forwards, Sam D’Agostino and Chris Minella.”
Bombulie then quoted Penguins assistant general manager Jason Botterill:
“He’s a young kid in his second year playing in the Coast and it’s a change of scenery. He’s going in the right direction, but to be in the same place for two years, it’s a situation where they get a couple of players back who can make the team better and give them more of a physical, grind-it-out style and that’s what the scouts and the coaches in Wheeling wanted to do.”
Pierro-Zabotel was not traded by the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Nashville Predators organization as originally reported. This was nothing more than a minor league transaction, which allows the WBS Penguins of the AHL to re-call him at any time and also allows the NHL Penguins to retain his rights, as they would if he continued to play for the Wheeling Nailers.
UPDATE 2: It appears Pierro-Zabotel remains the property of the Pittsburgh Penguins, as this was an ECHL trade alone.
UPDATE: Please note that the details below were sketchy at first and, as such, are incorrect. For the most accurate information, please follow updates 2 and 3. Thank you.
Casey Pierro-Zabotel has been traded to the Nashville Predators for ECHL players F Sam D’Agostino and F Chris Minella. That is all the information I have on that trade but that is likely it. According to Shawn Rine, beat writer of the Nailers, Minella is a Cincinnati native and will not report to Wheeling, a common occurrence with ECHL trades.
Zabotel, the former WHL scoring champion, has been reassigned to Cincinnati (ECHL) from the Penguins ECHL affiliate Wheeling Nailers.
This likely signals the end of Pierro-Zabotel’s affiliation with the organization that used a 3rd round pick on the playmaking center in the 2007 draft.
He was expected to join Wilkes-Barre last season and contribute immediately after an excellent junior hockey career culminated in a WHL scoring championship.
What happened was he spent 9 games in the AHL scoring 0 goals and 1 assist and became known as a perimeter player with little work ethic. He was tasked with becoming stronger before his first professional season and, after an unimpressive AHL camp, was demoted to Wheeling of the ECHL.
He scored at under a point per game pace scoring 41 points in 49 games. In his second season, he was getting outscored by rookies Ben Street and 2009 4th round pick Nick Petersen by nearly 17 and 23 points receptively.
After a rash of injuries in Pittsburgh forced several callups from Wilkes-Barre, the AHL Penguins responded by calling up Street and Petersen – the two players having the best seasons in the ECHL.
As a result, CPZ’s wife went on twitter and blasted the Penguins organization and Petersen. (Tweets have since been deleted. Full writeup on the situation here.)
With more callups to Pittsburgh, it was a sign that CPZ was not well liked in the organization when David Marshall and tough guy Ryan Schnell were recalled over Zabotel.
While CPZ did not say anything publicly, it appears that he has had some attitude issues in Wheeling and Shero and Co. has decided to move him out of the organization.