Jean-Sebastien Dea returns to Penguins lineup after unexpected detour
OTTAWA – When Jean-Sebastien Dea was claimed on waivers at the end of September, he thought his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins was over.
The New Jersey Devils were willing to give him the NHL roster spot that he couldn’t seem to grab amidst a stacked collection of forwards in Pittsburgh. He was beginning a new chapter in his career.
Standing in the visiting locker room at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday afternoon, Dea was pretty happy he was wrong.
Dea scored three goals in his first four games with the Devils, but eventually fell out of the lineup and went back on waivers. The Penguins reclaimed him Nov. 29 and assigned him to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
He spent only two games in the AHL before being called up. With Patric Hornqvist out day to day with an upper-body injury, Dea was back in the lineup Saturday night against the Senators.
“It’s crazy,” Dea said. “I never thought I’d be back two months later, but it is what it is. I’m really excited.”
If returning to the Penguins organization had meant a longer minor-league stay for Dea, perhaps he would have had time to wonder if everything had truly worked out for the best. As it stands, he has no such misgivings.
“I’m obviously happy it was quick,” Dea said. “You never wish for injuries, but you’ve got to take advantage. I’m happy to be here. I’m happy to have another shot. Hopefully I’ll make a good impression again.”
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.