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Pittsburgh Penguins: Ben Lovejoy Traded to Anaheim Ducks

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 10:  Ben Lovejoy #6 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates with the puck against the Ottawa Senators on January 10, 2012 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Kevin JamesonCorrespondent IFebruary 7, 2013

According to TSN.ca, the Pittsburgh Penguins have traded defenseman Ben Lovejoy, 28, to the Anaheim Ducks for a fifth-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.

Lovejoy signed with the Penguins as a free agent on July 7, 2007, playing a handful of games with the Norfolk Admirals of the AHL before joining the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. In four seasons in the AHL, Lovejoy played 218 games and registered 18 goals and 62 assists with 245 penalty minutes.

Lovejoy played at the NHL level sparingly in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons, appearing in 14 games mostly as an injury fill-in.

In the 2010-2011, Lovejoy became a full-time NHL player functioning as the Penguins' fifth or sixth defenseman. That season set career highs in games played (47), goals (three), assists (17), points (20), plus/minus (plus-11) and PIM (48).

The Penguins began this season with eight defensemen on their roster. An injury to Matt Niskanen should have meant more playing time for Lovejoy, but poor play coupled with the emergence of rookies Simon Despres and Robert Bortuzzo kept Lovejoy in the press box.

He only appeared in three games for the Penguins this season.

Pittsburgh has a glut of talented young defensive prospects at the AHL level and Lovejoy was expendable. He’s a solid fifth or sixth defenseman who can give a team 10 to 13 even-strength minutes per night, but that’s pretty much all he can offer. He doesn’t possess the skill set to play power-play minutes and rarely saw time on the penalty kill while in Pittsburgh.

As a Penguin, Lovejoy was destined to be little more than an injury substitute. General manager Ray Shero turned a regular healthy scratch into a fifth-round draft pick.

With Matt Niskanen still on injured reserve, the Penguins have called up defenseman Dylan Reese (per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Shelly Anderson). Reese, a native of Pittsburgh’s Upper St. Clair neighborhood, has three goals and 12 assists in 39 games for the Wilkes-Barre Baby Penguins this season.

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