Gaunce signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Blue Jackets on Saturday, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Terms were not disclosed. The 27-year-old played 12 games for the Penguins in 2016-17, scoring a goal and four points with 13 PIM, and Gaunce should provide the Jackets with some blue-line depth and a physical presence at AHL Cleveland.
Gaunce was placed on waivers in order to be reassigned to the minors, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports. Gaunce, who the team previously announced was being sent down to AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, will actually need to clear waivers first, which effectively rules him out for the Baby Pens' matchup with AHL Providence on Friday. Look for the blueliner to suit up in Game 2 of that Calder Cup series Sunday.
Gaunce was sent down to the minors Friday. Gaunce's stay with AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton figures to be short term, as he will likely be recalled prior to the Pens' next outing. In the meantime, the blueliner will have the opportunity to get into some game action as the Baby Pens kick off the Calder Cup playoffs against AHL Providence on Friday.
Gaunce posted his first goal of the season - and second of his NHL career - while also adding an assist in Friday's 4-3 loss against the Islanders. The light-scoring defenseman entered the game with just one goal and three points across 27 NHL contests, so this was a very unexpected offensive showing. Don't get terribly excited about this multi-point performance. He is not worth using in most fantasy pools.
Gaunce was promoted from the minors Wednesday. Gaunce's call-up comes at the expense of Derrick Pouliot, who was sent back to the Baby Pens in a corresponding roster move. With the infusion of experienced defenders at the trade deadline, Gaunce has found himself on the outside looking in. In order to crack the lineup, the 26-year-old would need to knock off Chad Ruhwedel, which might be a tough task.
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