Ryan Carpenter’s phone rang at 9 a.m. Wednesday and Joe Will, the San Jose Sharks’ assistant general manager, popped up on the caller ID.
Carpenter assumed that meant he cleared waivers and was headed to the American Hockey League.
“I actually had my bags packed to go to Tucson, Arizona. In case I cleared waivers, I was going to go play for the (San Jose) Barracuda,” Carpenter said Thursday. “It was a happy surprise. I was happy to hear the news.”
Carpenter practiced for the first time with the Golden Knights on Thursday at City National Arena, a day after he was claimed by the team on waivers.
The 26-year-old forward was scratched for the Knights’ game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night at T-Mobile Arena.
“I guess it’s always nice to feel wanted and to get another opportunity. I’m thankful,” Carpenter said. “At 9 o’clock, that phone call can be either way. I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude and excited to be here.”
Carpenter notched one assist in 16 games with the Sharks before he was placed on waivers. He has five points (two goals, three assists) in 28 career NHL appearances.
The Knights scouted Carpenter extensively last season, but he was protected by San Jose before the expansion draft.
Carpenter, who will wear No. 40, worked on the line with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Oscar Lindberg and Tomas Nosek during Thursday’s morning skate. William Carrier remains on the injured-reserve list.
“He’s going to get his chance,” Knights coach Gerard Gallant said. “We’re hoping he’s one of those guys like all our other guys that takes advantage of an opportunity and plays real well for us.”
Defenseman Luca Sbisa did not dress against the Penguins and is listed as day to day with a lower-body injury, according to Gallant. Jon Merrill replaced Sbisa in the lineup.
“He tweaked something in the third period the other night,” Gallant said.
Sbisa appeared to be hurt with about 13 minutes remaining in regulation of Tuesday’s 3-2 shootout loss to Carolina. Hurricanes forward Elias Lindholm lost an edge and fell awkwardly into Sbisa, who was on his knees behind the Knights’ net.
Goaltender Matt Murray returned to the Penguins’ lineup after being activated from IR on Tuesday.
Murray, who supplanted Marc-Andre Fleury as Pittsburgh’s starter last season, missed the past six games with a lower-body injury suffered Nov. 27 when Philadelphia’s Jake Voracek crashed into him on a breakaway.
Golden Knights prospect Cody Glass was one of six players released from Team Canada for the World Junior Championships that begin Dec. 26.