Prior to the start of free agency, the Penguins re-signed Tom Sestito and Steve Oleksy.
The Oleksy deal, a one-year, two-way contract for $575k, keeps a decent right-handed defenseman in the organization. I do like this depth signing, which likely further limits anything else that Jim Rutherford might do today.
— Mike Necciai (@Michael29Angelo) July 1, 2016
As for Sestito, I see no point.There is no real need for an enforcer type in the NHL anymore. He may serve a purpose in the AHL to a degree, but it’s money and a roster spot that could be used elsewhere. I have long been critical of Sestito’s dirty play, which is no better than Penguins’ fans nemesis Tom Wilson.
The Penguins have signed 23-year-old Stuart Percy who was a defenseman in the Maple Leafs organization. In a very small sample size, Percy played 3 games with Toronto last year with a Corsi For % of 45.3 and a Relative Corsi of -8.3.
Stuart Percy is a former first-round pick of the Leafs. Two-way defenseman. Had some injuries. Didn’t get QO and hit UFA at age 23
— Jonathan Bombulie (@BombulieTrib) July 1, 2016
This is a great signing for depth that has the potential to become a decent NHL player. Penguins fans will love this guy.
Stuart Percy has a 40% zone start and the best possession numbers on the Leafs blueline. And a point a game. So he’s doing okay.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) October 13, 2014
The Penguins tweeted that they have signed general manager Jim Rutherford to a three-year contract extension. This can only be good for Pittsburgh, but likely signals that assistant general manager Jason Botterill will be moving on. Probably to the new Las Vegas team.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) July 1, 2016
Thus far the Penguins’ activity is playing out as expected, minus the Rutherford extension. Decent depth signings that could pay off for the big club. Good deals heading to Pittsburgh while they watch the rest of the league toss out absurd money.
Right now everyone in Pittsburgh is waiting to see what happens with Matt Cullen. That is a big testament to what he did last year for the Penguins. Not too many fourth-line players get that much fanfare.
The Devils have signed now former Penguin Ben Lovejoy to a three-year deal. Ray Shero strikes again. The salary of $2.66 AAV is much smaller than many expected. That said, it’s still too much for the Penguins. Good move letting him go.
Lovejoy 3 yrs to NJD, $2.666 aav.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 1, 2016
Pittsburgh has signed defenseman David Warsofsky to a two-way deal. Another decent depth signing. He played in the Penguins organization last year and was claimed on waivers by the Devils. Good depth, and good for Wilkes-Barre. Shortly afterward, they signed defenseman Cameron Gaunce from the Panthers organization and Chad Ruhwedel to a two-way deals for more depth. That is a total of 6 players signed to identical two-way deals worth $575,000.
Penguins bring back D David Warsofsky. He got a — wait for it — one-year, two-way deal that pays $575,000 in the NHL.
— Dave Molinari (@MolinariPG) July 1, 2016
Jeff Zatkoff has signed with the Kings. He played his part well with the Penguins, but the writing was on the wall. If Rutherford had traded Marc-Andre Fleury at the draft, then maybe Zatkoff stays, but it would not make sense now.
More information as it comes.
Greg is a Pittsburgh Penguins writer for ‘The Hockey Writers’.
He is a Pittsburgh area native who has written for multiple Penguins news and opinion sites. In addition to hockey writing, he is also an experienced YouTube creator.
Greg started with THW in 2015 as a Blue Jackets writer, and spent time as a Fantasy Hockey analyst.