Penguins’ Free Agency Update

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.

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.

12:01 pm

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.

This is a great signing for depth that has the potential to become a decent NHL player. Penguins fans will love this guy.

12:03 pm

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.

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.

12:35 pm

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.

12:55 pm

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.

1:46 pm

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.