Pittsburgh Penguins General Manager Ray Shero wants his team to be tough to play against. On Monday morning, he invested $1.7 million in that goal by signing physical defenseman Deryk Engelland to a three-year contract extension. Engelland has just two goals and three assists in 32 games this season, but his value to the Penguins doesn’t come from the scoring department. After delivering technical beat-downs to Colton Orr and Jody Shelley, Engelland has quickly carved out a reputation as one of the league’s top enforcers.
The season may be winding down, but there’s still the playoffs lurking right around the corner. It may seem like a short time, but the offseason is a long way off. While some teams will undoubtedly be looking at the 09-10 season sooner than others one thing is certain; the elite teams that have spent up to the salary cap ceiling will have to do some creative work to hold together for next year.