The Pittsburgh Penguins have found some common ground with a pair of pending free agents, signing Zach Trotman and Kevin Czuczman to matching two-year, two-way contracts. Both deals carry a $700K salary at the NHL level.
Trotman, 28, has never quite landed a full-time NHL role, but after being selected in the seventh round and battling for years in college and the minor leagues, even getting to this point was a long shot. The big, physical defenseman played 13 games for the Penguins last season and has suited up 83 times in his entire career, and very well may not add many more to that number next season. Pittsburgh already has seven defensemen on one-way deals with Marcus Pettersson still to sign.
The same could be said about Czuczman, who has played even fewer NHL contests since being signed out of college by the New York Islanders—coincidentally the same one Trotman attended, Lake Superior State University. In fact, Czuczman hasn’t played an NHL contest since 2013-14, and instead is now a leading figure on the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. In 65 games last season he recorded 21 points while serving as an alternate captain.
Neither of these signings will have a huge impact on Pittsburgh’s season, but do give the team some added depth on the blue line if they face injuries. For now, you can expect both to start the season in the minor leagues provided of course that they clear waivers at the end of training camp.