The Pittsburgh Penguins have locked up one of their young defensemen, signing Marcus Pettersson to a five-year extension. The deal will carry an average annual value of $4,025,175 and keep Pettersson under contract through the 2024-25 season. The deal also includes a modified no-trade clause GM Jim Rutherford explained why he made the deal:
In just over a year, Marcus has had a significant impact on our defensive group. He is young, reliable and smart, which is important in today’s game. Marcus is part of our young core and it was important to get him signed long-term.
As CapFriendly points out on Twitter, it looks like the Penguins and Pettersson have added the new deal to the $874,125 qualifying offer he signed last summer. That would basically make this a six-year, $21MM deal for the young defender who has found his legs in Pittsburgh after starting his career with the Anaheim Ducks.
Acquired in exchange for Daniel Sprong last season, the 23-year old Pettersson has quickly emerged as a promising option for the Penguins. A solid partner for Erik Gudbranson at the end of the 2018-19 campaign, he registered 19 points in 57 games. This season, especially when paired with rookie John Marino, Pettersson has been even better and now routinely logs more than 20 minutes a night. That role is locked in now that he’s going to cost the team a pretty penny.
In fact, Pettersson now becomes the third-highest paid defenseman on the Penguins for the 2020-21 season trailing only Kris Letang ($7.25MM cap hit) and Brian Dumoulin ($4.1MM). Add in Jack Johnson’s deal that extends through the 2022-23 season and the Penguins already have four defensemen with substantial long-term cap hits. Pettersson’s contract will raise questions about Justin Schultz, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. The Penguins could extend him as well, but have some tough decisions to make in order to stay under the cap ceiling. Jared McCann, Dominik Simon, Dominik Kahun, Matt Murray, Tristan Jarry and Juuso Riikola are all arbitration-eligible restricted free agents that will be looking for raises this summer.
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